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The Secret Thoughts of CEO's Podcast

Apr 25, 2022

We all know that adaptability is one of the core needs of businesses today, and with adaptability comes innovation and creativity. But we want to innovate in a way that is still based on the foundation of our business. My guests today are Adria and Aaron Bagshaw of W. H. Bagshaw, a family business since 1870. There is a lot of great insight in this conversation into why it's important to clarify your core values, how to use them to navigate with purpose, and how to keep a business in the family in a way that encourages creativity and innovation. We also talk about the vertices they have built out in their business and the mindset they hold around opportunity and risk.


What You’ll Learn:


  • How Bagshaw navigates serving many different industries
  • Weaving your core values into your business as a daily navigator
  • Why it’s important to have a Founder mindset even generations later
  • How to honor your companies legacy while continuing to move forward
  • Creating a culture where individual passions are supported
  • The benefit of challenging set parameters
  • The responsibility of leadership to support their employees health
  • Owning the mindset that nothing is a failure
  • How to positively include younger children in the business
  • Why you need to get out of of your business to work on your business


Aaron Bagshaw proudly serves as the 5th generation to run the W.H. Bagshaw Company, which he co-owns with his wife, Adria. While he serves as the President, his business card reads “Chief Visionary Officer”.  He oversees Sales, Marketing and Technology.  He’s passionate about manufacturing and innovation, which is evident visiting their 150+ year old business that feels more like a start-up. 

As Vice President, Adria’s main areas of focus are Workforce and Finance, but her title is “Chief Validation Officer.”  While the couple maintains their own realms of responsibility, they work together on Quality and Strategic Planning.  They’re proud to provide meaningful jobs to 40+ employees and preserve the family business legacy for a 6th generation. 

Aaron received a degree in Sports Management from Springfield College and his MBA in Strategic Management from USIU (now Alliant International University). Adria graduated from UNH's Whittemore School of Business & Economics (now the Peter T. Paul School) with a BS in Business Administration in 1996.

Both Aaron and Adria sit on U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen's Small Business Advisory Council in addition to other boards they serve on including the Precision Machined Products Association, the UNH President’s Business Advisory Council, and the NH Small Business Development Center’s Advisory Board.  

Since 1870, the WH Bagshaw Co has provided specialty pins as a job shop manufacturer, and expanded to swiss-style machining in 2005.  Covid-19 is not the first pandemic the company has weathered, as it was in operation during the Spanish Flu of 1918.  They credit their survival to many things, including having a diverse base of customers they serve. With each major  decision and at any crossroads, they rely on their core values:  Family, Empowerment, Courage & Perseverance and “Make it Happen”.