Lefever takes helm
of Family Business Program
By Ryan Miller
From agriculture to industrial to service-oriented to
Internet, the new director of GCs Family Business Program has succeeded
in nearly every type of business. The future, he says, lies in information.
Allon H. Lefever of Lancaster, Pa., former vice president of acquisitions for
EarthLink, the nations second-largest Internet service provider, will
begin as executive director of the GC program July 1, 2001.
Lefever is a former member of the Goshen College board of overseers, and, with
his wife, Doris, has three children who attended Rod 88, Jeff 93
and Debra 01. He also knows about family-owned businesses; he began working
for his fathers wholesale florist business in eastern Pennsylvania at
the age of 12 and has been involved with several family-owned businesses professionally.
In 1999, Lefever founded and directed national Internet access company OneMain.com
Inc. After bringing in $215 million in an initial public offering in early 1999
and acquiring 17 service providers across the country, EarthLink acquired OneMain.com
in September 2000.
Ive had the unique experience of being invested in business management
in three types of business agriculture, industrial and Internet,
Lefever said. I can relate to a fairly broad array of businesses.
While individual entrepreneurs have been the bedrock of successful family businesses,
Lefever said future generations of entrepreneurs will be Internet-oriented and
even accidental. The volatility of todays market means rapid success and
rapid failure based on how effectively companies continue to develop far-reaching
Value used to be related to scarcity supply and demand. In an information
age, value comes from networking to everyone plentitude, Lefever
Lefever said successful businesses must focus on their own values within their
corporate cultures, even if those values do not match those of corporate America.
When he took OneMain.com public, an investor told him to eliminate his value
statements from a presentation Get rid of that soft (stuff),
he said. Lefever left the values statement in his Wall Street presentation,
and the company was lauded for those beliefs.
You must start with a foundation of core beliefs if Im successful,
what are my responsibilities? Lefever said. OneMain.coms statement
included treating people with fairness and respect, exceeding quality expectations,
honesty in business relationships, working for success of employees, customers
and shareholders and developing innovative solutions to needs.
After graduating from Millersville (Pa.) University and earning a masters
degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University, Lefever worked for Victor
F. Weaver Inc., a poultry business, in 1973, eventually overseeing food processing
operations in four states. He also was senior vice president of affiliated companies
for High Industries Inc., developing and operating companies in real estate,
food service, hotels, steel, compact disc, cable and auto lending firms.
Return to June Bulletin
Commencement rites by Rachel
darling, dont drop! by President Shirley H. Showalter
Ryan Kolb, Andrea Troyer, Joel Jimenez, Lora Nafziger, Greg Stahly, Melody Bennett,
Deana Landis, Alicia Montoya and Rachel Glick
Kasdorf changed my life by Daniel Shank Cruz
choice by Joni S. Sancken 98
A lifetime in family business:
What Ive learned by Leonard Geiser 57 with Rachel Lapp
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