A Hard Look at Surviving Multiple Generations

A Hard Look at Surviving

Multiple Generations

an interview with Doug Renfro of Renfro Foods

In 1940, with the Depression still a vivid memory, George Renfro took a big risk for a man with a family. He quit his job selling restaurant supplies and condiments. With little more than sheer determination and the support of his family, George and his wife, Arthurine, co-founded George Renfro Food Company in the garage of their north Fort Worth home.

With annualized growth of 10% for more than half a century Mrs. Renfro’s salsa now ranks as one of the nation’s top five best selling salsas distributed by specialty food distributors.  They manufacture and distribute more than 100 products, including 25 Mrs. Renfro’s products to all 50 states, western and eastern Canada, the Caribbean and United Kingdom.  This third generation business is one of the nation’s five largest family-owned and managed salsa manufacturers and the nation’s largest producer of chow chow, a Southern relish made of garden vegetables, vinegar and spices. Today, the second generation, Bill and Jack, along with grandchildren Doug, Becky and James who are active in the day-to-day operations at Renfro Foods, and its Mrs. Renfro’s label, continue to grow at a fast pace. More…

Women Reach the Top at more Family Firms

Women Reach the Top at more Family Firms
by Edward Taylor
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

This article is reprinted by permission from StartupJournal.com.

As chief executive of Swedish forklift truck manufacturer Atlet AB, Marianne Nilson is one of a growing number of women who hold key positions in their family firms.

“The dynastic model of succession, where the business is passed on to the eldest son, seems to be fading,” says Jozef Lievens, a partner at Belgian law firm Ebilius Lawyers, and founder of the Belgian Family Institute, a nonprofit organization that provides training and education for family businesses. “We see a growing tendency for daughters to take over the firm — or even entire teams of siblings.”

A 1997 survey of 3,000 family firms conducted by Mass Mutual in the U.S. showed that the number of female chief executives was set to rise, with 25% of respondents saying their next CEO would be a woman. A similar trend is evident in Europe, Mr. Lievens says. More…