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Governing the Family Business: Building Your Board, Building Your Business

"A business that is well-governed is free to work toward the highest and best objectives of business—maximizing profit, improving strategies, creating jobs, fostering employee development and serving all stake-holders, including shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and the community." Aronoff, C., Ph.D, & Ward, L., Ph.D (1996), Family Business Governance: Maximizing Family and Business Potential. Family Business Publishers.

But how should your governance system look to help your family business succeed across generations? Andrew Keyt, executive director of the Loyola University Chicago Family Business Center and a widely recognized expert on issues unique to family-owned businesses, led this day-long program designed to help business owners assess their governing practices and make positive changes that can contribute significantly to a business's future success.

Through general sessions, family case studies, and breakout sessions, attendees learned:

  • Ways to use your board of directors to better compete in tough economic times;
  • Your board's role in relation to your family business;
  • How to use your board when transitioning the family business to the next generation;
  • How to create a board of directors that best reflects your business styles and goals; and
  • What the most sophisticated boards are doing and why

We also heard from a panel of prominent Washington family business owners, including Jean Bartell Barber of Bartell Drugs, and Rick Robinson, Chairman of Hotstart.

Participants gained practical perspective from other family business owners and left with a better understanding of which type of board is best for their business. They also walked away with concrete tools to create boards, improve boards, and assure that their board aligns with their family visions and values.