Family-owned businesses have all the struggles of other businesses — worrying about finding enough talent, finances, marketing and more — but also the extra struggle of family relationships. Their unique challenges led St. Norbert College’s Schneider School of Business & Economics to launch its new Family Business Forum.
“Our intent is to have a program that works specifically with small family businesses and provide them with content and resources to help them become stronger businesses,” says Dean Stewart, executive director of the Center for Exceptional Leadership at St. Norbert College. “We want to provide a platform for Wisconsin family businesses to gather knowledge and skills, network with each other and provide them with helpful seminars and workshops.”
The forum will launch with a daylong summit on April 3. That day’s program will allow attendees to explore relevant issues and topics while discussing real-world challenges and opportunities within a cohort of their peers.
The Family Business Forum is open to all family-owned businesses in Wisconsin. Stewart says its goals are to:
- Serve as a self-sustaining forum for the collection and dissemination of information relevant to family businesses
- Build relationships among family businesses, professional organizations interested in assisting family business and St. Norbert College
- Provide opportunities for family business members to interact with members of other family businesses
- Develop educational programs for family business members
- Conduct research on family business issues
- Provide family businesses access to educational resources including a family business resource center and student interns
- Promote the economic and social value of family businesses
Forum members will meet nine times per year, anchored by the Family Business Summit each spring. Gail McNutt, who recently retired as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes and previously held leadership roles at Schneider, will be the lead facilitator for the forum and summit.
Stewart says the forum is in the process of forming an advisory committee to gather input on programming.
For more information, including costs to participate in the program, contact Dean Stewart at (920) 403-3406 or [email protected]. Additional information about the Center for Exceptional Leadership can be found at www.snc.edu/cel/.