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Monday, January 04, 2021

We are finally turning the page to 2021 and there will no doubt be thousands of articles written summarizing 2020 and all that happened – good and bad – and how we can look forward to the New Year with lessons learned and optimism. Rather than repeat all of that, I just want to put a couple ideas out there to Iowa family businesses for ’21.  

I’m not asking you to do much – you don’t have to lose any weight (though I need to) and you don’t have to learn a new hobby or speak a second language. I would simply encourage you to do 2 things this ye... Read More

Monday, November 16, 2020

By Dan Beenken

There is a reason we devote one of our breakfast sessions each year to Succession Planning.  Regardless of your family business situation, transition is inevitable. And the odds are not always in your favor.  Only about 13% of companies make it to the third generation.  

There are several “best practices” you can glean from others who have been there, but it really comes down to two things: Plan and Communicate.  

Louis Pasteur famously said “C... Read More

Thursday, October 08, 2020
What I learned from the Family Business Breakfast Series Session One

By Dan Beenken

What I learned:

As the facilitator for our annual Breakfast Series, I have a front row seat to our panelists and their expertise.  I also have the benefit of knowing our audience and their interests.  So I feel pretty lucky to be able to combine those elements as I broaden my own knowledge base in the family business environment.  

Our last session on September 18th focused on advisory boards.  I went in to it knowing that a few of our members... Read More

Thursday, September 10, 2020

"We are excited to welcome Heidi to our team. She will be facilitating all of our family business next generation peer groups and activities.  She is a great fit to the family business programming and we are excited about the future."  Dan Beenken, Iowa Family Business Center powered by UNI

Dr. Heidi Vermeer-Quist is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, a Family Business Consultant, and a third generation shareholder of Vermeer Corporation, a privately held family-owned business based on Iowa. 

At Vermeer Corporation, Heidi developed and facilitated the Ownership Council as well as various family business governance best practices. She served on the Board of Directo... Read More

Thursday, September 10, 2020

“Have you considered the idea of an advisory board?” 

“The last thing I need is someone else telling me what to do,” says nearly every company owner we work with.  

No one wants to be told what to do, least of all the owner of a company. After all, that is part of the reason you have taken on the risk to be an owner. To be the one to call the shots. The buck stops here. 

I absolutely agree. You’ve built a successful company relying on your decision making and maybe a fortuitous bounce now and then, but for the most part, it is your guiding that has moved the ship along.  

Where I disagree is the premise the “being tol... Read More

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

By Michael Crumb | Senior Staff Writer

As a parent of a high school student I, like many of you, have been watching and listening closely as our daughter’s school adjusts and tweaks the start to its school year, trying to find that balance between virtual and in-person learning. It’s a continuation of the uncertainty that struck in March when schools announced they would not return from spring break and remain closed for two weeks as confirmed cases of coronavirus began spreading across Iowa. We then watched as it became clear students would not return to the classroom to finish the year, and districts quickly threw together online learning plans. And we’ve al... Read More

Monday, August 31, 2020

By Gary Nesteby, Facilitator for the Advance Iowa CEO Roundtables

As expected the Corona Virus and the impact that it has had on CEOs across the state is the top subject of the CEO groups.  Although many of the meetings initially have been dealing with the funds that have been available to the businesses and the impact on the workforce; we have transitioned to how we are going to handle the future and what we have learned this far into the pandemic.

Each meeting we b... Read More

Thursday, August 20, 2020

The University of Northern Iowa’s efforts to help rural Midwestern small businesses recently got a boost thanks to grant funding through the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s 2020 Heartland Challenge. The grant is intended to support small business’ transition programming by providing education about employee stock ownership plans.

UNI’s Center for Business Growth and Innovation (CBGI) plans to use the grant to help launch the Center for Business Ownership Transition, which will be an expanded element of CBGI’s proven succession planning work for small businesses where, since 2016, over 90 Iowa companies have successfully transitioned ownership of their busine... Read More

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Morgan Christen grew up in one of Iowa’s many family-owned businesses. Her parents, Tim and Rhonda Kendrick, founded the sawmill and logging company, Kendrick Forest Products, in 1983 in Edgewood, Iowa - population 866. Kendrick Forest Products quickly diversified their product lines which led into the opening of four additional startup companies, creating a suite of family businesses under the Kendrick, Inc. brand, and becoming Edgewood’s largest employer, employing over 125 people including Morgan and her three siblings: Andrea, Kirby and Kerra. 

The Kendrick Family understands the value of building a strong next generation of family owners. Each Kendrick sibling spent time work... Read More

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

IOWA FAMILY BUSINESS Per Mar Security Services has expanded its commercial security services to adapt to the needs of clients due to COVID-19.

New security services include temperature checks and pre-screenings by security officers, thermal imaging cameras, and integrated security. Per Mar Security officers are also handing out masks at the doors of retailers.

“I am proud of the team to quickly adapt to the COVID-19 challenges we all face in order to bring to market these products which provide a safer environment for our clients, their customers and employees,” Chris E... Read More