Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell

Connecting students, alumni and business owners from family and privately held enterprises from across the globe.


The Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the network of owners, leaders and alumni that work in, with or for a family business.

Founded in 2014 from a generous gift from John and Dyan Smith, the Smith Family Business Initiative provides education, networking and new knowledge for family business owners, successors and students from across the globe.


Successors Forum: Healthy Transition Conversations

Cornell University, Ithaca NY | May 18 -19, 2017

Throughout the life of a family business, naturally-occurring transitions take place. Predictable family business transitions include acquisitions, leadership succession, shifts in services or products, transfer of wealth, disruptive relationship challenges, and the marriage, divorce, illness or death of key leaders. Whether these transitions are smooth, leading to opportunities and growth, or rough, resulting in a full-blown family or business crisis, depends to a large degree on the maturity and conversational skill of family leaders. Is there a reliable alternative to the “discomfort viruses” - avoidance, conflict, distance, and defensiveness - that so often threaten healthy conversations at the expense of the business and the family?



Headlines
>Roadmap for Family Businesses

Apr 18

>Roadmap for Family Businesses
target="_blank">Bound to succeed

Mar 06

target="_blank">Bound to succeed
target="_blank">Family businesses – Entrepreneurs, Enterprises and Extremophiles

Jan 12

target="_blank">Family businesses – Entrepreneurs, Enterprises and Extremophiles

Family Business in the News

Apr 11

2017 Family Enterprise USA Survey

The 2017 Family Enterprise USA survey takes the pulse of family business owners annually. 

Apr 11

Most coffee lovers don't know the company fueling New York and its diners

At diners and delis throughout the city, millions consume coffee each day, but few know the brand behind the blend.

Feb 09

Family businesses are about to hit the mainstream

The study of family businesses across the world of academia is about to go mainstream. 



Family Business Blog

Mar 27

Flocks, families, and organizations

Daniel G. Van Der Vliet

  One of the greatest contributions of Bowen Theory to the understanding of groups (families, organizations, or societies), is the following: the functioning of the individual is governed by the group. Theory also points out that if an individual can raise his functioning in relationship to other group members, others predictably raise their functioning as […]

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27 Apr 2017

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"Working alongside your parents, you appreciate them more for their professional skillset than for just being your parents." @CornellNetwork

27 Apr 2017