Family Business Association to host conference; Steelers owner to deliver address

Family Business Association to host conference; Steelers owner to deliver address
The South Dakota Family Business Association (SDFBA) at The University of South Dakota will present the 14th Annual Prairie Family Business Conference, "Keeping the Family Business Healthy," on April 20-21, at the Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center in Sioux Falls.�

Family business leaders, as well as succeeding generations and their advisors, will choose from educational sessions addressing family issues such as gender communication, family meetings, next generation leadership skills, and compensation issues. There will also be sessions on ownership issues such as trust options, what to consider when selling the family business, strategic planning and valuing the family business.

Finally, participants will be able to attend presentations on general business issues addressing the effects of emotional and physical heath on the workplace and family life and how to compete smarter using "lean" techniques.

Jim Rooney, third generation owner of the 2006 Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers, will deliver the luncheon keynote address, "Building a Brand with the Family Business," on Friday, April 21. Rooney will share the team's history and his views regarding his father's ability to use a formal business education to bring about needed structural changes. Rooney will also discuss how his brother, current president Art Rooney II, and third generation family members, continue to implement the spirit of their grandfather in the midst of the "big-business" world of the National Football League.

"The Rooney family has been generous enough to donate a surprise item from the team to raffle at the conference. If you're a football fan, you'll want to get in on this one," said Beth Adamson, executive director of the SDFBA.

Dr. Steve McClure, a nationally recognized family business educator, will share recent research and personal consulting experiences designed to help business owning families evaluate their advantages, learn about five "ailments" that plague family firms and develop a "treatment" to stay on a healthy path. McClure will also facilitate a session helping senior and junior members of the family business communicate succession needs. For family business advisors, McClure will lead a session on the unique needs of the family business system.

Statistics show that while the majority of businesses nationwide are family owned and operated, only 33 percent of these enterprises are passed on to the second generation, and of those, only 12 percent make it to the third generation.

"Understanding the family business system and its unique dynamics are critical to beating these odds," Adamson said. "The conference is recognized as the number one family business networking event in the region. Business owning families have the opportunity to learn from top educators, but more importantly, they meet other families who are tackling some of the same issues, find new resources and develop great friendships and business relationships."

The 2006 Prairie Family Business of the Year Award, the runner up, and the coveted Heritage Award will be presented at the Thursday evening banquet. The conference will conclude with a tour of the quarries at Concrete Materials and a Sweetman family presentation on their history and development.

Registration forms can be obtained on line at, or by calling the SDFBA office at 605-782-3225. �

SDFBA was founded in 1993 with a mission to build relationships that promote healthy families and successful businesses through education, research and peer interaction. It assists family firms in balancing the unique challenges of blending family and business. Together with its corporate sponsors, Eide Bailly, LLP and The U, the SDFBA offers an annual conference, the Distinguished Lecturer Series, the Legacies of Family Enterprise Series, and local workshops on a variety of topics.

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