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Andrea Clark Watson

Twentieth Century Boys: How One Family Business Survived and Thrived


2023 NYC BBA Distinguished Favorite

In the early 1900s, Gordon Clark and his father, Si, left their farm in rural Canada to start a business in Seattle, Washington. They bought Genesee Coal and Stoker in 1929, just a year before the stock market crash that ushered in the Great Depression. Genesee survived the Depression, and in the 1940s, the Clark brothers added heating oil to their coal service to adapt to the changing times. The 1950s were a good time for the heating oil business, but the arrival of competitive heating options forced the company to change its business strategy again. The second generation of the Clark family, led by Gordon's son Don, led Genesee through these challenges. The company continued to adapt to changing cultural and energy trends, and it is now facing the challenge of climate change. The third generation of the Clark family, led by Steve Clark, is responding to this challenge by transitioning the company to renewable energy. Twentieth-Century Boys is a narrative nonfiction saga of three generations of family, culture, and energy issues. It shows how relationships and values have helped one small company survive near devastation time and again, from the 1920s to the present day.
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Publication Year:

She Writes Press



Category Awarded:


Business-Entrepreneurship & Small Business

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