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UB Reporter

CEL to launch family business initiative

Published December 5, 2013

Beginning in February, family business owners can take advantage of a new initiative designed exclusively for them.

The School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) will launch Taking Care of Family Business, a new program focused exclusively on supporting family business ventures.

Taking Care of Family Business will provide opportunities for relational and business growth in family ventures through workshops, interactive educational programming and networking. The goal of the initiative is to cultivate a community of support for family businesses that will promote healthy interpersonal and business growth.

“Family business entrepreneurs have long played an important role in invigorating the greater Western New York economy,” says Thomas Ulbrich, assistant dean and executive director of the CEL. “But they have unique challenges and needs.”

The Family Business initiative is a response to those expressed needs and will provide families with the right balance of practical guidance and support so they can continue to grow, thrive and make smooth leadership transitions.

Ulbrich will serve as an executive-in-residence along with Scott E. Friedman, internationally recognized author and family business consultant, and Amy Habib-Rittling, a family business adviser.

Membership in the initiative and access to its resources is limited exclusively to family businesses and membership includes the opportunity for up to four family members to take advantage of semiannual workshops with expert speakers and quarterly networking events that will bring together the dynamic greater Western New York family business community. 

Families that would like to further explore issues affecting the family business also can participate in “Growing a Healthy Family Business,” the initiative’s flagship course. Developed collaboratively with family business experts of diverse disciplines, seasoned entrepreneurs and backed by the School of Management administration, this 10-week course delivers practical solutions on topics relevant to family businesses while incorporating the cutting-edge principles of positive psychology.

The center has strategic plans to grow the family business initiative over the next five years to include professionally facilitated peer-support groups and a next generation of family business leaders program.