University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

2014 Entrepreneurial Family Firms Academy


The 2014 Entrepreneurial Family Firms Academy is an international week long program to prepare students to work effectively and professionally, in and with family firms, and to launch and create cross-generational value and wealth in family firms.



This course aims to:

  • Increase your awareness of the significance, diversity, and complexity of family enterprises.
  • Develop your understanding of the distinctive advantages of and unique challenges facing family enterprises.
  • Enhance your ability to understand perspectives of different stakeholders in family firms and develop strategic solutions to improve family business performance.
  • Apply your business skills to address an issue or problem facing an existing family business.

Class format:

This course represents an overview of family business theory, research and real life knowledge.




Topics Addressed


July 28

Professor Pramodita Sharma

Sanders Professor for Family Business,

School of Business Administration,

University of Vermont.

Entrepreneurial Family Firms Tool Kit

The 3- Circle Model

Individual Life Cycles

Family Life Cycles



July 29

Professor Rocki-Lee DeWitt

Professor of Management,

School of Business Administration,

University of Vermont

Scaling and Sustaining the Family Business

Ownership and Governance structures for enduring family enterprises

Resource, Capabilities and Success


July 30


Ira Bryck

Director, UMass Family Business Center, University of Massachusetts

Next Generation Perspectives

Passing of the baton

Discussing the Undiscussables

Attracting the best and brightest  

EVENING PROGRAM (6:30 – 9:00 p.m.):

Dinner and lake cruise  aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen


July 31

Erik Thompson

President and Founder, Thompson Leadership Development. 

Leadership Imperatives in Family and Business

The Family as an Emotional System

Promoting Emotional Maturity in the Family Business

Leading by Managing Self:  The "I" Position

Becoming a Leader:  Next Steps for Self


August 1

Daniel G. Van Der Vliet


The Family Business Initiative @

the University of Vermont

Moving Forward

Final case presentations


EVENING PROGRAM (6:00 – 9:00 p.m.):

Dinner &  Presentation of Certificates at Trapp Family Lodge



Select cases will be shared throughout the week. The expectation is that cases will be read individually and then addressed as teams within the course to further the understanding of the subject and content.

On the final day of class a “Case Competition” will be conducted to synthesize the learning outcomes gained from the week. Teams will be formed during the week and will present before a panel of judges and reviewed based upon:

  • Breadth, depth, clarity, and vividness of situation description;
  • Effectiveness of presentation and analysis of key stakeholder perceptions;
  • Clarity and relevance of decision questions and issues identified; and
  • Effective identification of relevant readings for issue analysis.


Who should attend?

  • From a family or closely held business.
  • Represent the Next Generation of leadership or ownership within that business or a related one.
  • Members of the current Next Gen groups are welcome to attend any day or combination of days.


Dates:     Monday, July 28 - Friday, August 1, 2014
Time:       9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Kalkin Hall, University of Vermont

Register Here

Last modified May 23 2014 04:11 PM