In a prior post I suggested that at the very least mayoral candidate Eileen Brady is stretching the truth in her attempt to trade on New Seasons. In a comment to that post a reader (thank you) suggests that a statement by an undisputed founder Stan Amy makes Brady a founder.
Three original board members were Brady's husband, Brian Rohter, Stan Amy, and Chuck Eggert. Chuck Eggert has understandably tried to stay out of the fray, but Brian Rohter - not unexpectedly, supports the concept that Brady was a founder. And arguably so does Stan Amy.
But Eggert put his two cents in. Read his comments in the Oregonian - Eileen Brady defends 'co-founder' label after another co-founder disputes claim. In part: ""There were three original board members and owners," the statement read. "Myself, Stan Amy and Brian Rohter. I would consider all of the original employees founders."
Also very interesting from Eggert: "he reiterated his view that he started New Seasons with Amy and only later brought in Rohter."
The Oregonian also has the full statement by Stan Amy - part published in the Week. The gist - Brady is a co-founder. But in the full statement that is followed by "New Seasons Market was founded by three local families and 50 of our friends and she and her husband Brian Rohter were one of the three families."
Further in the full statement: "Eileen has never been an employee of the company or a member of our board. She has played an important role as one of our co-founders contributing greatly to the success of the company. She and her husband Brian, who was our founding CEO, sold most of their interest in the company in 2009 and are no longer involved."
Look it is understandable that Stan Amy crafted a comment is support of Eileen Brady's co-founder claim, but frankly is just that - a crafted comment that ambiguously spreads the cloak of 'co-founder' over 3 families and 50 friends.
Eileen Brady's name - note that she doesn't use her husband name - is not found anywhere in corporation type documents. I am relying on media reports here. And I find it odd that she would not have been in the original Articles of Incorporation and accompanying documents. Surely somewhere her individual efforts - if they were as she presents them - would have been acknowledged.
Since Brady doesn't use her husband's name - it seems reasonable that she and her husband would have been individually designated as founders. I don't believe that anywhere her involvement with the company can be said to derive from a Mr. and Mrs. designation. The husband as a founder is not denied by any of the original founders. Her role at best was tangential.
The bottom line is that only in a broad thanking of friends and family can Eileen Brady be considered a co-founder. In a business sense or legal sense she cannot claim co-founder status. Founders are typically issued shares in the company and there are legal issues too dependent on who is or is not a founder. See this article on founder's rights.
Searching for a good definition of "co-founder" or "founder" resulted in a very broad definition. But a common sense approach to the definition would classify Brady at best as one the hanger-ons at the kitchen table throwing her two cents in.
Eileen Brady is stretching the truth - and that is troublesome. And if it wasn't a major part of her qualifications it might be different - thus it could be dismissed as an exaggeration.