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Episode 39: Coasters & COVID - The Ups & Downs of Family Business

In this episode of The Family Biz Show, host Michael Palumbos engages in a compelling conversation with members of the family-owned Sea Breeze amusement park in Rochester, New York. The Norris-Brown family, stewards of Sea Breeze, share their generational journey in the amusement park industry, detailing their personal paths into the family business and the evolution of Sea Breeze over the years.

Rob and Genevieve Norris-Brown delve into their experiences growing up in and around the park, emphasizing the multi-generational aspect of their involvement. Rob recounts his progression from performing menial tasks as a child to becoming a young manager and eventually acquiring a civil engineering degree, which greatly benefitted his role at the park. Genevieve shares her upbringing on park property and her diverse roles within the amusement park, culminating in her current position as director of operations.

The conversation highlights the challenges and decisions faced by the family, such as the transition from a free-entry park to a gated one and the introduction of a water park, demonstrating their adaptive strategies in a changing industry. The family's commitment to maintaining the essence of Sea Breeze while embracing modernization and safety is evident throughout the discussion.

The Norris-Browns also touch upon the intricacies of family dynamics in business, emphasizing respect, communication, and the importance of allowing the next generation to make their mark. They discuss the impact of external factors, like the pandemic, on their operations and the invaluable support from their network within the amusement park industry.

In closing, the episode offers a glimpse into the family's future outlook, their dedication to the park's legacy, and their advice to both the current and rising generations in the family business realm. Sea Breeze's story is a testament to the resilience, innovation, and familial bond that has sustained and propelled this cherished local landmark through more than a century of operation.

Episode 39 Transcript


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Michael Palumbos: Welcome everybody to the family biz show I am your host Michael Columbus with family wealth and legacy here in Rochester New York, and we are joined by Genevieve Genevieve norris brown North sorry and rob and rob norris and get that right, I just did that wrong good night.

 

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Michael Palumbos: wow welcome to both of you really, really excited to have you guys here.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, sea breeze is the iconic park amusement park here in upstate New York Rochester and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I can't tell you how many school trips i've taken the sea breeze growing up for years i've taken my children to sea breeze and gotten to take my grandchildren to sea breeze and so we're really, really blessed to have you both here.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The way we typically start the show is you know for family owned business members to talk about what was your journey to enter into the family business because it's different for for everybody, so rob if you wouldn't mind kicking us off.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Sure thanks for having us here today is an interesting thing to share.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: born into the business, you know as an interesting deal that you know because we're such a multi generational family.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know it's it's we were raised and actually had a family camp out on the park property and my you know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: My great grandparents my my parents worked here and my uncles and that certainly my grandfather was kind of the matriarch or patriarch.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: So, from a little kid you know we started working here, you know picking up papers and doing whatever whatever tester coming Jane banks and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But you know, once we got into I got into high school.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I was kind of pretty young manager.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: manager college kids so you'll learn how to how to really work with people that are either older than you or you know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: wiser than you.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But you know I kind of gave me my first taste of management.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: So I got that experience and that also you know working around my father grandfather and construction and things.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: went to college in indiana got a degree in civil engineering.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And that gave me a quite a great.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: background for working in this industry, you know engineering isn't just about numbers it's solving problems.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: degree in engineering.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: structural engineering degree such a great background for the park, or we got out of school my brothers and sisters are also graduating about the same time, a couple years before me, and after me.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: park was in top shape at that time.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Very low attendance teetering on the edge of selling it for condominiums and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: as a way of many family home parks one at that time.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We presented my grandpa with a plan to say here's our vision of how we got to do it, but to do it, you guys step aside, so my grandfather graciously stepped aside my father, who was kind of general manager at the time.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: relinquished a lot of his responsibility to that time and our generation took over running the place where we are in our young boys, the 20th.

 

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Michael Palumbos: How many siblings we're all working in the business.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Two brothers and a sister.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And we're also working here today, so we've been working together for 50 years.

 

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wow.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And then my cousin susie was a key member also for many, many years.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Okay, well, we had a team of five.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And we kind of divided up the tasks, according to what people's best talents were and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We shared all the big decision making.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I rose become the general manager, President of the company.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But everybody was a key TEAM members so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: very interesting that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: 99% of our decisions are unanimous, you know we may have differences of opinion, but we coalesce around a common thought and that's kind of where we got to be today because.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Strong thoughts, but we figure out what's best for the company and then, as already mentioned, generally.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We can have discussions we leave the office and you let it go.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: For a day or two we let it go.

 

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Michael Palumbos: it's okay it's I don't know if you've ever read the book five dysfunctions of a team.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Patrick Len sione talks about you know you need to have the trust to be able to have those conflicting conversations you know it's a conflict.

 

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Michael Palumbos: we've never watched a movie that didn't have any conflict nobody's going on a roller coaster that doesn't make you lose your stomach or scare you a little bit we need that conflict.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But then you need to commit together and that's what it sounds like you've you've achieved that formula without the training, you know, without having somebody teach you that book it's just through years of experience country hell.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: yeah well and by necessity, you know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: By by those challenges, you find a system that works for the family.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Right, I was having to work this way.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know if it doesn't work that way, but they still they still survive.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Or we just have happened that have this thing that worked out.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Great we got this far.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Nice Genevieve tell us about your What was your journey into the family business.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Great question I was actually living on park property until I was four right next to the jackrabbit so the sound of roller coasters is very therapeutic for me.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: um but I started around eight years old and the county home straightening dollar bills from the Games drop boxes so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I would sit there Australian dollar bills only you know for a small amount of time and I get quarters and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I go down and spend them in the arcade and then come back the next day, and do it all over again, so I started off young, then I went to cash in the cashier department that I worked in a game department and became a department manager, a team.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: That I went over to the right department learned the interest because he's of that, and then I became a park manager and then soon after that director of operations so i've.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: gotten my feet wet and a little bit of everything in the park not as much in maintenance, but everything else operationally i've got my thumb on so it's been nice that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: As much as I I love games and I really wanted to stay in games forever I knew that I had to learn different aspects of the part to be a better well rounded.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: manager of the park and I did go to St john Fisher college and graduated there with my business degree and just general business I didn't know exactly.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Which concentration, I wanted to go, and so I just got a general business degree and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: was great going to school I work part time at the park well going, you know and high school and college and then started full time, right after I graduated and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: have been in the position i've been in for about 12 years now, so to us about the formative years in the back of this room is our board box at the.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Top damages she had will cut outs and there was a little playhouse or what you saying oh yeah I found a lot of time in a cardboard box that was like a ring toss size price I could fit in there and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I take my quarters in there and put stickers on it and I spent a lot of time here as a kid my other favorite memory is a kid was he would.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: When we first got our waterpark you could turn on the slides in the morning and I was a good swimmer and I would just go play in the pools and go out the water slides and have fun and we had a big bounce House we blow that up so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I go jump on that for an hour just entertain myself so i'm an only child, so I had to learn how to entertain myself but at an amusement Park, it is pretty easy to do.

 

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Not.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: learn how to drive in a golf cart that type of things so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I had a lot of my formative years here and i've spent a lot of time at the park I think that's why we both have such a passion for the amusement park industry not just sea breeze but we grew up here it's in our blood.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We love writing rides we've been to a lot of parks, something that we're really passionate about, I think, because it was ingrained in us in a young age.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We were all I think empowered to go and do our own thing but we've all wanted to come back to the park and I think that that says something about the way we grow up I grew up differently than you did, but I think, fundamentally, the same thing is there.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Very cool you know it's it's interesting the as you're talking about that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, when I talked to many family business owners, they talk about that family employment policy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And, and you guys break the rule, so to speak, you know, the rule is you need to go and spend five years go doing your own thing prove that you prove yourself out there, that you can move up the ladder someplace else and then bring back that knowledge to the family business.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I I would I would throw to you that one of the reasons why.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That doesn't apply to you guys is for exactly what you're talking about you've spent so many years inside of the park on a regular basis, since the day you started were.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Like in manufacturing you're not going to be spending your your time in a manufacturing facility and you're not gonna you know if you're 10 years old you're not on the construction site.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Because of you know, OSHA regulations you might be on the farm and that's the farm, I think, is another place where it works quite the same way, where they don't always follow that rule, so to speak.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I kind of kicked myself, because I feel like I could have gone to another amusement Park, I have a friend that's.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: In a similar position where his family owns an amusement park and he actually got to go to Germany.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And working at Europe apart for three months, I think, and I kind of wish I had done that, but I am such a Rochester homebody.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I went to college here I just I love Rochester have such a Rochester sense of pride, so it was hard for me to leave home and i'm an only child so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I kind of blame myself for not getting outside of my comfort zone, but I also think it's been beneficial to be here throughout so i've seen all the changes and I haven't really skipped a beat because I wasn't gone for a while.

 

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Michael Palumbos: got it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: One of the things that I found interesting and just.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Finding you guys is I really didn't know that you are family owned and how many generations so if I had one piece of advice for your family is put that right up there someplace so that the rest of the world knows that story, really, really well.

 

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Michael Palumbos: there's I share this with other families and you may have heard this before, but.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The edelman trust barometer is an organization that they measure trust in different areas and they've done it in family business and in 2019 That was the last report.

 

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Michael Palumbos: family businesses that promote the fact that their family business and let people know about customers and employees, give them a 20% bump and trust that's a lot of extra trust.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You mentioned that briefly when our discussions.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I did.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: April and we actually put some of it and rolled it into our.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: PR during the spring and.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We people really reached out to us the media really reached out to a spring because of being closed for a whole year, and you saw the dnc article that was.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Very quite a bit so we actually said, you know I think you got a good tigers tigers after I get the family out there, a little more, you know we're a little more conservative, you know we don't like to you know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: be the big front face on TV, but at the end of the day, I certainly understand people do want to support them with businesses, we can certainly see that that this spring early summer that people really want to come back and forth, which is great.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The other piece about that is there's a difference between the corporate you know, there might be one within 45 minutes of us, you know that's more the corporate flair versus the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: flair and, if you think about how you run the park in the decisions you make a lot of times it's like well what would I want from my family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What would I want to feel it's not just about where do I, how do I maximize dollars, you know as the people are going to our park it's like you know what would we want you grew up in that park and have a lot of respect and admiration and you know you know what.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: you're doing to save one of my.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: daughters I tell people with different time perspective because the corporate parks are really worried about next quarter we're worried about the next generation so it's a whole different philosophy and how you get that endpoint and it gives us a little longer vision of.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: we're not so driven by tomorrow we're driven by the future every decision we make it has to have a little longer.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Ah, I love that, and you know, for those of us in upstate New York, we are in iroquois country.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I don't know if you've ever heard this before, but when the iroquois were making decisions it's like first of all, we need to respect the elders that came seven generations before us.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And we need to think about because we're borrowing from the future of seven generations after us So how do we make those decisions and that's really wise that you think that way for you.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think the other thing too.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think the difference between us and the big corporate parks is we really hone on the experience and the Multi generational experience of the families, because we've been here for so long, and we have a really outstanding Tripadvisor we're.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Waiting over right rankings but we've been raised, your top 13 countries yeah.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: me and seaworld and six flags, so we are put on the map, because of our I think the customer service and the the experience that we provide it's not as that big corporate field, but more that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Family memory, creating generational experience that I think is unique to our part and there are some other family parks out there that's like us, I think it's just a different experience than your big six flags universal Disney type of things.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right it's always it's rush rush one to the next one to the next one of the next gramps food and go where you guys, it is, it is nice to sit and watch and people watch and do all the nice things with your grandkids and the kids and I would agree.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Though I had those same sugar waffles 40 years ago and the recipe hasn't changed, you know it's at that type of thing that you can also share those experiences with the younger generation and they get to experience it but.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The one thing we continually have to do yeah yeah but you're still on consider old.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Today, you know you still need to be fresh, you have to keep reinventing ourselves so we We always say we embrace our ass but we're always looking to the future, you know that we're not.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Really hung up on trying to do everything or anything that's where we've had a.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Fear of doing too much about the generations and how old, we are going to be don't want to seem all because people don't want to go to an old amusement park that seems old and not a date.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: So embracing that history but also celebrating the modernization of it all but still having kind of that traditional aspect of it so to find like that, though yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah, for example, the general spheres not there any longer.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Right yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Hundreds of rides that have come through in this place, and you have to make the right decisions and keep moving ahead and sometimes it's elusive nostalgia thing, but you also.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: make way for some new cool and, quite frankly, you'll see safety is our biggest concern and certainly our focus of everything you know what the engineering and things run out of time to go check them out.

 

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Right.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Now.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: So it's which is, which is great it's been that's the fun part of business yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I love it so when you're going through a process, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Just from a business perspective talk about how do you make these those kinds of decisions, what are the what you know what does planning look like from a business decision inside of your organization.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: well.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Fortunately it's all up here and a lot of it, I drive that giant major focus is the plane development of progress.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know, as we mentioned before.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Earlier conversation I travel the world.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We have to the partners are the International Association, so I i've seen hundreds and hundreds of parks and so on, and had.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Thousands of friends out in industry, you know, so we really slap a lot of information with our fellow parks everything I was on the.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: phone this morning, where the guy was a channel for us, you know, and I got something from an email for guy down in North Carolina this morning, so we were always.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: in contact with other parents both family party in parks so we're always working to see the trends final what's what's appropriate for us and then really looked at our.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: risk of attractions and saying you know what's what's what's next.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Okay, good, with the ultimate decision is we got it we got paid for it we're going to paint it the way that without.

 

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The right.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: One of the.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: toughest things you gotta do in this industry, and I think almost all industries, you have to set your ego aside, because you want to be the biggest that you want to have with.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Our.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Industry is driven by so you know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But we have to do things that are size appropriate for us so that's what we do is, we can straight out of making sure that we can get into traction in here that works well for us that fits within our budgets that don't drive the gate to a price that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Women a certain segment of our Community so it's a fine balance of knowing how much to invest and there's some rules of thumb that our industry, of how much I can't back, should there be versus your overall revenues we we tend to work within that range.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But it's a fine balance to find that the right piece of equipment and for me generally does, especially one of the nurses so capital intensive that's that's critical decision.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: and

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know, we we don't stick our neck out as far as a lot of other places do from From that standpoint, and this past year was a blessing for that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: That being open and having a revenue for 18 months and still keeping a full staff or as a tester making sure we invested properly in the past and what.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The edge so it's it's a it's a great deal to have to do, and we all discuss it, you know I my time was proposals but i'm gonna shut down and then, once I get shot or yeah.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: It also you know, we had.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Sam the next generation because she's going to inherit the debt and also at the end of the day, you got to make sure.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Everybody buys into it and it's.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: White which way to go on.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: investments.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Right, so we talked to you hit on the pandemic that it's here right now.

 

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Michael Palumbos: walk us through I mean I found this so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Interesting you're one of the few family businesses, thus far, that i've spoken to that was the family was in business during the Spanish flu and.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And now coven 19.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So i'm i'm nervous what the next thing is going to be called so you'd 1918 you had coven coven 19 which something's gonna be 20 for you guys.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know 100 years from now, or something so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Talk about that Genevieve if you don't, mind you know just walk us through I mean is there, family stories about what it was like going through the the Spanish flu versus you know and then compare it to what what's happening now.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Well, we run around in 1918.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Really attest to what happened none, but I know that we were able to get through it we went through the Great Depression.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: A couple of little wars, you know, so we we definitely were resilient in that way.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think last year was a something that none of us anticipated happening, we could none of us that have planned for that you know we thankfully like rob said we didn't have a huge capital investment that year, so it kind of timed out well.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But I think I think the hardest part was the.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The uncertainty of it all and not knowing when we could open, and it was week to week Okay, the governor's office in the next week and then we're going to hear in two weeks, and then.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Once it became you know middle of July, we finally got the call that we couldn't open at all, so I think having that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Maybe next week, we can open it and then trailing a staff along, I think, was also very challenging we have done our full time staff and they were all very grateful, but then we also hired our normal 800 staff.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Last year, that whenever able to start so that was, I think, also frustrating is is getting ready spending the money and the investment and the training and the orange painting, and all of that to then have to pull the plug and not be able to open I can go that was also very frustrating.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Personally, it worked out perfectly I ended up having my first and probably only child last April, so I had to call the baby.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: yourself personally great because I got to work more part time and I wasn't here on nights and weekends like I normally am so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: For me personally, it was a wonderful summer, but I know, everybody else in the country, especially at the park and it was definitely frustrating but.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Again, I would say just the anticipation and then the kind of the lockdown of not being able to open, I think, was probably the most challenging thing, and obviously the financial situation that's you know we were on pins and needles until.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know first new year's because you know they really didn't come up with a PCP to and then some of the other credits that we will take advantage of until then, so we were really looking at some Cisco security is that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The one that came through that really changed changing for us, you know, we had a great relationship with a bank, and they were really standing behind us.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: To give us what we need to get through, but our accountants were an integral part of the process as well we couldn't have done it without them, they will they will work.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: They went over hours and hours and hours trying to maximize you know, make sure we took advantage every program that was out there.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: pretty well with it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah I mean I remember the beginning of the pandemic and i've talked about this on the show before, but one of the things that we did, where we had scheduled our first.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Business coaching you know strategy session for March 23 2018.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I don't know the exact date but that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: i'm like yeah that got yanked and we had a March and April and May, and we are already just.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Because i'm all you know when I when I work with new people it's all about just give value and then eventually you give enough value.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, people are like Oh well why don't we just work together and so that's kind of my philosophy.

 

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Michael Palumbos: But we're like we can't do that now, what do we do, and so we started doing webinars and all of the webinars were supply chain, they were you know cost.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know, making sure you're getting your cash flow and your you know in order and you're watching everything put together a 90 day budget put together a six month budget and be conservative as you're doing this stuff.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And I will tell you, you know we've gotten some emails from people that that went through that with us as we were sharing those moments like if you hadn't done those i'm not sure I would have made the same decisions, and you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: We were we were telling people to be more conservative I have friends in New Zealand and Australia Australia that just were getting hit harder and they were locking down even more.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And they were telling us they're like look at you know you're just starting to see this stuff coming to you guys.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Be ready, and that was really a big help, so I go back to you what you said rob that network of having all of those people inside the association that you can talk to for different things you know it's definitely helpful and I.

 

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Michael Palumbos: talked to all the family businesses, you know if that are listening, right now, if there's an industry association get your next gen.

 

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Michael Palumbos: involved in it get them, you know, to understand those things and Genevieve if i'm not mistaken you're even involved in like a family business group that it's a private group that you guys just got together and put together.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Can you talk about how that came about and some of the things that you guys talk about you know that makes it work, because I think that you know, I was really impressed there's very few that take the initiative to do that, so what was the genesis of that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: that's a great question, so I was actually part of a group called climbing through the Chamber of Commerce of Rochester and I met some other folks there that are my age.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Just kind of getting started in their careers, but I met a few.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: business owners and that in that group and a couple of US kind of talked offline we knew a couple of other friends, you know and we we basically started, I think, with a group of five of us, and I think we're up to 12 now.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And it's all Rochester based family owned businesses from a minimum of at least two generations, or three generations up to I think i'm the oldest of six generate oldest.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: of six generations so what's Nice is that we are all non competing industries so we've got you know, a jeweler we've got a car dealership we've got security we've got construction.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: An amusement park so there's a variety of different.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: things that we can trade secrets with, and what I think the best part is we're not talking about necessarily our individual businesses, but what works well what we've learned our struggles may be with our family members.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: it's fully confidential, so I feel really safe in a comfortable place with these folks to be able to.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Talk about some of the harder things and I think the best thing is, is that it's all very relatable we're on very vastly different industries, but.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: it's all really the same when you're in a family business and it's the same kind of struggles and the same perks and some of its you know same things that we can share with each other and it's about growing and we've been doing this, I think.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Three or four years now, so it's been great and i'm also on the board of niche show, which is our New York state hospitality and tourism association.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And then they're both active in our international amusement park association so just kind of and then you're also on the visit Rochester many as well on the board for looking for those very nice we go this group of 13 perks yeah 13.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Family owned and managed parks, so we made.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: One senior four days once a year, or something, and they were here in 20 1919 we're having here.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And what's great about it is every our numbers out of the table and play trust we were all in non compete area, so we can approach in a close to each other.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But it's great to hear from all over the country and different sides of adult family older multigenerational album, this is a great one because it's you get the.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: event network of people are talking to and, as I think, from where do you get your Teddy bears to we've got this ride will kind of you know, safety features are you looking at you know down to how much you're paying staff, you know something like that so it's a wide variety of.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Cobra that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: i'm talking to the President.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Very good, Chris doherty crystal was once a week 50 weeks we're talking all the time, you know talking to Albany we're talking to the guy down New York City, and you know, because when you get into a crisis is bigger than individual part you really.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know, having that network reaching out of your little cocoon and that's that that's what really helped us get a service.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: As fresh as it was at least we're all on the same page.

 

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Michael Palumbos: gotcha so.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The second page is open, but we were going to say first page.

 

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Michael Palumbos: yeah when talking about family owned amusement parks throughout the US Where are you I mean I do you have your fingers on where they are you the oldest the second oldest third all the do you know that what that where you are.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Somewhat debatable, but we're we're the fourth all is park in the US.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Okay world.

 

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Michael Palumbos: 13th oldest in the world amazing.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Where we believe the oldest family in the industry in the US, because although we've only been at cbre since 1906.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We started in 1876 76 and Philadelphia, making carousels so we were a carousel builders prior to coming here, so we built an operator like eight years old running around the country of action, one in England.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: England, yes, sorry, I wonder why there's been a couple families that have been in a single park longer than us we're the oldest one in the in the country and other than the massively in in Europe, particularly by the second oldest in the world.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: wow the older person and North in the world, you like the tivoli stuff of that nature.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Little determine you know, are they saw the corporation a corporation right so there's not too many of our older than us.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Congratulations.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You also have this feeling that we're we're caretakers of this institution, as long as we can do it well we're here, but we feel like we're not up to it or there's better ways to promote this part we may not.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Make sure that series perk exist.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: forever we don't want it to be just.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Not about us.

 

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yeah.

 

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Michael Palumbos: that's really interesting there's some.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Tom Dean wrote a book called every family's business highly recommend the book.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And what one of the things he's got a series of questions that every business owner every family should be asking annually, and one of the questions is should we sell.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And you know, we need to be ready, you know, we should always have the business ready to sell because.

 

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Michael Palumbos: If you ask me so many times and Genevieve, this is probably input for both of you have been through this it's like you know the.

 

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Michael Palumbos: By the time you get to the third third generation it's only 3% of her make it that far, so I mean you guys are in the minority minority minority already and that family legacy piece is.

 

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Michael Palumbos: weighs heavy once you get past the third generation.

 

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Michael Palumbos: And many, many family business advisors use those stats to pressure, how do we get family dynamics to work and make sure all these things happen and I always say you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You should be really, really proud if you do sell it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: As a family, because what you would be at that point it's probably because the family was more important than the business and and you know, at the end of the day.

 

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Michael Palumbos: That, yet my belief, and I, this is my bias will throw it out there as bias is it you know the thanksgiving dinner table or whatever your traditions are.

 

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Michael Palumbos: You know or your religions are when you're gathering as a family that's more important at the end of the day than and keeping people's passions and purpose in place than the business itself.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And the follow up I like I said.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The business needs to continue as an amusement park and why the word the people that are the actual leaders of it, or what the ownership structure that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We always want to make sure that the best and then you know they could move, you know things change, and all we while we certainly can tend to be here yeah, no, no, no.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think that that's like you say that's very important thing to say, you know you.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: gotta keep planning for future and you don't know what it's going to be and, in certain point, you know, quality of life and everything else, this is a very, very intense.

 

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yeah.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Imagine all the checks rolling.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: down and if you're not hands on you're not going to be successful business, I always say you know guys say you play golf I go.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: For hours in the summer play golf no way you know what some.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: fireworks.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And there was there was a wake up call for us last summer, when we have weekends off a nice little taste of what we eat for dinner July together, not your first time for years and we're on a boat on the fourth of July, and I was like wait, what is our life what happened.

 

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Michael Palumbos: So wow.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: side to where they didn't give us a glimpse of is another.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Life.

 

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So we're sure.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: So so.

 

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Michael Palumbos: One of the things you know when we talked last time, like you said you heard that idea of bringing family into the you know in talking about the family.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Dynamic not dynamics, but the history of it within the park in my head as you were talking all's I could see is one of those timelines.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Of we used to make carousels back at this point, and who are those people, the stories that went with it and and whatnot and i've seen those on some of the family business, you know.

 

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Michael Palumbos: websites for families that have a business, you know what's.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Oh come on.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I apologize I just had a brain cramp well jalen so well jalen has like a little mini museum inside of you know their their business and they give you this whole timeline that's kind of neat to walk through and you guys the timeline is so interesting and that.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: part we have one.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Oh, I got a guy I have to.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Make sure you know what it's over by the game section isn't it.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Okay.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: What else we have this is really cool it's all done on the part of john for them up.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: On the site and there's a photographs.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: To be there, so therefore if I didn't write it this.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: doesn't come so it's kind of neat puts it in context, and then the museum ties it all together.

 

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Michael Palumbos: I cannot wait to come through next week.

 

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Michael Palumbos: i'm it through the years you know, sometimes what happened, for me, is when i've made mistakes when things have not gone right Those were some of the times when.

 

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Michael Palumbos: The best the best things came out of those moments, if you go back through and look at you know either of your careers or even just stories that you've heard from the past.

 

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Michael Palumbos: What were some of the things that you know you everybody says Oh, I wish we did that differently, but out of that blossom something wonderful.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Anything come to mind, for you.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Probably that.

 

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Michael Palumbos: Fair enough, but.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know.

 

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think I think things that we didn't anticipate but really big fire 94 with multi multi million dollar fire loss and that it was in March, and that was a very, very tough.

 

286

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Tough let's call it a very, very tough for us and.

 

287

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know, we had to do a gut check, you know we you know, do we just take the insurance proceeds, and you know so much of an impact on that you know we.

 

288

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: had to drizzle yet 10 minutes to feel sorry for ourselves we've got to get going here, so we know we're able to open up the part.

 

289

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Three months after devastating fire.

 

290

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Two years later we recreated the magic an entire South, and that is that that was painting behind us there, those are little vignettes that we needed for.

 

291

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: rounding boys very cursory for 25 years ago and I said, most people question so you know, there was a tough thing.

 

292

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But it did.

 

293

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: change things financially for us and.

 

294

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We get the results.

 

295

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: very nice modern version put some different equipment and, at the end of the day it was a tough thing you don't do it we didn't lose too much money on it was all said and done, but it was a chance to.

 

296

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: regrow and we configure things, and that was a tough thing that wasn't a bad decision, but it was a bad decision, because it happened on our watch, you know.

 

297

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: get things like that that are unforeseen.

 

298

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The old an old expense, the parking and went to pay gate you know just be wide open, and you know.

 

299

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Safety and Security got the initial and the seven seven signal from time to change and that was tough for a lot of our guests who are used to coming to ride the jackrabbit ride the carousel but we knew that the direction we have to go.

 

300

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Social circle never looked back to that decision, adding a water park I think we'll have a gamble I think that was a huge gamble that was the year is born 1986 wonderful year.

 

301

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: On the gamble not there weren't a lot of water parks, we were some one of the first for the big manufacturer that we work with, I think we kind of help you know those those guys go into in.

 

302

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Right now, so I think that was a big gamble spend quite a bit of money on something that we don't know how well it's going to work out in New York, but we're only open for 100 days and.

 

303

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Those hundred days they're not all guaranteed to be nice weather is lovely Rochester is we've seen in the last two weeks we've had on and off rain, so I think that was a big gamble to put so much money into such.

 

304

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: A unique thing in New York at the time 35 years ago, but those are one of those things that you just got a gamble on and it worked out really well and.

 

305

00:39:57.750 --> 00:40:07.740

Genevieve Norris-Brown: it's made our park what it is today so much more successful, so I think that was a huge risk as well, once a mistake, but when I got there, I think that.

 

306

00:40:08.790 --> 00:40:18.870

Genevieve Norris-Brown: my grandparents my parents very were a little too risk averse and could have invested more money in the 60s and early 70s.

 

307

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I know my grant my grandfather wasn't being in the advertising, my father really brought in more modern world with advertising the branding and he really developed our group outing business we didn't have all the company techniques and things that he really developed that and that.

 

308

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know Yankee that my grandfather and saying there's other ways to run a business and and he really brought us into the.

 

309

00:40:47.580 --> 00:40:48.300

Genevieve Norris-Brown: validity of.

 

310

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: The core.

 

311

00:40:51.720 --> 00:40:52.830

Genevieve Norris-Brown: The core story.

 

312

00:40:53.940 --> 00:40:55.950

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Very essential piece of our business.

 

313

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Michael Palumbos: One of the things, an exercise that I like to do with family businesses is you know we're all familiar with a SWOT analysis right the strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats, but to make the generations do them separately.

 

314

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Michael Palumbos: whoo and and by doing that you know it's and spending the time to fill those things out sometimes just ideas percolate out of that and and then I do the same thing, like this, so that's just the family members, you got a bunch of you, but if everybody did them separately.

 

315

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Michael Palumbos: But I do that with leadership teams.

 

316

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Michael Palumbos: And then, when you're comparing them it's a really neat discussion point so rather than a lot of times we work on them together and then.

 

317

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Michael Palumbos: What i've seen is sometimes the strongest voice in the room gets the most pieces, but by making everybody do it separately and really pushing people to do it then talk about them now, it just creates such a really nice different discussion point but.

 

318

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We did a version of that.

 

319

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Two years ago, it was part of our emergency messaging planning and PR thoughts and we work with a consultant for my mat and we had a senior management team about the net.

 

320

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And what are the strengths and weaknesses and guess what was.

 

321

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: One thing we saw what.

 

322

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: We came up with a reconfigure spray spray.

 

323

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Michael Palumbos: yeah I would I would venture to guess that if every organization looked at the threat box, nobody had pandemic down there.

 

324

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Michael Palumbos: So.

 

325

00:42:45.180 --> 00:42:46.320

Michael Palumbos: you're not alone don't.

 

326

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Michael Palumbos: don't beat yourself up too much on that one.

 

327

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But I did, I am happy that we were serious discussions for major water traction when it's February.

 

328

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: February, and I just started get the census things are going well barriers before really hit New York and having been shut down and like put this out oh boy, we were so blessed with implement that they also it's like you gotta read the tea leaves out there sometimes too.

 

329

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Michael Palumbos: yeah we when we were dealing with our you know our advice that we were giving out we follow.

 

330

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Michael Palumbos: The leading economic indicators and in October, it had nothing to do with the pandemic but but back in October of 19 we started to tell people now's the time to it's okay to hoard your cash.

 

331

00:43:32.310 --> 00:43:41.370

Michael Palumbos: don't don't worry about it, we don't know whether every session is coming but something's on the horizon, based on the numbers that we're looking at potentially now.

 

332

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Michael Palumbos: Thankfully, you know I kept I kept my own advice and I had my dream car that I was supposed to be buying in January, and I said i'm gonna i'm not going to do it right now and say my same thing.

 

333

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Michael Palumbos: I really, really made the for a good decision to hold back i'm talking about family for a second you've got a lot of family members that are you know working in the park still to this day.

 

334

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Michael Palumbos: What are some of the do you mind sharing some of the family traditions that you know what is it what are some of the family traditions, when you all get together what are some of the things that you like to do.

 

335

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think that's why we're successful.

 

336

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: At it I host at my house usually.

 

337

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And then we'd all go to we do a lot of bonding when we go to our international association Convention we spend a week, together we do a lot of dinners and stuff like that I go to other parks.

 

338

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: But we don't really spend a lot of time outside at the park together because we work together, every day, and we each have our own individual lives we spend a lot of time together his daughter and son, and now that I have a grandbaby we're we're over there, a lot more now the Program.

 

339

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And, and some of us are close i'm really close with my aunt too, so you know it depends on the dynamics, but we don't spend a lot of time together outside of the park just because we're with each other, a lot.

 

340

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: yeah.

 

341

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Michael Palumbos: And I think it's different in every family, you know you're not you're not trying to force to say okay now, this is the week that we get this weekend to have these meetings and put these pieces together because you're together all the time.

 

342

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Michael Palumbos: yeah.

 

343

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: And it's great is because we're all here, you know, like something comes up there, I think that's one of the beauties of the family business is, they will have an agile management that we can turn on a dime that we had this one program they said no let's change this a little bit.

 

344

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know, to one day yeah.

 

345

00:45:42.360 --> 00:45:43.680

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Right now it's just like we're just.

 

346

00:45:44.820 --> 00:45:59.940

Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think you're right there that are just like you, we always get together and say hey do we come in here and talk about it or meet individually and we come up with something like that and that's I think that's the one of the beauties of family businesses, you can you can really.

 

347

00:46:01.560 --> 00:46:14.520

Genevieve Norris-Brown: change things in a timely manner to to optimize and react to 100 and season, you know you can't say well we'll do that next year, well something's your template all the things you had an opportunity now, we can make the decision circle great.

 

348

00:46:16.170 --> 00:46:16.620

Michael Palumbos: Great.

 

349

00:46:16.680 --> 00:46:21.210

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Other part two, I think of the family dynamic that has worked really well for us, as I think.

 

350

00:46:21.750 --> 00:46:30.840

Genevieve Norris-Brown: The level of respect, I think, because everybody kind of started from the same position and have worked their way up and it puts the same sweat equity into the business.

 

351

00:46:31.200 --> 00:46:39.570

Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think there's that level of respect So although we don't hang out and do family dinners a lot, I think we all have this huge respect for one another and.

 

352

00:46:40.710 --> 00:46:49.800

Genevieve Norris-Brown: treat each other kindly and leave the harder conversations at work and come back and and not let it tear us down or tear us apart, I would say, I think.

 

353

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: that's something that I feel like I respect in the older generation is they really respect each other and we may have heated debates or arguments, but it's never held against one another, or one of us gets.

 

354

00:47:03.060 --> 00:47:15.510

Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know more feisty than the other, we all have some humility, where we can come back and say listen like I reacted to strongly that that you know let's talk about it let's let's figure it out, and I think that that has really helped us as well.

 

355

00:47:16.470 --> 00:47:28.140

Michael Palumbos: One of the hot authors right, you know, in the last two years is burn a Brown and she talks about getting the team together and let's rumble this out, it sounds like your family rumbles very well and then most or.

 

356

00:47:28.770 --> 00:47:30.210

Genevieve Norris-Brown: rumble it out individually.

 

357

00:47:33.630 --> 00:47:34.110

Michael Palumbos: got it.

 

358

00:47:34.350 --> 00:47:36.450

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Well, here we don't work.

 

359

00:47:39.990 --> 00:47:50.250

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Too much conflict, the voice, you know, but for some reason that it works for my generation, not necessarily so it's going to work for her generation.

 

360

00:47:50.760 --> 00:47:54.240

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Right everybody has to have their workout.

 

361

00:47:55.980 --> 00:48:09.240

Genevieve Norris-Brown: pepper communications and stuff and you know i'll be feisty somebody will you know kind of get a little snide or whatever you know, but then you go make Nice, and you know apologize for to just kind of get out of the other.

 

362

00:48:11.460 --> 00:48:11.940

Genevieve Norris-Brown: way.

 

363

00:48:14.850 --> 00:48:15.720

Genevieve Norris-Brown: it's worked for us.

 

364

00:48:16.260 --> 00:48:16.710

Great.

 

365

00:48:18.270 --> 00:48:26.310

Michael Palumbos: here's a question will there be other are there other members of JET G six coming up in the business already.

 

366

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: yeah so my cousin I two cousins to male cousins from one of his brother, so their brothers and one is our director of it and just general.

 

367

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Genevieve Norris-Brown: Different projects special projects, he helps with, and then I have a younger cousin his younger brother.

 

368

00:48:44.070 --> 00:48:52.920

Genevieve Norris-Brown: who's just kind of getting his feet wet he graduated college, more recently, so he's trying to figure out what path he's on but he's doing a variety of things with controls and technology and.

 

369

00:48:53.280 --> 00:48:59.700

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Marketing stuff so we're kind of seeing which kind of happy wants to go in, so the three of us get along really well.

 

370

00:49:01.260 --> 00:49:08.070

Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think we different strengths different strengths yeah we're kind of gaining Yang i'm definitely more the outer outer.

 

371

00:49:09.210 --> 00:49:22.830

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Social out in the park battling with people and they're more on the back side of things, but I think what I lacked my cousins had and maybe what my cousin black I have, so I think it's a good balance.

 

372

00:49:22.890 --> 00:49:30.030

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And I wouldn't want to be the same as them and I don't think they would want to be the same as me, and I think that's kind of what's nice about them to is they're all a little bit different.

 

373

00:49:30.330 --> 00:49:39.900

Genevieve Norris-Brown: But i'll have the same moral compass and say foundation, and I think that's What matters, I may be more a little pricier than my cousins and they may be a little bit more.

 

374

00:49:40.770 --> 00:49:50.460

Genevieve Norris-Brown: reserved but it works and one of us has to be by seeing one of us has to be more level headed, so I think it kind of works out with us, and I look forward to that in the future.

 

375

00:49:50.910 --> 00:49:59.250

Genevieve Norris-Brown: How do we navigate that I think what also is nice is my cousin and I went through a leadership training a whole week long thing with somebody locally and.

 

376

00:50:00.120 --> 00:50:05.580

Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think we learned a lot about our own communication skills, but then also a lot about each other's communication skills.

 

377

00:50:05.970 --> 00:50:14.730

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And how do we talk to each other and how we approach different things, and maybe our different viewpoints and still being able to come back to the same page, I think, is is going to be beneficial so.

 

378

00:50:15.480 --> 00:50:30.390

Genevieve Norris-Brown: they've all been working for 50 years, so they really know each other in and out and what their hot buttons are I feel like we're still kind of discovering that but I think it's it's fun I like people things and I think i'm i'm into that so it I think it's gonna be fun going forward.

 

379

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Michael Palumbos: When you did the leadership program was the the it sounds like you took an assessment.

 

380

00:50:38.160 --> 00:50:39.000

Michael Palumbos: Was it disk.

 

381

00:50:39.570 --> 00:50:42.330

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Wide yeah that does the 360 yeah all that.

 

382

00:50:43.980 --> 00:50:45.780

Genevieve Norris-Brown: VI yeah.

 

383

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Michael Palumbos: A lot of a lot of times I don't people don't that haven't been exposed to those I think it's worth talking about, though.

 

384

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Michael Palumbos: I did with my whole family last year at Columbus family vacation and it was really.

 

385

00:50:57.960 --> 00:51:01.830

Michael Palumbos: Interesting That was the first time that they've allowed that we brought in a specialist.

 

386

00:51:02.130 --> 00:51:07.380

Michael Palumbos: to teach people what that meant, and you know just the family reluctantly did it.

 

387

00:51:07.830 --> 00:51:15.270

Michael Palumbos: Every one of them was just as it was really thankful that we did it together, because it was such a great conversation, and they learned a lot about each other.

 

388

00:51:16.650 --> 00:51:17.610

Genevieve Norris-Brown: talking to each other.

 

389

00:51:17.700 --> 00:51:18.600

Michael Palumbos: And we're still in we're.

 

390

00:51:18.870 --> 00:51:20.280

ranked and we're meeting for.

 

391

00:51:21.330 --> 00:51:21.930

Michael Palumbos: This year.

 

392

00:51:23.910 --> 00:51:30.330

Michael Palumbos: it's funny because we don't you know my father started our practice, and then I bought.

 

393

00:51:30.990 --> 00:51:45.990

Michael Palumbos: Half of it from him I only bought the family businesses because that's my passion what you know, I was also in a group Genevieve when I started 20 years ago, and when I was in Syracuse and if it wasn't for the family business group that was part of the Chamber there.

 

394

00:51:46.470 --> 00:51:54.060

Michael Palumbos: You know i'm like, why does my dad do that you know I mean just I don't understand these different dynamics and you know what does this mean.

 

395

00:51:54.420 --> 00:52:01.290

Genevieve Norris-Brown: i'm not if you approach that subject with your dad how yeah how did he react, you know what is his perspective on it.

 

396

00:52:01.410 --> 00:52:02.160

Michael Palumbos: yeah.

 

397

00:52:02.670 --> 00:52:03.870

Michael Palumbos: I learned a lot.

 

398

00:52:03.930 --> 00:52:05.880

Genevieve Norris-Brown: About that right.

 

399

00:52:06.450 --> 00:52:11.550

Michael Palumbos: So um it's those groups that make a difference and.

 

400

00:52:12.750 --> 00:52:27.180

Michael Palumbos: You know the the work that you guys are doing as a family and just talking things through is admirable to be going into the sixth generation to be the What did you say i'm sorry i'm just getting the fourth oldest third oldest park in the.

 

401

00:52:27.480 --> 00:52:42.600

Michael Palumbos: Fourth, family on park in the US is just phenomenal and it's it's a real testament to those things when you're making decisions today, is there a guideline, you have like a set of you know.

 

402

00:52:43.080 --> 00:52:47.430

Michael Palumbos: You just you just have been working through it for so long that it just works.

 

403

00:52:49.980 --> 00:52:50.010

Genevieve Norris-Brown: objects.

 

404

00:52:51.990 --> 00:52:57.330

Genevieve Norris-Brown: That struggle with the head a little tentative not you're driving away I don't want to do this well.

 

405

00:52:59.430 --> 00:53:09.420

Genevieve Norris-Brown: who's gonna be the focal point of, especially for development Parker that's a that's a unique skill set and not an engineer by trade, so I not live with that stuff.

 

406

00:53:10.260 --> 00:53:12.240

Genevieve Norris-Brown: So we've got a couple holes that we got to.

 

407

00:53:12.420 --> 00:53:23.400

Genevieve Norris-Brown: fail, I think, for the next generation I I certainly can't do it all, and I think you're going from for people that are managing down to three so we just got to figure out what how to cut up the pie, I would say.

 

408

00:53:23.880 --> 00:53:28.560

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And then, and then do we have to bring some of the end you know, I think that that that's still potential as well.

 

409

00:53:29.700 --> 00:53:33.540

Genevieve Norris-Brown: manage the day to day stuff on our some experience that one of us is lacking.

 

410

00:53:34.980 --> 00:53:36.570

Michael Palumbos: Well, if he.

 

411

00:53:36.870 --> 00:53:51.120

Michael Palumbos: As a as a business coach if ever there's a tool, or something where you're running the whole to say is that you know, do you have another way of doing this feel free to just reach out and happy to give you some of those things that that, if I can help um.

 

412

00:53:52.350 --> 00:53:56.550

Michael Palumbos: If you're talking to other family businesses which you are right now but.

 

413

00:53:56.820 --> 00:53:58.740

Michael Palumbos: If you're imparting your.

 

414

00:53:58.740 --> 00:54:02.010

Michael Palumbos: advice to the next generation, the rising.

 

415

00:54:02.010 --> 00:54:03.090

generation.

 

416

00:54:04.560 --> 00:54:07.710

Michael Palumbos: Genevieve What would you share with them and then rob i'd ask you.

 

417

00:54:07.890 --> 00:54:09.720

Michael Palumbos: That you know, the current generation.

 

418

00:54:09.900 --> 00:54:17.310

Michael Palumbos: what's the advice that you might you know share with them either one of you can dive in.

 

419

00:54:18.810 --> 00:54:35.670

Genevieve Norris-Brown: yeah I would say, find your passion and if it's the park jump in headfirst and and you do it and you learn from the bottom and you work your way up and you have that passion and you kind of put your head down and you just do it, I feel like that's kind of how I was raised.

 

420

00:54:37.110 --> 00:54:42.510

Genevieve Norris-Brown: But also have compassion, I think, sometimes in a business world it's very.

 

421

00:54:44.430 --> 00:54:45.090

Genevieve Norris-Brown: what's the word.

 

422

00:54:46.350 --> 00:54:58.020

Genevieve Norris-Brown: can be tiresome and I think I think having the ability to recognize other people and how hard they're working, I think that is beneficial, I think, maybe the older generations it's just expected.

 

423

00:54:58.530 --> 00:55:08.550

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Whereas I feel like my generation and younger want that a little bit more encouragement, so I think that's what I would ask from the older generation is the encouragement and the belief that you can do it.

 

424

00:55:09.030 --> 00:55:19.830

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And then I would say for my generation it's work work Cubans often and it'll pay off and and it's worth it, and it's fun and it's passionate and it's tiring and it's hard.

 

425

00:55:21.810 --> 00:55:27.960

Genevieve Norris-Brown: But you're not doing it for yourself you're doing it for the Community and for the business and again of the day it's all worth it.

 

426

00:55:28.740 --> 00:55:29.220

Great.

 

427

00:55:31.050 --> 00:55:34.680

Genevieve Norris-Brown: So your recommendation for that generation.

 

428

00:55:36.960 --> 00:55:42.030

Michael Palumbos: If you could both what why don't you get one What would you tell the current the controlling generation.

 

429

00:55:42.420 --> 00:55:43.560

Genevieve Norris-Brown: It actually is the same thing.

 

430

00:55:44.130 --> 00:55:44.610

Michael Palumbos: Okay.

 

431

00:55:44.850 --> 00:55:47.130

Genevieve Norris-Brown: we're talking about transition.

 

432

00:55:48.300 --> 00:55:56.070

Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know when they were to get to a jack in 50 years not going to be there for eight years, you know, hopefully, hopefully.

 

433

00:55:58.080 --> 00:55:58.380

Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know.

 

434

00:55:59.670 --> 00:56:07.680

Genevieve Norris-Brown: There is a by a time frame, you know and and I think one of the things that I see, especially with other family businesses in parks.

 

435

00:56:08.820 --> 00:56:10.620

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Our generation does know how to let go.

 

436

00:56:11.670 --> 00:56:12.060

Genevieve Norris-Brown: and

 

437

00:56:13.260 --> 00:56:28.980

Genevieve Norris-Brown: I think that's the wisdom, I get the genovese mostly other people and myself is you know things aren't going to be done, the way you want to do, always and you have to let them make mistakes, they can't you know, hopefully don't make a critical mistake, you know we're very.

 

438

00:56:30.030 --> 00:56:36.720

Genevieve Norris-Brown: cognizant of the, especially with safety and with our relations and things that we've got to make sure, things are being done right but.

 

439

00:56:37.260 --> 00:56:45.900

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Then the day they put their own brand on it and let them do it, and I think this years, especially now, after the kind of the break of the year.

 

440

00:56:46.890 --> 00:56:54.570

Genevieve Norris-Brown: That they give us one of the silver linings gave us, those are the type of step back and say we don't have to do everything we don't have to.

 

441

00:56:55.050 --> 00:57:06.780

Genevieve Norris-Brown: micromanage every detail, and I think that's become more apparent the ship this year so for our generation is let it go to their generation do it and show us, you can do it.

 

442

00:57:08.070 --> 00:57:08.610

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And then.

 

443

00:57:10.500 --> 00:57:18.780

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Take the responsibility to do it, which has been topic because they haven't been given the responsibility, so it says point of thing of saying that that's a.

 

444

00:57:20.040 --> 00:57:22.950

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Unless we're relieved and say okay i'm retired you figured out.

 

445

00:57:23.490 --> 00:57:32.220

Genevieve Norris-Brown: We go to trends I don't want that I don't want it to be one day his keys the luck, I don't i'm not i'm not ready yet either, and I think earlier your work.

 

446

00:57:32.520 --> 00:57:38.040

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Oh yeah I was like 20 something I can do this, you need to retire tomorrow gotta you got out of my way, and then I realized.

 

447

00:57:38.220 --> 00:57:49.320

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Wait a minute I don't know nearly enough what I need to know, especially on the back end things I think operationally i'm pretty sound, but I think on the back side of things, and the government relations and the financial stuff I still have a ways to go.

 

448

00:57:50.460 --> 00:58:00.030

Genevieve Norris-Brown: But that that kind of young cockiness when you get out of college and you know everything and you're invincible and I think i've had it had a few reality checks and I think we've had some tough our discussions about it and.

 

449

00:58:01.170 --> 00:58:08.400

Genevieve Norris-Brown: I may not always get what I want, but I think at the end of the day, we have a huge respect for one another, and we know we can't do it without the other.

 

450

00:58:09.840 --> 00:58:19.800

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And it's finding that middle ground to see okay what's The next step and how do we continue this and how do we continue our legacy and and if it's not us, and then what's the best course of action for the bar.

 

451

00:58:20.340 --> 00:58:22.440

Genevieve Norris-Brown: None of us want that we are all in it, we are.

 

452

00:58:23.220 --> 00:58:33.150

Genevieve Norris-Brown: we're super thick as we none of us want to see a change, but we also know, in reality, that it may not be so it kind of just as happy with the times and figuring out.

 

453

00:58:34.290 --> 00:58:44.160

Genevieve Norris-Brown: The world now and 2021 is not the world that I wasn't 1920 year in 1879 So how do we continually The one thing that we see now and.

 

454

00:58:45.480 --> 00:58:48.960

Genevieve Norris-Brown: So we came into it was the purpose, knowing their shape.

 

455

00:58:50.010 --> 00:58:52.440

Genevieve Norris-Brown: Really, no money and no very.

 

456

00:58:53.640 --> 00:58:56.100

Genevieve Norris-Brown: We have really worked hard to get where it is today.

 

457

00:58:57.360 --> 00:59:02.160

Genevieve Norris-Brown: is much, much more complicated now doing business in New York state, and it was.

 

458

00:59:04.200 --> 00:59:19.230

Genevieve Norris-Brown: A complicated world rapidly evolving world and it's not easy and business today, you know that that's The one thing is he out there on the clouds on the horizon for you you're gonna be paying attention.

 

459

00:59:20.280 --> 00:59:24.780

Genevieve Norris-Brown: it's not easy it's not easy but anyway so it's such a challenge.

 

460

00:59:25.710 --> 00:59:31.680

Michael Palumbos: I would agree if somebody's coming to the park tomorrow.

 

461

00:59:33.540 --> 00:59:45.630

Michael Palumbos: What would be you know what are the two or three things I know it's different for everybody, but and you mentioned one, I think, paying attention to the park history and seeing the museum and the signs and taking the time.

 

462

00:59:45.930 --> 00:59:49.620

Michael Palumbos: To really appreciate that would be one thing I would say don't miss.

 

463

00:59:50.700 --> 00:59:57.360

Michael Palumbos: What are they you know, take a ride on the jackrabbit and remind us, where does the jack rabbit fit in terms of wouldn't coasters around the world.

 

464

00:59:58.770 --> 01:00:08.670

Genevieve Norris-Brown: All this continuous running wooden roller coaster in the country which the American coaster enthusiasts have made a landmark for us so it's actually a landmark which is really cool.

 

465

01:00:10.170 --> 01:00:11.730

Genevieve Norris-Brown: it's got a great history.

 

466

01:00:13.050 --> 01:00:23.430

Genevieve Norris-Brown: What order one years old yeah hundred one years and we couldn't tolerate the hundredth birthday last year, because a call that so we made sure to bring it back Nice and strong this year we're getting all bummed all this summer we can just go where.

 

467

01:00:27.420 --> 01:00:28.980

Michael Palumbos: Did you guys go and use the park.

 

468

01:00:37.980 --> 01:00:39.210

Genevieve Norris-Brown: we're ready to go.

 

469

01:00:39.690 --> 01:00:42.720

Michael Palumbos: good for you good for you um.

 

470

01:00:44.610 --> 01:00:50.610

Genevieve Norris-Brown: One thing I would recommend so obviously checking out the history Q is unplug don't be on your cell phone live in the moment.

 

471

01:00:50.940 --> 01:00:56.100

Genevieve Norris-Brown: enjoy your family time and joy people enjoy interacting with other people we are such a melting pot.

 

472

01:00:56.760 --> 01:01:02.400

Genevieve Norris-Brown: of diverse people from Rochester and it's just it's great to see everybody coming together and having a great time and I think.

 

473

01:01:03.000 --> 01:01:07.140

Genevieve Norris-Brown: not be on your cell phone and living in that world I think that's another benefit and.

 

474

01:01:07.980 --> 01:01:12.840

Genevieve Norris-Brown: You know just having fun and letting go and trying things that you may you may not want to get on the tea cups but maybe your kids are.

 

475

01:01:13.080 --> 01:01:20.940

Genevieve Norris-Brown: begging you to do I need to try it out, or you know just kind of stuff at the moment they feel like a lot of especially my generation lives on their phones and then technology.

 

476

01:01:21.300 --> 01:01:29.520

Genevieve Norris-Brown: And I think that's maybe why people really like it, because this is an outdoor experience provided facility, I think people really should soak that up.

 

477

01:01:30.060 --> 01:01:30.540

Great.

 

478

01:01:33.510 --> 01:01:45.240

Michael Palumbos: I want to thank you both for joining us today and sharing parts of your story i'm certain that you know if I had 13 other questions here, we could talk for about five more hours.

 

479

01:01:46.350 --> 01:02:01.500

Michael Palumbos: And because the history is so rich and really we have a lot to be proud of here in Rochester to have you guys here, and you have been great stewards of the sea breeze legacy so appreciate your time today.

 

480

01:02:04.050 --> 01:02:23.430

Michael Palumbos: Everybody get out go see sea breeze if you're not in the area of makes you look at their website and just look at the history and you know there and and and just kind of soak in what this family has done they've got a lot to be proud of and will i'm sure there are other family business.

 

481

01:02:24.570 --> 01:02:28.800

Michael Palumbos: venues, that would be happy to speak with you about you know what you've done.

 

482

01:02:29.970 --> 01:02:37.680

Michael Palumbos: Thank you for joining us, my name is Michael Columbus with family wealth and legacy here in Rochester New York you've been listening to the family business show.

 

483

01:02:38.310 --> 01:02:46.410

Michael Palumbos: If you have liked what you've heard today, please make sure you hit the subscribe button and so that the other episodes can be coming to you on a regular basis.

 

484

01:02:46.710 --> 01:03:00.960

Michael Palumbos: And we wouldn't get so mad if you leave us nice little recommendation or you know but hit that five star button afterwards, so that my mom's not the only one telling everybody what a great show this is thank you everybody for joining us have a great week.

If you’re a family business or a family business consultant and want to be on the show, share your story and help other family businesses, send us an email to producer@thefamilybizshow.com or fill out a contact form here!

*not affiliated with Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.

Michael Palumbos is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Family Wealth & Legacy, LLC is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. and its representatives do not provide legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a legal or tax advisor regarding any legal or tax information as it relates to your personal circumstances.

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