Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020 - 40

Sewing skills have been on display at Northern Marine Canvas Products (NOMAR) ever since
Kate Mitchell founded the company in the early 1970s. Now her two children have leadership
positions, but they worked their way up the ladder, Mitchell says. Photo: NOMAR.

Made in the Shade Tent Rentals has been erecting tents for events since Donny
Vasquez, son of the founders, was a pre-teen. Today, he and his two brothers have
ownership stakes. "One thing I've learned is that you can't just have the company
handed to you," he says. Photo: Made in the Shade Tent Rentals.

40 REVIEW FEBRUARY 2020

That's what happened with the second
generation at Northern Marine Canvas
Products (NOMARĀ®) in Homer, Alaska.
Kate Mitchell founded the business with
her husband in the early 1970s.
Mitchell's two children both worked at
jobs outside the company. "Our son had
experience in commercial fields and was
mechanically inclined, and our daughter
worked in retail," she says. "He's in charge
of production now, and she's the CFO.
I encouraged them to go see what the
world's about before coming back."
Still, she adds, leadership positions were
not just handed out to the kids. "They
started at the bottom rung," says Mitchell.
"Along the line, they worked their way up;
they put in the time."
Today, the children are shareholders in
the business and a plan is in place that will
eventually give them controlling shares.
"Something you started from absolute
scratch is hard to give up, but the transition
is in place," says Mitchell.



Specialty Fabrics Review February 2020

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