Families in Business Conference

Celebrating family enterprise across all generations

Hosted by the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell, the 2018 Families in Business Conference will bring together students, owners from a diverse range of businesses, and the collective wisdom of leading academics and practitioners. We will explore the theme of "Generations and Innovations" with speakers, breakout sessions and exceptional networking throughout the conference.

On Wednesday, October 24 we are offering two master classes: "Strengthening the Family Culture" with John Engels, President of Leadership Coaching, Inc. and "A Deep Dive into Execution" with Patrick Thean, CEO and founder of Rhythm Systems.

The evening of Wednesday, October 24 we kick off the conference with "A Taste of Family Business" reception and dinner that will feature selections from family-owned wineries, breweries, distilleries, and value-added agriculture. The full conference takes place on Thursday, October 25 with numerous family business leaders sharing their experiences throughout the day. The conference concludes on  Friday, October 26 we host the Sam Seltzer ('48) Mentors Forum, pairing Cornell students with family business leaders in one-on-one mentoring sessions. 

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What previous attendees have said

"The Cornell Families in Business conference is a great opportunity to connect with other family businesses to share stories, network, learn from one another and have fun. Family businesses face a unique set of challenges and the Families in Business across Cornell conference was a great opportunity to openly discuss these challenges, share strategies and learn from other great family businesses.”

"This was a fantastic inaugural family business event, bringing together prominent and aspiring family businessmen and businesswomen to address common legacy issues which affect all family businesses across industries.”

“The Families in Business conference was tremendous in the diversity of attendees and topics. It helped highlight the incredibly important role family businesses have and will play in the global economy.“

“A complete success.”

“Great event to build networks, share ideas and learn. Well worth my time and exceeded my expectations!”


"The event was wonderful for collectively engaging the challenges, and opportunities, inherent in family business.”

"The execution and caliber of the conference were both first-rate."

“It was excellent - a great opportunity to hear the stories of other family businesses rooted in Cornell.”

“Strong out of the gates - an organization set to contribute significantly to the ongoing conversation on family business.”

"A great start to a long overdue initiative - thank goodness for the Smiths.”

"...a world-class family business event for learning and exchange."

"One of the most organized and polished events of this size that I have ever attended."

"The conference was yet again wonderful! There is so much our family can learn from being a part of this event. We will be permanent attendees."

Additional information:

Phone: 607.255.2881
Email: Daniel.VDV@cornell.edu

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