Family Enterprise Research Conference

FERC 2011 Highlights

Held in Grand Rapids, MI USA
May 6 – 8, 2011



  • Jaideep Motwani, Grand Valley State University, USA

  • Paul Mudde, Grand Valley State University, USA

  • Tom Schwarz, California State University – Fullerton, USA

  • Ritch Sorenson, University of St. Thomas, USA


  • More than 100 local family businesses attended events featuring large and medium-sized multi-generational family business owners on May 6th.

  • Two-panel discussions highlighted the events on May 6th and brought more than 200 business owners and scholars to Grand Valley state University’s Pew campus.

  • The first panel moderated by Roger Jansen (ThinkWise, Inc.) titled “Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Family Owned Business” featured Mark Bissell (Bissell, Inc.), Matthew Haworth (Haworth, Inc.), and Hank Meijer (Meijer, Inc.).

  • The second panel moderated by Thomas Schwarz (California State University – Fullerton) titled “Family Owned Business: A Multigenerational Perspective in a Global Economy” featured Doug DeVos (Alticor, Inc.) and David Van Andel (Van Andel Institute).

  • Three breakout sessions allowed conference participants to participate in individual conversations with the owners of medium-sized local family businesses. The sessions focused on the impact of globalization, women as leaders, and multi-generational issues.

  • Featured business owners breakout  session panelists included Leslie Brown (Metal Flow), Lue Crane (Crane Orchards), Eileen DeVries (Merrill Lynch), Rachel DeVries Mraz (Merrill Lynch), Amy Engelsman (Proos Manufacturing), Scott Hibbard (Comerica), Peter Hungerford (ADAC Automotive), Christina Keller (Cascade Engineering), Bob Roth (Roman Manufacturing), Tim Schad (NuCraft Furniture Company), Matt Schad (NuCraft Furniture Company), and Joe Schmeider (Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.)

  • Inaugural FERC Doctoral Consortium was co-hosted by Reg Litz (University of Manitoba) and Pramodita Sharma (Concordia University) on Friday, May 6th

    • The Consortium was oversubscribed with 23 students from Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, India and the United States.

    • Featured presentations from family business scholars - Frank Hoy (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Tom Lumpkin (Syracuse University), Jennifer Jennings (University of Alberta), Manisha Singal (Virginia Tech) and Sharon Danes (University of Minnesota)

    • Small group feedback sessions from family business scholars on doctoral students' research projects

    • Consortium concluded with a panel discussion on publishing family business research with editorial representatives Pramodita Sharma (FBR), Torsten Pieper (JFBS), Jennifer Jennings (JBV), Frank Hoy (ET&P) and Dev Jennings (Strategic Organization).

  • The conference had more than 151 attendees from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.

  • 47 proposals were presented during the conference during two separate poster sessions.

  • R. Duane Ireland (Texas A&M University) served as the keynote speaker on May 7th.

  • Tom Lumpkin (Syracuse University) and Lloyd Steier (University of Alberta) served as panelist for the academic keynote panel moderated by Ritch Sorenson.

  • The Gala Dinner featured international cuisine and attire to design to recognize the diversity of the conference attendees. President Thomas Haas (Grand Valley State University) offered welcoming remarks prior to the dinner and Dean H. James Williams (Seidman College of Business, GVSU) delivered comments prior to a performance by five of Grand Valley State University’s undergraduate students.

  • 2011 FOBI 20K scholarships (4@$5000 each) sponsored by the Grand Valley State University were presented by Paul Mudde and Candace Dugan during the Gala Dinner to:

    • Mahendra Joshi (Grand Valley State University) for his proposal “Family Business Identity and Information Exploration.”

    • Daniel Holt (Mississippi State University), Allison Pearson (Mississippi State University), and Jon Carr (Texas Christian University) for their proposal “Measuring Performance in Family Businesses: The State of the Art and Roadmap for Advancing Family Business Research and Practice.”

    • Dianne Welsh (University of North Carolina – Greensboro), Juan Roure (University of Navarra, IESE), Juan Luis Segurado (University of Navarra - IESE), and Kirby Rosplock (GenSpring Family Offices) for their proposal “Family Offices and the Future.”

    • Börje Boers and Mattias Nordqvist (Jönköping International Business School, Sweden) for their proposal “Understanding Hybrid Identity Organizations – The Case of Publicly Listed Family Businesses."

  • Michael Stalker (MCS Financial Advisors), Manisha Singal (Virginia Tech University), and Frank Hoy (Worchester Polytechnic Institute) severed as the FERC Best Poster Award Committee.

  • The Best Paper Awards sponsored by MCS Financial Advisors were presented by Michael C. Stalker to:

    • First Place winner ($2000) was Moses Acquaah (University of North Carolina) for his paper “Management Control Systems, Business Strategy and Performance in Family Businesses.”

    • Second place winner ($1000) was Mary Barrett (Wollongong University) for her paper “New theoretical perspectives on family business entrepreneurial behavior.”

    • Third place winner ($500) was Marc-Michael Bergfeld (Munich Business School) for his paper “Dynamic Dynasties: How Germany’s high-performance family firms pursue pan-generational entrepreneurship along technology lifecycles.”

  • FERC Doctoral Awards ($500 each) were presented by Frank Hoy to:

    • Tim Hasso (Bond University - Australia) for his article “Inherent Family Business Brand Equity.”

    • Francesco Barbera (Bond University - Australia) for his article “The Impact of Family Involvement on the Productivity of the Firm.”

    • Nadine Kammerlander (International Institute for Management Development) for her article “How Do Established Family Businesses Adapt to Technological Discontinuities? A Series of Inductive Case Studies.”


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