In this issue
We recognize family and non-family chief executives who are leading their businesses with a view toward long-term success.
This year, business leaders in all sectors were tested as the COVID-19 pandemic challenged them to keep revenues coming in and circumvent supply chain disruption while taking measures to ensure the safety of employees and customers.
Tucked away on a once-trendy, once-forsaken, now-trendy-again street in Washington, D.C., stand two national monuments perhaps less publicized but certainly as beloved as the museums and memorials that make the nation’s capital a top tourist destination.
One is the world-famous Lincoln Theatre, built in 1922 and venue for jazz and big band performers of legend, including Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Pearl Bailey and Louis Armstrong. The prominence of the theater and its star-studded calendar helped create what became known as Black Broadway in the middle of downtown.
Even if you don’t live in Greater Philadelphia, you may be familiar with Jeffrey Brown, a fourth-generation grocer who is chairman and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores. About half of the 12 ShopRite and Fresh Grocer stores Jeff operates are located in “food deserts” — urban areas where residents lack access to stores selling fresh food.
Longstanding family conflict can bring a family business to its knees. It saps energy and happiness and holds back the business from functioning optimally. The first step in resolving longstanding conflict is recognizing that the consequences of avoiding an issue are worse than the emotional discomfort of discussing it. Let us look at an example of a family that succeeded in resolving longstanding conflict.
Family business owners are typically laser-focused on building a successful, competitive, innovative company that will grow and flourish over time. However, an interesting thing can happen as a family business becomes successful. Over time, a family firm can take on a role beyond being an operating company. It can also begin to function as a family office.
Business families have a variety of options for structuring shares in their company to meet the needs of the family and the business. We asked George Quarles, a third-generation owner of Quarles Petroleum Inc., a Fredricksburg, Va.-based fuel company, and Carolyn Brown, a fourth-generation shareholder, director and family council chairperson of Mannington Mills Inc., a Salem, N.J.-based flooring manufacturer, to explain their companies’ share structures.
George Quarles, Quarles Petroleum:
Second-generation family member Lynn Houston Moore has been named CEO of HJI Supply Chain solutions, based in Louisville, Ky. Her promotion marks the culmination of a six-year succession planning strategy, the company said in announcing the appointment.
Generation of family ownership: Second.
Annual revenues: Just under $50 million.
Number of employees: 650.
First job at this company: Maintenance. We bought the business from another company and were scrambling to survive. I did everything. Even when I became administrator, I still wore a toolbelt. People sometimes have no idea what one had to do to make it in the old days.
At what age? 17.
The Business: Ralph’s Italian Restaurant, located in South Philadelphia, is the oldest continuously operating Italian restaurant in the United States. The previous holder of the title, Fior D’Italia in San Francisco, closed in 2012 and reopened in December of that year under its fourth owners. It closed again temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic.