Nonprofit introduces family business succession plan programming

Robin Burns. Courtesy Family Business Alliance

To commemorate its 15th anniversary, the Family Business Alliance (FBA) will introduce new programming to facilitate family business succession planning.

The Grand Rapids nonprofit announced plans to launch customized and interactive programming designed by Chicago-based Family Business Consulting Group.

The program will help businesses identify key succession issues and implement plans for a successful transition in a series of in-person workshops held 8:30-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, Thursday, April 14, and Tuesday, June 7, at the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, 250 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 150.

“This immersive program will be offered as an interactive workshop series led by nationally recognized experts from Family Business Consulting Group,” said Robin Burns, director of FBA. “Experts state that proper succession planning is a 14-year journey. So, it is never too early to start, and this workshop is designed to prepare organizations for the road ahead, as well as meet members at the critical points of the journey.”

Programming focus areas

  • Understanding the roles and relationships of owner, board member and leader
  • Creating or updating family vision, values and expectations for business enterprise performance, including growth, risk, profit and liquidity
  • Educating on value of a buy/sell agreement in valuing, gifting and transacting
  • Creating effective family and business governance structures and processes
  • Establishing pathways for NextGens of all ages to learn about business
  • Understanding how to successfully pass the baton

“Nationwide studies indicate that only 41% of family business organizations feel that they are prepared in terms of succession planning,” said Brent Van Haren, chair of the FBA board of directors and president of SecurAlarm, a second-generation family business. “This program provides the family business community greater access and facilitates the opportunity to prepare organizations for the difficult and challenging work of succession planning. We just completed an ownership transition that went very smoothly, but I am excited to attend this event to learn what we can do better next time. Every situation is different, so this workshop will help you identify and create a plan that aligns with your unique circumstances.”

FBA was founded in 2006 by a group of West Michigan independent family businesses that shared a common goal of keeping family businesses contributing to the community and helping them to succeed over generations. The nonprofit serves more than 160 organizations that participate in events, workshops, social events or peer group forums providing community, mentorship and access to educational resources.

More program and membership information is available by contacting Burns at

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