Focus on the family business

Author: Adrienne Bogacz

 Family owned companies face some challenges unique to operating a company with executives, board members, managers and employees who may share the same gene pool. From succession planning to ownership, “family” can add complexity to decision making that other companies don’t experience, and that needs specialized guidance.

The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Mendoza College of Business will be hosting a two-day program for family business owners, “Family Business Continuity: Honoring Tradition, Innovating Change,” May 30-31. The seminar will focus on two specific challenges: meeting the challenges of generational “life cycles,” and how family businesses can innovate to ensure long-term success.

Notre Dame adjunct faculty Chris Eckrich and Joe Schmieder, consultants with The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc., will facilitate the interactive program, which includes a deep-dive case study.

Arthur Velasquez, founder and chairman of Azteca Foods, along with his daughter Renee Tougher, president of Azteca, will deliver the keynote address on May 30 during a dinner in Notre Dame’s new, state-of-the-art Compton Family Ice Arena.

Registration is open to:

  • Notre Dame alumni who own family businesses
  • Members of their families and management team (if accompanied by a member of the registered family owners)
  • Selected non-Notre Dame family business owners
  • Executives and advisors to business-owning families, with advanced permission of seminar organizers and if accompanied by a member of the registered family owners

 Registration fees are $500 for the first registrant in a group, and $400 for each subsequent registrant.

For additional information about the conference, including the program agenda, travel resources and the registration form, visit