Family business meeting to focus on crucial industry topics


CORVALLIS - The Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University will hold a three-day conference to address the most critical issues facing family business today. More than 90 percent of U.S. businesses are family-owned, making these issues cri tical to local and national economies.

Family Business 2000 is set for May 14-16 at OSU's CH2M-HILL Alumni Center. The sessions include a live broadcast from an Italian family-owned manufacturing and retail jewelry firm that started in 1369 and three one-act interactive plays focused on family business.

The meeting is hosted by the OSU Austin Family Business Program and corporate sponsor, U.S. Bank. Admission is $250 per person, maximum $1,500 per family. U.S. Bank business customers pay $150 per person. The daily rate is $100 per person. For information , call 800-859-7609 or visit the Austin Family Business Program Web site.

Jewelers Franco and Fabrizio Torrini, of Florence, Italy, will make the Family Business 2000 keynote lecture, which will be delivered by satellite.

John L. Ward, of Northwestern University and Family Business Consulting Group, will make his ninth presentation for OSU. His talk stresses policies distinguishing truly professional family businesses. Stephen L. McClure, of the Family Business Resource Ne twork will talk on the characteristics of multi-generational family firms. McClure is the 1999 recipient of Family Firm Institute's Beckhard Award for outstanding consulting to family businesses.

Other sessions include: advice from moms; raising kids and grooming successors; questions families never ask their lawyers, but should; letting go; E-business meets family business; generations working together; and philanthropy and the family foundation .

New this year are three one-act humorous plays that focus on issues important to family businesses with audience discussion at intermission. The plays, produced by Actors Cabaret of Eugene, are: "A Death in the Family," "What I Meant Was" and "Feeling Al ienated."

The Austin Family Business Program at OSU is the second oldest program of its kind in the United States. The program serves family-owned businesses by offering lessons in varied formats, including hands-on learning opportunities.

Sponsors for Family Business 2000 include: MassMutual, Perkins & Company, P.C., Tarlow, Jordan & Schrader, Savvy Small Biz, Agri-Business Council of Oregon, IDAK, Veber Partners, James, Denecke, Urrutia, Marmaduke & Carlton, P.C., Boldt, Carlisle & Smith, Delap, White, Caldwell & Croy, LLP, and Hershner, Hunter, Andrews, Neill & Smith, LLP.