Only about 30 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation, 12 percent to the third and just 3 percent to the fourth generation and beyond.
But while keeping a family business thriving can be especially difficult in California due to the state’s taxes and regulations, a number of companies that are members of the Family Business Association of California have beaten the odds and are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year.
“These companies deserve congratulations for standing the test of time despite all of the challenges family businesses face,” said FBA Executive Director Robert Rivinius.
“Family businesses are the bedrock of our communities and the economy. In fact, our state’s 1.4 million family businesses employ 7 million people and tend to pay their employees better, train them better and provide more generous benefits than nonfamily companies. We hope examples like these help persuade state officials to encourage and incentivize family businesses instead of making it harder for them to continue on.”
The companies are:
Teichert Inc., Sacramento, founded in 1887 (130 years). The company was founded by Adolph Teichert, who immigrated from Germany in 1866 and whose early work can still be seen in Golden Gate Park and near the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco and in the sidewalks around the State Capitol. The business has grown into a diverse mix of businesses, most notably Teichert Construction and Teichert Materials. Judson Riggs, the fourth-generation member of the family to run the business, serves as president, CEO and chairman of the board. http://www.teichert.com/teichert-way/about-us/our-history/
C.F. Koehnen & Sons, Glenn, 1907 (110 years). The company was founded by Carl Fredrick Koehnen as a beekeeping operation and over the years has grown to be one of the largest honey bee and queen producers in the world. Koehnen also grows, maintains and harvests almonds and walnuts in Glenn and Butte counties. Third-generation Mike Koehnen is the company president, while his cousins Kamron and Kalin Koehnen manage operations. https://www.koehnen.com/history
Nor-Cal Beverage Co., West Sacramento, 1937 (80 years). Nor-Cal is the largest independent co-packer of teas, ades, chilled juice, waters and energy drinks west of the Mississippi and also produces its own line of Go Girl Energy Drinks. The company was founded by Roy Deary as the Hires Root Beer Bottling Company but sold off its soft drink franchises in 2007 because of changing market trends and soon after sold its beer distributorship. Third-generation Shannon Deary-Bell was named president and CEO in 2010. http://www.ncbev.com/ncbev/assets/File/Our_History_full_story.pdf
Rogers Jewelry, Modesto, 1937 (80 years). The company was founded by Harry Marks, a young jewelry salesman, and his partner, Dr. Robert Moon. Two third-generation family members are now in charge. Robert Marks is president and Bart is vice president and CEO of the company’s Nevada operations. Rogers is best known for its Superstores, which have more than four times the square footage of average mall jewelry stores. https://www.thinkrogers.com/about/
The Fruit Bowl, Stockton, 1947 (70 years). This San Joaquin County landmark began accidentally over the Fourth of July weekend when Frank and Ina Lucchetti had a bumper crop of freestone peaches but stores in San Francisco didn’t want to buy them because they were closing for the holiday. So on the advice of a fieldman they placed a couple of signs on Waterloo Road and set up a table to sell produce. A parade of cars stopped as people drove back from the Sierra and the stand has been operating ever since. Today, second-generation Ralph and his wife, Denene, run the farm and The Fruit Bowl. http://www.thefruitbowl.com/about-us/
Kenco Engineering, Roseville, 1957 (60 years). Kenco manufactures longer-wearing parts for asphalt plants and construction machinery designed to reduce unnecessary equipment downtime. The company was founded by Ken Lutz and his wife, Dorothy, as a welding supply house before moving into manufacturing parts in the 1960s. Dave Lutz is the second-generation president and brother Don is vice president, while third-generation son-in-law Brian Handshoe is VP for Operations. https://www.kencoengineering.com/general/aboutus.php
“Family businesses are the bedrock of our communities and the economy. In fact, our state’s 1.4 million family businesses employ 7 million people and tend to pay their employees better, train them better and provide more generous benefits than nonfamily companies,” Rivinius said.
“For example, legislation was introduced this year that would create a new California estate tax to replace the federal tax being considered for elimination. Estate taxes are one of the biggest obstacles in allowing businesses to remain family-owned from one generation to the next. Proposals like this are absolutely the wrong approach and would make it harder for family businesses like these to survive.”
About the Family Business Association of California (FBA): Founded in 2012, the Family Business Association of California is the only organization working exclusively at the Capitol to educate lawmakers and regulators about the importance of family businesses to the state’s economy and to their communities. For more information, visit www.myfba.org.