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•  Stew Leonard's announced that Jake Tavello, the company's Vice President of Stores, has been named COO.

The announcement notes that Tavello is a third generation leader in the company - his grandfather is the original Stew Leonard, and his uncle is company CEO Stew Leonard Jr.

The announcement also points out that "Tavello has worked in every department across all Stew Leonard’s food stores, learning everything from how to toss pizza dough and roast coffee to how to cut a 200-pound swordfish.  He also worked for three years at Wegmans Food Markets in their Management Training program, both in Rochester, NY and outside of Boston."

KC's View:

This last paragraph need to be pointed out - the rule at Stew Leonard's always has been that members of the next generation that want to work for the company have to spend a certain number of years working elsewhere.  I'm not sure how many family companies have that rule, but I think it is a good one.

I give Stew Leonard's a lot of credit.  With the third generation positioned to begin moving into top leadership (Stew Jr. and I are the same age), I think they've done a remarkable job of assuring continuity and cultural consistency.