CEO of Friedman’s Home Improvement in Sonoma County reveals journey of leading loved ones business enterprise

This June, Barry Friedman will mark 8 yrs serving as CEO of Friedman’s Household Enhancement, a relatives small business that has developed from its flagship retail outlet in Santa Rosa to retailers in Petaluma, Sonoma and Ukiah, as perfectly as a distribution yard in Windsor.

The 3rd-generation loved ones operation this thirty day period is celebrating 75 years in company and is marking the milestone with a guide about its historical past, identified as “The Friedman’s Way,” that will be specified for cost-free to group associates and shoppers.

Friedman, 42, co-owns the household-enhancement retail outfit with his father, Bill Friedman, who serves as chairman.

Organization revenue in 2018 was $190 million, followed by $194 million in 2019. The enterprise strike a snag early last yr as the pandemic unfolded, but shut out 2020 with profits of $203 million.

Friedman observed he hardly ever felt pressured to function in the loved ones small business and was encouraged to carve out his possess route. Just after earning a bachelor’s diploma in business enterprise from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, Friedman drove to Montana and worked on a dude ranch right before heading additional east to perform on the pit crew at NASCAR. He returned numerous many years later and joined the family enterprise.

Friedman lives in Santa Rosa with his spouse, Heidi, and their 4 youngsters, ranging in age from 7 to 13 yrs aged.

The Company Journal talked with him about his path to the leading place in the spouse and children organization, how he’s managed the operation through the coronavirus pandemic, prospective buyers for the future technology of proprietors and where the organization is headed upcoming.

The subsequent job interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

When did you very first get associated in the family members company?

I bear in mind becoming 8 a long time previous and seeking something from a retailer at one particular level and my mother stating, “Well, maybe you ought to go to operate with your father and then you can have that factor.” So I would commit either weekends or breaks from university working at the retail outlet in Santa Rosa. I was bagging for customers and acquiring carts out in the parking good deal, and then undertaking other little duties in the shop. I was using it seriously and finding paid, which was brilliant.

As I grew older, I took on different roles inside of the business, doing work in our lumber yard and as a cashier. And then in college or university, when I would arrive house from college, I would just take on even additional roles.

What did you do following higher education?

I generally realized from a youthful age that someday I would be a section of Friedman’s. I just didn’t know when. I wished to get the job done at Nike (right after graduating) because they have been in the Portland spot, but when I graduated in 2001, they had a employing freeze. So I made a decision to get a leap of faith, and I drove out to Montana.

I desired to do anything other than retail, and I wished to do one thing far more adventurous. So I got a work at a guest ranch, which is sort of like a dude ranch. I truly labored in the food items-support side at initially, and then I bought into the business enterprise facet and was doing trip income, which was enjoyable. That summer season, I was also a whitewater raft guide on the Gallatin River.

That is certainly adventurous. Where did you head subsequent?

I labored on a NASCAR pit crew out in North Carolina for Biagi Brothers Racing, which is a area connection. Fred Biagi of Biagi Brothers, who lives in Santa Rosa, had a race staff and experienced provided for me to go and enable out. I believed it was likely to be a quick-time period gig (but) I ended up staying two several years.

How did these activities enable shape your future?

I received to see the place by touring with this race workforce and figured out about an sector that was fully international to me. But I was ready to implement some of the factors that I had discovered both in school or doing work at Friedman’s, and was equipped to be an asset to the staff. I was the jackman on the pit crew and then worked in the store all through the 7 days.

I assume getting on this race workforce authorized me to see the place and get a point of view of the lifestyle that I wished to are living. I wanted to have a relatives, and I wished to perform in the spouse and children enterprise.

When did you start off your profession at Friedman’s?

I arrived again in 2004 and generally commenced back again at sq. a person. I went by the new-use orientation and I did every thing that a new team member would go by means of. I ongoing to do the job my way up and then started to be involved in some leadership conversations, and just getting more exposed to some of the better-level final decision-creating and methods.

How would you describe yourself as a chief and decision-maker?

I’m quite collaborative. I want to listen to other people’s perspectives and I want to realize. … I attempt to appear at all features of decisions that I make and be thoughtful in how we method them.