The Business of Family

Last week I received a letter at the office, dated November 10, 2021, addressed to Progressive Industries.  I’d like to share it with you.


Dear Progressive Industries,

I would like to thank you for such good employees. Also thank you for having a great boss. I would love to come in to the office over Thanksgiving break. Also over Christmas break. I love going there it is so fun playing in the warehouse and getting to see what you do. I also love driving there because I get to see all of the cool art.

My favorite part is going there and helping you decorate for Christmas because I love decorating the tree. The best part is being there and hanging out with you and everyone.



This letter is from my oldest son, Hunter. It was a class project to write to a business that you appreciate and tell them why. My mom, Valerie, presented it to me at my desk this afternoon. I had an entirely different letter typed up and ready to send to Kerra for my President’s message this month when this came in but felt compelled to share this instead. Hunter and I have been butting heads recently and we are both going to therapy to work through that. I didn’t think he liked coming to work with me but I was wrong. The “art” that he sees are murals under the overpass of the Kennedy when we are driving to the office. I’ve never been more proud to be part of a family business than I am right now. We’ve created a tradition and didn’t even realize it. I think this is what it is all about for me—we’ve built something that we can share with the next generation. I started years ago with stapling things and stamping papers for hours. That evolved into deliveries in my late teens, to processing orders, and now, trying to help run the organization.

My mom taped the letter up on the wall in my office. It’s near all of the pictures and art that the kids have given me over the years. If Hunter never joins the business I will still always be as proud of him as I am right now.

Thanks, Hunter. You made my day. Thanks for choosing me to write to instead of Phil Knight at Nike, although I’m sure he was a close second.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Neil O'Donnell
VP of Business Development, Progressive Industries
EFBC President 2021-2022



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