CEO of Friedman’s Home Advancement in Sonoma County reveals journey of leading family company

This June, Barry Friedman will mark 8 decades serving as CEO of Friedman’s Household Enhancement, a loved ones business that has grown from its flagship keep in Santa Rosa to outlets in Petaluma, Sonoma and Ukiah, as perfectly as a distribution property in Windsor.

The third-generation family operation this thirty day period is celebrating 75 a long time in enterprise and is marking the milestone with a guide about its heritage, referred to as “The Friedman’s Way,” that will be specified for cost-free to crew associates and prospects.

Friedman, 42, co-owns the house-improvement retail outfit with his father, Invoice Friedman, who serves as chairman.

Business income in 2018 was $190 million, followed by $194 million in 2019. The small business strike a snag early final calendar year as the pandemic unfolded, but closed out 2020 with revenue of $203 million.

Friedman noted he by no means felt pressured to perform in the family members business enterprise and was inspired to carve out his have route. After earning a bachelor’s diploma in business from Lewis and Clark University in Portland, Oregon, Friedman drove to Montana and worked on a dude ranch ahead of heading further east to operate on the pit crew at NASCAR. He returned many yrs later on and joined the household small business.

Friedman life in Santa Rosa with his wife, Heidi, and their four youngsters, ranging in age from 7 to 13 years old.

The Small business Journal talked with him about his route to the major location in the relatives organization, how he’s managed the procedure for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, prospective customers for the subsequent generation of owners and where the company is headed future.

The next interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

When did you very first get associated in the loved ones business?

I recall becoming 8 many years previous and wanting a little something from a keep at 1 place and my mom stating, “Well, perhaps you ought to go to perform with your dad and then you can have that factor.” So I would devote possibly weekends or breaks from university doing work at the store in Santa Rosa. I was bagging for prospects and receiving carts out in the parking great deal, and then executing other compact tasks in the keep. I was having it very seriously and getting compensated, which was amazing.

As I grew more mature, I took on distinct roles within just the organization, performing in our lumber yard and as a cashier. And then in school, when I would arrive property from college, I would take on even much more roles.

What did you do immediately after college?

I often understood from a young age that someday I would be a section of Friedman’s. I just did not know when. I wanted to function at Nike (immediately after graduating) simply because they have been in the Portland spot, but when I graduated in 2001, they experienced a employing freeze. So I made the decision to consider a leap of faith, and I drove out to Montana.

I wished to do a little something other than retail, and I preferred to do a little something more adventurous. So I obtained a job at a visitor ranch, which is form of like a dude ranch. I essentially labored in the food stuff-provider side at initially, and then I received into the organization facet and was accomplishing holiday vacation product sales, which was exciting. That summertime, I was also a whitewater raft manual on the Gallatin River.

That is surely adventurous. The place did you head up coming?

I labored on a NASCAR pit crew out in North Carolina for Biagi Brothers Racing, which is a regional connection. Fred Biagi of Biagi Brothers, who life in Santa Rosa, had a race crew and had presented for me to go and support out. I thought it was likely to be a brief-time period gig (but) I ended up remaining two a long time.

How did these activities enable condition your potential?

I acquired to see the region by touring with this race staff and discovered about an marketplace that was entirely foreign to me. But I was capable to apply some of the issues that I had realized both in school or doing work at Friedman’s, and was equipped to be an asset to the crew. I was the jackman on the pit crew and then labored in the store through the week.

I consider being on this race group permitted me to see the place and get a perspective of the lifestyle that I needed to reside. I wanted to have a spouse and children, and I wished to perform in the family business enterprise.

When did you get started your career at Friedman’s?

I came again in 2004 and fundamentally started off back again at square one particular. I went via the new-hire orientation and I did all the things that a new workforce member would go by means of. I continued to function my way up and then started off to be associated in some management conversations, and just becoming additional exposed to some of the higher-amount decision-making and tactics.

How would you explain your self as a leader and conclusion-maker?

I’m pretty collaborative. I want to listen to other people’s views and I want to realize. … I test to appear at all features of selections that I make and be considerate in how we method them.

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