Dr. Tenpao Lee, interim dean of NU's College of Business Administration, shares some laughs with Tim Palisano, president of Lincoln Companies, and Mark Mitskovski, president of Borison International.

Niagara University’s Family Business Center recently celebrated its 15th anniversary with a reception held at Consumer’s Pub at the Park, Coca Cola Field in Buffalo on Jan. 25. More than 50 people were in attendance, representing such organizations as West-Herr Automotive Group, National Fire Adjustment Company, Moses Insurance Group, and the Small Business Development Center.  

The center was established in 2003 and is dedicated to serving the needs of family and privately owned businesses in Western New York through the exchange of knowledge. The center's mission is to develop and exchange relevant information on family business issues in order to strengthen the stability and long-term viability of family and privately owned businesses through education, research and service.

In his address to the attendees, Vincent Agnello, the founder and director of the center, thanked the university, college and sponsors for their continued support.  He thanked the many great speakers that have provided valuable information to the business members that has helped strengthen area businesses and provided them valuable guidance over the years.  Over the past 15 years, the center has honored many great firms, such as Wegmans, Delaware North, and publishing giant Rodale Inc. with its Family Business of the Year Award. 

The center has hosted over 90 presentations by experts in their field on topics such as succession planning, dealing with family conflict, hiring, security controls, and proven best business practices.  Several past speakers also attended the event, including Robert Lane, of Lane Consulting and former CEO of Commodore Computers. Lane spoke on why businesses fail to a capacity crowd at the November 2017 breakfast forum. That same day, he also led a 90-minute interactive presentation on current trends in business with over 90 NU business students.  

Niagara University's College of Business Administration is one of a network of over 60 colleges and universities that have established a family business center to assist businesses in their geographic area. Niagara saw the need for the support of family owned business since, as PwC reports, “More than 90 percent of all American businesses are owned and operated by families but based on recent studies, only one-third of family owned businesses will survive to the next generation and only 10 percent will survive transfer to a second generation.”

In thanking the center’s sponsors, Agnello emphasized that they were instrumental in the center’s success. These sponsors included Lincoln Moving & Storage, Mass Mutual, Niagara Frontier Publications, Planned Futures Financial Group, and WNY at Work.

Spring 2018 Breakfast Forums will be held at Giancarlo's in Williamsville from 7:30-9:30 a.m.:

  • Planning Your Business Exit Strategy – Feb. 6, 2018
    Nicholas Morreale, Senior Vice President, Paramax Corporation 
  • Stress Management: How You Manage Your Stress Will Define How You Manage Your Business - March 6, 2018
    Amy Olson, President Creative Inservices
  • Business Ethics: How to Prevent Good Things from Going Bad – April 3, 2018
    Gerry Murak, Founder & Owner, Murak & Associates, LLC

For more information on the Family Business Center, please visit www.niagara.edu/fbc or email cbacenters@niagara.edu.

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