Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Company Succeeds through Separate Work/family Relationships

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Company Succeeds through Separate Work/family Relationships

Article excerpt

Maintaining separate relationships on and off the job are essential in operating a successful family business, according to local businessman Johnny McCharen.
McCharen, the owner of Osborne Electric, has been a part of this family business in one facet or another for more than three decades.
But for McCharen, joining the family business was not always a given. He worked for the company during summer vacations and knew the opportunity was there to work full time if he wanted.
"I wasn't sure that's what I was going to do," he said.
But after graduating with a business degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1969, he decided to work full time for the company his dad co-owned in 1971. And little by little, he acquired full ownership of Osborne Electric.
The company's name comes from the man who founded it in 1943 - Marvin Osborne. Johnny McCharen's dad, John McCharen Jr., worked for the company as a journeyman before he left to serve during World War II. When the elder McCharen came out of the military, Osborne talked him into forming a partnership in 1946. Osborne retired in 1950 but kept a percentage of the company until the younger McCharen bought his remaining share in 1974.
The company continued as Osborne Electric because of its name recognition.
Ten years later, the younger McCharen completed buying his dad's share of the business. Since then he has seen two members of the family's third generation join Osborne Electric.
Oklahoma City-based Osborne Electric offers electrical services, including voice and data installations, to commercial and residential customers. The majority of its business - 95 percent - is commercial. A new division, Connections 21, was created four years ago to concentrate on the data side of the business.
Running a family business has "been an interesting challenge," McCharen said, whose stepson and, now, son both work for the electrical contracting company.
Rob Cherry, president, has been with Osborne Electric full time for the last decade and John McCharen IV joined the company six months ago. In addition, McCharen's brother-in-law, Bob Shey, serves as vice president and project manager.
But there's no talk of business over the Thanksgiving table.
"Outside the business, there's a father-son relationship, but inside here, it's strictly a business relationship," McCharen said.
"One thing that's been interesting to me is to have ... two sons in the building and see some of the things that went on on my dad's side of the equation back when I first came in here," he said.
Working with his stepson over the last 10 years has not created any problems, according to McCharen.
"Thanks to Rob's attitude and abilities, it hasn't been any problem to do at all. We're two different people inside of here. That's why we get along so good. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.