Joe Schmieder

Principal Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group

Joe Schmieder is a Principal of the Family Business Consulting Group specializing in family business succession planning and strategic business planning. He is a strong advocate for incorporating innovation into family businesses, blending family and non-family execs into effective leadership teams, developing the next generation leaders, creating effective governance structures (boards of directors), and facilitating family meetings. Joe assists family-owned organizations increase their value through the careful guidance of family succession and the resolution of complex family business issues.

Prior to joining the Family Business Consulting Group, Joe spent over 25 years leading multi-generation family businesses as a non-family executive.  He served as Chief Operating Officer for Custer Workplace Interiors, an office furniture dealer with exclusive territory rights for Steelcase products. Joe successfully guided the family-owned dealership through the industry’s most severe downturn, working with the founder and his three sons, adjusting the organization, and diversifying product & service offerings to remain profitable and rebound with 20% growth. Prior to joining Custer, Joe served as Divisional President at Oliver Products Company, a 114-year-old family business serving the medical, food, and graphics markets. Joe was responsible for the global performance of the largest business unit. For most of his 19 years at Oliver Joe reported to the second-generation family chairman while leading the third generation in their career development.  The blended team of family and non-family executives, led by Joe, was able to achieve significant international results in both operational improvements and profitable business growth, all of which helped to unify the family business.

In addition to his consulting practice, Joe serves as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame University teaching Family Business Strategy courses.  He is the author of the book Innovation in the Family Business: Succeeding through Generations and numerous family business articles. He presents family business topics around the world.

Joe earned his Masters of International Management degree from Thunderbird Global School of International Management and a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University.

Joe serves on a number of family business and community boards, including: Burke E. Porter (Chair), Custer Workplace Interiors, Via Design (Treasurer), The Mayline Group, EJ, YPO-WPO, St. Mary’s Foundation and JDRF.