Working from the ground up
Watch the Basiles, a third generation business family with employees in the 4th generation, operating Catania Spagna Corporation, based in Massachusetts, USA, share their view of the importance of working your way up in the family business in order to succeed in your roles and be respected by your peers. Having the rising generation work their way up in the business, allows them to acquire knowledge of the whole facility as well as have respect and appreciation for those who work below them.
Content TypeFamily Business Interviews
IndustryFood & Beverage
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We started right at the bottom, and you learn to appreciate every job in the plant. Um, we had to everything, from loading trucks, unloading rail cars, delivering, driving trucks, packing oil. We did every single job here.
Tony decided he want to be in the business. He went a few days, or whatever, to Bentley, then he come up to Charlie and said, ‘Charlie, how can I tell my father I do not want to go to school?’ ‘Very easy. Just go and say dad I do not want to go anymore.’ And he says I can not do it, you have to do it for me. So, J.B. and I sat down, and I said, ‘J.B., Anthony is going to come into the company.’ ‘Well, if he is going to come into the company and not go ... View More to school, he is going to have to start working from the bottom up.’
It is very easy just to come out of school and pop in the seat and try to, try to work, but you have the experience of a lifetime doing every single job here, and it is very important that you understand all those jobs to make a success of what, what you have today. And I firmly believe from my upbringing, and everything that I learned as a child in the business, and every job that I have done, really helps what my decisions are today.
I have a standard rule that just because your last name is Basile does not mean you are going to be at the top. I have three boys and three girls. They are all involved in the business. My oldest two started in this business with my father picking them up on Saturdays and Sundays very early in the morning, and he brought them here, and they thought it, they were like seven, eight years old, and they thought it was just a great day with grandpa but what he was doing was training them, and they did not realize it. They followed my footsteps basically; they emptied the trash, they uh cleaned, they swept, and they did whatever grandpa told them to do. And little by little he had them do other things where they became more experienced. So it was just a natural progression for them just to come into the business after college. So they have the knowledge of the whole facility as we did growing up.
It was very hard to come out of college and you know, you are the boss of the son in a sense, to make sure that you, you know prove yourself and that you just not necessarily handed a job. The discussions were, ‘okay here, go do this,’ and then you did something successful and showed that you were able to do something more. You were given something else, you know to do, and you know, things just kind of evolved, and next thing you know I was running the sales department. You know, I was responsible for things in the operation, uh started getting involved with purchasing and then risk management, which is basically my primary, you know function today
Originally, I did not want to come here. Um, growing up I always wanted to become a teacher. So I went to school, only one who went to school not for business, I went for um, Elementary Ed. And it just, it did not work out. So my dad was like, ‘You come work for me.’ So what he did, since I did not have really the background of business or anything, he had me go work for um our broker. So I did that for a year, and in customer service I got my experience, and it just so happened after a little over a year, a job here in customer service opened up. So he had said, ‘Would you be interested?’ and I said ‘Yes.’ So I came in for an interview, I had an interview. So I said, ‘If you do not think I am qualified, I do not want to just be handed it.’ I do not want people to look around and, you know, just say ‘Well just because she is a Basile it was given to her.’ Everybody earns their spot here. So, that was just very important to me.
Advice I would give is just make sure that uh, if you have young ones coming up into the business, another generation, that you teach them the right way. Uh, do not give them a silver spoon into their mouths. Uh, let them work for what you have worked for, and let them understand the realities of a business.
It is important they realize what they are getting. I mean they are getting, they are getting a hand full of wonderful opportunities that their friends do not have. You know, a lot of them came out of college and they are flipping burgers somewhere because there is no jobs. They have got an opportunity of a lifetime. And what they have got to do is team together as, as one unit and they will be just fine.
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