1920’s: The Tradition Begins
The family roots of Business Brokerage Press trace back four generations to George Wright Sr. In the 1920’s, George Sr. was a successful multi-state auto dealer for the Durant automobile. When the Durant Motor Company filed bankruptcy, George Wright Sr. was left practically in tears, standing in the middle of an entire floor of brand new Durant autos.
Forced to leave the automobile business, George Sr. moved to Florida and ventured into the real estate business. Convinced that the “new” action was in California, he subsequently moved across the country to Southern California, where he opened a real estate and business brokerage firm in Los Angeles.
1935: Following His Father’s Lead
In 1935, George Wright Sr. convinced his son, Russ Wright, to join him in the business. Drawn by the romance of the Hollywood region and the opportunity to be reunited with his father, Russ Wright drove across the country in his 1929 Model A Ford to begin a new career — one that would last over 50 years. The Wright Company, as it was called, began in Burbank, California, and was eventually taken over by Russ.
One day, from his home in Burbank, Russ Wright observed a strange sight across the street. In a large empty lot, owned by the Walt Disney Company, miniature horses began appearing. Investigating further, he learned that Disney was planning on opening a large theme park in Anaheim. His curiosity sparked, Russ decided that Anaheim, in Orange County, was going to be the next big growth area in Southern California. Was he right!
Russ Wright, referred to as “The Old Pro” in some of BBP’s publications, ran the most active firm in Orange County for many years. The firm prospered as a result of his wisdom, years of experience, perception and perseverance.
1964: Brought into the business… and the family
In 1964, during a visit to see friends in Minnesota, Russ persuaded Tom West, the son of his friends, to work for him as a business broker. Tom moved to California and began his business brokerage career with the Wright Company, relocated in Anaheim, just five miles from Disney’s new theme park.
Just a few years later, Tom founded United Business Investments (UBI), growing it to eight offices across California before selling it in 1971 to a publicly-held company. Tom remained president of UBI as the firm grew to 54 offices in nine states. One of Tom’s first purchases for UBI was Russ’s Anaheim office. While the office itself was very successful, Tom was even more interested in gaining the benefit of having his mentor, Russ Wright, join him in his new company.In 1972 Tom also gained entrance into Russ’s family, marrying Russ’s daughter, Barbara.
In 1979, Tom moved his family to Massachusetts, where he co-founded VR Business Brokers, a franchisor of business brokerage firms. When he left at the end of 1983, VR had over 300 offices in almost every state in the country.
1983: The Birth of BBP
Seeing the complete lack of resources in the business brokerage profession, Tom, along with his wife Barbara, started Business Brokerage Press. They began in June 1983 by publishing an industry-specific newsletter, The Business Broker, for those in the business brokerage industry.
Tom was also instrumental in founding the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) as another resource for the broker community. For over 10 years, Tom and Barbara both had a hand in running the Association until they turned it over to a management association company so they could focus their time and attention on Business Brokerage Press.
2000: The Fourth Generation
Tom’s son, Ron West, became involved with the industry during his summers in college, where he learned the basics of business brokerage under his dad’s tutelage.
After graduation, Ron continued to learn more about the business through his continued involvement with Business Brokerage Press and the opening of his own business brokerage office, Generations.
In 2000 Ron chose to join the family business full time.
Combining History and Technology
Together, the West family is now taking Business Brokerage Press to new and exciting levels, combining the expertise of four generations with the technology of the 21st century. They and their team of professionals have developed Deal Studio, a marketing firm specializing in business brokerage with services including website, SEO, Email Marketing, File Sharing and Newsletters.; made the Business Reference Guide available online in a fully searchable format; and converted The Business Broker newsletter to a fully searchable online blog.
The Next Chapter
Business Brokerage Press looks forward to continuing to offer industry-standard technology, products, resources and services designed specifically for the business broker’s advantage for generations to come.