Member Spotlight: Hylant Family (part two)
Last month we shared with you the story of the Hylant Family Business from the perspective of 2nd generation Mike Hylant. Mike shared with us the history of Hylant and what it has been like for him working in the family business. Many of us know Mike’s son, Matt Hylant. We wanted to continue the conversation and hear Matt’s perspective of growing up in the family business as one of the 3rd generation family members.
FBA: Did you always know that you wanted to be part of the family business? Why or why not?
Matt: I did. At first it was probably because I did not know there were other options out there! As my father mentioned in his interview, he is one of nine children and growing up almost all my aunts and uncles worked in the family business. Many still do. As did my mother and that was how my parents met! Later, my mother’s brother Clay also joined the company and today is the President of the Fort Wayne office. So I was always surrounded by it and had a great deal of curiosity and interest. As I got older I understood more about what we do for our clients and who some of those clients were and was drawn to the opportunity to work closely with such a variety of businesses. I have always loved learning about the unique ways people find passion and build businesses and fortunately my position allows me to do that daily.
FBA: What was it like for you growing up in a family business?
Matt: Growing up it was fun. It still is. We have some great family traditions that have helped us grow close over the years and that is something I have really come to appreciate. Its great to see those traditions continue to expand as well. Something that my siblings and I have started with our generation is a cousin’s weekend where we get together every year just for fun and to connect. It has nothing to do with business, but keeps the family close and I know that is a direct result of the family business.
FBA: How has being part of a FBA peer group helped you in your role?
Matt: Participating in a peer group has been rewarding on both a professional and personal level. I would say that most recently our group has been working on our long-term goals and presenting them to one another and that has been a powerful process in my own career planning. The accountability and support that comes with sharing that with a group is great. Getting feedback from individuals that have already faced some of the challenges that are ahead of you and learning from those experiences is invaluable. Additionally, in the past year I have taken on management responsibilities and having the resource of the peer group has been fantastic for feedback during that transition.
FBA: What is your favorite aspect of being part of a family business?
Matt: That is a good question, it is much easier to tell you what my least favorite is, but I would have to say it is the connection. The connection to my family, our mission, my co-workers and our clients. My background was working with a much larger firm and something I always struggled with was the lack of connection to the ownership and leadership of the company. Working in a family business and more specifically your family business the connection to why you do what you do is much more apparent and powerful.
FBA: What’s is one thing that you’ve learned from the previous generation that you hope to build upon in the future?
Matt: Like most things in life, if you want to be successful, you need to be intentional and I believe my parents’ generation was very intentional about instilling traditions into our lives. I would very much like to see those traditions continue for years to come so others can experience what we have.
Thanks to Matt Hylant for taking the time to share with us. Learn more about Hylant at www.hylant.com.