Keeping it in the Family at Hayden Saw Company
In 2019, Board Chair and third-generation shareholder Helen Fullerton was preparing for a meeting to discuss Ohio-based Hayden Saw Company's (Hayden) future as a family business. As the company entered its fifth decade, the Hayden family was dealing with three distinct pressures. First was the question of how to represent shareholders equitably in a way that would enable the family to move past its history of friction and estrangement. The second question was how to ensure a talented pipeline of family members working at the company as the family dispersed across the U.S. Third and relatedly, was the question of how to ensure informed family representation on the company's board to support its independent directors. To address these pressures, Fullerton had commissioned a family business consultant to generate a series of proposals. The consultant had come back with comprehensive ideas for a shareholders' council, a family office, family employment tracks, and a shareholder director process. Now it was time for Fullerton to review the proposals and decide how to move forward.