If It's the Last Thing I Do
Can a novice CEO and her dedicated employee owners save an heirloom company from ruin?
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Back of Book
It's 1975, and Misty Menard is a happily retired receptionist, living a cosmopolitan life in Washington, DC until she suddenly inherits her father's business in Lake Placid, New York. Like so many baby boomer business owners facing the "silver tsunami" today, AJ Menard failed to prepare for succession. He told his daughter that he planned to sell his business to its general manager, so it never occurred to Misty that she could wind up as the CEO of a good old-fashioned manufacturing company.
The city woman returns to the mountains she left behind decades ago, reconnects with friends, and reunites with family. Betty is an interior decorator with untold secrets. Misty's pride and joy is her great-grandson, a child prodigy and aspiring Olympic champion figure skater with a big problem.
At Father's funeral, Misty encounters an enemy. Lois Phelps was a childhood friend but became a rival for Misty's ex-husband's affections. Misty and Lois took turns stealing the man from each another. Finally, Misty married the man and moved away whereas Lois spent decades plotting revenge. The mysterious, shrouded foe isn't Misty's only problem. Her father's management team relentlessly tries to expel their new leader.
After years of working for lawyers, Misty knows a few things about the law. Her favorite young attorney, Ted Drake, is making a name for himself, helping traditionally owned companies become employee owned, using a little-known, newly-passed law. When Attorney Drake offers to help Misty convert the Adirondack Dowel and Spindle Company into an ESOP, pro bono, Misty jumps at the chance.
The employees are stunned, the management team becomes hostile, and the Board of Directors is concerned. Misfortune quickly follows the business transformation. A big customer files for bankruptcy. A catastrophic ice jam floods the business. Stagflation freezes the economy. The Trustee is convinced something fishy is going on, the appraiser keeps lowering the company's value, and the banker demands additional capital infusions. Misty thought she had left her smoking addiction and alcoholism in the past, but when a worker's finger is severed in an industrial accident, Misty relapses.
A string of unforeseeable disasters threatens to doom the troubled company. After surviving two world wars and the Great Depression, it breaks Misty's heart to think that she has destroyed her father's company. All she wants is to cement her father's legacy and take care of the people who built the iconic local business. Can a quirky CEO and her loyal band of dedicated employee owners save an heirloom company from foreclosure, repossession, and bankruptcy?