Updated: Oct 28, 2019
They say the hotel business is one big happy family. That rings true both figuratively and literally. Here at Samuelson Furniture, we proudly carry a family tradition spanning four generations and 82 years. While the distinction of being a generational business is uncommon today, we know others in the industry who have accomplished this. A strong sense of identity in combination with hard work, integrity and commitment to the ideals set before them are just some of the components necessary to endure the challenges presented in the world of our business today.
A multi generational business achieves a particular kind of ethic by virtue of the ongoing relationships from within. There is a feeling that the caring and mutual respect is palpable to those we touch on the outside. It is the satisfaction of conveying this unique character to our valued customers.
Michael Chalfin, executive vice president and fourth generation at Samuelson states, “family values are an important part of what we communicate on a daily basis. Giving thought to what you do and how you do it makes all the difference while simply treating people the way you would want to be treated yourself. That is how we have done things for four generations.”
JACLO, a leader in decorative plumbing fixtures and sister company of DURST Corporation, is an excellent example of a business sustained through many generations. DURST, the parent company, began back in 1901 when the current company’s CEO Larry Brodey’s maternal great grandfather began selling merchandise out of a pushcart on the streets of Brooklyn. Since their humble beginnings, the company now offers more than 80,000 plumbing related products in 26 finishes.
“We feel like everyone has worked here at one point,” says CEO Brodey, whose daughter Morgan joined the company representing the fifth-generation full time several years ago, though in some ways, she’s always been involved.
“As a little child, she was putting washers into bags for DURST, and today even her 92-year-old grandmother does the same thing at her home to “keep her hands moving.”
Said Brodey: “Family First. We not only treat our employees like family, we consider them family. We are all a team, no matter your last name. Our business has prospered because of the trust, teamwork, and collaboration amongst our employees. We join in each other’s life cycle events, happy or sad. We work together, we grow together, our lives are all intertwined.”
Nourison, a leading global floor covering company producing extensive collections of area rugs, broadloom carpet and home accessories, began in earnest back in 1980. It is now employing its third generation of family. Four second generation brothers work together with three of their adult children. Jonathan Peykar, VP of Hospitality, feels very fortunate to work with his extended family.
“I’m lucky I get to see my family every day, and have their support, no matter what. We get together for lunch every day, giving us the time to speak about anything, both personal and business. Plus, my father and uncles are excellent role models,” said Peykar.
“Loyalty, Honesty and Integrity are all family values flowing directly into our business. We are fortunate to have an amazing team of employees at Nourison. Without them, we would not be where we are today. I’m very proud to say that I have known many of them since I was in diapers,” said Peykar.
Global Allies is a second-generation company specializing in highly durable and incredibly stylish taskchairs and stacking chairs for high end hotels, resorts, and country clubs.
“For me, being in a family operated company allows for a different dynamic in a conversation than I could have with some other company CEO. I can say things that would never play in the traditional corporate world,” said Adam Kubryk, who works with his father Isaac at Global Allies.
“Working together also gives us the opportunity to connect more regularly than we would otherwise if we had different career paths. That carries a lot of weight.” Kubryk said those family values translate to treating their company’s clients as if they were family too. “You are going to see the same people and customers a couple times a year for many years. We’ve had some customers 35+ years. If you do not care for those people like family, the meetings become less frequent, enjoyable and successful. It’s about nurturing and fostering relationships to have a long-term connection with each other.”
Majestic Mirror and Frame, a leading manufacturer, distributor, and innovator of mirrors and artwork, is now employing their third generation at the 45-year-old company. The company’s president Josh Mandel loves the multi-generational aspect of the company, and believes each generation can learn from the other.
“While the older generation is there to teach important values such as customer service, communication, and hard work, the younger generation is able to bring with them a new perspective. They have fresh ideas to enhance the business, as well as a better relationship and understanding of how to leverage emerging opportunities via technology,” said Mandel.
Though each of these companies focuses on a different aspect of the hotel business, one common element is the expression of their respective family values through their businesses. In the end, it comes down to family, and treating those working within their respective companies the same way.