In Good Company: The Rewards of Running a Family Business

The Hudson family at their farm in Maryland. From left, Christopher, Christine, Anita, Elizabeth and Daniel. 

By Malia Jacobson for USAA Magazine

YES, BALANCING FAMILY and business is complicated. Love and money have long been at odds. But the combination can be rewarding for couples, parents and kids, even the community and the national economy.

Building a family business can help you pass on shared values and financial security for generations to come. And with the right planning and insurance to protect your family’s investments, you can leave a legacy.

Here, USAA members and business owners share the benefits of working with family.

The Members: Eric and Mechelle Barton

The Business: Vanquish Worldwide, a transportation and logistics firm in Maryville, Tennessee.

The Insight: For the Bartons, involving their five children in their ventures is helping them raise mature, thoughtful future leaders. Their children serve as interns at Vanquish Worldwide, pitching in on duties like filing paperwork or emptying trash.

“They start at the bottom,” says Eric Barton, a Marine Corps veteran, “and gradually earn more responsibility.” He also calls his father-in-law, a retired Marine, a trusted advisor. “I value his input enormously.”

The Members: Daniel and Anita Hudson

The Businesses: There are four, all housed in a state-of-the-art, solar-powered barn in Annapolis, Maryland: Bridle Path Farm operations; Chesapeake Professional Liability Brokers Inc., an insurance firm; Bridle Path Equestrian, a riding school run by daughter Christine; and Paint Uncorked, a painting studio owned by daughter Elizabeth.

The Insight: Working across generations brings fresh ideas and insight to the family’s endeavors, says Daniel Hudson, a Navy veteran. Son-in-law Joe Brunsman created and implemented a new digital tracking system for policy renewals, and Hudson’s children manage marketing and the farm’s Web presence.

“There’s a generational shift in the way business is conducted through social media,” Hudson says. “They bring great ideas about how to make the businesses more efficient.”

The Member: Kevin Roberts

The Business: Coastie Catering, a full-service catering firm that provides healthy, gourmet fare in Massachusetts.

The Insight: Trusting your business partner comes naturally when working with a spouse, says Roberts’ wife, Heather Logrippo. “I don’t have to worry that my business partner is operating with a different set of goals.”

Another benefit of working with a spouse: combining complementary skills. At Coastie Catering, Roberts, who retired from a 23-year career as a chef with the Coast Guard, does the cooking, while Logrippo uses her public relations background to handle marketing.

“My military background taught me discipline, focus and the ability to be nimble,” says Roberts, adding, “We always understand that our family and marriage comes first. The business is a vehicle that supports the bigger picture.” 

Learn more about insuring your small business.

Photo by Jeremy Cowart



Business Insurance not underwritten by USAA or its affiliates. USAA Insurance Agency means USAA Insurance Agency, Inc. or USAA of Texas Insurance Agency. CA Lic # 0D78305, TX Lic # 7096. 9800 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78288.The Agency represents third party insurers that are not affiliated with USAA, and provides services to you on their behalf. The third-party insurer underwriting this coverage has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

225495 – 1115