Women in Family Business Newest Program in School of Business Initiative
The School of Business at St. John Fisher College is running at full speed with its Family Business Program. Headed by Interim Dean, Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, the initiative has introduced a Family Business Camp, a Next Generation Leadership Program, and Governance Programs with each scheduled to launch this fall.
As a branch off of the family business tree, Wittmeyer and her team at the School of Business are also excited to announce a new Women in Family Business Program. The program’s kick-off event, the Women’s Wine Dinner, will bring together women who have a role in their family firms. The dinner will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, in the Wilson Formal Lounge located in Haffey Hall on Fisher’s campus.
Meaghan Frank, vice president and fourth generation of the Dr. Frank Winery on Keuka Lake, will be the guest of honor at the dinner. Frank uses her platform in the family business to honor the generations of women that precede her via “The Helm” wine series. Dr. Frank’s “The Helm” will be paired with a three-course dinner for the occasion.
“There is an opportunity to create a program that will lend to networking, educational content, mentorship, and more. All of which will aid in the growth of our female family business leaders,” said Teagan White ’19, director of onboarding and community engagement at JN White, and member of the Women in Family Business committee. “Our inaugural dinner will be a multi-sensory event in that we’ll hear Meaghan tell stories of her family members, including photos, taste the individual names, and hear about how each wine was crafted. Our hope is this will lend to thinking about other women in family-owned businesses and how they played, or still play, a key role in the success of the company.”
A key influence of Frank’s upbringing is her Ukrainian roots. Each family member has helped build the winery into the success it is today. A portion of proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the World Central Kitchen, which has served millions of meals to Ukrainians this year.
“As more and more women take leadership roles in family-owned businesses, the Women in Family Business Program will serve as both a unique business resource and an incredible networking opportunity. Women face unique challenges when assuming leadership roles that have been traditionally held by men. The ability to share various experiences and support one another will be invaluable,” said Marissa Gionta, chief information officer and marketing director at Rochester Colonial and Women in Family Business committee member.
Alexandra Justis, director of marketing and engagement at Doyle Security Systems, agreed.
“I’m thrilled that Fisher is creating a Women in Family Business Program and am honored to be a small part of the planning committee amongst incredible women,” said Justis. “There is nothing comparable in Rochester and there is a huge community of women involved in family businesses who can benefit so much from an event series like this. I believe the Women’s Wine Dinner will help spread the word about Fisher’s program to those in our community who could truly benefit from it in an organic and fun way.”
Tickets to the event are $90 per person (age 21 and older, please). RSVP online by Thursday, Sept. 1. For more information, contact the St. John Fisher College School of Business at (585) 385-8446.