A few years ago I wrote a blog about the importance of succession planning, especially for small businesses. Well, I’m taking my own advice this month for our own industrial buying group.
I am very pleased that my daughter, Jennifer Murphy is now the president of NetPlus Alliance. Jennifer joined the industrial buying group part time in 2006 primarily to recruit distributor members in Canada. Well for a variety of reasons, that did not work out, but Jennifer did begin to offer her ideas on how NetPlus could do a better job of marketing ourselves to our distributors and suppliers. You know, simple things like printing our newsletter in color instead of black & white, and calling on our suppliers to participate in marketing programs. Within a few years she was our Chief Operating Officer and Marketing Director.
Jen has a Business Administration degree from St. Bonaventure University and two years ago completed the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership program at the University at Buffalo. One of the trainers in that program, Rick Wallace, guided us through our strategic planning process a year ago and has continued to work with us as a valuable resource and coach. During that process we developed our nine Core Values. Here are the ones that I think make Jen the right person to lead NetPlus; Value Relationships, Embrace Change, Provide Guidance, Grow Together, and Do the Right Things Right.
Jen and her husband Tom have three children, Elaina, Sam and Henry. In addition to NetPlus and the activities of the three kids, Jen helps coach their school swim team, is on the board of directors of the local YWCA and is an active participant of the Women Industrial Supply Executives (W.I.S.E.) of the Industrial Supply Association.
I plan to remain very active with NetPlus as Chairman and Chief Financial Officer and you will continue to see me at industry conventions and, of course, at our first Annual Meeting next March. As a father I am very proud that Jennifer has become the fifth generation to lead our family business. And, I am also very proud of my other daughter, Karen Rahill, who is a Library Media Specialist in the Lockport, NY school district. Karen and her husband Sean also have three children, Celia, Will and Dan.
Those of you with family businesses know that there is more to succession planning that just electing a successor and those steps are also being undertaken. So the next move, one day, will be Jennifer’s to recruit one or more of my six grandchildren (now ages 6 to 12) to be the sixth generation family member to manage this company.
Thank you all for the support you have given me during the last 11 years since we founded NetPlus. It’s been a blast!