CIBS Luncheon Spotlights Arkay’s CEO

Posted on March 11, 2011 @ 01:45 pm

Newly published author Mitchell Kaneff, who may be better know in the industry as Arkay Packaging's CEO, took center stage at the CIBS Luncheon held March 9 at The Manhattan Club, New York, NY. No, he wasn’t performing in his favorite role as rock musician in a local band, but instead, was offering tips for corporate executives, based on his book, Taking Over: Insider Tips From a Third-Generation CEO.

In his book, Kaneff offers guidelines and advice on how to effectively – and successfully – handle the transfer of business leadership from one generation to the next. Drawing on real-life experience, Kaneff reveals tips on carrying on the family legacy, building a loyal team, creating a balanced work environment, getting support, and even stepping aside – to name a few of his topics.

At Wednesday’s luncheon, Kaneff specifically focused on five key tips, if faced with this rise to power.

“Above all,” he enthused, “Be passionate about your work.” This, he said, is what will carry a company to future generations of growth. Although he never met his grandfather Max who started Arkay in 1929, Kaneff noted the dedication of the Russian immigrant who worked 18 hours a day to meet payroll.

Second, suggested Kaneff, “Make transparency an integral part of your corporate structure. This will help keep everyone informed, and quell the spread of rumors.

Third: “Welcome all news—good, bad and ugly,” advises Kaneff, “so employees feel secure—and so you can craft a successive plan.”

Successive planning, he emphasizes, as Tip No. 4, should begin five to 10 years before it actually takes place.

And last, and perhaps most important, Kaneff notes that the line between business and family must be drawn. “With work life and home life overlapping, you must be able to get away from it all.” One of his recent “escapes” was with his family, but in a non-business environment. He traveled to Colorado with his twin sons and his father for a multigenerational ski trip--perhaps a good way to enjoy family time—and simultaneously engage thepotentialfourth generation of management.

Taking Over: Insider Tips From a Third-Generation CEO features more than 30 tips, which are applicable to any successive management plan.

The next CIBS event, the spring cocktail party, will be held March 24 at Bowlmor, Times Square, Manhattan. More info: