Client Spotlight on QSL: Leaving a Legacy in the Family Business

Client Spotlight on QSL: Leaving a Legacy in the Family Business

By Sophia Bennett Print-Friendly PDF Working alongside their parents and siblings isn’t for everyone. But for the Koke family, owners of QSL Print Communications, such an arrangement is second nature. In fact, the fourth generation of leaders at the Springfield company say working with family members is one of the things that’s helped them weather the many storms they’ve faced in their ever-changing industry. “We’re all really motivated because it’s our family’s livelihood,” says Vice President Melissa Koke, who runs the company with her father, Doug, and siblings Keri and Ryan. “If we have a good day it means my parents have a good day. That’s really what it’s about for me.” So what does a family business need to do to survive—even thrive—for over 100 years? Good communication skills, knowledgeable advisors and commitment to community are among the things that have made a big difference for QSL. 100 years of history bring hard lessons, good insights Doug’s grandfather started Koke Printing in 1907 to provide businesses with a local solution for their printing needs. His father made some considerable sacrifices to purchase the company in the 1950’s. “My grandfather did no estate planning,” Doug says. “My dad sold a lot of things to keep the business going.” Doug came onboard full-time in 1971, although not entirely by choice. “When I graduated from high school, I called my dad to talk about getting registered for college and he said, ‘Naw, you’re coming to work for me,’” he says. He wasn’t happy (“college would have really helped me,” he says), but he worked in production for 5 years then he...
Book Review: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable

Book Review: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – A Leadership Fable

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni is a must read for anyone that works in a close team environment. Patrick Lencioni uses a fictional story to lay the groundwork for a model that applies to any team. The story is engaging and keeps the reader’s attention as we learn about how to create a functional team. The fictional company is DecisionTech, a California hi-tech startup with amazing potential. When they formed two years ago they had all the makings of a very successful venture, including the best team, a viable product, a strategic business plan and tons of investors. Two years in they had failed to reach their potential. The story follows the lead of Kathryn, the new CEO, hired to make everything work. We follow her thoughtful journey to identify the team, where it’s breaking down and start the rebuilding process. Although at times Kathryn is too good to be true, she demonstrates a very practical model to building a functional team. After the story, the author provides more background about the model and how to begin applying it to your team. The model addresses Trust, Conflict, Commitment, Accountability, and Results. Each area is interrelated and builds on each other. For example, without trust, a team probably won’t be able to healthy conflict which is necessary to create commitment through buy in and clarity of the issues. Without commitment, it is unlikely team members will allow themselves to be held accountable and without accountability is unlikely the team will see results. A simple but extremely helpful model for improving a team. After reading the book, Jones &...
Jones & Roth Offers Range of Services to Oregon Family-Owned Enterprises

Jones & Roth Offers Range of Services to Oregon Family-Owned Enterprises

by Sophia Bennett There are good things and bad things about being involved in a family business. Research shows that family enterprises have greater longevity, better business practices, generate plenty of wealth for owners, and are less likely to lay people off during tough times. Individuals who get along with their family members say there’s something special about seeing the people they love every day and building something meaningful with them. On the other hand, emotions can run high in a family business, especially during times of transition. Because many family businesses are structured differently than other corporations, they face challenges their non-family owned counterparts never encounter. Whether family businesses are seeing great success or dealing with divisive and potentially catastrophic issues, having a trusted advisor who can assist with financial and structural decisions can make a big difference. Robin Matthews, CPA, partner at Jones & Roth CPAs and Business Advisors, got involved with family businesses early in her career. Her area of specialty was estate planning, so she spent a lot of time working with businesses on their succession plans. As they grew to trust her, they often pulled her in to help with other business decisions. Now Matthews specializes in providing a range of services to Oregon family-owned enterprises. Reading Between the Lines It should come as no surprise that human resources matters are often challenging for family firms. “People often ask us how much they should pay their family members who are employees versus their family members who are owners,” Matthews says. “We often talk about multiple hats. You’re a board member but you’re also a shareholder,...