Boston Magazine "Family Business"
May 9, 2017
Each year, we highlight the powerful people who run our city in the May issue of Boston magazine. This year, we also want to recognize the family owned businesses that are the heart and soul of Boston. These families are our neighbors, friends, and the backbone behind our wonderful city. City/Studio is proud to present its inaugural look at the leading family owned businesses located in and around Boston and the faces that run them. Click below to delve into the trusted experts listed below, from builders to retailers to coffee roasters and more.
617.689.1900 | granitelinksgolfclub.com
Marina Bay Management is a Quincy-based real estate development and management firm with a portfolio that includes both residential and commercial properties including Granite Links Golf Club, Crossing Nines Outdoor Patio, The Tavern at Quarry Hills, The Chantey, Waterclub, The Range Bar & Grille, and Local 02045. Will O’Connell is the company’s Senior Vice President. Also pictured are his cousins, Jill O’Connell Nordin and Mackenzie O’Connell.
How was the company started?
The first generation of owners are my two uncles from Quincy who began building multi-unit apartment and commercial office buildings. O’Connell Construction Co. was born. It eventually grew in size to warrant its own management company. Marina Bay Management manages and operates the entire family portfolio. MBMS is led by Tom O’Connell, one of the founders’ sons, and my first cousin.
How do family members start out working at the family business?
Any family member is welcome to get involved, but their participation happens from the bottom up in a fullyimmersed learning experience. Progression has to be earned by hard work and demonstrated ability. Tom and I, and many other siblings and cousins of G2, the second generation, know how fortunate we are to be afforded this opportunity. Family is expected to work harder than anyone else. We make this clear to our own children who are now beginning to have roles in the company.
Why is the location of your business so important to the success of your business?
The family’s heart will always be in Quincy; our roots are here. We take great pride in our real estate holdings and development of Marina Bay which is now a destination point. We’ve recently expanded to neighboring communities with the Range Bar & Grille in Hingham, and another new restaurant on Hull’s waterfront. Location is important; views, atmosphere, and continually reinvesting in real estate is key to our success.
In addition to property development and management, you’re now also running restaurants?
Yes, it’s a big growth area for the business and a particular focus for me. Restaurant operations started back when Marina Bay was being developed. I worked busing tables there when I was a kid and bartended through college. My uncle gave me a chance to start managing while I was in law school, teaching me the operational and financial side of things. My success is a testament to that early mentoring generosity, and to the current faith and confidence extended to me by my cousin Tom.
Have you ever encountered any challenges with your family business?
One of the biggest challenges with over 800 employees is finding staff members who share our family values. I’m proud to say our staff reflects the family culture of honesty, hard work, and loving what you’re doing. This is especially important for any business serving the public. We welcome the third generation of O’Connells (G3), which is predominantly female and is bringing innovation and creativity to the company.
What’s the best advice that someone in your family offered you?
Do the right thing. That’s something that my father still says to me.