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Pat Soldano, the president of Family Enterprise USA, interviews Kevin Hancock, the chairman of Hancock Lumber, a multigenerational family business. Hancock Lumber, located in Maine, is one of the oldest family businesses in America, dating back to 1848. The company is involved in the timber and lumber industry, owning timberland, sawmills, and lumber yards.


The conversation covers various aspects of Hancock Lumber, including its history, the number of employees (730), and the presence of multiple generations of families working in the company. Hancock emphasizes the company’s commitment to making work meaningful for its employees, resulting in being recognized as the best place to work in Maine for ten consecutive years.


They discuss workforce issues, with Hancock noting that the company doesn’t face significant challenges in finding employees, attributing it to the company’s values, culture, and approach that prioritize and empower its workforce.

  1. Family Enterprise and Heritage: Hancock Lumber, a multigenerational family business dating back to 1848, is a leading player in the timber and lumber industry, spanning seven consecutive family generations. The company integrates Timberland ownership, tree cultivation, lumber manufacturing, and lumber yard retail operations in Maine and New Hampshire.
  2. Workforce and Community Engagement: With a dedicated workforce of 730 employees, Hancock Lumber stands out as a best place to work in Maine for ten consecutive years. The company not only emphasizes competitive wages and benefits but also fosters a culture of leadership at every level. The family business actively contributes to local communities through significant financial support and encourages employees to volunteer, promoting balanced lives.
  3. Taxation and Policy Considerations: Hancock Lumber advocates for a holistic approach to evaluating the impact of various taxes on businesses, emphasizing the cumulative effect. The family business emphasizes the importance of understanding the motivation of family businesses, challenges rhetoric suggesting they don’t pay their fair share, and calls for a rethinking of tax policies, particularly the estate tax, to empower local growth and business reinvestment. The key message is to approach family businesses with positive intent, recognizing their positive contributions to communities and the economy.

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