Distributor Family Business of the Year – Grossman Marketing Group
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Few family businesses reach the century mark. But count Grossman Marketing Group (asi/215205) among that elite circle. Founded in 1910 by Maxwell Grossman as Massachusetts Envelope Company, the firm is now operated by the fourth generation – David and Ben Grossman, co-presidents.
The family affair began with Maxwell, who passed the leadership to his son Edgar. Edgar steered the ship until 1975 when the helm was turned over to his son, Steve. Steve Grossman left in 2010 after he was elected Massachusetts State Treasurer (he’s currently running for Governor of the state) leaving his boys in charge. Both are married with children: David has three kids and Ben has two. Other family members involved include Mary Ellen Grossman (Steve’s younger sister), Amy Grossman, and 92-year-old Shirley Grossman (Edgar’s wife) who comes in two days a week to handle collections. “Edgar use to say, ‘you don’t want to owe Shirley Grossman money,’” Ben says.
The family business works because it’s been able to harness the strength that each member possesses. Another key factor is the ability to separate work from home. “There’s little crossover from the boardroom to the dining room,” David says.
But the Grossman Marketing family goes beyond blood. “The most important asset we have walks in and out of the office every day,” Ben says.
And, they treat their employees the same way they would want others to treat their family members. They make sure everyone feel like part of the family and offer generous benefits. For example, one employee dealing with a serious medical condition received full pay during the six months he was under treatment and unable to work. Another employee who had adopted an infant was allotted a six month maternity leave with full pay. It’s no wonder that their top executive at the firm has been there since 1972.
From a business perspective, Grossman Marketing’s primary focus is the Northeast, but it does have offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Washington D.C. It’s growing its business with Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 clients, and counts the Boston Celtics and Bruins as clients, too. “That’s very fun business; it gets our colleagues excited,” David says.
The company’s product and service offerings are vast. In addition to promotional products, they provide printing services, graphic design, green-marketing solutions, packaging, e-commerce solutions, warehousing and inventory, and more. “We’ve really positioned ourselves as a one-stop solution for our clients,” David says. “We want to control the highest percentage of the client’s spend.”
For the last 104 years, Grossman Marketing has had a laser focus on their clients and their clients’ needs. But it’s more than that. Family, regardless if it’s a relative or employee, matters too. And it’s only a matter of time until generation five takes over. – JH