A Taste of Family Business Success: 7 Questions for Ed Herr
Friday, March 15, 2019
Pennsylvania-based Herr Foods Inc. is a longtime leader in the highly competitive snack food industry. Ed Herr, President and Chief Executive Officer of the $250 million family business will share his success story in a talk titled “Snack Superstars for 73 Years” on Wednesday, March 27, at Saint Joseph’s University as part of the Family Business Legacy Speaker Series, presented by the University’s Initiative for Family Business & Entrepreneurship.
Herr recently shared his thoughts with the SJU news team about what it takes to carry on a legacy and the deep-rooted family values that have contributed to his company’s success.
Did you always know you wanted to remain part of the family business or did you consider other career opportunities?
I always knew, deep down inside, I was going to remain in the family business. Growing up my parents, James and Miriam Herr, encouraged my siblings and me to follow our dreams and do what we felt was most comfortable. There was a period of time in my 20s when I ran my own home improvement business — painting decks, roofs and houses. I eventually sold that business and began working full time at Herr’s at age 35.
What is the work culture like at a family-owned business?
At Herr’s, we work hard to make sure our 1,500 employees feel a part of our family and more than “just a number.” We’ve learned that positive company culture starts at the top and is filtered down through leadership. Our goal is to treat everyone with respect and kindness.
What are your family values and how do they contribute to your business success?
Our main family values are hard work, integrity, respect and humility. We want to set a positive example for our employees and show that working hard can be rewarding. Continuous learning in the workplace is beneficial to employees and the employer. There is always an opportunity to keep learning, no matter your job title.
How important is it for Herr’s to participate in charitable giving and support community initiatives?
Giving back to the community has always been an integral part of Herr’s mission. Our business and all organizations have the responsibility to be good stewards. In my opinion, business is more than making money. We can all help better the world around us through community service.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment at Herr’s?
One of my accomplishments is the honor of passing on our unique culture to the next generation. If I can continue to cultivate an environment where employees can thrive, I believe we will accomplish our company goals and operate at a high level for years to come.
What advice do you have for those looking to advance their family business?
It might sound cliché, but my best advice for others is to love deeply. We can all gain wisdom from loving one another. The principle of treating others as you would want to be treated will endlessly remain true.
Do you have a favorite Herr’s snack?
Yes, I have a few. My favorite Herr’s snacks are the Ripple Potato Chip, Kettle Potato Chip and Red Hot Potato Chip.
Tickets are still available to hear Ed Herr speak further about these topics in person at the Family Business Legacy event.