CMA provides this radio show to help family businesses be better families and family businesses.
Tune in to KMOX 1120 AM “The Business of Family Business” at 3pm on Saturdays to hear some of St. Louis’s top family business leaders tell their stories about running a family business. It’s a great way to learn from the experience of others.
Explore past broadcasts
June 13 – Companion Baking
Josh Allen, owner and CEO of Companion Baking, describes how he left the legacy family business, Allen Foods, to begin his own business. His sister, Jodi, later joined him in the business. Josh leads the baking operation and Jodi leads the restaurant operation.
April 4, 2020 – Strait Realty
Christina Strait and her husband Bob describe why they started their business and how they accomplished that. Strait Realty sells your home for a 4% commission, leading to the tagline: why pay more than four? Learn why they consider their business to be a disruptor.
March 28, 2020 – Southwestern Hearing Centers
Mike Marino, owner and CEO of Southwest Hearing Centers, describes how his father, Albert, moved from employee to owner of the business where he worked, how Mike and his father worked together for 30 years and how Mike came to be the sole owner. Also hear Mike’s thoughts about his exit plan and some amazing technologies being built into hearing aids.
March 21, 2020 – Dents Express
Matt Wilson, G1 and founder of Dents Express, describes why and how his family started his family business. One of four G2 members is active. Learn how they remove those pesky dents from your car.
March 14, 2020 – Chesterfield Fence and Deck
Tom Theil describes how he, as a son-in-law, became the leader of the business at G2 and how the business coped with the flood of 1993.
February 1, 2020- Dau Furniture
Cara and Ryan Dau, G5 owners and leaders, describe the history and multiple transitions of Dau Furniture from 1894 to today. They discuss generational transitions and pivots in the business over its 125 year history.
January 25, 2020- STL Beds
Doug and Dave Belleville, G2 and G1 owners, describe how this specialty mattress and bed business was established in 1986 and how it prospered during tougher economic times. They describe the challenges of keeping family members involved and provide insight into their line of specialty products.
January 18, 2020- County Cab / Town and Country Bride
Basil and Debbie Rudawsky describe how three family businesses were started and then brought together as strategic partners to capitalize on synergy in the marketplace. The companies: County Cab (1935), Best Transportation, and Town and Country Bridal and Formalwear. The first two companies were founded and the third was purchased.
December 14, 2019- Major Brands, part 2
Sue McCollum, CEO and G3 owner of Major Brands, discusses the story of her business, her husband’s health challenges, her law school education, becoming CEO as her husband passed, and then the loss of key vendors and legal action that has been dubbed “The Liquor War”. This is part II of a two-part episode.
December 7, 2019- Major Brands, part 1
Sue McCollum, CEO and G3 owner of Major Brands, discusses the story of her business, her husband’s health challenges, her law school education, becoming CEO as her husband passed, and then the loss of key vendors and legal action that has been dubbed “The Liquor War”. This is part I of a two-part episode.
November 30, 2019- Best-of Episode: The Early Years
Starting a business is not for the faint of heart. In this episode, we look back at the past year of the Business of Family Business to share some of those stories.
November 23, 2019- Best of Episode: Special Treatment
Each family treats members of the next generation differently. In this episode, we look back at the past year of the Business of Family Business to share some inter-generation dynamics.
November 16, 2019- Tacony Corporation
Ken Tacony (G2) and Kristi Tacony-Humes (G3, CEO) share the history of Tacony Corporation, which begins in 1946 when Nick Tacony (G1) invested his entire savings and continues through two additional generations, many expansions, off-shoring and re-shoring of manufacturing.
November 5, 2019- Gross Mechanical
Geoff (G3, CEO, owner) and Stephanie Gross share the story of the family business that started with Geoff’s grandfather, then father, and continues now with four owners at G3. They describe how the four owners act as stakeholders and managers to lead the business and maintain family relationships.
November 2, 2019- Saettele Jewelers
Gary Saettele (G2) and Laura Saettele (G3) describe how this business was founded, how it transitioned from G1 to G2, and how this family owned, brick and mortar jewelry store competes effectively with the internet.
October 26, 2019- Butler Supply
Deborah Butler (G2 owner) and her husband describe how this business was founded, how ownership and leadership moved from G1 to G2 and then to Deborah, which allowed the business to become a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise. The company now has 26 locations.
October 19, 2019- Kohn Partnership
Michael Kohn (G1, founder) and his daughter, Liza (G2, managing partner) tell about this law firm with expertise in tax matters and how Liza mooved into the Managing Partner role. This is a fairly rare story of a professional service firm being a family business. The next generation, in this case, must akso be a licensed professional.
October 5, 2019- Lodging Hospitality Management
Bob O’Laughlin (G1) and Steve O’Loughlin (G2) discuss Lodging Hospitality Management, its founding, early years, the entry of G2 into the business and several key St. Louis area destinations Lodging Hospitality Management has developed, including Union Station and Westport Plaza.
September 28, 2019- Liston Design Build
Keith and Jeanne Liston, G2 owners of Liston Design Build, discuss how and why Keith’s father began the business, how the business moved from G1 to G2 and what each generation did for the other. The firm provides a high level of service for home building and re-modeling.
September 7, 2019- The Korte Company
Ralph Korte, G1 founder of Korte Construction, and Todd Korte, G2 and CEO, discuss the almost accidental founding of this general contractor construction company and how it has grown. They also discuss Todd’s selection as Ralph’s successor and the generational transition.
August 24, 2019- Facilitec Corporate Furnishings
Business founder and CEO Georgina Randazzo, her husband Mark and their son Tony discuss the founding of Facilitec, the struggles during the early years, why Mark closed his business and joined Georgina’s and how Tony as the next generation hopes to continue Facilitec’s success.
August 17, 2019- Roofers Mart
Bill Vierling, the “founder” of Roofers Mart and his daughter Laura describe the rare startings of a shared purchasing organization led by Bill that transitioned to a family business owned by Bill and how he and Laura are positioning the family business for continued success.
August 10, 2019- Belmont Party Rentals
Paul Belmont, G1 and founder, discusses how he began his own business after working in the industry for many years. Paul’s commitment to customer service may explain why he has a lot of people who want to work for him. Paul’s son is the planned successor.
August 3, 2019- Bob and Trevor Hulett of R.L. Hulett & Company
Bob Hulett (G1, founds) and Trevor Hulett (G2), discuss the founding of this merger and aquisition first, how the firm became established, the importance of marketing and how the father/son duo worked together to transition to the next generation.
July 27, 2019- Dan Abel Sr. of Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate
Dan Abel Sr., CEO, and his family (all an are active in the business as G1 and G2) tell able the family’s entrepreneurial spirit, how they produce a high quality product and host a popular tour. Grab a bite of chocolate from Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate to listen to this one!
July 20, 2019- Pete and John Spanos of Vetta Sports
Pete and John Spanos, brothers and G1, describe their personal journey that resulted in the founding of Vetta Sports. This is an inspiring mission and business purpose that flows from deep within the family.
July 13, 2019- Chris Eckert of Eckert’s Inc.
Chris Eckert is the seventh generation CEO of Eckerts, Inc., which was founded in 1937. This is one of the oldest companies in the St. Louis area and a G7 CEO reflects perhaps the most generational transitions of any family business in the area. Chis discusses how the family has managed the transitions and pivots the business has made in the past 180+ years.
July 9, 2019- Susan Elliot and Elizabeth Niedringhaus of SSE: Systems Service Enterprises Inc.
Susan Elliot (founder) and Elizabeth Niedringhaus (G2, CEO) discuss the founding of SSE in the mid-60s and how the firm’s leadership and ownership moved from G1 to G2. Susan describes what it was like for a female to found and lead a business 50 years ago and Elizabeth describes how she established her leadership credibility as well as how she grows the business.
June 29, 2019- Aaron Telle of Telle Tire & Auto
Aaron Telle, G4 CEO, describes how Telle Tire pivoted from a single location tire dealer to a 10 site tire and auto service center company after 60+ years. He also describes how the business moved through the generations and the incident that influenced him to take a different strategic direction.
June 27, 2019- Sam, Jon, Sam Jr., and Mike Orlando of Orlando’s Event Centers, Catering & Special Events
Sam and Jon Orlando (G1) discuss the founding of Orlando Gardens and Sam Jr. and Mike Orlando (G2) describe how they extended the business and how all working together have created a sizable catering and hospitality company. Also, hear Sam discuss the charity he founded on his 60th birthday!
June 27, 2019- Tom, Brad, and Jared Nobbe of Wm. Nobbe and Co., Inc
Tom Nobbe (G3) and sons Brad and Jared Nobbe talk about the founding of William Nobbe & Sons in 1907 as a horse and buggy business and how it transitioned to an automotive dealer (eventually sold to a branch of the family) and a John Deere dealership which the company is today with 13 locations in Illinois and Missouri.
June 27, 2019- Mike and Dan Becker of Becker Iron & Metal, Inc
Mike and Dan Becker (G4) describe the founding of Becker Iron & Metal in the early 1900s, how the business was passed through the generations and how the scrap business has changed over the past 100+ years. Dan and Mike serve as co-presidents; hear them describe this role and how they make it work.
April 22, 2019- Growing a Successful Business Through Generations
Growing a successful family business can be challenging, and grooming the next generation to take over can be a big job. Michael Dierberg, Chairman of the Board at First Bank Corporation, and Dan Bean, Partner at CMA Consulting, are here to discuss this process.
Watch the video here.
April 13, 2019- Medical Transportation Management
Medical Transportation Management is owned by a blended family – three of his and three of hers. Alaina Macia (CEO) and Natasha Boekholt (COO) assumed leadership of the business and G2 has significant ownership. Learn how they have unified the family and how they keep it unified.
March 30, 2019- John, Bart, Michael, and Chris Saracino of Bartonlino’s
The four G3 Saracino brothers tell their story of growing up in the restaurant business and then assuming leadership of the family’s four restaurants. Learn how they work together to lead the business and keep the family unified.
February 13, 2019- Stephanie Turner and Stacey Acree of Brentwood Travel
Stephanie Turner and Stacey Acree (mother and daughter, G2 and G3, respectively) discuss the founding of this business (1957) by Stephanie’s father and then how her mother stepped in and ran the business. The business is moving to its third female CEO.
February 2, 2019- Kurt and Rachael Schmidt of AE Schmidt
Kurt and Rachael Schmidt (father and daughter, G5 and G6, respectively) describe how this organization was founded in 1849 and how it has navigated the generational transitions as well as fundamental changes in the industry.
January 19, 2019- Mike Kennedy Sr. and Mike Kennedy Jr. of KAI Design & Build
Mike Kennedy Sr. and Jr. describe the almost inadvertent founding of the business, how the business grew, and how Mike Jr., as one of three members of the next generation, entered and then became his father’s successor. The father-son duo also describes how they work together.
January 12, 2019- Special Edition – Lessons Learned
Listen to excerpts from multiple family business stories that discuss the lessons they have learned from running the family business.
January 7, 2019- Schaeffer Marketing Group
Listen to Mike Schaeffer and Kristina Steiger, father and daughter, G1 and G2, discuss Schaeffer Marketing Group and its experience as a manufacturer’s rep. Learn how the business dealt with the departure of a key person, what attracted Kris to the business, and her succession to her father.
December 29, 2018- Special Edition – Overcoming Hardships
Listen to excerpts from multiple family business owners who describe hardships experienced by the family business and how each owner dealt with his/her hardships.
December 18, 2018- Steve and Martin Lipic of Lipic’s Engagement
Steve Lipic, fourth generation CEO of Lipic’s Engagement, and his father, Martin, describe this family business that began in 1863. Listen to the pivots of the business over the past 150+ years and the story of the generational transitions.
December 16, 2018- Special Edition – Adapting to Change
This episode highlights the challenges of adapting to a changing industry via excerpts from multiple family business stories.
December 8, 2018- Special Edition – Retirement and Transitions
This episode highlights different types of transitions in leadership via excerpts from multiple family business stories.
December 1, 2018- Special Edition – Lessons Learned
This episode highlights lessons learned via excerpts from multiple family business stories.
November 17, 2018- Chrissy Nardini of American Metals Supply
Chrissy Nardini, G3 and CEO, tells about joining the family business, moving the office to St. Louis, and leading the business on a growth curve.
November 10, 2018- Steve, Mike, and Chris Schulte of Henges Interiors
Listen to Steve, Mike, and Chris Schulte (father and two sons) of Henges Interiors discuss why Steve purchased the business later in life (spoiler alert: he did this for his sons) and how they have grown and transitioned the business.
November 3, 2018- Mark Mueller of Mueller Furniture
Mark Mueller, G4 and CEO, discusses the history of the family business since its founding in 1927, how the business successfully competes with Big Box stores, and his family’s baseball history.
October 27, 2018- Kevin and Denise Brauer of Storm Guard
Listen to Kevin and Denise Brauer, owners of Storm Guard, describe each’s family business history and why they chose Storm Guard, a franchise opportunity. Both departed from their family’s family business.
October 20, 2018- Barry and Tim from Spiegelglass Construction
Listen to Barry and Tim Spiegelglass (father and son owners) describe this 100+ year old family business that began with a push cart in downtown St. Louis. You likely have eaten in a facility built by this company!
October 13, 2018- Tracy Hart and Dirk Elsperman from Tarlton
Listen to Tracy Hart and Dirk Elsperman (G3 siblings) discuss how they entered into the family construction business, Tarlton Corporation, and then assumed leadership and ownership (with a third sibling). This company has built many St. Louis facilities.
October 6, 2018- Ed Brock of Johnnie Brocks
Listen to Edwin Brock, CEO of Johnnie Brocks Dungeon Party Warehouse describe how this company broke with its traditional lines of business to become the source for all things Halloween and costumes in St. Louis.
September 29, 2018- Shane Grasser of Grasser Electric
Shane Grasser, CEO and owner of Grasser Electric, explains how his father founded the company in 1975, how he and his father work together, and how he became the sole owner of the company at G2.
September 8, 2018- Tom and Kim Kutis of Kutis Funeral Homes
Listen to Tom and Kim Kutis (father and daughter) of Kutis Funeral Homes describe the long-standing St. Louis business and how it has persisted over the generations.
September 1, 2018- Jamie Richardson of White Castle Part 2
Listen to Jamie Richardson, who married into the family that owns White Castle, describe the history of the company, how it builds the brand and a loyal workforce, and how the company has transitioned over the generations. Jamie offers a unique perspective as one who married into the family (Part 2).
August 25, 2018- Jamie Richardson of White Castle Part 1
Listen to Jamie Richardson, who married into the family that owns White Castle, describe the history of the company, how it builds the brand and a loyal workforce, and how the company has transitioned over the generations. Jamie offers a unique perspective as one who married into the family (Part 1).
August 18, 2018- Pat and Ron of the O.K. Hatchery
Listen to Pat and Ron Krieger describe the history of this long-time Kirkwood business fixture. Hear Pat and Ron describe the original business (an egg hatchery) to its current downtown Kirkwood retail business that must be seen to be fully understood.
August 4, 2018- Shane Grasser of Grasser Electric
Shane Grasser, Generation 2 CEO of Grasser Electric, describes how the stock moved from his father (G1) to his father’s three children (G2), and how Shane purchased the stock from his siblings. Shane’s story is a great success for those who don’t want to complete a college education.
June 30, 2018- Diane Butrus of Diba Imports
Listen to Diane Butrus, CEO if Diba Imports, describe how her father founded the business later in life and how she uniquely entered the business. Also listen to how the business has helped the G2 siblings become closer.
June 16, 2018- Butch Welsh of Welsh Heating and Cooling
Butch Welsh, G3 and CEO, presents the history of the HVAC industry in St. Louis (he helped create it) and how his business has prospered for decades.
May 12, 2018- Karen O’Connor of O’Connor Insurance
Karen O’Connor, CEO of O’Connor Insurance, describes how she entered the business, was challenged to become her father’s successor, and the surprising leadership transition plan from her father to her, plus the niche served that has helped the business succeed.
February 24, 2018- Kory and Gnatt Miller of Winco Windows
Kory Miller and CEO Gnatt Miller of Winco Windows describe how a son-in-law was in and out of the business until the CEO passed unexpectedly. (Part two of two)
February 17, 2018- Kory and Gnatt Miller of Winco Windows
Kory Miller and CEO Gnatt Miller of Winco Windows describe how a son-in-law was in and out of the business until the CEO passed unexpectedly. (Part one of two)
February 10, 2018- Aaron Frei of Emil Frei & Associates Stained Glass
Aaron Frei, G5 and CEO, tells the amazing story of how his business came to St. Louis in 1898, how the business has been passed down the generations, and the amazing “old-school” stained glass windows they create and repair.
February 3, 2018- Bill Frisella and Sarah King of Metro Lighting
Bill Frisella and Sarah King of Metro Lighting discuss this family business and the potential future of the business without a family member CEO.
January 27, 2018- Trey and Keith Kriegshauser of Kriegshauser Brothers Funeral Service
Trey and Keith Kriegshauser of Kriegshauser Brothers Funeral Services describe the family’s decades-long experience in the industry, their exit and then the re-entry into the industry in a new and different way by three brothers of one branch of the family tree.
January 20, 2018- Mark Waldman, from Laurie’s Shoes
Mark Waldman, CEO of Laurie’s Shoes, describes the founding, growth and success of this shoe retailer in a very competitive industry. Learn how the family works together and learn the uniqueness of their headquarters facility.
December 2, 2017- Tom and Abby Niebling, from Niebling Auto Repair
Tom and Abby Niebling, father and daughter duo of Niebling Auto Repair, discuss the founding of this business in the 1890s as a wagon canopy finisher and its evolution to an automotive repair business today, including the spinoff of its body repair business.
November 26, 2017- Bob McArthur, from Johnny Macs
Bob McArthur, President and CEO of Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods, talks about changes in ownership, the role of President/CEO and changes in the business. Johnny Mac’s is an iconic brand for St. Louis area youth involved in sports.
November 18, 2017- Don Eisenberg and Jessica Phillips, from The Exercise Coach in St. Louis, Part Two
Don Eisenberg and Jessica Phillips of The Exercise Coach in St. Louis, father and daughter, continue their story (Episode 2).
November 11, 2017- Don Eisenberg and Jessica Phillips, from The Exercise Coach in St. Louis, Part One
Don Eisenberg and Jessica Phillips of The Exercise Coach in St. Louis, father and daughter, describe their experience in the family’s legacy business and how/why they started their own new family business (Episode 1).
November 4, 2017- Gary Jaffe, from St. Louis-based GL group, parent company of Booksource
Gary Jaffe, President of St. Louis-based GL group, parent company of Booksource, describes how the family has managed differing interests among the siblings at his generation and how the business has grown and thrived after his father purchased the business.
October 28, 2017- Brad Sowers, from Jim Butler Chevrolet
Brad Sowers, CEO of Jim Butler Chevrolet and a G3 son-in-law, describes how he came to be the CEO of the business and how he has built the company into a St. Louis powerhouse.
October 21, 2017- Thomas Wall, from Mitchell Wall Architecture
Thomas Wall, CEO of Mitchell Wall Architecture, describes how he was pulled back to the family business and how the business survived and then thrived after the passing of his father.
October 14, 2017- Chuck and Keith Poettker, from Poettker Construction
Chuck and Keith Poettker of Poettker Construction, father/founder and son/President, discuss how all four members of G2 came into the business and how they have worked together to build and grow the business.
October 7, 2017- Rich Gau, from John Henry Foster Company
Rich Gau, President and CEO of the John Henry Foster Company, the largest, full-service pneumatic and hydraulic equipment distributor in the Midwest, discusses the generational transition of John Henry Foster and the creation of an ESOP by his father.
September 23, 2017 – Tom Thiel, from Chesterfield Fence & Deck
Tom Theil describes how he, as a son-in-law, became the leader of the business at G2 and how the business coped with the flood of 1993.
September 9, 2017 – Jim and Ed Wulkopf, from Beckner Painting & Contracting
Ed and Jim (G1 and G2 respectively) discuss the generational transition where there are two lines of business and two siblings in the next generation.
August 26, 2017 – Justin Woodard, from Woodard Cleaning and Restoration Services
Justin talks about his experiences taking over the family business on short notice.
August 12, 2017 – Tom Phillips, from Weekends Only Furniture Outlet, Part Two
Tom Phillips describes how he and his brothers reconciled their differences after directly competing against each other for several years. Duck blinds and shotguns might be involved!
August 5, 2017 – Tom Phillips from Weekends Only Furniture Outlet, Part One
Tom Phillips, of Weekends Only Furniture Outlet, describes the history of the family business across three generations and the split that happened in G3 when two brothers competed directly with two other brothers.
July 25, 2017 – Jason Shupp, from Ferguson Roofing
Jason Shupp describes how the family business moved to his father, a son-in-law of the founder, and then to Jason and his brother. The difficult roles for Jason and his brother are key, as is the role of a board in the generational transition.
July 11, 2017 – Walter Knoll, from Walter Knoll Florist
Walter Knoll describes the founding of the business in 1883 and traces its evolution to G5, which currently leads the business. Walter also describes how his business is growing in a shrinking industry.