Treated Like Family
How an Entrepreneur and His "Employee Family" Built Sargento, a Billion-Dollar Cheese Company
At the age of nineteen, high school diploma in hand, Leonard Gentine knew two things: he wanted to own a family business that would pass from generation to generation, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Dolores Becker, a girl he'd met on a blind date.
For Leonard, life didn't prove that simple.
This biography, told from the viewpoint of four generations of the Gentine family, places the reader in Leonard's shoes as he advances from young man to old age and discovers life's foundational lessons. Along the way, he endures outstanding debts, disappointments, and a collection of small businesses, all with Dolores at his side. It's an inspirational story of perseverance, personal integrity, and a mind-set of always doing the right thing-as painful as that may be in the short term.
TREATED LIKE FAMILY details the development of Sargento-a nationally recognized cheese company and household name. At the same time, it's a timeless story that showcases the importance of the individual and how a family united in a single purpose within the right culture is unstoppable.
Tom Faley invites the reader into the lives of the Gentine family and the men and women they hired, deftly weaving a story grounded in over 180 interviews-the collective voices of the company's employees, retirees, and friends.
TREATED LIKE FAMILY offers a rare glimpse into the creative mind of an innovator and entrepreneur and underscores the rewards for all of us when we maintain our humanity toward one another: When one person motivates others to pull together, at times facing unspeakable odds, he is able not only to change their lives but to alter history.