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Family Business Initiative Announces Slate of Spring Programming

March 15, 2021

This spring, the St. John Fisher College Family Business Initiative will offer webinars and workshops that explore family governance, transition planning, and storytelling to build family cohesion.

Andrew Keyt

Launched in 2018, the Family Business Initiative at Fisher supports the unique needs of family businesses in the region by offering innovative, engaging programs related to leadership transitions, succession planning, family governance, and next generation training, among other topics. The initiative’s newest slate of programming brings both national expertise in family business and showcases local success stories, as well.

Family Governance & Family Business Longevity Webinar: Stories and Lessons Learned from Working with Family Firms with Andrew Keyt
Noon on Tuesday, March 23, via Zoom
Register online
Free and open to the public

This interactive session will include an overview of how effective family governance is essential for family firms to thrive successfully through transitions for many decades. From agreed upon requirements for next gens to be able to work in a family business to creating a structure to resolve conflict between family members, this session will help participants analyze how planning can help families achieve their goals and avoid conflict and failure.

Keyt, president of the Family Business Network North America and president and founder of Keyt Consulting, will share transition stories from decades of working with family firms across the globe. Having served as a manager in two family-owned firms, and as member of his own family partnership, Keyt has experienced the challenges of family business firsthand. Past executive director of the Family Business Center of Loyola University Chicago, he is a leader in the field of family business and has been published in magazines and journals including Families in Business, Family Business, and Family Business Review.

The session will include breakout discussion sessions for advisors, owners, family shareholders, and next gen members. Sponsored by the St. John Fisher College School of Business.

Ray Isaac

Tour of Training Facilities & the Isaac Family Business Succession Story
8:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, April 16, Onsite at Isaac
Limited seating, preference given to family firms in leadership transition planning processes.

Join the Family Business Initiative for an up-close session with Ray Isaac ’88, president of Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning, as he provides a tour of the Rochester-based training facility and shares the story of his family business governance and his succession to president. Sponsored by Isaac Training & Education Center and the School of Business.

Storytelling Workshop for Enterprising Businesses: Celebrating the Milestones that Define Us
Half-day workshops in May & June
Dates, location, and fees forthcoming
For more information, contact Carol Wittmeyer,, (585) 385-8238

Storytelling is a great strategy to help family firms talk about their unique history and distinctive business successes. Join this inaugural hands-on workshop series to help your family firm capture stories and moments that help future generations, customers, vendors, and the community appreciate your business and your family’s journey.

In three interactive sessions, family members will learn about the power of storytelling, what makes a compelling story, and the different types of stories. They will craft at least two story types with the assistance of Fisher faculty and learn how to use them. They will present and share their stories. At the final session, the importance of storytelling will be connected to future programming on developing family governance.

This workshop series is ideal for multigenerational families and is a great exercise to lead into family governance work sessions. Faculty facilitators include Dr. Monica Hodis, associate professor of marketing; Ron Sicker, visiting assistant professor of practice; and Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, interim dean of the School.

For more information about the Family Business Initiative, please call the Office of the Dean of the School of Business at (585) 385-8446.