During these unprecedented times, I am excited to share some very positive news about our multi-generational family business. This is a very personal story of family collaboration and support.
Albert T Stohr Sr., my Grandfather, founded our business in 1961. His son and my father, Albert T Stohr Jr., joined the business in 1962. Grandpa Al fell ill in 1963 and passed away in early 1964. Al Jr. ended up taking over running the business in January of 1964.
Al Jr. always wanted his sons – Trevor and myself – in the business, but the family rule was you must work outside the business before joining. Dad felt this experience would help us gain a better understanding of the business world and make us more valuable to the family business. I joined the business in 1989 after working several years at Parker Hannifin, and Trevor joined in 1993 after several years at Shell Oil.
We worked in many roles to gain knowledge and understanding of what makes our family business successful. After many years of working under Al’s tutelage, we finally took over the ownership and daily management of the business in January 2004.
Now, I am proud to share that the fourth generation, my son Travis Stohr has joined the business as of June of 2020. After completing his undergraduate degree at Miami University, Travis worked at a local Cleveland company named SpyGlass. Travis learned the value of working on teams and quickly got to experience the positives and negatives of nurturing customers. His experience led to us forming a new division at Conveyer & Caster. This division is named Customer Development and he is currently a division of one. With the rapidly changing world of today, we needed someone to lead an outreach effort to nurture and grow customers.
The process for Travis to join our team was not a simple one. He worked with members of our Leadership team to create a business plan for this new division. Travis then presented his plan to me and my brother for the initial hiring decision. I really appreciate how my brother Trevor handled this meeting. After Travis completed the meeting, he looked to Trevor for questions. Trevor responded by saying, “Travis I am all in with this plan and feel you are the right person to build this new division around, but I have one question: Is this where you want to spend your career?” He further stated, “The reason we want you to work outside the business is that once you join you will be here for your career.” Travis quickly responded back, “Uncle T, this is my dream job and where I have always wanted to be.”
The final step was for Travis to present his plan to the whole Leadership Team. Also in the room were Grandparents Al and Lynn quietly watching their grandson join the family business and present the future development of Conveyer & Caster.
I’d like to think how proud our Grandfather and the founder, Albert Stohr Sr. would be of how his dream has grown. Each generation has and will be making a lasting impact on his legacy.