Very few family-owned companies make it past the second
generation. It is possible, however, for a family business to not only survive
but thrive. And Draper is living proof of that fact.

On this episode of Engineering Value, a Draper podcast, host
Tyler Kern talked with Chris Broome, the fifth-generation President of the

“I always knew Draper was unique, being around for 118 years
and still being in the family, so I did some research,” Broome said. “One of
the things I found out is only 30% of family-owned businesses make it to the
second generation and, from there, only 13% make it to the third and 3% to the
fourth. “It must be very unusual for a company to get to the fifth generation.”

The company was founded by Broome’s great-great-grandfather,
Luther Draper, to manufacture window shades for schools. But over 118 years the
business has grown and expanded into other areas, including projection screens,
gym equipment, and tailored solar control solutions and AV mounts and

And while the percentages of family-owned business surviving
even to the second generation don’t look very promising, that tradition of
living on the cutting edge continues today and remains a driving factor behind
Draper’s success.

Another factor is the family-owned nature of Draper, and a
company culture that focuses on customer care balanced with employee needs,
which over the years has resonated with the local community.

“We have a number of employees that have been here for many
years and have really bought into the Draper culture and they really work hard
to help make the company successful” Broome said. “We also have a number of
families that have generations of employees that have worked here too. It’s not
just a family owned business, but a number of families have worked here over
the years and made the company successful.”

Broome joined Draper in 1992 and became company president earlier this year. While he is proud to hold the position, he doesn’t plan to relax now that he’s in charge.

“I think we have a very exciting future,” he said, “and
we’ll be able to take advantage of that by doing the things we’ve always done,
which is embracing change and looking for new opportunities”.

You can hear the full podcast episode here. You can also find it on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, and Stitcher.

The post Engineering Value Podcast-Looking Back, Forging Ahead appeared first on Draper, Inc Blog Site.

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