Family Business

Why change matters in family business


3 min




Listen to the Basiles, a third generation business family with employees in the fourth generation, who own and operate Catania Spagna in the USA, describe how 'embracing change' has been embedded as part of the core family business values inherited from the first generation. Remaining open to change, which simultaneously maintaining the family business' shared vision will ensure the long-term success of the business.


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Anthony Basile
When our generation came up, we corrected things, or changed things, the way that the first generation or the second generation did it.

Joseph Basile
My father’s generation brought a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, absolutely. They really busted their butts. Stuff was very manual in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

Anthony Basile
We would pack oil one can at a time. If we packed 300 cases it was a real success. And over the years with new equipment, new technology, the demand for our product, expanding sales operation, 300 cases we pack now in about 15 minutes.

Joseph Basile
Third generation, their focus was the operation, making sure that they invest into the right equipment, right capabilities, and stuff of that nature. And the whole office structure in a sense was ... View More kind of, I do not want to say neglected, but it was, it took a backseat. My generation I think is more of the technical generation, you know, computers, software. I see the business as really transformed in the past 10 or 15 years, become more sophisticated from that point of view.

Anthony Basile
As the fourth generation is coming in, they are changing multiple things, and what you got to do as being in charge and watching them, you have got to leave them alone. You have got to let them make the change, you have got to have confidence that they are going to do the right thing and make the right changes. And 9 out of10 times they are correct. They are heading in the right direction.

My dad would say, “Do not let cobwebs grow in the corners,” and what he meant was that you have got to change. You have got to change the way you do business, you have got to change machinery, you have got to update your business. Otherwise, your competition is just going to blow right by you. They are going to pass you, and you will be consumed. And that is so true.

Joseph Basile
My grandfather, he likes to continue changing the business, changing the operation around, changing the direction that the company is going in as well. So a lot of times, you know, in the past 10 or 15 years we would come in with certain ideas, and we go, we move.

Anthony Basile
You are going to make decisions and you are going to be right and you are going to be wrong. But you have just got to continue to move on and move forward.