In this issue
About six or seven years before Dave Juday retired as chairman of IDEAL Industries in 2014, he decided it was time to make a major change—so he grew a beard.
Juday is the grandson of J. Walter Becker, founder of IDEAL, a Sycamore, Ill.-based maker of products and tools for the electrical and telecommunications industries. Seeing the beard in the mirror reminded him that " 'This is a different era; I've got to be a different person,' " explains Juday, now 72. He also began coming to work an hour later than usual.
The gravest threat preventing a family from passing along its wealth from one generation to the next is poor planning and management.
Creating significant family wealth is no small feat, and serious steps should be taken to ensure that wealth survives not only into the next generation, but also for future generations beyond that. Avoiding the outcome of "shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations," or the phenomenon whereby inheritors of wealth squander it before it reaches the fourth generation, requires discipline and vigilance.
Many closely held companies, especially family businesses, are reluctant to establish boards of directors that include unrelated parties. Recruiting accomplished directors or domain experts who have no prior personal relationships with the family shareholders is even more difficult for family businesses to consider.
As a private, family-controlled company matures, it faces complex business challenges if it is to continue on a profitable growth trajectory through future generations. One of the major challenges is recruiting, retaining and engaging outside executive talent. In addition, the current executive team must be compensated in a manner that encourages continued value creation and maximizes the compensation investment.
It's almost impossible to walk into a hospital, supermarket or public bathroom without encountering a GOJO product. Though Akron, Ohio-based GOJO Industries Inc. is best known for its Purell brand of hand sanitizer, its owners' mission goes far beyond keeping hands clean. Through a unique broad-based structure called the Kanfer Family Enterprise, the family that owns GOJO has reinvented the classic family business model to create an organization that allows every family member to work in his or her preferred setting, yet still be part of the family business.
Amid the tony neighborhood of East 59th Street in Midtown Manhattan sits Argosy Book Store, a second-generation business that fills six floors with old and rare books, prints and maps.
Louis Cohen started the business, originally located downtown on Lafayette Street, in 1925. The store moved to 59th Street in 1930. In 1964, it relocated to the six-story building next door.
The Business: The Simon family immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1846. Twenty years later, Nicholas Simon purchased an interest in a German Catholic newspaper in Louisville, Ky. When Nicholas retired in 1880, his sons, Frank X. Simon and John E. Simon, ran the business. The company was incorporated in 1885 as The Glaubensbote Publishing Company. ("Glaubensbote" is German for "messenger of faith.")
Generation of family ownership: Second.
About the company: We have manufacturing facilities in California, Washington, Illinois and New Jersey, and a global sales office in Athens, Greece. Our products are sold in over 60 countries.
Number of employees: Approximately 350.
Kelly Conklin, 36, became president of Gordon's Window Décor last year when her father, Gordon Clements, passed the torch—literally. (Clements decorated a yard light and presented it to his daughter at a company party in a gesture Conklin calls symbolic, moving and goofy.)