Succession Planning

Succession Planning

by Adriane B. Miller

Small, closely-held companies must confront this thorny issue.

John R. Beever doesn’t know how his business would function if he fell out of an airplane today–but he’s prodding his family and key managers to discuss it.

Mr. Beever, 59, runs family-owned John Dittmar & Sons, Inc., a Baltimore custom woodwork manufacturer that his great-grandfather started in 1876.

But discussing the future raises difficult questions. Mr. Beever’s two sons, Geoffrey and John C. are in their 30s and vice presidents of the firm. Both are enthusiastic about the business, both are bright. Both want to succeed their father. More…