Thirty Years of Family Dinners (or are they Board Meetings)?

April 22, 2020

1 hour, 17 minute listen

Mattapoisett, MA

The Mock’s extended family has owned Nye Lubricants (founded 1844) for three generations. After their realization five-plus years ago that the family’s ownership structure and limited access to capital was possibly holding back the Company’s global growth, they decided to acquire a new majority owner. Led by President George Mock, the Mock’s and their team thoughtfully executed on a multi-year plan to prepare the Company. In January of 2020, they successfully completed a transaction where Nye was acquired by Fuchs Petrolab SE (Mannheim, Germany).

George and Carrie Mock generously spend an hour or so with Pete, thinking aloud about the challenges of governing a family business, the work-life balance that accompanies that, the insights about the Company and industry that led to the decision to find Fuchs, and a few glimpses of what might be in the next chapter.

Listen to the interview here:

Mocks
Carrie Mock

What I am Reading / Listening to

The Remains of the Day (1993)
Directed by James Ivory

The film The Remains of the Day, like the novel on which its based by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989), is an enthralling masterwork of metaphor and symbolism. Stevens, giftedly played by Anthony Hopkins, is of the proudly deferential, pre-World War II English service class—maybe even working class. Darlington Hall is the representation of England. Or is it America in 2020? Stevens' fierce determination to serve, and the satisfaction it gives him (the only thing that gives him pleasure evidently), are the last gasps of an outdated primitive system that was supposed to have vanished a hundred years before.

History and symbols do not distract from the film's psychological humor. The film offers compelling sequences showing how such great houses once functioned, how dozens of guests were accommodated, how elaborate meals were prepared, and how the servants preserved order among themselves through their own social hierarchies. A little like we do in our mass pop culture today?

What inspires you to think deeply is: could you imagine the guests of Darlington Hall being transported to today and discussing whether to stock masks? Who is the anxious and desperate Stevens today? Of course we know their nap was coming to an end. We know it, but they are only slowly discovering it.

The cinematography in this film is glorious and would be worth seeing even without the morality story. I remember seeing this film 30 years ago, but not with the same eyes. Highly recommend.

Entrepreneur Owner-Manager Quote

“I think of myself as a duck; on the surface there's not much going on, but under the water, I'm kicking like heck!"

-Gary Wilt, President & Co-Owner, Tag Manufacturing, Inc.

 

Gary Wilt

Energy Creation

Contributed by Richard C. Kimball

During the CV19 stay-at-home recommendations, the Kimball family is sheltering in place at our winter home in Chattanooga. My daily activity is taking long bike rides on my vintage Raleigh touring bike (while I sometimes take my Trek mountain bike, I find the smooth and quiet of the Raleigh is best for today's environment).

The whole world opens up to a bike rider (especially if you’ve been locked in the house!). You hear the beautiful birdsong, and see and even feel the pink cherry blossoms blowing off the trees and into your face, smell the earthy smell of Spring. Car traffic is light, and the bikers, runners, and dog walkers are out in full force. We wave and cheer while we keep intelligent physical distance. My legs love the journey as the local gyms are closed.

My Raleigh takes me off the main roads and on to back yards and streets and lanes never seen in a car. Sights and sounds and the smells from a local donut shop—awesome (no doubt donuts shops are appropriately deemed an “essential business”)!

I wave to neighbors I’ve never seen and we smile and keep intelligent distancing except for the 2 dogs they are walking, which I pat and hug.

R. Kimball