UNC Kenan-Flagler Blogs

Author Archives: Kristina Magnuson

Surviving the holidays when you come from a family business

by Cooper Biersach, Director of the Family Enterprise Center Students often ask me how they can relax and enjoy the holidays when they are seated across the table from their mother or father who is both their boss and their parent.  Or, how about getting along with cousin Jerry who also happens to be gunning for the same Marketing position you seek – that same cousin Jerry who consistently saunters into work one hour late or takes every Friday off. Holidays can be a stressful time for being with family – even when you do not work together.  But, for those people who are both family members and co-workers, the stress is even higher and the potential for land mines Read More

Spyros Messados, BSBA ’15 – from Family Business Class to the Family Business in Queens, NY

by Spyros Messados, BSBA ’15 Melrose Ballroom The end of a night shift is always my favorite time to drive home from Queens. At 6 AM, it’s too early for NYC traffic to hit, so it’s smooth sailing, but the sunrise still lights the road and the waters of the Sound next to it. I like to reflect during those rides, this time about our family’s new venue, Melrose Ballroom, where I had been spending my summer. Melrose is a state-of-the-art venue built with the dream of modernizing and revolutionizing the concept of an event space. In effect, Melrose can adapt to the needs of any event type (concerts, weddings, athletic events), transforming overnight to deliver at a higher level Read More

The Impact of the Introduction to Family Business Class at UNC Kenan-Flagler

Our very popular “Introduction to Family Business” course begins in January.  We are busy planning another great line-up of guest speakers.  (Next month, we will send out the topic/speaker list with dates to our network). Class is held once a week, on Wednesday afternoons from 2:00 – 5:00 pm.  Successful family business leaders (click here and scroll down to see a list of last year’s class speakers) share their leadership experience and the story of their family business during the first hour and a half, and after a quick break, we use the speaker’s business as a living case study to illustrate concepts we are learning in class.  The real-world experience of family business leaders, relevant reading, and hands-on assignments, Read More

UNC Kenan-Flagler Family Business Forum: World-Class Education for the Whole Family

by Kathryn Howlett, MBA ’14 After graduating in May from UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program, I returned to work, as planned, with my family’s real estate company. I was full of eagerness and very high hopes, but a few months in, I was still struggling with some of the same issues I left behind two years earlier. But I wasn’t struggling alone, and I had a good feeling that attending the Family Business Forum with my parents would help all of us, personally and professionally. First of all, I never pass up an opportunity to come back to UNC Kenan-Flagler, but I also thought bringing my parents would make my education seem more real to them. I wanted them to experience Read More

Recap of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Family Business Forum

Sean Kennedy, UNC ’16, attended the Inaugural Family Business Forum with his father, Greg Kennedy in early September.  At the Forum, Dean Doug Shackelford presented a summary of his class on Estate and Gift Tax Planning and Steve Miller (co-founder of the FEC) unveiled his research on next generation leadership to current and former UNC and Kenan-Flagler students and their parents.  Sean shares the lessons he has learned over time and the new things he learned while attending the Forum with his dad. Three Lessons about Family Business I’ll Never Forget Sean Kennedy, UNC ’16 1.  Plan ahead to ensure success for generations, not just the next quarter At the Family Business Forum organized by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School’s Family Read More

The Impact of the Family Enterprise Center from Laura Quinn, MBA ’14

by Laura Quinn, MBA ’14 Before coming to UNC Kenan-Flagler, I viewed my family business as a natural extension of my family.  It was something always present – from dinner table discussions to summers working in the office to the workers I had known my entire life.  But I had never taken a step back to reflect on the business in a deeper sense – thinking about its strategy, longevity, and future. During my two years at UNC Kenan-Flagler, the Family Enterprise Center taught me not only the importance of such reflection but more importantly they provided me the tools and the guidance to thoughtfully do so. I learned what questions to ask, and how to listen.  I learned about Read More

Steve Miller to present Generational Transition webinar with the Family Business Consulting Group

Steve Miller, co-founder of the Family Enterprise Center at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, will present “The Transition Process: Preparing the Next Generation and Passing the Torch,” a webinar presented by the Family Business Consulting Group on Wednesday, June 11 at 1:00 pm Eastern. We have arranged for alumni and friends of the FEC to participate in the webinar for $75 (normally $129).  Additionally, the first 10 registrants to use our coupon code will receive a complimentary live registration to another webinar within the year. From the registration page: “The next generation of your family likely has many important roles to play — within their lifetimes they may be an owner, employee, manager, leader or director. And certainly, all along, they’re Read More

Dean Doug Shackelford Stresses the Importance of Tax Planning for Family Businesses

More on Dean Shackelford’s visit by Jessica Fischburg, MBA ’15: Students in Family Business II were graced with the presence of our newly appointed Dean Shackelford, who spoke on the subjects of gift and estate taxes. This subject is especially important to family businesses as it may take years of advance planning to avoid large taxes upon death of family members or transfers of estates. While there is a rather large exemption to these taxes, when it does apply, it can really impact the financial status of the firm or the family. The class focused on some basic family wealth planning including details about the amount and types of exemptions that can apply, and also learned about some alternatives that Read More

Join Us to Hear Great Family Business Speakers

We have a terrific line-up of experienced family business leaders and experts coming to Kenan-Flagler this spring.  Please join us!  Contact Cooper Biersach at biersach@unc.edu. Here is our list of upcoming class and roundtable lunch speakers: • March 25, 12:30-1:45: Father and son team, Steve and Durant Bell, Bell Partners • March 26, 2014, 2:00-3:15: Family Business Governance, Speaker: Dini Cecil Pickering, Vice Chair of Board of Directors, Biltmore Company, Asheville, North Carolina • April 1, 2014, 4:00-6:00: Independent Boards: Creation, Composition, and Utilization, Speaker: Roy Richards, Jr., former CEO and current non-executive Chairman, Southwire • April 2, 2014, 2:00-3:15: Governance/ Financial Considerations and Valuation, Speaker:  Michael Jacobs, Founder & CEO, Jacobs Capital and Professor of the Practice of Finance, Kenan-Flagler Business School • April Read More

Values-Based Leadership Transforms Company Culture of Family Business

by Nick Mellott, MBA ’15 Students in Family Business I: Introduction to Family Enterprise were recently treated to a special guest presentation and discussion with Charles Luck IV, President and C.E.O. of the Luck Companies in Richmond, Virginia (quoted here last week in The Wall Street Journal). Mr. Luck shared with the class the firm’s background and also discussed how Luck’s Values-Based Leadership program has transformed the company. The Luck Companies are comprised of four business divisions including Luck Stone (aggregate producer), Charles Luck (architectural stone), Har-Tru Sports (clay tennis courts), and Luck Development Partners (real estate). The company was founded in 1923, and Mr. Luck still works closely with his father, Charles Luck III, who serves as Chairman. Mr. Luck’s Read More