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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

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

It’s the end of July, and we finally get some baseball back in our lives!  I know you are as excited as I am – the stars are aligning for my MN Twins do well.  Please no comments from any Yankees readers – though who am I kidding – there are none. 

Anyway, it’s time for a good ol baseball metaphor to help us all think about the planning necessary to have a successful family business.

One thing the announcers always love to talk about is the way a starting pitcher’s e... Read More

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Business owners have a lot of information at their fingertips. There are calculators and assessments available for just about every aspect of your business and personal situation. As a result, many business owners think they have an accurate idea about the value of their business. They may even think they have an idea of where the business value should be at their departure from the business. And retirement needs calculators are abundant, claiming they’ll give business owners a good idea about what they’ll need if or when they step away from their businesses. It can be difficult and somewhat complex to accurately measure the value of a company today, and then what it needs to be worth whe... Read More

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Realistic Timelines Global economic disruption uniquely affects each business. Whether you are being hit with a hammer or expect to suffer a slow burn, your reaction to changes and proactive planning will play a major role in how your future unfolds. Signals indicate that once we start to get COVID-19 under control, the world economy will begin to recover, business will rebuild, and business owners will need to ask themselves if they want to go through another major disruption, or transition out of their business while they can. This is the most crucial time to plan so that your business has the best chance of supporting your personal and financial goals, even if those goals are... Read More

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Our last Breakfast Series session focused on how to have tough conversations as a family.  We drew a lot on the concept that difficult topics often get swept under the rug until they become giant “Jerry Springer moments” with our business family.

I wanted to take a minute to reflect on some things I learned from our panelists (Heidi Vermeer-Quist of VQ Consult and Warren Jacobs and Warren Phillips of Transformative Workplace Solutions).  So here are some thoughts, in no particular order:


... Read More
Tuesday, May 05, 2020

“A family is like a small business”, Marty Byrde.  

Marty makes this statement way back in the second episode of the very first season.  It gives you some insight into his persona, and while obviously fictional, Marty goes on to show us some very true points about being successful in business.  You can argue all day if they have helped Marty be successful – though (spoiler alert) he does continue to keep his family alive.

I wanted to point out just 3 of those lessons... Read More