Resources and support for family businesses

The Family Business Forum is a professional-development program for executives of family businesses in Wisconsin.

Gail McNutt, who also serves as a facilitator and executive coach for the Center for Exceptional Leadership (CEL), is the lead facilitator for this program; she is supported by an expert team of leadership and business professionals and faculty. Together, they provide participants the opportunity to explore timely topics and discuss real-world challenges and opportunities within a select cohort of their peers. Meeting nine times each year, the forum features speakers on a variety of topics of relevance to family-owned businesses.

Business owners, family members, nonfamily employees and business professionals are invited to explore the challenges and rewards of family enterprise and to grow in their knowledge, skills and experience.

Goals of the forum

  • Serve as a self-sustaining organization for the collection and dissemination of information relevant to family businesses.
  • Build relationships among family businesses, professional organizations interested in assisting family business and St. Norbert College.
  • Provide opportunities for family business members to interact with members of other family businesses.


Annual membership costs include participation for the organization and up to five members of the leadership team.

  • Companies with annual sales less than $5 million (A): $1,500
  • Companies with annual sales of $5 million to $15 million: $2,250
  • Companies with annual sales greater than $15 million: $3,000

Join the forum

Business leaders interested in joining the Family Business Forum should contact Dean Stewart at dean.stewart@snc.edu or 920-403-3406. Those who sign up to be a forum member will receive five seats in their company’s name for the annual Family Business Summit.

  • Family business leader

    Family Business Forum Strategy Series

    Family Business Forum members receive access a bi-weekly webinar series featuring expert speakers on a range of topics relevant to leaders of family businesses. Past topics have included:

    • Business cash flow solutions for coping with COVID-19 presented by Rick Hearden and Tim Valentyn of First Business Bank
    • Navigating family relationships during times of crisis presented by Carol Bruess, Ph.D., professor emerita of communication and journalism and formerly director of family studies at the University of St. Thomas

  • quotes “Participating as a sponsor of the Family Business Forum allowed me to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of family business and build trusting relationships. Family business challenges are unique and I learned as much from the members as they did from me.”

    Diane Roundy, Baker Tilly Executive Search
    Photo of Diane Roundy
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