Family-owned businesses often don’t succeed with their second generation. About 30 percent of companies make that leap successfully, and just 12 percent survive into the third generation, according to reports compiled by the Family Business Institute that specializes in management succession planning.
IMCO General Construction, a Whatcom County-based construction company now into its fifth year of family leadership transition, looks to beat the odds.
To understand the full nature of this challenge, it’s important to understand who IMCO is and where it came from. Given the complexity, the variety, and the risk involved in construction projects in general, and particularly given the kinds of projects IMCO traditionally takes on, the transition to a new generation of leadership could be especially difficult.
Frank Imhof, who founded the company with his wife Patti in 1978, said the transition is still very much in progress. The family management team has learned a great deal in the process of how IMCO has approached business and succession, yet Imhof said many lessons remain.