November 23, 2016

Draper Holdings Business Trust (DHBT) Appoints New Board Members

Board of Directors Meeting
Board of Directors Meeting, November 2016 – Left to Right:
John Richardson, Bill Draper, Mariah Calagione,
Molly Russell Draper, Hank Draper, Greg High, Jeff Swain

With guidance from HWSC in 2015, Thomas Draper implemented a generational transition plan for DHBT to transfer ownership and governance to his children. His daughter, Molly Draper Russell, became the new Chairman of the Board and her three siblings, Mariah Calagione, Hank Draper and Bill Draper, who had each served on the board for over a decade, remained active board members. The generational transition was designed to ensure the sustainability of Mr. Draper’s ingenuity and entrepreneurship by continuing into the next generation the oversight, ownership and development of professionally governed and managed businesses that are key contributors to the economic and social fabric of the Delmarva Peninsula.

During 2016, HWSC helped DHBT to further improve its business governance model by recruiting and installing three outside members to its Board of Directors. The persons selected were Jeff Swain, Current Chairman of Burris Logistics and Former CEO of Natural Food Holdings, which included the Niman Ranch brand; Greg High, who is the Chairman of the High Family Council, which represents the owners of the High Company, a third generation family business enterprise; and John Richardson, the CEO of Fairfield Maxwell, which is a third generation family business enterprise.

HWSC supported the Draper Family with the development and implementation of their generational transition plan, and with the recruitment and installation of their new outside members for the DHBT Board of Directors. HWSC is proud to have assisted the Draper Family in their efforts to perpetuate the legacy of Thomas Draper.

DHBT is headquartered in Milton, DE and owns Delmarva-based direct investments in operating businesses and operating assets in several industry segments – including a diversified media company with operations in television, radio, and digital media; farms and a land management business, and certain real estate investments and development activities. 

DHBT, a family owned company, has a rich history of serving the Delmarva Peninsula. Under Thomas Draper’s leadership, WBOC-TV became widely considered as one of the finest small market television stations in America. WBOC-TV’s commitment to news is well-known across the industry and the station is consistently among the top ten CBS affiliates in national prime time rankings.

James C. Bly, Jr. and Thomas Draper
James C. Bly, Jr. and Thomas Draper

In 1996, DHBT also started to diversify its holdings and formed Loblolly LLC (“Loblolly”), which is a land ownership (primarily farm land) and management company. The Draper Family has a deep appreciation of the land, which stems from their descendants farming activities on Delmarva for many of the last 350 years.

For 48 years, Thomas Draper had successfully piloted DHBT’s success in the broadcasting and television industries. He embraced changes in business practices and progressively used new tools all while honoring the roots and traditions of Delmarva. Mr. Draper has emphasized humility within his businesses, assuring that integrity, respect, and good character were the building blocks for all employee relationships. 

For 35 years, HWSC has specialized in representing family business enterprises on matters related to business growth, company capitalization, generational transition, and shareholder liquidity. Many of our client’s businesses are located in smaller cities, towns and rural areas, similar to DHBT. We are passionate about the value that family owned businesses bring to the lives of their employees, customers, and communities.  This is why we are always pleased to see successful transitions from one generation to the next, so that such businesses can remain rooted in their regions.



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