Faculty & Staff
Ana Gonzalez, Director of Family Owned Business Institute
Besides being the Director of the Family Owned Business Institute at grand valley State University (GVSU), Ana Gonzalez is Associate Professor of Management at the Seidman College of Business, GVSU. Ana holds a Ph.D. in Management from Tulane University, has a M.Sc. in Economics and a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. Her research interests include entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and sustainability in family businesses. Throughout her career, Ana has been a scholar, advocate, consultant, and supporter of family enterprises. She is a board member of the STEP Project Global Consortium, a global research initiative on transgenerational entrepreneurship, created in 2005 to conduct and disseminate knowledge in the family business field a board member of the West Michigan Family Business Alliance and Crain Currency, a Crain Currency was launched by Crain Communications Inc. subsidiary that helps family offices and ultra-high-net-worth families preserve wealth and their families' values.
Valerie Palmer, Office Coordinator
Valerie is the Office Coordinator for the Seidman College of Business Outreach Centers. While supporting the directors for the Richard M. Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, the Family-Owned Business Institute, and the Koeze Ethics Business Initiative, she provides support to the daily operations of CEI, including working closely with student employees, scheduling, event planning, and handling financial and budget-related matters.
She has been employed with GVSU for 10+ years. Formerly, Valerie was the Student Life Assistant in the Office of Student Life where she assisted the director, provided support to the daily operations of the OSL, which included working closely with student organizations on their events, supervising student employees, supporting large student events, and handling financial and budget transactions. Prior to the OSL, she served as the Officer Coordinator in the Seidman College of Business Dean’s Office where her work included event planning, graphic design, social media management, website development, and a variety of other tasks.
Valerie received her bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations with a business minor in 2008 followed by a master’s degree in communications in 2015 from GVSU. In her spare time, Valerie loves reading, writing reviews, and managing social media outlets for her book-related blog and podcast. She also enjoys gardening, crafting, baking, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three sons.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (616) 331-7247
Office: 1127 L. William Seidman Center
Eric Opoku, Graduate Student Assistant
Eric, a Data Science and Analytics MSc student at GVSU, holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Energy and Natural Resources and an MPhil in Computer Science from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. Passionate about data science and machine learning, his research focuses on deep learning, computer vision, and image processing. Recently, he's delved into analyzing relational dependencies in financial, healthcare, and agricultural data for data-driven decision-making. In his free time, Eric enjoys teaching kids, jogging, and exploring new technologies.
Abagail Hoffman, FOBI Student Assistant
Abagail is a Junior with a dual major in accounting and management. Her interest in family business was sparked at a young age because she grew up in one. Abagail will be competing at the Schlesinger Global Family Enterprise Case Competition with the Grand Valley team in 2024. In her spare time, she enjoys farming, going on walks, and trying new recipes.