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Father Figure What happens when a daughter inherits dad's business?

By Aliza P. Sherman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Do women who take over ownership of businesses previously owned and run by their fathers face unique issues? "I was in leadership positions long before becoming CEO, so the employees weren't affected adversely by the change," says Dana Chryst, 46, CEO and owner of The Jay Group, a Ronks, Pennsylvania-based marketing and fulfillment services company with revenue exceeding $30 million. "When I became CEO, it simply sent a message that we are growing and will continue to create career opportunities for our employees."

After graduating from college, Chryst officially joined the company as an employee in 1981, first as an account executive and later in other capacities, including client services, before moving into management. She became president in 1991 and CEO in 2002, when she also purchased controlling interest of the company.

Taking over her father's job wasn't difficult. "We had distinctly different management styles but exactly the same principles," says Chryst. "The business was fortunate to have my dad at a time when it needed the entrepreneurial spirit and intensity he brought. The company now needs my collaborative, team-building style at a time of tremendous growth and complexity."

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