Founder: Robert Emmett Carroll.
Headquarters: Ewing, N.J.
Number of employees: 30.
Key family members active in the company: Marilyn E. Carroll, majority owner/secretary-treasurer, board of directors; Robert E. Carroll III, president; David J. Carroll, vice president.
What it does: R.E. Carroll is a specialty chemical and petroleum products distributor to the rubber, plastics, coatings, adhesives and related industries.
The firm specializes in LTL raw material shipments and repackaging of petroleum products from bulk to drums and totes.
Markets served: Rubber, plastics, paint and coatings, adhesives and sealants, asphalt, cosmetics, and related industries.
Number of generations involved in the business: Three.
What are the strengths of a family owned business? Longevity, consistency of management, “family” business atmosphere.
What are the challenges of a family owned business? How are they resolved? The challenges include succession planning, “outside-the-box” thinking (or lack thereof at times), risk avoidance.
The use of outside consultants help focus on the “forest” and not just the day-to-day “trees” of business.
Do non-family members hold any executive or ownership roles? How are issues resolved that might arise? Non-family members hold executive roles, but no ownership.
Long-term employees and those with depth of experience actually help run the business efficiently as opposed to creating issues.
How much does the younger generation of family members influence decisions? There is no current younger generation in place.
Something you may not know about the company: R.E. Carroll still sells calcium carbonate from the same mine (different ownership) in York, Pa., that was the basis for the start of the company in 1925.
It is now sold into the rubber industry as opposed to the ceramic industry as it was in the beginning.
What advice would you offer a young entrepreneur who wants to start a family run business? Have a vision and strategic goals for the future, utilize outside resources and personnel to minimize the “blinder” effect of small family owned companies.
And another thing: We are 91 years old this year and look forward to being in business for many more years to come.
Our customers are why we do what we do every day.