article written

  • on 04.09.2014
  • at 12:00 PM
  • by admin

category: Family History

Rebooting the Family Business 0

Here’s a fine reminiscence, typical of the corporate culture that had been passed to the next generation: “There was a guy who’d had an impoverished childhood and years ago he worked at the Pool,” says a family friend. “One day someone saw him take money from the till and reported it. Deckie’s response was to say, ‘Guess he needed it,’ and that was that. He never said another word about the matter and the guy kept his job.” And that’s the way it was back then.

By the spring of 1988 the Woodman siblings had returned to their usual positions. Cynthia, Steve, and Doug co-managed the restaurant and clambake catering; Larry supervised the function hall and the Trap; Geoffrey focused on clambakes; Patti oversaw bookkeeping, payroll and function hall catering; Judi was retired. The economy was good and the restaurant and clambake businesses were strong, often carrying the other operations. Woodman’s was run as it had always been run, and it was business as usual … until the time came when it wasn’t.

Unforeseen expenses surrounding Deck’s estate along with the legislative/competitive/technological tsunami of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s abruptly changed the landscape. This was no longer Deck’s world. The words “causally run” and “business” could no longer be slung together. As alien as the concept seemed, it was time to revisit Woodman’s corporate structure, starting at the top, where Larry was named as president and chief executive officer.

Larry Woodman generation family portrait

Larry’s generation hadn’t seen many hard times, but they certainly heard how Woodman’s had weathered them in the past, and held to the belief that “we did it before and we can do it again.”

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