In this issue
The ambitions of the Dickey family have fueled the exponential growth of Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants Inc. The family's willingness to redefine the company's business model made the expansion possible.
Three generations and 76 years after the first Dickey's Barbecue Pit opened in a tiny location north of Dallas, the company is now the largest barbecue chain in America. The original store still operates as part of the chain.
How did a small African-American-owned homebuilder from Alabama end up as one of the leading construction companies in Philadelphia, Pa., whose projects have included major sites like the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and Lincoln Financial Field, home of the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles?
Whether your family oversees one or more operating companies or a family office that manages investable assets, the word "risk" usually connotes concepts such as overconcentration, lack of diversification and lock-up periods. But as social media use has taken the world by storm in the last 10 years, every family should also be considering potential risks to their reputation.
Despite seemingly blue skies and calm waters, family businesses, like boats on the ocean, face continual and potentially dangerous threats. The ultimate price for failure to prepare for and meet these threats is extinction. Unfortunately, this is the fate of most family businesses after the second generation.
As business families seek ever more effective ways to cultivate their next-generation leaders to meet tomorrow's challenges, many turn to educational institutions to deliver a robust business education—and to equip young people with the skills and insights to manage the opportunities and demands facing family enterprises.
With jobs at Kraft Heinz Co. and Keurig Green Mountain, Chris Droney was carving out a corporate career in supply-chain operations. He hadn't thought about joining his parents at Mt. Lebanon Office Furniture and Interiors in Pittsburgh.
But then he and his wife, Karla, wanted to start a family.
"My work was fulfilling and challenging, but not hitting a chord with balance," says Chris, now 31.
The fact that Michael Boccacino all but refused to work out of a traditional office space has informed his successors' approach to the family business. Boccacino Heating and Cooling is moving into the third generation, and the whole family knows the importance of going on the road to meet with customers.
Boccacino's daughter Karen Falbo is CEO of the now-woman-owned business in Rochester, N.Y. She established the office in 1987 when her dad and her husband, Tom Falbo, requested her help with administrative duties.
The Business: The history of Crescent Jewelry Company begins in 1842, when R.E. Lackner opened a jewelry, camera and general mercantile store in Hannibal, Mo. Lackner had three children: two sons, Lyman and Linus, and a daughter, Lucy, who married Lewis Heiser, also a jeweler.
When Lackner decided to move his business to Paragould, Ark., Lucy and Lewis stayed behind and started their own store, the Heiser Jewelry Company.
Generation of family ownership: Fourth.
Revenue: Approximately $1.5 billion.
Number of employees: About 3,500.
Years with the company: Forty since starting part-time. After law school, 27 full-time.
First job at this company: Hand-painting billboards. On a sign such as "Holiday Inn this exit," I'd fill in the white spaces between the letters.