In this issue
The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies was founded with a single Toyota dealership Larry and his wife, Gail, bought in 1979. Today, the group consists of 80 companies with about 10,000 employees, generating revenues of more than $5 billion.
The family enterprise encompasses a fleet of dealerships, a car financing firm, movieplexes and a number of sports businesses, including an NBA team and the arena in which it plays.
Five years after her entrepreneur husband died in 2000, Michele Rollins decided her children needed to be brought in on the family’s financial arrangements.
The late John W. Rollins Sr. had built an empire of companies involved in trucking, environmental services and pest control. He also owned racetracks and hospitality complexes.
“The kids needed to know more,” explains Rollins, the chairman of Rollins Jamaica Ltd., the holding company for the island nation’s Rose Hall Developments Ltd.
Many of us are aware that more than half of U.S. GDP comes from family-controlled businesses. Yeah, we family business owners are kind of a big deal. We also provide millions of jobs, help give meaning to our family members’ lives, pride ourselves on strong cultures and impact our communities. These things we have in common.
NextGens who join their family business often make a number of changes to modernize the company, such as upgrading the technology and increasing the company’s presence on social media. It’s only natural for the younger generation to make these kinds of innovations; they are generally the family members who are most up to date in these areas.
Some NextGens go a step further: They start a new, related company that will appeal to a younger crowd or another new market segment. One such entrepreneur is 32-year-old Alyza Bohbot.
Imagine your daughter coming home from fourth grade one day and, with a defeated look, handing you her midterm report card. She showed such promise in kindergarten. But for the second quarter in a row, she’s received Cs, B-minuses, and even some Ds and Fs.
Her teacher has added a sobering comment for you: “I don’t see things improving anytime soon.”
It’s been a mostly good decade with this kid, but enough is enough. You decide it’s time to disown her. You tell her she needs to find some other family to live with.
The Business: There are a lot of Is to dot and Ts to cross if you’re transporting goods across the border between the United States and Canada. Customs broker Willson International has helped importers and exporters for 100 years.
Family businesses are reputed to be unprofessionally run and destined to fail in the third generation. So how does one explain the continuity of companies like Cargill Inc. (founded 1865), S.C. Johnson & Son (founded 1886) and Mars Inc. (founded 1891)?