3-2-1 PROFITS – THE PODCAST: S1:E11/12 3-2-1 THE SAWDUST FAMILY PARTS 1 & 2
Many people in the United States underestimate the value and significance of the family business. According to the Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, “There are 5.5 million family businesses in the United States. Family-owned businesses contribute 57% of the GDP and employ 63% of the workforce (Family Enterprise USA, 2011). That means family-owned businesses employ over 98 million people. In addition, family businesses are responsible for 78% of all new job creation (Astrachan and Schanker, (2003) Family Business Review 16(3) 211-219).”
For the 2-part season 1 finale and season 2 premiere episodes (January 2022) of 3-2-1 PROFITS – THE PODCAST, we will hear from two very different family business owners. First, a small livestock bedding company and then one of the company’s long-time customers. Both are family businesses that started out very differently from each other and have very different legacies. We’ll hear from each other about what it means to be part of a business that is more than the products and services being offered but was actually built on opportunities and challenges.
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Our story begins with the family of your host, Gery Deer.
In 1952, Gary Deer, Sr., and his wife Lois had settled into city life in Dayton after leaving the foothills of the Appalachians in southern Ohio just a year before. In August of that year, their son was born, Gary, Jr., and Sr. had a good job with the telephone company. But, not long after, a labor strike with no pay taught him how insecure any employment could be. He soon went to work at National Cash Register (NCR), one of the largest companies in Ohio, but he was determined never to be without a job again, regardless of what happened with his employer. So, now with a second child, daughter Cathy, he continued working on the factory floor but he also managed a number of what we would now call, “side hustles.”
What began as a part-time job helping his landlord pour and finish concrete sidewalks, driveways, and garage floors, transformed into a business that would change the lives of the entire Deer family. Gary Deer, Sr., passed away on July 1, 2020, after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease. But the unusual business he built left a legacy that still benefits his family. Click here to read more about the life of Gary Deer Sr.
Telling the Deer family story is our guest, Gary Deer, Jr., current owner-operator of Gary Deer & Sons in Jamestown, Ohio, and the older brother of our host, Gery Deer. In Part 1 of our two-part episode, “3-2-1 THE SAWDUST FAMILY,” Gary Jr., explains how his dad started out, some of the motivators behind the business, and how he got involved as a young boy.
Don’t miss Part 2 as we hear where the business has gone, how Gery is involved, and what lies ahead for Gary Deer & Sons and the Deer family legacy. Look for it on December 28th.