Taira Brandt is the 35 year old daughter of Justin Brandt the owner of a medium sized party invitation company “Lots of Fun” Taira has recently received a degree from UMUC in Business Management and is anxious to take over her father’s company. She is a single mother, very attractive but a little retiring in her manner. She and her father have been planning her take over for several years, ever since her ex-husband left the business after their divorce, an event that did not go unnoticed within the company. Taira has always worked in some capacity within the company but never in a serious leadership role. She is simply known as the “boss’ daughter”. Taira and her father have agreed that she will take over as CEO in the next two months. No one knows of this decision.
Taira realizes that she has her work cut out for her if she is to be a good company leader. The first thing she has to do is take stock of the company. This is what she sees. The company has netted 1.5 million in sales for the last two years with no growth rate. Costs have, however, increased by 3 percent. The company produces and sells a variety of invitation styles at different price points but her most popular items seem to be either the “budget” invitations or the “high end” expensive paper products. Her sales people have traditionally only sold to card stores or stationers. The company has never sought to sell directly to the customer. Taira would like to explore the online market for future growth potential. In addition to the new markets, Taira would like to revamp the company image and marketing plans. Taira’s father, the current CEO, was approached by a Kuala Lampur firm who would like ‘Just For Fun” to go into a joint venture with them to set up a separate web store that will sell invitations to Asia with local stores in Kuala Lampur. Taira and her father are uncomfortable with the approach because they lack understanding of the Asian culture but do see a great business opportunity.
There is another issue that is on Taira’s business agenda. The company is located in Kent, Washington one of the largest lumber towns in the country. Being close to the paper source has saved money in the past for the company but now pressure is on to seek “green” methods of production. A recent article in the Kent County Gazette challenged “Lots of Fun” to get in touch with their “green side.”
The business side seems solid right now but her father has never really changed things since he started the business forty years ago. He has managed his way to success. Her father… Taira thought is another matter. What is his role going to be? He jokingly says that he wants to go into “semi-retirement” but never really says what that means. In fact Taira’s not really sure that he wants to retire. When she asks him what role he wants his reply is “I have just one request - don’t make me a figurehead. I would rather retire completely. You choose the job or have me retire, either way I will do what you want. It is your show now sweetheart.” Justin Brandt is an extrovert through and through. He always wants to be near the action and thrives on running the company. His open personality and hands-on style has made the business what it is now. Taira knows this but her role growing up as the “I’ll do any job girl” has made her privy to lots of company gossip. She heard the new middle management staff of which there are three, two men and one woman, say he is nice but too controlling while others like the Vice President and CFO, men who have been with him for the last 25 years, have given up trying to think for themselves and just go with his flow. Where do I put my father? I need to establish myself and my style with these people. I want to make big changes and I have to get them on board. Yet, I don’t want to lose my father’s knowledge and enthusiasm. I don’t want to lose him altogether.