Colorado State University to Offer First in a Series of Unique Workshops Targeting Family-Owned Businesses

The College of Business at Colorado State University will offer the first in a series of workshops specifically targeting the unique issues facing family-owned businesses. These workshops will provide educational experiences by bringing together diverse resources for families to use in running their businesses.

"We found that there were few resources here in northern Colorado that offered a comprehensive educational approach key to family issues," said Anne McCarthy, assistant professor of management in the College of Business. "These workshops will address more than the ‘what should we do’ question. They will cover the ‘how do we do it,’ since any plan is only as good as the family’s ability to implement it."

The "Leadership and Transitions in Family Business" workshop will be held from 8 a.m.-noon on Sat., Oct. 24 in room 170 of Rockwell Hall on the campus of Colorado State.

Family businesses are very vital to the economy. For example:

– There are 12.2 million family businesses in the United States that are responsible for 30 percent of the gross domestic product, 37 percent of the workforce and 48 percent of new jobs (Family Business Journal);

– Over the next 10-20 years, about $7 trillion will change hands as founders of successful family business firms retire. (Family Business Roundtable)

Yet, family business owners face many challenges:

– Only 30 percent of family firms survive the transition to the second generation, while even fewer–10 percent–survive to the third generation (Sonnefeld & Spence Survey);

– 76 percent of family business owners want their ownership transferred to a relative. (Mass Mutual/Gallup Poll);

The workshop will present an overview of the challenges facing family business in case studies and discussion. It will also offer participants a forum in which to discuss issues and to network and share information with similar businesses. Workshop facilitators include the following professionals.

– Carl T. Spina, co-founder and president of Family Business Consultants, who specializes in communications, transitions and family systems issues.

– James P. Sprout, founder of James Sprout &; Associates and co-author of the book, "Wealth Enhancement and Preservation."

– Vicki Kaman, professor of management, who has extensive experience in the areas of human resource management, leadership development and the recruitment and hiring needs of small business.

For more information, or to make reservations for the workshop, contact Sarah Behunek at (970) 491-1184.