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Agrimarketing : July 2009
40 Feature Story:32 Feature Story 7/15/09 2:31 PM Page 43 COVER STORY/continued frompage 41 there’s always that nagging fear that if I don’t dowell, hewon’t loanme the keys to the carwhen Iwant to go out on Saturday night. One challenge I’ll say is that half the time people callme Dave. It’s a hard habit for folks to breakwhen they’ve known himfor years and we’re both professors at Purdue. When I first started in the indus- try and people began to callme to workwith their sales teams, I often wondered if they thought theywere actually gettingmy dad. I envisioned showing up afterworking forweeks to prepare and then having someone say, “Who’s this kid? I thought Downey had been teaching for 40 years?We didn’t knowwewere getting ‘the kid’!” My dad looks and acts very young,which exacerbates that confusion. Fortunately, it hasn’t happened yet! J. L. FARMAKIS, INC. Wilton, CT large firm, so I joined IBMand worked for themfor eight years. In the early ’90s I decided to join the agricultural field and started out as the Eastern Sales Rep for the firm. Challenges?Working for a parent complicates your relationship as you go back and forth frombeing a son to an employee/business partner— sometimesmany times a day. It allows you to get closer to your parent, spendmore timewith themand become a peer or partner faster than I think youwould otherwise. The only negative is that some- times you treat themmore as a business person versus a parent and you have to remind yourself that he is also your father. THE FUNKS Guelph,ON Dr. Tom Funk: Agri Studieswas founded in 1980 bymywife andme. It specializes in training and research in sales andmarketing inNorth America. Formany years itwas operated as a sideline to our fulltime jobs as professors. Bill (l) and Jack Farmakis Jack Farmakis:Our company is a multi-media advertising representative firmthat I started in the late 1970s. I startedmy ag career at FarmJournal, developing geographic and demographic ag editions. Learning the importance of localmedia, I began a national ag representation firmof state/regional farmnewspapers. In the 1980s I extended this into radio and our State FarmRadioNetworks. Benefits?Having an offspring in the business changes your relationship, but it allows you to growcloser to him both as a son and eventually as a business partner. The key in any transition, especiallywith an offspring, is to define each person’s role and allow themto growin their position. Bill Farmakis:As a teenagermy brother and I traveledwith Jack toNAMA and on sales calls.After graduating fromcollege, Iwanted towork for a Responsibilities?At the present time I amstill President and I amresponsible for ourmarketing training and research. I amgradually reducing myworkload and givingmorework and responsibility to Justin. Benefits? In our particular case there aremany benefits, including the enjoyment ofworkingwith someone you really like, having someonewith similar values, but newand different skills in the business and seeing your own son develop as a business person. Justin Funk: I joinedAgri Studies in 2002 after graduating fromUniversity. Iwas presentedwithmany different employment opportunities, butmy dad askedme if Iwanted to workwith himon a trial basis.After a period of about two years, it became apparent thatweworked well together andwhatwewere doingwas successful. Challenges?Whilemy dad and I are alike inmanyways,we are also different people. Probably themost significant issue is our level of organization and discipline.He is very regimented and organizedwhile I tend to be less structured. Tom(l) and Justin Funk While I alwayswanted towork withmy dad, I never thought I’d be working in the agriculture industry. Turns out, it has been the best decision I evermade. The people that I’vemet, the organizations I’ve become involve with (CAMA) and thework that I do are all very special. I also think its special being able to carry on the family’s agricultural heritage. While the family seed company (Edward J. Funk) doesn’t exist anymore, I amworking for companies like it. I thinkmy Grandfather Carl would be proud. KINZEMANUFACTURING Williamsburg, IA Jon Kinzenbaw: In 1965 I borrowed $3,500 and bought a building—it was an old shop in the little town of Ladora, IA. Iwanted to go into a businesswhere I couldmake and build things that could help farmers. Landwas hard to come by, so I couldn’t farmmyself. In high school I worked at an implement dealer, assemblingmachinery. Iwas convinced that with bettermachinery, farmers could produce cropsmore efficiently. Responsibilities? I’mPresident and CEO of KinzeManufacturing. I’m still heavily involved in the design, engineering and product development aspects of our business. For the day-to-day activities,my daughter Susanne oversees all of the activities of the company froman ownership perspective. In addition, she also serves as our ChiefMarketing Officer. In that capacity she is responsible for themarketing operations of our entire company. Benefits?Having Susanne involved in the business gives us, as a company, a sense of continuity and stability. KinzeManufacturing is a family business—it’s been a part of the fabric of our family and our lives since 1965. (more on page 44) July/August 2009 s Agri Marketing 43
Career Supplement Canada