Family enterprise center

fall events

begin october 2022



Early Bird Pricing is available through August 31st

About the Events


October 13-14, 2022

Join the Family Enterprise Center and your family business peers

to improve your communication skills and enhance your family business relationships!

Research shows that open, transparent communication in a family firm is a critical factor in developing effective next-generation leaders and creating a shared vision for the business – both vital components for family firm survival across multiple generations.[i]

If open, transparent communication is so important, HOW do you create it?

When conflict arises, HOW can you address it in a way that enhances relationships and increases effectiveness?

Communication and conflict in a family firm is similar to other settings, but in a family firm, the combination of business with family can make communication and conflict more complicated.

The Forum will be a hands-on experience to help you:

  • Learn from other families
  • Acquire new tools
  • Improve self-awareness
  • Approach important and emotional topics in constructive ways
  • Build stronger relationships

The Forum will be helpful for families at every stage of growth. Participants will find it useful to bring multiple family members from more than one generation. Non-family executives will benefit from this program, too.


New Participant Session:  Thursday, October 13, 3:30-5:00

For participants coming to the Forum for the first time, this session will provide foundational introductory material that will ensure a better experience at the Forum on Friday.

Pre-Forum Reception: Thursday, October 13, 5:30 p.m.

9th Annual Family Business Forum: Friday, October 14, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Location for both events: UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Rizzo Conference Center

Highlights of this year’s forum include:

  • Special Guest Speaker: Matt Allen, Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship and Faculty Director, Family Entrepreneurship Amplifier Program and Family Learning, Babson College
  • Facilitation: Dr. Stephen P. Miller and Cooper Biersach, Co-Founders of the Family Enterprise Center
  • Exercises designed to help families enhance communication and conflict management skills and learn to thoughtfully address difficult topics
  • Group discussion with similarly-situated families
  • Pre-meeting preparation materials
  • Luncheon designed to promote one-on-one discussion with other families
  • Informal gathering the night prior to the event
  • Optional: New participant session on Thursday with foundational material
  • Executive classroom meeting space at UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Rizzo Conference Center

Feedback from one of last year’s Forum participants:

“As a 3rd generation family business owner, I especially enjoyed interacting in the breakout rooms, and was delighted to find another real-estate business owner who has had similar experiences to me. As someone who wants to grow and expand his family business, I find the opportunity to network and discuss family business topics with other leaders to be extremely enlightening.”

—Rohit Khanna

[i] Miller, Stephen P. “Next-generation Leadership Development in Family Businesses: The Critical Roles of Shared Vision and Family Climate.” Frontiers in Psychology 5.1335 (2014): 1-14.




Begins October 21, 2022

Course Description:

Get out of the day-to-day and plan for the future.  This course is a unique opportunity to create a thoughtful roadmap for succession in your family business.  Come explore family business continuity challenges and common practices for successfully leading family-owned enterprises. Emphasis is placed on the importance of open, transparent communication in the family; the creation of a shared vision for the business; and the alignment of family and business goals.

Family-controlled businesses are characterized by challenges that threaten their continuity and by distinct resources that can create unique competitive advantages.  The challenges are primarily the result of issues presented by the interaction of family, management, and ownership systems – particularly when the family wishes to perpetuate its influence and/or control from generation to generation.  While 37% of the Fortune 500 firms are family controlled, the vast majority of family-controlled businesses are privately-owned and often experience difficulty moving from one-person general management to professionalized management that allows for success across multiple generations of ownership.

The course draws upon Steve Miller’s research: “Developing Next Generation Talent in Family Businesses.”  The research was focused on factors that influence next-generation leader development.  This research is incorporated into course videos and discussions, leading to practical ways participants can apply the findings to support successful transition from one generation to the next.

Recommended for:

Family business leaders, non-family executives, business-owning families, and future leaders; and is particularly useful if multiple members of a family firm participate.

Course Resources:

  • Videos with interviews of Cooper Biersach and Steve Miller and four successful family business leaders
  • Assigned readings
  • Live Zoom class discussions
  • Opportunity to engage individually with faculty members
  • Opportunity to join a small peer group to discuss and apply course topics

Course Dates:

Course will be held from 12:00 – 1:30 pm on each of the following dates

Friday, October 21, 2022

Friday, November 4, 2022

Friday, November 18, 2022

Friday, December 9, 2022

Friday, December 16, 2022

Friday, January 6, 2023

Preparation for each live session:

Each class will have videos and/or readings that will serve as the basis of discussion for the live sessions. Taking time to watch/read before class and to consider the reflection questions will ensure participants get the most out of class.

Time spent to prepare for each of the live sessions is approximately an hour.  Later sessions will require less time spent watching videos/reading, but instead preparation time could be spent applying material learned in class to your own family business.


Stephen P. Miller, Ph.D. & Cooper Biersach, JD/MBA, Co-Founders of the Family Enterprise Center


Early Bird Pricing is available through August 31st.

Save $250 per family, $100 per individual or

$500 on a Bundle for both of our Fall Events - the Family Business Forum and Creating Your Family Business Succession Roadmap online course