The Family Matters

What does it take to effectively run a family-owned business? A third-generation tooling manufacturer offers advice.


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Cameras at Quality Tooling are used to monitor unattended machining operations. Because they can be accessed via smartphones, the Alveys (Michael is shown here) don’t have to leave home to periodically check on equipment in person. ​


Corydon, Kentucky’s Quality Tooling is a family-owned tooling manufacturer that’s into its third generation. James Alvey started the company in 1968 out of his garage and has since retired. His sons Michael and Brian now run the successful operation, and Michael’s son, Stephen, is one of the shop’s lead designers. I met with Michael, Brian and Stephen while visiting the company to develop this story.

A number of shops that receive our magazine are family-owned. Therefore, I asked the Alveys to offer insight about what it takes to run a successful family business. Here are their thoughts.