In this issue
In 2008, when the search firm helping IDEAL Industries find a non-family CEO suggested Jim James, third-generation leader Dave Juday balked. James was then working an hour and a half away from IDEAL’s Sycamore, Ill., headquarters as a group president at Illinois Tool Works.
In late August, Dave Glenn, a family shareholder in Elkay Manufacturing Company — an Oak Brook, Ill.-based manufacturer of commercial and residential sinks and other products — hosted a few relatives at his home. Glenn, who doesn’t work in the company, also invited Elkay’s non-family CEO, Tim Jahnke, to the gathering.
“We had pizza, and he had to listen to all our family stories,” says Laura Gicela, a fourth-generation family member who works in the business as Elkay’s family employee engagement liaison.
Many family businesses will reach a point where non-family executives are needed to manage the company and take it to the next level. There are myriad challenges to overcome in attracting outside talent to a family firm. Some executives are concerned about the uncertainty of family dynamics. Others are discouraged by what they see as the slim chance of a lucrative exit.
All businesses need solid CEO talent, but multigenerational family businesses need another type of leadership as well. Someone (or several someones) must step up to unite the family and inspire them to work together in support of the family enterprise.
Every family business has a unique narrative with fascinating characters. There’s the founder, whose vision and values originally defined the company. The founder’s legacy directly affects the members of successor generations. Some may wonder if they have the expertise to lead, while others may question their parents’ or grandparents’ business decisions.
Generation of family ownership: I am the third generation. My grandfather started the business with my father and uncle.
Company revenues: Just under $700 million.
Number of employees: 1,300.
The Business: Diego (“Dick”) Papalia immigrated to Ottawa, Ontario, from Italy in 1952. He started out doing odd jobs and then left the area to study music in New York City. After he returned to Ottawa, he performed professionally on the accordion and taught accordion lessons. In 1966, as the accordion declined in popularity, he got a job selling pianos for the Heintzman Piano Company.
Cranberries are a staple of the holiday season — jellied in a can, strung with popcorn, juiced into a sparkling punch.
For the Haines family, the fruit is their bread and butter. The family’s 128-year-old New Jersey farm produces more than 30 million pounds of cranberries annually.