BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Dozens of local entrepreneurs and professionals
are now better prepared to tackle the unique challenges of running
a family business after completing the first-ever “Growing a
Healthy Family Business” course, part of a new initiative
that launched this year in the University at Buffalo School of
Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL).
Forty-five representatives from 14 family businesses finished
the course and were honored at a joint graduation ceremony for four
CEL programs on June 5 at UB’s Center for the Arts.
The graduates and their businesses are:
Mike Sr., Kurt, Mike Jr. and Stephen Adolf of Buffalo Alarm,
Buffalo; Brendan and Debbie Brick of Power Tools & Abrasives
Inc., North Tonawanda; Gary, Nancy and Benjamin Case of The Carpet
Collection, Lockport; Joseph and Penny Cipolla of Bella Vista
Group, Bowmansville; Alan, Greg, Jeff, Keith and Steven Davis of
Tapecon Inc., Buffalo; Jeffrey and Adam Goldfarb of Jeffrey M.
Goldfarb & Associates, Buffalo; Keith and Karl Hetrick of
Niagara Frontier Equipment Sales Inc., Lockport.
Also, Angie and Kristina Kleeh and Lisa Stefanie of The Synergy
Group of the Niagara Frontier, East Amherst; Jeannette, Natalie and
Neal Kreher of Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs LLC, Clarence;
Marvin, Lisa and Bailie Ohlson of Ohlson’s Bakery &
Café, Williamsville; Thomas, Liza, Amanda and Krystina Pane
of The Grapevine Restaurant & Catering, Amherst; Thomas,
Christine and Matt Schuster of Schuster Construction LLC, Depew;
Jim Sr., Margaret, Gregory, Jim II, Kathleen and Rachael Serafin of
QMC Technologies Inc., Buffalo; and Diana Stefanovich and Brian and
Jason Cary of Christie’s Restaurant, West Seneca.
“Growing a Healthy Family Business” is a 10-session
course that meets twice a month over five months. It empowers
family members to come together to identify and apply solutions to
help their businesses thrive for generations to come. Developed
collaboratively with family business experts of diverse
disciplines, seasoned entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the UB
School of Management, the course delivers practical solutions on
topics relevant to family businesses, including communication,
interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, strategic
planning and succession and next-generation leadership
“The family businesses that participated in this
year’s program are walking away with practical tools,
clarity, strategic vision and a community of support to assist them
in preparing for transitions from one generation of leadership to
the next,” says Thomas Ulbrich, executive director of the
CEL. “As these family businesses make smooth and successful
transitions, they are able to continue their legacy, create jobs
and continue to be a meaningful contributor to the Western New York
The course is available exclusively to members of the CEL Family
Business Association, a new initiative launched in February to
support the unique challenges associated with family businesses
while also addressing the traditional needs of any entrepreneur.
Association members receive complimentary registration to quarterly
networking events and semiannual workshops with expert speakers,
discounted registration for professional development opportunities
and, beginning in January 2015, access to professionally
facilitated peer support groups.
“Our mission is to support the power of entrepreneurship
to launch human potential, inspire innovation, produce jobs and
generate wealth through interactive education in
entrepreneurship,” Ulbrich says. “The Family Business
Association and the ‘Growing a Healthy Family Business’
course bring together the dynamic regional family business
community and provide specialized support so they can continue to
thrive from one generation of entrepreneurs to the next.”
In addition to the graduates’ companies, the inaugural
members of the association are: Dwight Moldenhauer Inc., Buffalo;
EGW Personnel Staffing, Buffalo; Harbison Bros. Inc., Buffalo;
Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex, Holland; Holland Paintball
Adventure Park, Holland; Insty-Prints of Cheektowaga, Cheektowaga;
Kirst Construction Inc., North Boston; Manitoba Corp., Lancaster;
Metal Cladding Inc., Lockport; Parkland Professional Park LLC,
Orchard Park; and Wrights Corners Self Storage, Lockport.
During the graduation ceremony, Arjang Assad, dean of the School
of Management, and Mary Nicoletti, family business program
coordinator, unveiled a plaque honoring the association’s
founding family businesses.
The CEL is currently enrolling new members in the Family
Business Association. The center will host a workshop for members
in September, and the next “Growing a Healthy Family
Business” course will kick off in February 2015. For more
information, contact the CEL at 716-885-5715 or email@example.com.
Established in 1987, the CEL provides participants with
individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship. More
than 1,200 CEL alumni employ more than 22,000 Western New Yorkers,
and their businesses are worth more than $2 billion to the local
economy. For more information, visit mgt.buffalo.edu/cel.
The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on
real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global
perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also
has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times,
Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its
programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates.
For more information about the UB School of Management, visit mgt.buffalo.edu.