It's All Relative
A letter from the Editor, Robert Schork
You can choose your friends, but, as the saying goes, you can’t choose your family. Most of us also can’t pick our co-workers—especially when they’re one and the same. As it does with me, perhaps the thought of running a business with your parents, siblings, and in-laws sounds more like the premise for a new sitcom, yet, for many Westchester families, it’s a reality—and a successful one at that. Family-owned businesses comprise the backbone of our county’s economy. But how, exactly, do they do it without killing each other—or at least causing awkward periods of silence and tension at the dinner table? In our cover package on family businesses (which begins on page 62), we present three stories that illuminate some of the relevant issues, profile some of our county’s prominent multi-generational companies, and celebrate some of their (many) success stories.
Whether you’re born into a family biz or have to strike out on your own, climbing that proverbial ladder of success requires lots of hard work, dedication, and a great business education—or does it? On page 44, we look at the issue of whether you really need an MBA to make it to the top. (Did you know only four of the top-10 CEOs in the private sector in Westchester have an MBA?).
One sector of our business community poised for success is the group of businesses that cater to the needs and desires of our aging population. With the oldest Baby Boomers approaching retirement, there are now 10,000 people turning 65 in the United States each day. As our article on page 80 reveals, many companies and entrepreneurs throughout the county are ahead of the curve, ready to cash in on the “Elderboom.” But it’s not just the usual suspects of healthcare, nursing, etc.—today’s seniors are active, thriving, and tech-savvy.
Technology is a great thing (and a fun thing, too—as our “Plugged In” department (page 26) neatly conveys (wireless memory cards and bullet-proof clipboards!). But, as with any “great thing,” you can also have too much of it. When you’re ready to unplug yourself from your BlackBerry, iPad—and work itself—we show you some amazing places where you can purposely fall off the grid for a weekend (turn to page 90). If you don’t have the time to get away, at least cool off from the summer heat and unwind with one (or more!) of the luscious frozen drinks available around the county this summer (page 120). And frankly, these drinks will taste good even in the fall. Cheers!