3:15 p.m. Pacific standard time

Mark J. Bissell, Chairman & CEO, BISSELL Inc., interviewed by Carrie Hall, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, and EY Americas Family Business Leader

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Session recap

Mark J. Bissell, Chairman & CEO, BISSELL Inc., interviewed by Carrie Hall, Partner, Ernst & Young LLP, and EY Americas Family Business Leader

Innovating in more ways than one

His great-grandfather was the first innovator, creating a device to clean sawdust from the rugs in the family’s Michigan crockery shop. Nearly 140 years later, the Chairman and CEO of BISSELL Inc. has taken innovation to another level.

To do so, Mark J. Bissell has focused on more than new products. He’s devised strategic ways to keep the seventh-oldest privately held manufacturing company in the family.

In an interview with EY Americas Family Business Leader Carrie Hall, Bissell spoke about the dynamics of marrying family with business:

“Family is family. There are great elements about family and some not-so-great elements, and when you have a family business the two are intertwined. You either protect the business from the family, or protect the family from the business.“

Since then, he’s tweaked the company policy that barred spouses from the business. It’s allowed his wife of 33 years to become the face of their philanthropic effort, the BISSELL Pet Foundation. The organization benefits shelters, but it is also a boon for the family business because many of their customers own pets. “We want to be known more as the pet brand,” he said.

But Bissell is known best as a family company, and that branding has been key. “When consumers are looking for a brand that they can trust, a brand they can relate to, something they can get excited about, I think the research would support that … a family company, if it’s it done right, that that branding message can be really powerful.”

Keynote speaker

 

Mark J. Bissell speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Mark J. Bissell
Chairman & CEO
BISSELL Inc.

 

Interviewed by
Carrie Hall speaks at EY Strategic Growth Forum

Carrie Hall
Partner, Ernst & Young LLP
EY Americas Family Business Leader