4th Generation Transition at Basilius

Thriving into the 4th Generation

It’s been stated by many that a very small percentage of family businesses successfully make it to the fourth generation. The exact percentage may vary, but the odds are certainly not in favor of long term success. As we started looking at transitioning into the fourth generation at Basilius, it was hard not to keep thinking about that number.

September of 2022 marked a leadership transition at Basilius Inc. and the beginning of the slow methodical transition into the fourth generation. As a company, we’re celebrating our accomplishments and another major milestone, but it’s also humbling and a bit scary at the same time. My brother Cody and I realized early on in these discussions, even though we each have nineteen years into the business, the work has only just begun. Though we’re excited to complete the transition and take the challenges head on.

One of the biggest parts of the transition is the adjustment of roles. As roles changed, we knew it was important to keep everything covered and operating smoothly. Cody, is now the Vice President of tooling and CNC machining. While I, Kyle, took on the role as President. My father, Doug Keiser, manages tooling operations, and his brother Dave Keiser, manages molding operations and oversees our admin.

To ensure a successful transition, we started meeting every week as a family and as a leadership team. During these meetings, we worked diligently to figure out what’s worked for us, what’s going to change, why we’ve made it this far, why we do this every day, and what it’s going to take to keep us going indefinitely. On the surface, there were quick answers to those questions, but it’s taken time to really dig into the real answers. Here are a few of our key takeaways and plans for the future of Basilius.

Our Business is H2H

Even though on the surface we are a business selling products and services to other businesses, our business embraces human connection. We love meeting people, seeing what they are working on, showing them what we do, and discovering if there’s a great connection we can make. Coming through for our customers by doing something we are great at is about as satisfying as it gets. As individuals and as a team, we love getting mutual wins with our customers.


We do our best to live by the golden rule, it’s really that simple. Not just to our customers, but to our vendors, our team members, and our community. We believe being honest with ourselves, each other, and our customers is the recipe for long term success.


We’ve always tried to accommodate our customers and get back to them as soon as possible. Remaining flexible while staying within our core structure we know works well. Having a little empathy for a purchasing person who missed something, an engineer who needs a last-minute change, or a quality manager that needs a little more information has gone a long way for us. We’ve never had a KPI for responsiveness or a handbook policy, it’s just what we do, take care of our customers.

Knowing Our Limits

Having a challenge driven culture has a downside. It’s easy to take on too much or take on projects that push the boundaries a little too far. However, when we look at our business and how it has developed over the years, consistently staying a little uncomfortable and pushing the boundaries has created some great opportunities. Whether that’s new machines, different processes, or different products, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t take on the challenge. I think the eagerness and energy of next generation coupled with the wisdom and experience of the preceding generation has kept balance in this area. We look forward to continuing our challenge driven culture as we progress into the future.

Doing What's Best for the Business

Taken at face value, doing what’s best for the business may sound self-centered or profit driven, but that’s not how we see it. Our business is a group of people working together, using various tools and processes to deliver results. What’s best for the business is making sure we do what’s best for our employees, our customers, our vendors, our equipment, and processes.

It Takes Discipline and Resilience

If there is one critical thing we will continue to do as a business, it is show up every day and put the effort in. Nothing worth doing gets done without consistency. We can’t slack off, hope things will work, or give up when there is a setback. As a team, we’ve put in millions of hours over the last 71 years and we plan to put in millions more.

Keeping It Lighthearted

Success personally and as a business is a constantly moving target. You don’t always hit your goals, or sometimes you exceed them. Either way we find joy in the process and try not to take ourselves too seriously. We do our work earnestly, but we have fun with the process and enjoy our time together as a team. This has built an amazing company culture over the years that we plan to carry into the future. Over the course of these meetings we realized that these key takeaways have been our guiding force for decades and it is critical that we keep them in place for decades to come. There’s going to be new technologies, new machines, new services, different people, but these are time tested values that radiate through everything in our business and make us who we are.

Looking Toward The Future

All in all, Cody and I are excited. Excited to continue the legacy of Basilius while putting our own unique mark on the business we love so much. At the same time, we remain humble. Knowing this business wouldn’t be where it is today without the work of those before us, as well as, all our amazing customers over the years. Finally, we’re excited for what the future holds for Basilius. Who knows, perhaps one day we will pass the torch to the 5th generation.

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