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Women in Family Business Share Success Stories at Wine Dinner

September 16, 2022

Attendees of the Women’s Wine Dinner, an event hosted by the School of Business at St. John Fisher University, found themselves in a network of successful women with the likeminded goal of sharing the stories of the integral women in their companies and firms.

Meghan Frank discusses the women who had instrumental impacts on her family's winery.

The dinner, held on Wednesday, Sept. 14, featured guest of honor Meaghan Frank, vice president and fourth generation of the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery on Keuka Lake. The event was planned by the Women in Family Business program through the Family Business Initiative at Fisher’s School of Business.

Program chair Teagan White ’19 (M.S.), a third-generation family member with JN White, began the evening with a warm welcome, setting the stage for discussions on family business and the integral role many women play in their family firms.

“We hope that this event will bring out many networking opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be here in our community,” she said. “It can be really helpful to have people to talk to and we hope that you will find connections in this room and at other events that will guide you throughout your journey as a woman in the family business.” 

Frank provided an in-depth history of the Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, her family’s roots in the Ukraine, and how she honors the women in her family’s business through “The Helm” wine series. Each letter in the series name, Helm, represents a woman in her life; ‘H’ for Hilda, ‘E’ for Eugenia, ‘L’ for Lena, and ‘M’ for Margrit. Throughout the evening, Frank’s presentation fostered conversations among attendees about their own family stories and the similar experiences shared among the women.

The evening concluded with a presentation of a $1,000 check to the World Central Kitchen, which has served millions of meals to Ukrainians this year, and is an organization the Frank family has supported.  The check was presented by Ukrainian students Catherine Gluszko and Mariya Galaburda in honor of the Frank family’s support of the nonprofit and its efforts to feed Ukranians during the war.

Joining White on the Women in Family Business committee are Marissa Gionta ’12 and ’14 (MBA), third generation at Rochester Colonial; Alexandra Justis, fifth generation at Doyle Security Systems; and Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, interim dean of the School of Business. The event was sponsored in part by the LeChase family.

Future Family Business Programming

The School of Business will host “Marrying into the Family Business” on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Country Club of Rochester. The morning event will feature Robert Denning, president and CEO of Perry’s Ice Cream, and Maxwell Herbst ’19, financial analyst at Leonard’s Express Inc.