CFE Student Spotlight: Get to Know Ted Gottwald
President of the Family Enterprise Club
Hey there Family Enterprise family! I'm Ted Gottwald - a second year, full time student and the president of the Family Enterprise Club. I'm ecstatic to get back to campus with our amazingly talented and welcoming Family Enterprise community! Our passionate club leadership team, comprised of four nationalities and family businesses ranging from petrochemicals and construction to foodie entertainment and Big Apple real estate to academia and medical equipment, is engaged and excited to collaborate with the Ward Center to bring our membership meaningful and enriching programming this year! We're looking forward to hosting educational events featuring alumni and external family business leaders, social gatherings to bring our members together to learn from each other and build lifelong relationships, and hope to culminate with a Family Enterprise fair, where students and alumni will showcase their family businesses' history, products, and culture! The fantastic leadership at the CFE is fully engaged with us as we aim to better connect alumni and students and ensure we are fully inclusive of our entire community, especially virtual students and students from all programs.
Now, in case you're wondering a little more about me. My four brothers and I are the fourth generation of my family to work at NewMarket Corporation, a petroleum additives manufacturer that originated as a regional paper company in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia in 1887. My great grandfather began working for the company (then called Albemarle Paper Company) as an entry-level clerk and through hard work and dedication was eventually asked to be president. 133 years later, NewMarket is a publicly listed, global company with over 2,100 employees. To me, that means it's my family's privilege and duty to take care of 2,100 families around the globe - to ensure their livelihood and wellbeing through the success of our business. Though we've experienced tremendous growth and change throughout our history, we've stayed true to our family-based values of caring for our people first and foremost. We believe that when you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers and community, and success will follow. I worked for the business prior to Kellogg since interning during college summers. I fell in love with the people and culture there, and I plan to return to NewMarket after Kellogg.
A primary challenge facing my family's business is the industry disruption brought on by electric vehicles (EV's). The growth and adoption of EV's pose both a risk to our existing business and an opportunity for future business. To gain insight into the EV industry and get a closer "look under the hood," I interned this past summer for a Kellogg alum at an EV manufacturing startup called Phoenix Motorcars. Working outside my family business proved invaluable as I was able to gain EV industry knowledge, extend my professional network, gain exposure to new aspects of business I hadn't seen before, and see how another company operates differently. I am grateful for such a valuable opportunity and look to bring my learnings and experiences back to my family business.
When I'm not engaging in Family Enterprise activities, my wife, Bridgette, and I are hanging out with our golden retriever, Sully, often times with friends and the Kellogg Paws Club, or enjoying fellowship with friends over good food and drinks with the Brew N' Q Club. (My team and I look to defend our Kellogg Chili Cookoff Championship this year!)
Thanks for taking the time to read along! If I haven't already, I look forward to meeting you soon! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me with any ideas or questions or stop me around Evanston to say hello!