Mount reveals ups and downs of family-run businesses

March 25, 2013


Mount Saint Mary College will host “Family Run Businesses – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” on Tuesday, April 2 from 6 to 8 pm in the Kaplan Family Mathematics, Science and Technology Center atrium, 330 Powell Ave., Newburgh, NY.

The forum, sponsored by the college’s division of business, is free and open to the public.

Visitors will learn the intricacies of running a family businesses from panelists: Chip, Peggy and Sawyer Kent, owners, Locust Grove Fruit Farm in Milton, NY; Eric Najork, COO of the Collection Bureau of the Hudson Valley; and Peter Berman, CEO, The Ruby Group of construction companies in Goshen, NY.

Family run businesses present owners with a unique set of challenges, as well as advantages.

Mount business professor Moira Tolan notes recent research by the Greater Washington D.C. Family Business Alliance reveals that family control can be efficient, since families may be able to positively affect the resource inventory and usage of their firms, apply a long-term perspective allowing for unique strategic positioning, have fewer human resource problems, and drive entrepreneurial activity.

According to the Conway Center for Family Business, 35 percent of U.S. Fortune 500 companies are family controlled and represent the full spectrum of American businesses, from small businesses to major corporations. Their output represents 50 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. The mean age of family control in a family’s core company is 60.2 years, with the 2.8th family generation being in control.

Family run businesses are responsible for employing 60 percent of the U.S. workforce and for 78 percent of all new job creation.

Mount Saint Mary College’s business program, for both undergraduate and graduate students, combines technology, international vision, and modern organizational science to prepare students for careers in a global economy. With a liberal arts core to develop critical thinking, students learn accounting, management, finance, economics, and marketing.

Students gain real-world experience through internships and through community service, such as the IRS VITA program, in which volunteers assist low income individuals with tax forms.

Additionally, the Mount offers comprehensive study in health professions, education, social services, communication/media, natural sciences, and more, plus master’s degrees in education and nursing.