Honored Recipient of the 2016 SmartCEO Family Business Legacy Award
Strategic Factory was recently honored at SmartCEO Baltimore’s Family Business award gala with the Family Business Legacy Award, a distinction exclusive to one company in each of four categories: emerging, small, medium and large. Strategic Factory, a medium-sized company (determined by number of employees), was chosen out of seven like-sized successful local family businesses as the Legacy Award winner.
One thing that separates Strategic Factory from other family businesses is its unique founding story. When Keith Miller arrived in the U.S. in 1999, he had no business connections and a very limited social network. His family remained in South Africa, but some would soon join him on an award-winning business adventure.
Miller opened his first Minuteman Press shop in Pikesville in 2000, which has since expanded into five Maryland storefronts, including the corporate headquarters, Strategic Factory in Owings Mills.
By 2004, the company consisted of nine employees, and annual sales had reached nearly one million. Lester Miller, Keith’s father and Vice President of Business Development and Ambassador of Goodwill, joined the company that year.
By 2008, Miller’s Minuteman Press consisted of four storefronts. The number of employees had grown from three to thirty and sales had increased to nearly four million. Two additional family members were hired: Leigh Cohen, Keith’s sister and Director of Marketing, and Scott Stein, then salesman, now Vice President of Sales (and Keith’s brother-in-law). Miller’s father and sister came to the U.S. via H-1B visas, which are only granted from the U.S. government when experience and education requirements are met.
“As our company has grown and evolved, there has been a need for structure and clarity of roles. When I started the company in 1999, it was literally a two-person operation. I was able to micromanage with ease, but as we have grown, I’ve been pulled in many different directions and wear many hats. Placing trusted family members in key company positions has allowed for clarity of roles, opened communication channels and allowed for a smoother decision-making process.” – Keith Miller
In 2015, Miller opened Strategic Factory, the 40,000 square-foot, cutting-edge headquarters in Owings Mills. Strategic Factory is the Masterbrand of multiple integrated agencies, including the flagship printing and mailing company, Miller’s Minuteman Press. It also houses BRANDED4U, a promotional product and customized apparel agency, Graphic Tango, a boutique design agency and Master Signs, an indoor and outdoor signage agency.
To date, there are currently 120 team members employed within the five storefronts, and sales reached nearly thirteen million in 2015.
With family firms making up more than two-thirds of privately held businesses in the U.S., these companies are driving the local and national economy and fueling job growth(SmartCEO, May/June issue).
With its Family Business Awards, SmartCEO celebrates entrepreneurial families who are building business legacies that will last for generations to come. As the Legacy Award winner, what is Miller’s lasting legacy?
“I want our family business to be recognized and remembered as one of the best in the industry, a valued asset to clients, a leader in the community, and an inspiration to team members. I want us to be seen as a true example of the American Dream come true.” – Keith Miller
We want to thank everyone who played a part in this nomination and award. Our dedicated team members, our loyal clients, and the judges who honored us with their vote. We’d also like to congratulate all of the other local family businesses that fuel our state and national economy.