Engineering Value: How Draper is Looking Back and Forging Ahead

April 20, 2020

On this episode of Engineering Value, a Draper podcast, host Tyler Kern was joined by Chris Broome, fifth-generation President of the company.

The duo dove into Draper’s ( unique and extensive history as a family-owned business for well over a century, the company’s current values and initiatives, and where the business is headed as a new decade dawns.

The family-owned nature of Draper, Broome said, is something the company is particularly proud of.

“I always knew Draper was unique, being around for 118 years and still being in the family, so I did some research,” he said. “One of the things I found out is only 30% of family-owned businesses make it to the second generation and, from there, only 13% make it to the third and 3% to the fourth.

“It must be very unusual for a company to get to the fifth generation.”

The company was founded by Broome’s great great-grandfather, Luther Draper, to manufacture window shades for schools. Obviously, Draper has evolved immensely in more than a century of operation, expanding to a wide variety of new products and innovations.

Specifically, in the 1950s, then-President Luther Pidgeon began producing projector screens, just one example of the company shifting to keep up with modern demands, innovations and trends.

That tradition of living on the cutting edge continues today and remains the driving factor behind Draper’s success.

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