Dr. Kim Eddleston's Workshop - April 27th, 2021

When the Family Undermines the Business: Understanding The Fredo Effect

Figuring out how to maintain strong family relationships and a strong business can be a tremendous challenge for business families. While some family members work tirelessly to help their business succeed, others may be there simply because of their ‘last name’ and serve as impediments to their business. Balancing the needs of the family with the needs of the business is therefore important to creating a healthy family and a healthy business.  Learn how your family can excel at this balancing act from a nationally recognized expert on family business. Dr. Kimberly Eddleston, from Northeastern University, will share how you can successfully manage relationships, make and communicate tough decisions, and maintain close family relationships.

Taking inspiration from The Godfather, Eddleston’s interactive presentation will center on the “Fredo Effect” which is based on the flawed middle brother from the movies who became an impediment to the Corleone family business. She will also share stories from her own family businesses as well as those of others that she has worked with over the years. In this presentation, families will learn how their relationships can create a “Fredo,” how to identify one in the business, and the steps to mitigate or avoid the “Fredo Effect.”

Event Timeline:

8:00    Breakfast and Registration
8:30    Keynote Presentation - Kim Eddleston
9:30   Q&A
9:45    Closing Remarks
10:00  Adjourn

Location: L. William Seidman Center 50 Front Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49504 | Rm. SCB 1008 Forum


This event is in partnership with the Family Business Alliance. Please register by visiting the FBA event page.

Registration is free tor GVSU students, faculty, or staff interested in attending, however space is limited so please RSVP to to reserve your spot. 


Kimberly A. Eddleston is the Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University. She is also an Academic Scholar at Cornell University’s Smith Family Business Initiative. Professor Eddleston’s research focuses on the interface of work and family, with a particular focus on women’s entrepreneurship and family businesses. She serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Venturing, Senior Editor for the Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange (, and Founding Editor of Professor Eddleston has won multiple awards for her research and has published more than 60 articles in leading journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, and Journal of International Business Studies. In addition, she has had various levels of involvement with several of her family’s businesses, which are in the real estate, construction, business services and hospitality industries.

Dr. Kim Eddleston

FOBI Webinar Series 2021: Discussing the family dimension in the family business

February 14th, 2021. Passing the baton: The Previous Generation:

A panel of former family business leaders share their experiences before, during and after leaving the family business in the day-to-day. 

May 13th, 2021. Informal Family Business Support: The Role of Spouses: 

In this panel, spouses of family business leaders discuss the challenges they face at home as the living partners of current leaders and as parents of the future ones.

September 16th, 2021. What kind of team are we? Siblings in the family business:

Couples of sibling will share their experiences working together in the business and dealing with usually unspoken topics such as rivalry, expectations, power and influence as family, business and owners. 

December 2nd, 2021. When “across generations” is a Bit Too Much: The Younger generation: 

In this panel we invite family members who are in college and have heard the call to be part of the family business. What are their thoughts and concerns. We’ll discuss them here. 


FOBI Fall Webinar Series 2020

October 23rd, 2020: COVID-19 - When Crisis Strikes the Family Business

As part of the Seidman College of Business webinar series on the pandemic, the Family Owned Business Institute, Ana Gonzalez, Ph.D. got together with three extraordinary West Michigan family business leaders to share their experiences before and during the pandemic.
- Todd Custer, President & CEO, Custer, Inc.
- Peter Hungerford, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, ADAC Automotive
- Megan Guskey, President, Grand Rapids Metrology
Moderator: Ana Gonzalez, Director, Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI)

Click here!

December 14th, 2020: Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) and the Fed’s Great Intervention: Implications for the Economy and Asset Allocation


- Jurrien Timmer, Director of Global Macro, Fidelity Investments

- Lisa Shalett, Chief Investment Officer, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

- Brian Wesbury, Chief Economist, First Trust Advisors L.P.

Moderator: Kelli Olson, Tax Managing Director, BDO

Recording: Coming Soon!