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The Definition of a Multigenerational Company

May 20, 2024

By Madeline Simpson, NSU Graduate

Lott Oil Company was founded by Luther Lott, Sr. in 1965. It started as a small oil, gasoline, and diesel distributor here in Natchitoches with one truck and two employees and has since grown into one of the largest energy distributors across Louisiana. Among those early truck drivers was Luther “Buddy” Lott, Jr. who started his career while he was still in high school. He stepped into the role as president of the company in 1979, taking after his father. And now Michael and Camille Lott (Buddy and Kim’s children) are both stepping into leadership roles as the next generation of the company.

Not only is Lott Oil a third-generation family-owned and operated company, but the ties to generational work run deeper than just ownership. I had the pleasure of sitting down with three generations of employees: James, Jennifer, and Brittany Rachal.  In honor of International Family Day, I had the opportunity to meet the Rachal family and discuss their experiences being part of a multigenerational company. While they all work for Lott Oil, they each operate under different divisions of the organization. Lott Oil is the wholesale oil and gas distributor, Shop A Lott is the retail operation of convenience stores, and Lott Oil Maintenance and Construction (LOMAC) provides in-house maintenance for the company.

James Rachal

James Rachal has been working as part of LOMAC for 34 years. Luther Lott, Sr. hired James in 1990 as a transport driver, but at the time did not have any trucks available to drive. Instead, James joined the maintenance and construction crew and continues to work as part of their team today.  James recalls when Mr. Lott hired him and said, “Let me tell you something, if you find a place you like to work better, I’m not going to hold you back.”

“After 34 years, I haven’t found a better place,” James says, “I guess, I like it here best!” Currently, James has a daughter and two granddaughters who work for Lott Oil, and his grandson even worked as a Shop A Lott cashier for some time. “My family and the Lott family have been together for a long time, and it looks like we’re sticking together,” he says.

Jennifer Rachal

Jennifer Rachal joined the Lott Oil team in 1998 when her father, James, told her about an open position for a cashier at Shop A Lott 14 in Natchitoches. “I always knew I wanted to do something with numbers, I was always fast on the calculator,” she says. After two years, she moved up as the manager of her store and in 2005, Jennifer moved to her current position as manager of Shop A Lott 20.

Jennifer’s daughter, Brittany, works out of the Lott Oil headquarters in Natchitoches, and her other daughter, Natasha, works at Shop A Lott 20. This gives Jennifer a unique opportunity to see her father and her daughters almost every day. “It is easy to get caught up in life and not see your family often,” she says, “We’re very fortunate to be able to see ours every day.”

Brittany Rachal

Brittany Rachal, like her mother, joined the Lott Oil family as a Shop A Lott cashier. Fresh out of high school, Shop A Lott was her second job. Since then, Brittany has grown with the company over the past 17 years and now holds her current position, Payroll Manager.

Brittany says that it is “A privilege and honor to work for a company that promotes family values and to work alongside my grandfather and my mom. It’s a cool opportunity and we’ve all been here for a very long time.”

According to Brittany and Jennifer, working together has strengthened their bond with James and with each other in many ways, most importantly through communication. Working together has encouraged them to talk more often. “It will start off with something that happened at work and flow into more personal daily conversations,” Brittany says.

Brittany has a daughter getting ready to graduate high school, and she hopes that her daughter will be able to continue the family’s legacy and be a part of the company while she attends college at Northwestern State University.

Buddy Lott

Coming full circle, Buddy expresses his appreciation for the Rachal family and the work they have done over the years. He shares, “They are highly valued employees because of their work ethic, friendliness, trustworthiness, and the fact that they’re just good folks. We are fortunate to have them as part of the Lott Oil Family.”