- Feb 27, 2018
Ivey’s Business Families Centre, together with the Family Enterprise Exchange SW hosted the 14th edition of the National Family Business Day Celebration at London’s DoubleTree Hotel on February 27, 2018.
The celebration was led by a fireside chat with Linda Hasenfratz, EMBA '97, CEO of global auto parts giant Linamar Corp. Linamar was founded in the mid-60s by her father, Ferenc Hasenfratz who left Hungary during the post-revolution turmoil under the Soviet Union. Arriving in Canada with nothing but his abilities as a skilled machinist, Hasenfratz started a one-man machine shop that has evolved into a billion-dollar global company.
Linda Hasenfratz was not actively involved in Linamar growing up but she remembers visiting her father and the smell of the machine shop. After joining the company in 1990, she started on the shop floor. As she continued to grow in the company, working in various areas of the business, Hasenfratz was able to gain a clear understanding of the scope of the business.
Since becoming the CEO in 2002, Hasenfratz’ tenure as a leader has been marked by Linamar’s sales growth from $800 million to $6 billion in 2016. She has also led the diversification of the company’s portfolio, investing heavily in agricultural harvesting.
The annual event also includes the announcement of the best family enterprise in the region, which was awarded to Reith & Associates from St. Thomas. Reith & Associates is an independent insurance and financial services brokerage that is currently operated by fourth generation owners Dan and Darren Reith. In 2014, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary.