Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - 38

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RESPECT THE WORK
A successful transition requires that "the
next generation respect the work that
has already been done," says Rodriguez.
"They must show humility and gratitude
in their role as the company transitions.
Otherwise, it can be detrimental to the
process or cause the owners to sell instead
of passing it down.
"The balance is delicate," she adds. "But
the next generation must understand they
will have their time to change things to be
the vision of what they want."
Mike Peterson, president of SugarHouse
Industries, which manufactures marine
canvas products, awnings, signs and
banners in Salt Lake City, Utah, worked as
a teenager at the company his grandfather
founded in 1941. But after college, he was
interested in psychology-not fabrication-
as a career.

"I was going to work for just a little bit
at SugarHouse and then go to graduate
school," says Peterson. "But I started doing
things at SugarHouse I really enjoyed. It
was a chance to grow myself and to help
the business grow. I got a chance to work
with my father and other family members.
It became a really easy decision to want to
stay there."
From the time his father took over the
business, Peterson says, the ownership of
SugarHouse was well-defined.
Why? His grandfather saw what can
happen when it isn't. "My grandfather's
uncle owned a local furniture store,
and he watched firsthand as both the
company and the family were destroyed
by disagreements among the second
generation of owners. There were different
priorities and interests, and a lot of butting
heads. My grandfather put a lot of effort

Mike Peterson, president of SugarHouse Industries, didn't always plan on joining the family business. But after getting the chance to work
with his father and other family members, he says, "it became a really easy decision to want to stay there." Photo: SugarHouse Industries.

38 REVIEW FEBRUARY 2020


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Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020

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