If you’re not up on Arkansas advertising industry history, let it be known that Jay, Ross and Chris Cranford are sons of Wayne Cranford, who founded Cranford Johnson in 1961. That firm eventually merged with Shelby and Wayne Woods’ tourism marketing agency in 1990. Since then, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods has grown into one of the most prominent firms in the region. It is the largest in Arkansas.
Ross Cranford shares insight into growing up in Camp Cranford:
Both of my parents were influential and inspirational. I was lucky to learn from the best at an early age. We talked about advertising and creative arts around the dinner table. It’s what we did for fun. When I went to work for CJRW in 1995, I had to win my first Best of Show at the Addys in 1998 before I could get respect from some people.
Wow, imagine being motivated to win an Addy in order to please your dad who has his own shelf full of them. That’s the kind of pressure that makes working with not one, but two brothers, seem like no big thing.
And now for some important factoids about family-owned businesses…
35 percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled.
Family businesses account for 50 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, generate 60 percent of the country’s employment, and account for 78 percent of all new job creation.
The greatest part of America’s wealth lies with family-owned businesses. Family firms comprise 80 to 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America.