Credibility for the Family Business

Credibility for the Family Business
Family Business Forum News
by Jim Klaes

“Business is simple,” Tom Monroy told students and others in McNeill Auditorium at UTEP’s College of Business this past June.”We over-think and make it harder than it has to be,” said the Ph.D. from Baldwin-Wallace College.

“I myself learned everything I needed to know from my grandmother, who started our family business,” be said.”It was not until 1943,” he pointed out, “that Harvard Business School taught the first course…ever…in general business management.”

Monroy named six disciplines a company leader must have to establish credibility: discovering personal strengths and weaknesses, appreciating those who do the work and supply the goods, affirming shared values, developing capacity (of the individuals and, therefore, the company), serving a common purpose, and sustaining hope that the shared goals will be achieved. More…

Family, Farming and Business: The Iott Orchard and Ranch

Family, Farming and Business:

The Iott Orchard and Ranch

by Debbe Skutch

It was my pleasure to visit the Iott Orchard and Ranch in Petersburg, Michigan.Marilyn Iott took the time to give me a brief tour of the more than 90 acres of apple orchards and fields of tomatoes, cabbage and corn.I witnessed innovative farming techniques and traditional values of business, family and farming at work.The following is a conversation with Marilyn about the past, present and future of her family’s business.

Tell us about the history of your family and your business.

In 1960 my husband, Cork, and I moved from 7 miles south of here to begin our own family farm.Cork grew up on his family’s farm.We have five children, three boys and two girls.Kevin is 36 and is in the business, Kerry is 32 and also lives nearby and works here.Our youngest son, Kory is a senior in high school and plans on attending college and then entering the family business. We have two daughters, Kim, 33, a travel agency manager and Katrina, 27, who owns her own computer consulting firm.

All our children grew up on the farm and worked many hours from an early age to help it succeed.They have sacrificed much. The girls had no interest in staying on the farm and Kory’s contribution will be different than his brothers’ because of changes in generation and farming. More…