The Business Council of Westchester hosted an engaging and lively panel discussion of successful mother-and-son businesses that explored how their businesses have found success through an intergenerational business model.
The People’s United Bank Leadership Conversations program titled “Mother’s & Sons in Leadership: Shared Vision for Success” was held Tuesday at Kanopi at the Ritz-Carlton in White Plains.
The panel included: Marsha Rand, Founder of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Rand Realty and son Joseph Rand who is Chief Creative Officer; Lenore Minerva, President/CEO (Retired)of Empress Ambulance Service and her son Daniel Minerva who is Senior VP of Operations; Stacey Tompkins, President of Tompkins Excavating and her son Kevin Tompkins who is VP of Operations; and Christine Warrington, Owner/Operation of Walter’s Hot Dogs and her son Gene Christian Baca who is Owner/Operator.
The panel of mothers and sons shared their experiences and how it brought them closer to together while accomplishing business success.
Lenore Minerva said she was “shocked” that her sons wanted to join the business. “I found that they wanted to do it and it was my responsibility at that point to give them the opportunity to do it just to see what they can do and what they couldn’t do,” she said. “It was not difficult. They understood that I was the boss. We had a good relationship. I enjoyed every moment of it.”
Christine Warrington of Walters Hot Dogs said of the mother-son dynamic, “Everybody brings something to the table. We argue sometimes but the bottom line is we do what’s best for the company.”
The sons said working for their mother’s businesses did not give them any sense of entitlement.
“I did not walk into this business as some high-level person. I’ve done everything from pushing a broom to doing job estimates,” said Kevin Tompkins.
“I had to come in and learn from the ground up. It helped me build a strong relationship with everybody in the business,” said Gene Christian Baca. “It gave me a new respect for how much my mother has accomplished in business.”
Greg Rand agreed: “You come in and it’s difficult. You have to prove yourself. But the fact is that it’s an unbelievable opportunity that everyone one of us got from our mothers.”
“I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to do following my mother’s lead,” said Daniel Minerva.
The program was modeled after last year’s People’s United Bank Leadership Conversations program which featured leading father-and-daughter business teams who shared the secrets to running a successful family business and discussed the emergence of women leaders in traditionally male-dominated industries.