Q&A with Finance student Christopher Hockley, the 2019 Excellence in Family Business Student
What is your earliest family business memory?
My earliest family business memory is when we were receiving an award in 2003 and we were taking a picture in our Tigard warehouse yard. I was only 6 years old and completely unaware of what the implications were. The only memory I have is how proud all my family members were about this achievement.
What is the best advice that you’ve received about family businesses?
The best advice that I have received about family business is that it takes a team to successfully run and maintain a company. Not only are family members involved in the success but the non-family managers and the employees are critical for long-term success. Having the right people in the right spots and using their strengths effectively is vital for a company to be able to survive.
What were your roles at Consolidated when you first started working there?
My first role at Consolidated was organizing our companies address books and verifying contact info for customers. I verified info for multiple territories for our outside salesman to make sure that what we had on the books was correct. I worked in this role as I was not able to operate a forklift being under 18 years old for a majority of the summer.
What advice do you have for other family business students?
Some advice that I have for other family business students is to soak up as much information as you can about multiple situations in many types and sizes of business’. You will find that situations from other companies are very helpful in analyzing and improving your own family business. Asking questions and using your resources effectively is also very important.
Which family business author, podcast, blog or books or resources do you recommend?
I would recommend “Managing the Family Business: Theory and Practice” by Thomas Zellweger. This book provides a tremendous amount of insight that can be applied to any family business. I took away a lot of key insights that I have shared with my family to improve our business.
What’s your favorite downtime activity?
My favorite downtime activity is playing basketball or reading books on many different topics. You can learn a lot by reading books that are related to business as well as other topics.
Unwinding through physical activity after working in a stressful environment is also critical to maintain balance.