Congratulations to our client Joshua Green Corporation on being nominated for the 2017 Family Business Legacy Award by Seattle Business Magazine. Davis Wright has had the honor of representing the Joshua Green Corporation for over 25 years.
Joshua Green Corporation had its beginnings in Washington State in the 1890s. It was actively involved in the founding of the historic mosquito fleet (the predecessor to the Washington State Ferry System), the formation of Safeco Corporation and the creation of Peoples’ Bank (which was subsequently acquired by US Bank). In answer to the question “how does a family stay together after the family business has been sold?,” Joshua Green Corporation has become a privately held investment company, providing investment opportunities no individual family member would have been able to obtain. It has successfully adopted a private company investment strategy, obtaining material interests in a number of significant Northwest businesses including Harry’s Fresh, Pacific Market International, PacWest Machinery and Urban Renaissance Group. This is part of a growing trend by family owned investment offices – offering long term (if not perpetual), patient and supportive capital, often to other family businesses who are reluctant to engage with private equity.
Part of the success of the Joshua Green Board lies with its board of directors. The bylaws mandate both family and outside participation, with half the board being non-family outside directors. The current outside directors include the former CFOs of Microsoft and Plum Creek Timber, two former senior executive officers of leading financial institutions and a private company investment professional. Outside directors control all subcommittees of board.
Joshua Green III, the current chairman of the board of the corporation, has also put in place a unique governance structure where the voting stock is or will be controlled by the outside directors of the board until such time as those directors choose to select a family member to vote the shares. (Joshua Green Corporation has two classes of shares, the vast majority of shares being non-voting with a small class of voting shares). The non-voting shareholders, however, have the right by supermajority vote, to reject the designee of the outside directors and also to replace the board. This checks and balances approach provides great assurances for the continuity and success of the Joshua Green Corporation in the decades to come.
Joe Weinstein represents companies in corporate structuring, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and other business transactions. He focuses particularly on transactions involving family or closely held businesses, private equity funds, and international businesses. Joe has substantial experience in the food-related industries and assists clients with the purchase, sale, and finance of such companies. Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 206.757.8165.