Passing A Family Business From One Generation to the Next with Adam Vellequette

Dec 16, 2020

Adam Vellequette is one of two principals of the second generation of leadership at KBF Design Gallery, located in Maitland, Florida. KBF is a full-service interior design and remodeling company that has been consistently identified as one of the top 500 remodeling firms in the nation by Qualified Remodeler. The Qualified Remodeler Top 500 award remains the leading benchmark of growth and success among remodeling firms since 1978. The firm has also been awarded the Best of Houzz for the last three years.

Adam always worked in the family business while growing up but his prior intention was to build a different career. To this end, Adam received his Bachelor of Philosophy from UCF intending to embark on a law degree thereafter. After working his way up at KBF though, he decided that he was more passionate about the family business and that is when he stepped into his role as principal at KBF.

Listeners may remember that Adam’s father, Keith Vellequette appeared on the show back in November of 2019. Keith and his wife, Melissa, positioned both of their children for the option of taking on the business, never knowing for sure if that would happen. After taking on leadership positions, Adam and his sister, Ashley Sheaffer, worked together to implement new systems in the business as its growth doubled in 2017. They had taken over the family business once the pandemic struck and managed to steer the ship through the troubled waters of this period while also successfully moving the showroom from its prior location in Altamonte Springs to Maitland, Florida.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Adam came to move from studying philosophy into his operational role at KBF.
  • What Adam learned in his philosophy degree that helps him motivate employees.
  • The importance of leaders incorporating their employees’ ideas into larger plans.
  • How Adam’s father has taken to him and his sister stepping into leadership roles.
  • Advice from Adam about creating a company culture that is open to new ideas.
  • How a company culture of openness to new ideas plays out at KBF.
  • What it was like for Adam and his sister to take over the business during the pandemic.
  • Great news about the KBF showroom moving from Altamonte Springs to Maitland.
  • New systems Adam and Ashley implemented to make project timelines shorter.
  • Another simple tweak involving lockboxes and how it assisted customer satisfaction.
  • How the utilitarian culture at KBF wards off risks of family nepotism or suspicions thereof.
  • Recurring dynamics between Adam and Ashley as they run their family business.
  • How Adam and Ashley use parallel planning to productively merge their differences.
  • Perspectives on changing systems while keeping the business afloat too.
  • Plans for the future; running the new showroom, working remotely, and more.
  • News about how Adam’s parents are enjoying their retirement and what they are up to.
  • Final pieces of advice from Adam for families running businesses during COVID.



“At a certain point I decided that I’m three quarters into my philosophy degree and I really just want to learn more about the family business.” — Adam Vellequette [0:05:04]

“The simplest solution is often the correct one.” — Adam Vellequette [0:28:04]


Facebook Posts:

“If a business is successful, it will have successful systems. However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t nuanced tweaks to those systems that can be made.” — Adam Vellequette [0:14:48]

“The biggest change that we made was we started doing projects regionally rather than chronologically and it halved our timelines.” — Adam Vellequette [0:31:40]


Additional Resources:




Sharon Spano: