Challenges to the entrepreneurial spirit are complex, particularly in a family business if the entrepreneur wants to have the business survive him/herself and successfully grow into future generations. This vision contrasts sharply with the lifestyle business or “harvest your business” mentality promoted by venture capital or private equity models. To have a vision of growing a small family business into a sustainable multi-million dollar business requires distinctive processes that support innovation, human capital development, strategic planning, and quality assurance in manufacturing and service. Additional distinct processes must be created and implemented that support good governance and effective education and stewardship of future generations of family shareholders. A Vibrant Vision shares the experiences of the author in his growing family business after his father passed away, and building this industrial fabrics business into a multi-million company while at the same time encouraging his children and grandchildren to become stewards of this treasure we call a family business.
About the Author
Richard Seaman is the Board Chairman of Seaman Corporation, where he served as CEO from 1976 to 2015. He assumed the leadership role of this family business in 1978 after his father passed away at the young age of 55. Under his leadership, Seaman Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial coated fabrics used for FiberTite single-ply roof membranes and other applications, grew from $10 million in annual sales to nearly $200 million in sales today.
Richard serves as a Trustee of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, whose mission is to support entrepreneurship and the free enterprise system. In 2012, he was asked by the Governor of the State of Ohio to serve as a Commissioner of the Ohio Third Frontier, a billion dollar initiative focused on creating an innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in the state. He is a member of the Young President’s Organization and a Trustee on the board of the College of Wooster.