Every time a customer refers to the M. Holland Co. by name, they're recognizing that the Northbrook, Ill.-based resin distributor is a family company.
The “M” in M. Holland was Marvin Holland, who founded the firm in Chicago in 1950 with $600 and a borrowed typewriter. Marvin's son Ed joined the firm in 1975 and became its president and CEO in 1994 when Marvin passed away.
Today, Ed's son Brad, age 35, is a business analyst and project manager with M. Holland. Ed's daughter Lindy, age 32, is business development manager for the firm's business in Mexico. But expectations for family members are as high as they are for other employees — maybe even higher.
“There's no guarantee that the next person in my chair will have the last name Holland,” Ed Holland recently said. “It's an earned position, not a birthright.”
Marvin Holland was 26 years old when he started the company, but he already was a veteran of World War II who had attended college on the GI Bill. Holland also had worked for Superior Plastics — one of the Chicago area's first injection molders.