Sustaining the Benevolent Intent In Family Business

Sustaining the Benevolent UMass
Intent In Family Business

by Tetty Gorfine, M.A., President & Owner
Integral Solutions
(Business and Organizational Consulting)

I believe that many family businesses exist for the very best of reasons. Just to name a few; families want to spend time together, share in the joy of success, invest in the well being of those they love, and parents wish to pass along a good and secure life. Children want to carry on the family name and desire to perpetuate the growth of the family business.

There is no doubt that these and many other benevolent reasons create and sustain the family business. There are of course situations where family members would benefit by not working with relatives which is an entire subject onto itself. However, in situations where working together serves the best interest of family members it can be confusing when good and well intended people find themselves, at times, amidst conflict and opposition with those they love. How, then, can family members recreate their best intention to support and love each other in daily business and in times of transition? More…

Making It Work in the Third Generation: The Tyler Equipment Company

Making It Work in the Third Generation:UMass
The Tyler Equipment Company

by Kitty Axelson-Berry

Is there some grand success–or catastrophe–that would be informative for readers as family business people?

Well, the big success is that we’re still here.My grandfather and grandmother started this in 1922, renting half a building at the end of Columbus Avenue, selling anything–tools, brushes, paint.They survived the Depression intact and went into construction, which was good during the wars and during the building of the highway system, which was for defense purposes. 

But it’s a cyclical business, very dependent on the economy, and in the late ’80s and early ’90s when a lot of banks failed, it was very difficult.In ’88 we were at an all-time high and in ’89 we had a free-fall.It was really the worst time, very traumatic.We had to cut way back on our employees.But we kicked and clawed and scratched and we’re still here.

What has the succession been at Tyler?

Let’s see if I can get it right.There was the grandfather and grandmother,and there’s my father, M. Brooke Tyler, Jr., and uncles Wallace Tyler, and Grant Tyler. Aunt Fern, who was not active in the business, upon my grandfather’s death, became one of the owners.Then there’s M. Brooke Tyler, III and me, Bill; and Grant Tyler, Jr. and Thomas. More…