Marian Beisser (left) and her son Kim Beisser
Marian Beisser (left) and her son Kim Beisser

Though Beisser Lumber owner Kim Beisser calls the shots, his 91-year-old mother and former company owner, Marian, still offers input. In May, with Mother's Day right around the corner, we asked if mother does indeed know best. 

Tell us about your mom, Marian Beisser.

She’s in the office every day, working in the accounts receivable department in Fort Dodge—she’s 91 now. In the beginning, my dad was the salesman and she was the bean counter. She could keep track of everything. She’s still an integral part of accounts receivable and going after slow-pay accounts.

How long did she co-run the business?

From 1953 to 1979.

How often do you seek her advice?
She gives it to me every day at about 4:30. She’ll call and see what sales were and what receivables were. Then we go through the stock market. She has a knack with customers—the way she treats them and talks to them. They come in and visit with her. She saw the sales side of the business, but she was more interested in the bookkeeping side. 

Who wins in a disagreement?

Sometimes she does. But she pretty much lets me run the business the way I want to run it. 

What have you learned from her?

The way she treats the customer and the way we should treat our employees. We try to work through any discrepancies that we have [with customers]. We try to be fair and honest. We’ve had customers who have been with us for years, some of them all the way back to when mom and dad started the business.

What does Marian do better than you?

Probably PR. She’s very connected in the community, which benefits the PR side of the company.

Does mother truly know best?
Yeah, I really would say that. She probably has more intuitiveness than I have with people. I learn from that.