It turns out that the stories we tell ourselves are what bind us together. Stories make us stronger and more resilient. – Mitzi Perdue
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mitzi Perdue to discuss StoryKeep’s role in the art of leaving a family legacy. It’s a topic on which Mitzi often writes and speaks. The widow of the late Frank Perdue and the daughter of Ernest Henderson, co-founder of the Sheraton Hotel Chain, Mitzi has a deep understanding of how to create and sustain a successful family business. Or in her case, two.
For Mitzi, at the heart of a business like Sheraton Hotels or Perdue Farms is embedding the family’s values into the corporate culture. But how does a family communicate their values? In her book, How To Strengthen Your Family Legacy With Newsletters, Mitzi writes, “Family stories tell us who we are and how we should act. Our family stories are the bedrock of the family culture. But how do you tell the stories that bind a family together if there are several generations and they live far apart?”
It was this question that led Mitzi and Frank to create a Family Newsletter, where Frank would share his views on a variety of topics. Over time, this newsletter evolved to include the stories of many Perdue family members. Mitzi’s focus on preserving her family’s legacy is a tradition in itself. In 1890, the Henderson family endowed an annual family dinner, ensuring that the generations come together each year.
In a recent blog post, Mitzi writes about our conversation and the importance of recording lasting memories. Mitzi believes that the stories of a family are its greatest heirloom. At StoryKeep, we couldn’t agree more and we admire how Mitzi takes every opportunity to document the stories that make up her family’s remarkable legacy.