The Rodon Group/K’NEX Brands

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Michael Araten headshot
Family Business Honoree

Location: Hatfield, PA
Founded: 1956
Industry: Manufacturing
Generations: 3

Category: Small

The Rodon Group/KNEX Brands

Michael Araten
President and CEO

FOUNDING PRINCIPLES
The founding principles of The Rodon Group/ K’NEX Brands were accountability and integrity. Sixty years later, those ideals still guide the company in everything it does. For president and CEO Michael Araten, that means delivering on promises.

ONBOARDING FAMILY
The process of adding family members to the company’s team has always been more organic than formal. “We had family discussions prior to my joining, and made sure that my entry made sense based on where the company wanted to go, and where I saw my career path,” says Araten. The process was similar for Araten’s brother-in-law.

Fun Fact: President Obama visited The Rodon Group’s facilities as the first stop of his re-election campaign.

CULTURAL VALUES
Each generation of family members at The Rodon Group has led the business to new heights, approaching a new challenge with each step up. When the company was founded, the focus was on determining its core competencies. For generation two, growth ruled the culture. For the current, and third, generation, improving technology and robotics is the new norm.

LASTING LEGACY
Araten hopes that when clients think of The Rodon Group, they recognize the company’s commitment to quality, as well as to the core values of integrity and accountability. Additionally, Araten says, “We want our customers to view The Rodon Group as optimistic and always forward-looking. … Even though they’re our customers, and yes, there’s a profit motive involved, we’re really here to try to help them be better in their businesses.”