Sunday, April 3, 2016

New "Century Club" Member

Run by members of the Seitz family in Chelsea, Michigan since 1916, longevity congratulations go out to new Century Club member Seitz's Tavern. They found creative ways to stay in business during prohibition (the tavern became a restaurant and cigar bar) and retain their signature style of "old school cool" to this day. Seitz's is one of the last "standing bars" in the state: it does not have stools in front of its 23-foot bar that dates from the late 1800s and is made from a single piece of cherry wood. An 1895 brass cash register sits on the back bar and a 100-year-old steel Stroh's beer sign is on display. Seitz's long history and deep ties to the Chelsea community is representative of the key longevity factors in my book "Lessons from the Century Club: Managing for Long-Term Success" - they not only have a good sense of uniqueness, you can feel the pride that three generations have been able to carry on a legacy that has meaning to their community.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Lessons from Century Club Companies: Managing for Long-Term Success

My book on management practices of companies over 100 years old has finally been published and is now available to order! Over ten years of research on these remarkable companies resulted in this book, which includes a list of U.S. companies over 100. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Two Companies Celebrate 200th Anniversary in 2016

James Madison was president when these two companies were founded in 1816. Two hundred years later, they are still in business. Corporate longevity congratulations go to Hodgdon Yachts and York Water Company!

Hodgdon Yachts is the oldest boat building company in the United States. Still family-owned and operated, they are a fifth generation company in East Boothbay, Maine. They estimate they have launched over 400 vessels in their 200 years - let's hope they have many more to come!

 The York Water Company was founded in York, Pennsylvania by a group of local businessmen who were concerned about fire protection. It is the oldest investor-owned utility in the U.S. and has a record of paying consecutive dividends since 1816.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

125th Anniversary Companies

In 1891 Thomas Edison patented the motional picture camera and the "transmission of signals electrically" (radio). The following companies were also founded that year and have survived to celebrate their 125th anniversary in 2016. Join me in offering corporate longevity congratulations to the following companies.

Bauer's Jewelry: Third generation jewelry store in Saginaw, Michigan

Bond Decorating: Residential and commercial interior design in Iron Mountain, Michigan

Cross County Bank: Meeting the finical needs of the Wynne, Arkansas community.

First Bank of Berne: Locally owned and operated bank in Berne, Indiana.

Hecla Mining: Silver and other precious metal mining company based on Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. 

Hormel: Food company based in Austin, Minnesota that produces Spam and many other food brands.

Krzyske Brothers Company: Fourth generation lumber and hardware stores in southeast Michigan.

National Bankshares: Community bank headquartered in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Perhaps there are more companies that should be on this list. If you know of a business that has been in continuous, independent operation since 1891, please comment on this post or email me at 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Companies Celebrating 150 Years in Business in 2016

1866: The year these companies were founded was one year past the American Civil War. There was no through railway to the Pacific Coast, no telephones, no electric lights, no typewriters, airplanes, or automobiles. But they found a way to establish businesses that have endured through world wars, economic depressions, quantum leaps in technology, globalization, and shifting social and cultural values. Join me in congratulating these Century Club Companies on their 150th anniversary.

Dyke Industries, Little Rock, Arkansas

Dyke Industries is a family-owned company that operates 13 distribution outlets, serving 18 states with a broad line of building materials, including millwork, lumber, doors, windows and related items. They serve the Southeast US as a wholesale distributor of a multitude of millwork and related products. 

Garland Manufacturing Company, Saco Maine

With six generations of continuous Garland family management, Garland Manufacturing continues to make mallets and soft-faced hammers for industries worldwide and is the only producer of rawhide mallets in North America. Over the years Garland has also diversified and they offer machined parts and plastic extrusions. 

General Mills, Golden Valley, Minnesota

Starting with a flour mill on the banks of the Mississippi River in 1866, Gold Medal flour is still the top selling brand of flour in the United States. Now with many brands marketed in 100 countries on six continents, General Mills employs over 42,000 people worldwide an has sales of over $17 billion.

Huntington Bancshares, Columbus, Ohio

Huntington is a full-service banking provider operating primarily within the six states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky. As with many Century Club companies, Huntington believes it is their deep relationship-building capabilities that have enabled it to not just survive, but thrive, for 150 years.

Norway Savings Bank, Norway, Maine

A smaller community bank, Norway Savings Bank has also managed to survive for 150 years. Known for their financial strength, exceptional customer service, and contribution to their communities, they are proud to say "We're from Maine and we understand the needs of Maine people and businesses."

Sherwin Williams, Cleveland, Ohio

In 1866 there was no such thing as ready-to-use paint. Henry Sherwin and Edwin Williams changed that and worked to make a product that founded an industry and subtly altered the tone of our everyday lives. Today they are a global company with 4,000 stores worldwide. They know paint.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Koegel Meats

Koegel Meats has been using the same recipes and processes to make sausages in Flint, MI since 1916. Today they offer about 35 kinds of sausages and meats, distributed mostly in Michigan. A unique aspect of their business is that they deliver their products to each individual store to ensure the customer receives a fresh product. Given the national news about the water crisis in Flint, it should be noted that the company is not on the city's water system so there is no need to be concerned about the continued quality of their meats. Welcome to the Corporate Century Club!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Boeing Celebrates 100 Years

One of the largest aircraft manufactures and defense contractors in the world, Boeing is celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2016. Now headquartered in Chicago, Boeing was founded by William Boeing in Seattle as the Pacific Aero Products Company. Check out the "100" tab on their website to learn more about their past century in business - and the centennial merchandise they are offering to commemorate their anniversary.