Location: Long Island City, NY
Industry: Manufacturing, construction
FOUNDING PRINCIPLES: In the late 1800s, New York City required all buildings higher than six stories to have a rooftop water tower. Barrel maker William Dalton saw this as an opportunity to expand his business, and in 1894, he hired a Polish immigrant named Harris Rosenwach. When Dalton died, his widow sold Dalton’s lumber, tools and goodwill to Rosenwach. When family members from Poland joined him in New York, Rosenwach Tank Company was born. Five generations later, Henry Rosenwach serves as the company’s vice president. He says the company’s core values of labor, service, economy, charity and quality have helped it survive so many years.
Quick Tip: “Run your company with love.”
ONBOARDING FAMILY: At Rosenwach Tank CO. LLC, family members entering the business are expected to work from the ground up. Henry Rosenwach is part of the newest generation. Before joining the company officially, he spent summers doing manual labor and working on the company’s truck. After college, he worked outside the company for two years before joining.
CULTURAL VALUES: A major part of Rosenwach Tank’s culture is figuring out how to maintain it as different generations take over the business, says Rosenwach. “Succession is the toughest part of a family business. There is a learning curve between generations, between father and son,” he adds. “There is no school for the business of wood tanks; it is all learned through experience. No job is too big or too small for anyone in our company — all hands on deck.”
LASTING LEGACY: “Our legacy is demonstrated as a business transcending over time and spanning five generations of the Rosenwach family,” says Rosenwach. “We are the industry standard. One New York real estate agent put it best: ‘One doesn’t know anything about real estate if [one doesn’t] know Rosenwach.’”