Pioneering Family Firms’ Sustainable Development Strategies
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Pioneering Family Firms’ Sustainable Development Strategies

Edited by Pramodita Sharma and Sanjay Sharma

This book describes the sustainable development journey of 15 business families committed to using their enterprises as a force of societal good. In turn, each family reaps benefits of high economic returns, while contributing to society and environment. The youngest family firm is in its 20s, while there are others over 100 years of age. Size, industry, locations vary. But all these business families share a deep shared commitment towards sustainable development, control over strategic decision-making in their firms and trans-generational continuity intentions. Family values embed their enterprises with a strong sense of purpose to achieve their chosen sustainable development goals. Professionalized systems and processes foster the development of capabilities, and partnerships with a variety of stakeholders ensure the simultaneous achievement of social, environmental and profitability goals.
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Chapter 7: Social capital as a pathway to sustainability at State Garden

Pramodita Sharma and Rocki-Lee DeWitt


Established in 1937 as a celery re-packager in Boston, today State Garden Inc. is a leading supplier of organic prewashed salad greens to grocery stores in Eastern USA. Financial prudence and patient reinvestments to enhance quality and safety, combined with the DeMichaelis family ethos of integrity, dogged work ethic, and authentic stakeholder cultivation, lie at the epicenter of success of this third-generation family business. While the entrepreneurial ‘itch’ remained a constant in the eight decades of this company’s existence, the market opportunities related to ecologically-sustainable organic produce emerged via the social networks developed over generations. This family of attentive innovators regularly finds itself in the right place at the right time with the right leadership to act upon opportunities presented by societal changes.

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