In this issue
The Jones family is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Dawn Foods this year, but they weren’t always bakers. The family entered the business in 1935, when patriarch Marlin Jones joined Dawn Donut Company as a bookkeeper.
Though the family didn’t found Dawn, now an international, multibillion-dollar company, they continue to grow the business under third-generation leadership.
When Charlotte Lamp was growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, no female family members worked in her family’s business, Port Blakely. The company, which is based in the Pacific Northwest and has been owned by the Eddy family since 1903, owns and manages working forests and markets renewable forest products.
If you’ve ever bought bread from a grocery store, you’ve probably noticed the plastic clip that closes the packaging. You may not realize that a family business — Kwik Lok Corporation, founded in 1954 and based in Yakima, Wash. — originated the closure. According to family legend, founder Floyd Paxton, an engineer, invented the clip during an airplane flight by carving it out of a credit card. He started out selling the clips as a secure way to close bags of apples.
The board selection process in family companies at times can appear rigged to perpetuate incumbent directors. Is this a good or a bad phenomenon? That depends on many factors.
Imagine the frustration of a family shareholder who believes the company’s board is not functioning well but feels powerless to effect change. Though such feelings sometimes reflect sour grapes about a past issue, not being selected for the board oneself or a family squabble, they can also arise from legitimate worries about the board.
In March, the United States celebrates Women’s History Month with exhibits, scholarship and events at the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and other federal institutions. On Aug. 26, the country will mark a milestone in women’s history: the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.
In recognition of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America, Family Business is dedicating this issue to strong female leaders. I count my grandmother among them. In fact, Grandma Selma, born in Missouri in 1886, was a suffragette. She recalled voting in 1920 — while 8½ months pregnant with my father — in the first presidential election open to women.
Robert Matthews (Matt) Beall III has been named CEO of Bradenton, Fla.-based retailer Beall’s Inc.
Beall is the great-grandson of Robert Matthews Beall Sr., who founded the company in 1915. As a student at the University of Florida, he worked in the West Bradenton Beall’s Store as a sales associate and then at the Beall’s Outlet distribution center processing merchandise. After graduating in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in business, he worked for Ross Stores in Manhattan as an assistant buyer. He then earned an MBA from Stetson University.