Having the Vision to Emerge Successful
Recently, the Wisconsin Family Business Center held its September Speaker Series with Meridith Elliot Powell, a business growth and leadership expert. Meridith studied 200-year-old businesses (many of which were or still are family businesses) to understand what helped them stay afloat during times of uncertainty.Read More
Leading with Trust: Becoming the Leader Your People Deserve
March 3, 2020
Trust is the foundation of employee engagement. According to Gallup, more than 60% of employees are disengaged. To be a great leader, especially in a family business setting, you must lead with trust – you owe that to your employees, your family, and your organization. Great leadership begins, continues, and ends with trust, and if it doesn’t, your relationships nor your organization will be successful.Read More
The Bridge to Growth: How Servant Leaders Achieve Better Results
January 20, 2020
In December, we brought together more than 100 Wisconsin Family Business Center members, sponsors, and guests once again for another edition of our speaker series. Jude Rake, founding principal of JDR Growth Partners, presented The Bridge to Growth: How Servant Leaders Achieve Better Results, And Why It Matters Now More Than Ever. Jude left us with this lasting thought: leaders need to leverage the principles of servant leadership to achieve their goals by bringing out the best in others.Read More
The Psychology of Business Owners: Making or Breaking Transition Success
December 4, 2019
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, more than 100 Wisconsin Family Business Center members, sponsors, and guests joined us for The Psychology of Business Owners: Making or Breaking Transition Success, presented by Dr. Allie Taylor of Orange Kiwi. At some point, business transitions and family relationships are going to impact your business. Based on Dr. Taylor’s presentation, here are some ideas for successfully navigating those transitions.
The Complexity of Transition into Clarity
Business transitions, such as scaling, selling, and succession, are incredibly complex. They requires us to change how we think and how we act. In order to get through difficult business transitions, we need to create clarity and control. Gaining clarity and control requires us to navigate the interactions between the ecosystem the family business operates in and the psychological dynamics that exist in the business and family. However, a business owner can have the most impact and control of a transition when they gain clarity about their own psychology.Read More
What It's Like to Advise the Family Business: Stories from the Trenches
October 9, 2019
Everyone who works with family businesses can think of a few horror stories -- the brother with a drinking problem, the wife who covers personal expenses with the company checkbook, the cousin who takes extended vacations with the company car, the husband who makes a mess of the accounting system, the younger son who treats long-term employees with disrespect and disregard.
Working as an advisor with family businesses can be uniquely challenging and immensely rewarding. Unlike non-family business engagements, how the work is done can often be just as important as important as the work itself. Personal and family issues are often closely intertwined with straightforward business decision-making, so working with family businesses can be messy, emotional, and fraught with danger. It's not for those with a stony heart or a tin ear.Read More
Genuine Wisconsin Goodness: Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
August 27, 2019
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company began in 1962, when Chuck Sr. and Nancy Deadman decided to open their very own candy and ice cream shop. Their vision was to provide the community with a bit of happiness by serving homemade candy and ice cream. They held the philosophy that quality lies at the heart of every marvelous treat shop, and with this, Chuck Sr., master researcher, tinkerer and perfectionist, set out on a mission of making the best ice cream he could. After countless batches of ice cream, and tweaking and adjusting machinery, he came up with his own original, super-premium ice cream flavors to offer at their shop, located on Monona Drive in Madison, Wisconsin.Read More
2018-2019 FBC Annual Report
July 26, 2019
Our 2018 – 2019 program year was a success! The Family Business Center community is strong and growing. We welcomed nine new members and three new sponsors this year. Thanks to member referrals, our supportive, knowledgeable, and vibrant community continues to thrive.
FBC members are active and engaged! Our Peer Group participation increased, attendance across all programming was up, and members gained valuable information, perspective, and tools to help their family and business move forward.Read More
Driving Innovation in India
July 1, 2019
WHAT ORGANIZATIONS CAN LEARN FROM INDIAN FAMILY BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS
On a recent trip to India, Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional & Executive Development Executive Director Jon Kaupla and I had the opportunity to interview various business leaders. While some of these leaders worked for large organizations, most worked for family businesses, were entrepreneurs, or supported the entrepreneurial ecosystem. While we gathered insight into what is driving innovation in India, we also learned that Indian family businesses and entrepreneurs have a great deal to teach nonfamily-owned organizations about innovation. So what can large, publically held organizations learn from Indian family businesses and entrepreneurs? We observed a few critical lessons.Read More
The 7 Choices to Ignite Your Radically Inspired Life
June 3, 2019
The Wisconsin School of Business Family Business Center hosted a truly unforgettable presentation by best-selling author and public speaker, John O’Leary. Family Business members and guests gathered at the Fluno Center for inspirational morning and afternoon presentations. Each session was filled with a look into John’s challenging, loving, and heroic life story. The audience was encouraged to interact and join in conversation, laughter, and offered key advice that could be put to immediate use.Read More
Expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live
March 31, 2019
Hosted by the Wisconsin School of Business Family Business Center, May 9
MADISON, Wis. – Hear the inspiring story of acclaimed speaker and bestselling author John O’Leary, who was given just a 1% chance to live after burning 100% of his body at nine years old. John’s story reminds audiences of the significance of daily attitudes, the power of gratitude, and the impact of serving others with courage.Read More
Don’t Change for the Sake of Change
November 28, 2018
How to diagnose the correct change to improve your organization’s performance
I just started working with an R&D team at a large packaging company that had fallen on challenging times. At one time, the R&D team was thriving and developing breakthrough product after product. They were the original developers of an innovative packaging product, but in recent years they’ve struggled to develop similar products.Read More
Ryan Brothers Ambulance Exemplifies Succession Planning Done Right
October 17, 2018
Ryan Brothers Ambulance has been a Family Business Center member since 2004. We thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all our programs.
Ask any family business owner what the hardest thing to plan for is, and many of them are going to tell you that it’s the transfer of the business from one generation to the next. Sometimes it is a smooth and simple process, especially when family members have been involved in the business for years. Other times, it can be a bit trickier. One organization that successfully completed its succession process is Ryan Brothers Ambulance.Read More
Sponsor Spotlight: Aspiriant
October 10, 2018
Aspiriant is one of the country’s most respected independent wealth management firms. With ten offices across the country and a unique, broad ownership structure, we serve clients as a fiduciary advisor. We manage over $12 billion for individuals and families throughout the U.S.Read More
Since 1976, McHugh Excavating Has Exceeded at Doing It All
October 9, 2018
Many companies will brag about being capable of “doing it all.” Then, you ask them to do something different, and the answer you get is, “Oh sorry, we wouldn’t know where to start. We’ve never actually done that before.” You won’t have to worry about getting that answer with McHugh Excavating.Read More
Foremost Media Takes the Family Business Digital
September 19, 2018
Foremost Media joined the Family Business Center as a new member in 2018. We look forward to all the exciting insights they will bring to our programs!
When most people think of family businesses, they likely think of blue-collar companies or mom and pop shops that have been around for decades or longer. These businesses are the backbone of America and they’ve kept the family business idea alive and well.Read More
Becoming the Hero's Coach
September 8, 2018
It’s a rite of passage in most organizations that if you are at the top of your game as an individual contributor, you are likely to be tapped to take on people management at some point in your career. This happens for several reasons, sometimes because it’s the only promotional path to increase pay for high potentials, sometimes because of a shallow pool of managerial talent within the organization, and sometimes it’s because high-performing individuals crave the authority and power that is perceived by being “the boss.”Read More
A&J Property Restoration: From Door-to-Door Sales to Industry Leaders
August 7, 2018
A&J Property Restoration has been a Family Business Center member since 2010, and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they bring to all of our programs.
With all of the different types of technologies that are available at the tips of our fingers these days, it can be easy to forget how businesses used to get started. It wasn’t by creating a website or Facebook page, but by walking door-to-door, meeting people face-to-face, and learning directly from them what their needs and issues were.Read More
Perlick: Over 100 Years of Providing the Highest Quality Products
July 9, 2018
Perlick has been a Family Business Center Member since 2013 and we thank them for their years of family business knowledge they bring to all of our programs.
Being the one of the best in your industry is a pretty common theme in Milwaukee. The city is home to one of the most famous motorcycle manufactures, one of the popular famous beer producers, and one of the most trusted names in refrigeration and dispensing solutions.Read More
A Global Leader Founded Right in Our Own Backyard
June 6, 2018
Prent Corporation has been an FBC member since 2017 and we thank them for the years of family business expertise they bring to all our programs.
When Prent Corporation was founded in 1967, Jack and Carrol Pregont couldn’t have imagined the company would grow into what it is today. Their only goal was to provide customers with outstanding products and quality service from their headquarters in Janesville, Wis.Read More
Brennan: Where Exceeding Expectations is the Norm
April 16, 2018
Brennan has been a Family Business Center Member since 2012 and we thank them for their years of family business knowledge they bring to all of our programs.
For a company that is almost a century old, you would think that trying new things would have become tiresome at this point, but not for JF Brennan. This is a company that has always been willing to try something a bit “outside the box” and it all started with their founders, Jim and Gene Brennan.Read More
Alliance Rubber Company: A True Rags to Riches Story
March 22, 2018
Alliance Rubber Company has been a Family Business Center Member since 2004 and we thank them for their years of family business knowledge they bring to all of our programs.
Many business owners will claim they started from nothing and built their organization from the ground up. More often, the case is that these owners will have had some sort of experience in their field before they set off on their own. For William H. Spencer and Alliance Rubber Company, they literally started from nothing and made a whole lot of something out of it.Read More
METCO: A Family Business Before It Was Even a Business
March 6, 2018
METCO has been a Family Business Center member since 2015 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
METCO was officially formed in 1979 by Ralph Knower, but the knowledge, skills, and experience he needed to make the business a success was passed down to him from some helpful folks – his family members.Read More
From Cabinets to Commercial Buildings, the Bachmanns Have Done It All
February 20, 2018
Bachmann Construction has been a Family Business Center member since 2016 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
Companies won’t just approach you about designing their new headquarters overnight or by accident. For over 60 years, Bachmann Construction has been building on the exceptional standard of excellence that its founders, Fred and Ruth Bachmann, set when they founded the company in 1954.Read More
Preparing for Life After the Family Business
February 9, 2018
For a business owner, preparing for retirement is typically focused on financial and business succession planning, while the personal side is often overlooked or deemed less important. Chris Snider, the CEO/President of the Exit Planning Institute, discussed this planning phase recently at a Family Business Center Speaker Series event. He described this as the three legs of the stool - financial, business, and personal. Chris emphasized that if one leg is too short the stool will be unbalanced and not functional.Read More
Per Mar Security Services: More Locations, Same Great Customer Satisfaction
February 6, 2018
Per Mar has been a Family Business Center member since 2016 and we thank them for the family business knowledge they bring to our programs.
Customer satisfaction is important to every business, but for Per Mar Security, it is absolutely essential. Ever since the company was founded in 1953 by John and Eleanor Duffy, Per Mar has dedicated itself to providing the very best security services possible to ensure that all of the individuals, families, and companies that utilize those services are 100 percent satisfied.Read More
Brakebush Brothers: Serving Up Exceptional Poultry Since 1925
January 12, 2018
Brakebush Brothers, Inc. has been a Family Business Center member since 2009 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
It doesn’t matter how good your product is, if you can’t provide your customers with great service or they don’t think you’re reliable, you will never be successful. William and Otto Brakebush knew this when they first started delivering poultry and livestock to individuals in the Madison and Milwaukee area in 1925. Even though they only had one truck, the brothers made sure their customers could trust them to be where they needed to be on time and with product ready to go.Read More
Neckerman Insurance Services Provides Unmatched Support
December 18, 2017
Neckerman Insurance Services has been a Family Business Center member since 2009. We thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all our programs.
You don’t stay in business for over 100 years without doing a few things right. For Neckerman Insurance Services, those things include staying true to the values upon which the company was founded: maintaining the highest ethical standards possible and giving back to the community.Read More
The Meats Weren’t Good Enough, so Nueske Did It Himself
November 30, 2017
Nueske's has been a Family Business Center member since 2008 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
Imagine waking up and frying some savory bacon strips on your stovetop. As the pan crackles and pops, your taste buds begin to water knowing that in just a few short minutes, they’ll be in bacon heaven. Now think of what it must have been like for R.C. Nueske back in 1933, who after having experienced some of the meats from the store, was left with the feeling of disappointment. Disappointed by bacon and ham? To him, this was unacceptable!Read More
BrightStar Care Goes Above and Beyond for Their Patients
November 9, 2017
BrightStar Care has been a Family Business Center member since 2010 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
Too often, the reason that many family businesses get started is because there isn’t a product or service out there that meets the needs the individual or family currently has. One of the best examples of this is BrightStar Care.Read More
The QTI Group: Successfully Servicing Organizations for Over 60 Years!
October 4, 2017
The QTI Group sponsored the Family Business Center from 2006-2011 and has been a member since 2012. We thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
When it comes to helping businesses find the right employees, no one provides better service than The QTI Group. Their exceptional service and dedication to their customers has allowed the company to grow from a small two-person organization in 1957 to the industry leader that it is today.Read More
Rinderle Door: Delivering Exceptional Service Since 1983
September 15, 2017
Rinderle Door has been a Family Business Center member since 2016 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
People can find their calling in anything. If you need proof of that, just look to Rick Rinderle. In 1983, Rick was doing subcontracting door work when he decided he would rather run the business himself. Along with his wife Marlene, the Rinderles took out a loan, bought a van, and started the Rinderle Door Company out of their home.Read More
UB&T: Proudly Serving Customers for Over 100 Years
September 1, 2017
Union Bank & Trust has been a Family Business Center member since 2010 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
There’s just something special about the number 100. Whether you are talking about a $100 bill, or a 100th anniversary, the number just has a special aura to it. You can probably imagine how great it must feel to be the Union Bank & Trust Company, which has been providing exceptional banking to Evansville, Wis. and surrounding area residents for over 100 years!Read More
From a College Dream to an International Success
August 21, 2017
EVCO Plastics has been a Family Business Center member since 2016 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
You’ve likely heard the stories of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Entrepreneurs whose dreams of being successful and starting multi-million dollar companies started when they were still in school. While those stories are better known around the world, there is one that touches closer to home here in Wisconsin. That is the story of Don Evans.Read More
Glenroy, Inc.: The Most Trusted Name in Flexible Packaging
July 5, 2017
Glenroy, Inc. has been a Family Business Center member since 2011, and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they bring to all of our programs.
For most family businesses, the name is almost instantly recognizable as someone’s last name. That may have been your first thought when you saw Glenroy, Inc. as well. However, you would be incorrect. The company is named after the two sons of founders Herb and Ruth Jablonka. Their names? Glen and Roy.Read More
A Tradition of Excellence in Electrical Construction
May 19, 2017
Westphal & Company, Inc. has been a Family Business Center member since 2006 and we thank them for the years of family business knowledge they are able to bring to all of our programs.
When customers are asked what they think of Westphal & Company, Inc., two words come to mind: integrity and quality. These are principles that have been engrained in the foundation of Westphal & Co since it was first founded in 1931 by Fred H. Westphal.Read More
Next Generation Leaders
June 22. 2020
The Wisconsin Family Business Center recently held its first virtual speaker series event, bringing together generations of family business owners to talk about succession planning and developing the next generation of family business leaders. Dr. Amy J Katz and a panel of Wisconsin Family Business Center members shared insights and their personal stories on how they prepared to step into the family business.Read More