Location: Philadelphia, PA
Industry: Professional services
When fmi direct and digital marketing solutions inc. was founded in 1981, it had the simple concept of being a direct-mail production company. At the outset, the company’s real strength came from the ability of its founder, Patricia Formica, to build relationships. Relationships are still among the company’s strengths today, even as new marketing channels and technology have developed.
When new family members enter the business, they start at the bottom and have to learn continuously, and ultimately prove themselves. “The opportunity is there, but if their heart is not in it, it is not worth trying to make it work,” says president Lisa Formica.
Quick Tip: “It is critical to gain experience outside the ‘family bubble.’”
Four people are responsible for running fmi day-to-day. As part of the company’s culture, any important decisions are made as a group. “One might think this would be a cumbersome way to run a company, but in actuality, it has become an effective way to manage. We each have different personalities and tolerance risks, so we know when we make a decision to invest in something, we have covered all bases,” says Formica.
With a family member lined up to take over the business as the third generation, fmi is focused on creating a legacy based on community. “As we get older, we have come to realize the importance of giving back to not only our community, but also our family. When I refer to family, I mean all of us who work at fmi,” says Formica.