Leadership, longevity focus of OSU Family Business Conference


CORVALLIS - Neil N. Koenig, author of "You Can't Fire Me, I'm Your Father," is keynote speaker for the Family Business Conference at Oregon State University on May 9.

Sponsored by OSU's Austin Family Business Program, in conjunction with corporate partner U.S. Bank, the conference runs from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center on campus.

Koenig draws on his 30 years of experience as a member of the clergy, family psychologist and management consultant to provide his perspective for family businesses. He contends that business success and family success depend on effective leadership.

"What I have seen all too often in family businesses is leadership defined by position, title, family name, and personality," Koenig said. "It is best to think of leadership not as a position of prestige, but as a job and a relationship."

Leadership in family businesses is "facing dynamic and challenging times," said Pat Frishkoff, director of the Austin Family Business Program at OSU.

"The conference presents participants an opportunity to meet with other family businesses and to examine how the roles of both genders contribute to longevity for future generations," Frishkoff said.

Breakout sessions include "Managing and Creating Change," "Finding Good Employees Through E-recruiting," and separate discussion groups for men and women about gender issues in leadership.

"Surviving for Generations" will be the conference luncheon topic for a pioneer family business panel.

The conference program will also give recognition to Pioneer Family Businesses - business owned for more than 75 years by the same family - and non-family employees with more than 25 years in a family business.

The conference will conclude with Koenig's presentation on the difference of leadership at work and at home.

"There's no success without good-hearted, hard-nosed leadership at work and at home," he said.

For conference registration information, contact the program at 800-859-7609 or 541-737-3326, or visit the web site.