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Wishing you and your family a joyful holiday and a prosperous New Year!
As I sat down to write a message for the FBA newsletter, it occurred to me that even though I have been involved in this family business organization for over seven years, many of you may not know about my business, especially since the Streatch name is not attached to any of our endeavors.
Granview Farms Limited arose in 1966 out of a small dairy farm partnership in Elderbank, NS, operated by my brother, father and mother. The main focus at that time was to put food on the table and a roof over the heads of a family including 10 kids of which five were my uncles and aunts. The family worked together, to grow revenue through hard work and a passion to move forward in the dairy, hog and poultry operations.
An energy to grow and seize opportunities brought changes that saw the animals fade away to be replaced with Musquodoboit Valley Quality Sod and New Brunswick Quality Turf farm operations, developed in NS and NB. Turf Masters Landscaping Limited grew from a small home and commercial landscape business to be well recognized throughout Atlantic Canada in natural and artificial sport field construction. Throughout that period, members of the third generation added new energy and capacity to the businesses. Sunberry Cranberry Producers was developed in 1997 and has since expanded in production acreage plus ownership in a receiving and freezing plant. Blomidon Nurseries Ltd was acquired in 2000, adding more vertical integration in the landscape industry.
The first generation would be proud to see what has been accomplished over the years. Many families have put food on the table and have had a roof over their heads since 1966. This has resulted from the core values we recognize today as trust in one another, commitment to the goals of family and business and persistent hard work.
What are the next steps? Who will carry the torch forward? How does growth continue? What will the future look like? These are all questions that families in business, like mine, must answer as the years pass by. My journey of personal development is enhanced through involvement with FBA (Family Business Association) and the quality professionals and business people I meet as a result. The Peer to Peer group experience continues to offer FBA members tremendous opportunity to grow personally and learn from others in a friendly and confidential environment.
If you have read these musings by your FBA President, I hope you will understand why I want to help grow this organization. I encourage you to continue to attend the FBA functions and help us reach more family businesses, so that they too can find answers to help them grow and transition with confidence. My wife Cathy and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our FBA family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year.
21st Annual Peter Wilson Dinner With Caroline Wood and David Bentley of allNovaScotia May 5, 2017 at the Cunard Centre in Halifax
We are delighted to have David Bentley and his daughter Caroline Wood as our dinner speakers for this year's Peter Wilson Dinner. The family business is in its 3rd generation with some of Caroline’s children now working at allNovaScotia. Father and daughter will share some of their family and business history and will provide insight into what it takes to keep a publishing entreprise thriving and prosperous in 2017.
Caroline Wood Caroline Wood is a journalist and entrepreneur who with her father, David Bentley, launched allNovaScotia in 2001. Raised in Sackville, NS, Caroline has a business degree from Dalhousie University. With husband Dan, she has lived in several communities across the United States and Canada during his naval career. They also spent time in the UK. Caroline and Dan have four children and two grandchildren.
David Bentley David arrived in Canada through Pier 21 in 1966 to accept a job with the Halifax Herald. He has had a rewarding career in the news business, launching three publications including allNovaScotia in 2001. Some would say he has gone far - he would say he lives and works less than a mile from where he arrived in Canada from the UK, 50 years ago.
FAMILY BUSINESS MATTERS
by Leslie McNabb, B.Comm., FEA, Director, Centre for Family Business and Regional Prosperity
Proud to be a Family Business
Some family businesses don’t want you to think of them that way.
Case in point – five years ago during a meeting with a very successful local businessman, he was asked to comment on his family business. He quickly responded that he didn’t consider the company a family business. It was pointed out to him that by the Centre’s definition we would classify him as such, given he has three adult children in senior management roles at the firm. I will never forget his response, “I don’t feel we are a family business because we are international in scope and my children weren’t handed their jobs – they earned their positions.”
Sadly, it was as if he was embarrassed to be identified as a family business even though there are well-researched advantages to being one. Even well established executives sometimes buy into the stereotypical perspective that outsiders have of what it means to be a family business. Clearly in this owner’s mind, a family business meant small in size (think “Mom and Pop Shop”) and filled with nepotism.
Although there are many family businesses that operate on a smaller scale, and some that may choose to offer jobs to their children regardless of qualifications, it is shortsighted to frame all family businesses this way.
In fact, family businesses have certain competitive advantages that should make them proud of their handle, including trust, agility and long-term vision.
The foundation of a family business tends to be built on a set of common family values. Working with family members provides the advantage of having a deeper understanding of your co-workers and offers a level of trust you generally wouldn’t experience at your place of work.
This trust is a key advantage that allows family businesses to be more agile. Strategically, they are able to capitalize on opportunities faster than their more bureaucratic competitors. When working with family there is often a natural communication shorthand, providing the ability to cut to the chase and make critical decisions efficiently. In today’s fast-paced society having the capacity to respond and adjust quickly is a definite bonus!
Often family businesses are built with the intention of passing the company on to the next generation, and this longer-term vision is another distinct benefit. There is a sense of legacy, which can create a deeper commitment to the success of the business. A longer strategic timeline also provides family members the confidence to take more risks. With risk comes reward, and in the event of a misstep there is more time to recover.
These are just a few of the reasons owners should be proud to identify as a family business. We need to shift the narrative by celebrating the many unique advantages of family business and resist succumbing to traditional stereotypes that can potentially hold us back.
This year's Holiday Social a Success with Over 50 Attendees! From all reports everyone who attended this year's event thoroughly enjoyed the food, drink and great company.Thank you to Halifax Seed for hosting this year's event and congratulations to them on their celebration of 150 years in business.
FBA-Atlantic Welcomes New Board Member FBA welcomes Ron Cluett of Cluett Insurance as our newest BOD member. He will be co-chairing the Membership Committee along with David Humphreys. So glad to have your support as we continue to grow our membership into the Atlantic region.
Thank You to Outgoing Board Member Thank you to Fraser Moir who has aptly served on the Board for the past four years and most recently as our John Abbass Sr. Memorial Scholarship and Golf Tournament chair. We appreciate your service and congratulate you on your new position as account manager with Tennant and Nobles.
FBA-Atlantic Welcomes Newest Member Warm welcomes to Natalie Frederick-Wilson and her husband David, owners of House of Auto Details and Krown Rust Control in Bedford. It's great to have you as our newest family member and we look forward to getting to know you and your family business better in the New Year.
Archway Insurance Expands Effective December 31, 2016, Archway Insurance will enters nine New Brunswick communities with the purchase of Alliance Assurance. We are proud of Archway's accomplishments and send them best wishes on this expansion.
WBLI Merger Announced Congratulations are also extended to WBLI who will merge with MNP LLP effective January 1, 2017. WBLI have been long time supporters of our organization and we look forward to working with the MNP team.
Help Us Improve our FBA-Atlantic Programming
As we prepare for our 2017 Calendar of Events, we are asking for your feedback on programming. FBA would love to hear from each of our members and encourages you to fill out the survey below: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GZYQW8C