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School of Business Administration

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Friday, October 10 - 2014 UVM Family Business Awards


2015 Entrepreneurial Family Firms Academy


The 2015 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 27

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 28

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 29


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 


July 30

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


July 31

Daniel G. Van Der Vliet

Director, 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 aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen



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 27 - Friday, July 31, 2015
Time:             9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location:       Kalkin Hall, University of Vermont

Registration: Opens in January 2015


Last modified August 12 2014 03:04 PM