The Family Business Story of Seaman Corporation with Richard N. Seaman, 2nd Generation Chairman
In This Episode:
Another business model: “..stewarding the culture and heritage of the family business in addition to remaining focuses on financial results.” -Richard Seaman in “A Vibrant Vision”
I so enjoyed my conversation with Richard Seaman. I love learning how family business owners make things happen, and Richard didn’t disappoint. He shared lessons learned after lessons learned, words of wisdom after words of wisdom. Having lived through all of it: losing 10% of the business his first year working full time in the business, sharing the painful family dynamics the resulted in buying out siblings, the important role of an outside board of directors, and so much more!
This is Part 1 of a three part series.
Here are the initial questions I asked Richard:
- From baby doll pants to global industrial fabrics manufacturer: tell us a bit about your family business story.
- You were young when you took over, were you prepared? (any lessons learned)
- How are you preparing your kids and grandkids?
Richard Seaman is the author of A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business, and the current 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, 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 Presidents Organization, the Family Business Network-USA, and a Trustee on the board of the College of Wooster.
Richard was recognized as an Honored Life Member of his industry trade organization, the Industrial Fabrics Association International, and was selected as a Wall of Fame Honoree by the Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, Richard was chosen by Ernst & Young as Entrepreneur of the Year in the Family Business category.
Richard is an avid skier, sailor, photographer, and tennis player. Richard and his wife, Judy, live in Wooster, Ohio. They and the families of their three children are committed to being active owners and stewards of their family business enterprise.
How to find Richard:
Resources From This Episode:
A Vibrant Vision: The Entrepreneurship of Multigenerational Family Business
The Family Business Network International
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