Monday, April 20, 2015

Do you work with your family?

Donna Darby-Walthall,
Chief Financial Officer

Working in a family business can be the most rewarding experience in the world. My dad, "Big Jim" Darby, always said that running a successful business to be passed down to future generations is "living the dream."

Linda, Rich and I are Trigard's third generation of owners, following my dad and his parents. My daughters and Rich's sons are already working in the business as the fourth generation. We all have had an amazing teacher in my dad, and we have been very blessed as a family.

Statistics say that 30 percent of businesses survive to the second generation and only 12 percent make it to the third. I know many of our Trigard vault dealers and their funeral home customers are family-owned and -operated businesses. I am sure we can all agree that working with your family isn't always easy. You don't agree on everything, everyone has their own opinions, and to make it work, there needs to be compromise.

How do we make it work at Trigard? At the end of the day, we remember that we are all family, and family should support and trust each other, respect each other, have each other's backs and love each other unconditionally.

Just remember that you all are working towards the same goal of making your family business as successful as it can be.

This article originally appeared in Trigard Tuesdays, our weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at

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