Family Business Magazine Blog

A recent article in The Practitioner -- an online publication of the Family Firm Institute, an organization for professionals who advise and study family enterprises -- pointed out the difference between "firm survival over time" (continuity of a family business through the years) and "longevity of a family enterprise" (a family's ability to create wealth and value over generations).

The Practitioner article -- by Pramodita Sharma, the Sanders Professor for Family Business at the University of Vermont's School of Business Administration and a visiting scholar at Babson College -- argued that family enterprise success can be defined in ways other than leadership transfer from one generation to the next. "Both the creative destruction of firms and pruning of the enterprising family are integral parts of longevity of an enterprising family ....," Sharma wrote. "Recent reviews of the research on succession, governance, professionalization and performance all point in the same direction -- that one size does not fit all and the overarching numbers of ‘success' are insufficient to capture the complexity and heterogeneity of family enterprises and their pathways to success."

Family Business Magazine's cover subjects for May/June 2014, the Power family, sold J.D. Power and Associates to McGraw-Hill in 2005....Read more

Free Feature Article

Haws, based in Sparks, Nev., and part of Traynor Family Enterprise, was founded in 1906 with the invention of the drinking fountain. The company today provides hydration systems as well as engineered systems for industrial accident emergency response.

In 2007, the Haws family took their initial steps toward building the family governance structure they have in place today.


Family Leaders to Watch

Tom White, the fourth-generation president and CEO, and his sister-in-law Stephanie Kilroy, who serves on the board as director of family governance, led the effort to create guiding principles, a family mission statement and guidelines for family members in business together.

The family has four meetings a year, including a summer retreat, during which they have developed efforts to raise money for charitable causes.

Tom White
Under Tom’s leadership and direction, multiple family governance systems and programs were created to support the growing needs of the family business.

“My brother-in-law and I worked closely to develop the family council idea and structure before I sought...Read more

Feature Video


Todd Immell, Principal, Ernst & Young LLP discusses robotics processing automation operating models for family offices. Final installment in a 4-part series.