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Ten students from St. Bonaventure University’s Family Business Club attended the 2017 Families in Business Conference Oct. 26-27 at Cornell University.
Hosted by the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell, the conference brings together current students, owners from a diversity of businesses, and the collective wisdom of leading academics and practitioners.
The focus of this year’s conference was “The Future of Family Business” and featured keynote speakers, breakout sessions and extensive networking opportunities. The conference showcased family businesses across the economic spectrum.
SBU students attended one session led by alumnus John Engels, ’75.
In 1996, Engels founded Leadership Coaching Inc., based on the integration of three cutting-edge research disciplines: neuroscience, Bowen Family Systems Theory, and the evolution of leadership in non-human species.
“Our students gained valuable insight from sessions and networking events with Cornell and Wells College peers from family firms, family business thought leaders and owners. They also contributed significantly to discussions,” said Dr. Carol Wittmeyer, associate professor of management and adviser to the Family Business Club.
“While they are young, many of them started working in their firms as teenagers. … They understand the special opportunities and challenges they will find on their family business journeys and they are working hard to be thoughtful future stakeholders,” she said.
Betty Ramming and Cornell’s Smith Family Business Initiative underwrote the trip for SBU’s students.
“I’m so grateful to them both for their generosity in making this experience possible for our students,” Wittmeyer said.
Pictured (from left to right) are:
Cornell Family Business Fellows Holly Isdale and Ann Dugan (also from the Emerson Foundation that funded St. Bonaventure’s projects), Dann Van Der Vliet, director of the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell, Julie Jamieson, James Barry, Noelle Anzivine (JCC student), Steve Felter, Jacob Clark, Nick Inglisia, Taylor Douglas, Danny Urban (MBA grad assistant and project leader), Amelia Bailey, Victor Blanco (Family Business Club president), Dr. Carol Wittmeyer (Cornell Fellow and SBU club adviser), Emily Certo and Victoria Certo (Penn State student).
The Certos are fourth-generation cousins and last year hosted a Family Business Club tour of their family’s 105-year-old Certo Brothers Distributors.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.
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