A Harvard Business Review article referenced the Family Business Institute and their assertion that only 30% of family businesses make it to the second generation, and only 12% into the third generation. For quite a few years now, Haselden has been led by the second generation—Ed, Mike, and Byron Haselden, the three sons of Jim and Millie Haselden. But now their children are part of the mix and it’s obvious Haselden will be part of the 12%. So what does Haselden Gen 3 look like?
How Does Bringing in the Next Generation Work?
One of the reasons some people are sometimes hesitant to work at a family company is because they think the family members will receive preferential treatment. Not the case at Haselden. “My first job at Haselden was at 16 as a laborer in the field,” said Tasha Haselden, now a project engineer at our W Aspen jobsite. “It was an awesome experience learning from the ground up.” And that’s not an isolated incident. All of the Haselden family members—our current president included—started as field laborers.
This generation also has another requirement to fulfill: they have to work at a company other than Haselden for several years before being allowed to work at the family business. This gives them the perspective of what it’s like to work at a company they didn’t grow up around, and determine whether or not Haselden is ultimately the right fit.
Joining the Family Business
Some of the 3rd generation Haseldens knew from the start they wanted to join the family business. Brent, the oldest cousin working for the company, is now a project manager at our One Snowmass jobsite. “I remember one Easter, I was about five years old, sitting on my dad’s [Ed Haselden’s] lap, putting together a little red race car that he’d given me. I’ve been into building ever since.” Ben Haselden (Byron’s son) was also sure from a young age. “Even as a little kid building Legos, I’ve always found construction interesting,” he said.
Tasha and her twin sister Nicole (Mike Haselden’s daughters), however, initially took slightly different paths for their careers. Tasha was interested in sustainability and studied building and sustainability in college, working for an LED lighting contractor right out of school. But she realized that what she really enjoyed in her work was the project management and operations perspective—scheduling, budget management, etc. Those are talents she now brings to Haselden. Nicole studied construction and real estate development and decided to pursue a career in real estate development. “Real estate development was the perfect balance for me because I love construction, but I also love finding the deals, working through pro formas, and talking to cities,” Nicole said. When she graduated, though Haselden had forayed into real estate development, we did not have a department dedicated to it. However that has changed over the last few years. When Haselden’s Real Estate Development Department had grown enough to require a person in Nicole’s position, she hired on (although she, too, had started as a field laborer at 16!).
Acquisitions & Development Manager
The most challenging thing about working for a company your family owns is the extraordinarily high standards a person is held to. But it is Brent, Nicole, Tasha, and Ben who hold themselves to those standards. “I was raised to have a good work ethic,” says Tasha, “to work as hard or harder than everyone else. I want to show that I’m good at my job and not just here because of my last name. And I’ve found that when people get to know you, they see that. I think that speaks to our culture. We’re here to work hard and work together.” Ben is still in college studying Construction Management at Colorado State University, and he has interned the last two years at Haselden. “I never want to be treated differently,” he says. “I just want to help as much as I can.” This is a common sentiment among the cousins. When asked what they learned at home that helps them in their current job, every one of them had the same response: work ethic.
Although they don’t work together on a daily basis (each of them being on different projects or different departments), admittedly Christmas dinners are a little different now that so many of them are working at the family company. Already a close-knit family, they welcome the mentorship and support they gain from one another. “It’s nice to have a sounding board built in with family that’s gone through what you go through,” says Tasha. “It’s also nice that it’s a big enough company that we can work within our own spheres. It’s the best of both worlds.”