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Small Family Business Case Study

Conway Center for Family Business members share case studies featuring their own experiences and success stories. This section features some of these cases, presented at the educational programs previously offered by the Center.

Members have access to the full set of case studies and accompanying presentations, found in the Members Only section.

Ownership Thinking: How to Succeed as a Family Business in Today’s Economy
Alex Freytag, Vice President, Ownership Thinking, LLC

Finance and Credit: What Family Businesses Should Expect from Lenders Today
Harvey Glick, CEO, Insight Bank; Tom Dunson, VP, Commerce National Bank, and Bill Mead, president, The Golf Car Company

Challenging Times Require New Strategies for Families in Business: Growing Your Business in Today’s Marketplace
Ray Attiyah, founder and chief innovations officer, Definity Partners; Steve Schmitt, VP/Operations, Jet Container Co.

Closing the Gap: Understanding Generational Issues in Family Business
Moderator: Thaddeus O’Brien, PhD., O’Brien & Associates; Panelists: Paul Bordner, president, Laser Reproductions; Kevin Schoedinger, Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services, and Jason Mlicki, president, Mlicki branding agency.

Re-Think Your Marketing Efforts: New Ideas to Promote Your Family Business
Moderator: Rick Miller, principle, Rick Miller Communications; Panelists: Kelly Borth, GREENCREST; Bryan Huber, huber+co. interactive; Jason Mlicki, Mlicki; Dave Keller, Triad, and Amy Marshall, Webbed Marketing.

Will Your Family Benefit from an Advisory Board? Tips from Family Business Owners Who Have Used Advisory Boards Effectively
Moderator: CCFB Executive Director Dick Emens; Panelists: Jerry Bordner, chair, Laser Reproductions; Rob Caruthers, CFO, Ricart Automotive; Rick Gummer, president and CEO, Gummer Wholesale, and Howard Task, owner, Marketing, Management and Advisory Services.

New Economic Conditions Require New Strategies for Family Business: Creating a Strategic Plan that Will Work
Thaddeus O’Brien, PhD., O’Brien & Associates

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family and Yourself is a Succession Plan for your Family Business
Jim Balthaser, partner and chair of the Private Companies Practice Group, Thompson Hine LLP, and Tony Kington, a partner and family-owned business chair, Chester, Willcox, & Saxbe LLP

Case Studies

These case studies are a small sample of the issues that Family Business Ireland have enabled these businesses to resolve.
A prerequisite for dealing with such issues is the creation of an environment of trust and confidentiality - it is this, above all else, that we advocate for family business owners and business advisors.


Case Study - The Right Way


This case study is about the importance and the value of the founder proactively managing and leading the change process. Obviously this couple understood the importance and value in removing isolation from their decision making thinking and process.

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Case Study - A father who changed his mind


This case sudy is the story of a Father, majority shareholder and CEO of a relatively large manufacturing and service company.

When he first engaged with Family Business Ireland he was in his early ‘60s. He had recently separated from his wife. There were a number of adult children of which two worked in the business.  He had no succession plan in place and wanted to commence a process whereby he could ‘step out’ of the business after what had been a stressful few years.  The company did not have a functional board and the Father really dictated the strategy and pace of all key decisions. 

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Case Study - The solution was there all along


This case study is of a well established Mother and Father owned business of some 100 years trading. The business would be profiled and a product/service business with 30 employees. The current family owners are third generation and have managed the business for close on 35 years. They are a great husband and wife team and run great business. They are well respected and have a number of very long standing loyal employees.

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Case Study - When unplanned events met an unplanned future


This is a case study of six families today from what was one family sixty years ago.  The business was started by one very entrepreneurial man in the late 1950’s. He quickly created a profitable business and was joined in the enterprise by his brother. The founder married an equally entrepreneurial woman in the mid-1960’s and the two brothers and one brother’s spouse built a very strong business over the years. The brother that joined the business never married and was the ‘face’ of the business. The company had good operational systems but little or no external influences.

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