13 Nov 2nd Largest Family Owned Company in Central Florida
IMG Enterprises was named the 2nd Largest Family Owned Business in Central Florida by the Orlando Business Journal. This list is published each year and recognizes companies in Central Florida who are at least 51% priavely held and family-owned by two or more relatives. Companies are ranked by their 2014 revenues. IMG Enterprises is honored to be recognized among many other industry leaders, customers and partners.
The Orlando Business Journal interviewed Chloe Gentry, one of the owners of IMG Enterprises. Read her Q&A below on what it’s like being part of a family-owned business:
From working in the family firm’s greenhouses during summer breaks to interning in the marketing department during college and joining the firm full-time after grad school, Gentry now carries on the family traditions started by her grandfather, a French apple farmer from Normandy, and her mother, who first incorporated the business in the Big Apple.
Here, she shares how a small family continues its dynasty:
How long have you been with the company?
What are your frustrations in being a family-owned businesses?
I don’t feel limited by the family ownership aspect of our business. Nothing would be possible without all the other dedicated, loyal and passionate employees we have. Family owners are just six of the 501 people who contribute every day.
What are the operational strengths of having a family-owned business?
Being family-owned allows the values of the family to live within the culture of the business. People care about each other, we seek to grow professionally and personally, and we aren’t afraid of trying
new things, being vulnerable in front of each other or making mistakes, just as you would within the circle of trust of a tight-knit family.
What’s the main threat to your business in the next five years?
Labor shortages is a big concern for agriculture. We employ many of the same workers as the construction industry, so as the construction demand increases, so will the pressure on our workforce.
How do you resolve conflict as a family-owned company?
We seek business partners aligned with our values and believe in win-win relationships, so that helps us not get into high-conflict situations. But when it does arise, conflict management is a time when your true values come to light — our values of open communication, continuous improvement, teamwork and respect help frame the discussions and reactions during conflict. We also do personality testing and training on how personality traits shape a person’s reactions in business. Understanding each other’s personality types helps you have empathy for where someone is coming from and why they may be reacting a certain way. It helps you understand how you best can connect and communicate, which is key to avoiding conflict in the first place.
Key accomplishment in the past 12 months?
Our landscape division is profitable and growing after a tough six-year downturn in the construction market. We’ve undertaken the creation of a new operation in landscape maintenance, growing the diversity of our portfolio and planning to add another 100 jobs in the coming five years. Our citrus operation is the second-largest packinghouse in Florida, and the building of our expanded refrigerated distribution center is opening the way for year-round sales that are not limited to the Florida citrus season.
Little-known fact about your firm?
When IMG Enterprises first was incorporated, it was by my mother who was importing apple brandy from France to be sold in the northeast U.S. It was a project she took on for a couple of years while living in New York City and raising her young kids. They later used the name and structure of this company to start their operations in Florida’s citrus industry.