Mission, Values, & Goals


The Grand Valley State University’s Family Owned Business Institute’s mission is to champion and serve family owned businesses through education, research and advocacy.


The creation of the Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University is born out of the collective belief that family businesses (large and small) are the cornerstone of a community’s prosperity and a vital ingredient in its quality of life. Our national and regional history has demonstrated that it is in the best interest of communities to foster the creation, growth, and continuation of family owned businesses because they and their members:

  • Are leaders in job creation, innovation, and in providing stable employment opportunities with superior wages and benefits for their employees.
  • Strategically think and act over the long term (generational) with a greater willingness to sacrifice short-term profitability, oftentimes resulting in greater community investment and stability.
  • Act in a responsible, ethical manner with customers, employees, and the community at large in part due to the association of family values and reputation with the business unit.
  • Are environmentally and socially responsible stewards of the resources they control and influence.
  • Are specialists in building, maintaining, and managing a core culture of values most often associated with hard work, sacrifice, service, integrity, quality, loyalty, trust, respect, and commitment.
  • Tend to be community leaders in philanthropic activities and are generally active volunteers and financial supporters of their communities.


1. Conduct an annual Summit for FOB leaders.

2. Conduct the annual survey, in 2015 the focus will be innovation.

3. Conduct a study that shows the economic and philanthropic impact of family businesses in West Michigan.

4. Continue to offer MGT437 Family Business and possibly create a new course on family business case studies-strategy.

5. Create the FOBI Scholar in Residence and increase the family business research with FOBI and Seidman faculty.