Family Enterprise Boards

Navigating unique governance challenges

The director plays a pivotal role in effectively guiding family owned businesses. This program from leading family business experts goes in-depth on the issues that affect current and emerging board members, such as managing the board’s strategic, fiduciary and communication functions.

Through interactive lectures with leading Kellogg faculty, in-depth case studies and panels with experienced family and independent directors, participants will emerge with a well-rounded skill set to effectively manage the essential functions of aligning the board’s work with the values and long-term growth of family-owned businesses.

Groups are encouraged but NOT REQUIRED. No more than 5 participants per family enterprise are permitted to attend at one time. Requests for groups of more than five in a single session must be approved by the program’s Academic Director. Please direct your inquiry to the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises at

This program is offered in a live virtual format. Our live virtual programs are built to deliver a rich experience that’s comparable to our in-person programs. You will have the opportunity to engage with our faculty and your peers in live discussions and lecture sessions. You will come away with the tools to navigate and succeed in the new business landscape.

Information Session

Learn more about the Family Enterprise Suite with this one-hour long information session.


Who Should Attend

  • Current family and non-family board directors, trustees and chairs of family-controlled firms
  • Family members developing themselves for future roles as board members in their enterprise
  • Family and non-family executives who interact with or who will soon be appointed to the board

Key Benefits

  • Define the board's role in understanding family business strategy
  • Explore the differences in board decisions for a family enterprise
  • Understand the unique challenges of selecting family and non-family directors
  • Learn to effectively link the board with the family

Program Content

  • Role of the Board in understanding family business strategy
  • What is different about a Board decision for a family enterprise
  • Selecting family for Board roles
  • Linking the Board with the family
  • Board room etiquette and effectiveness
  • Different models of the Board’s role in governance
  • Board best practices in family enterprises


Jennifer Pendergast - Academic Director; John L. Ward Clinical Professor of Family Enterprise and Executive Director of the John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises

Jose Maria Liberti - Clinical Professor of Finance

Edward Zajac - James F. Bere Professor of Management & Organizations

What Participants Say

“The family enterprise boards course is a wonderful 4 days of learning from great teachers and your colleagues in the classroom. A time to think and reflect of a subject extremely important to all family business.”
Chairman of the Board, Carvajal S.A.

“I highly recommend this course for all family directors and potential family directors to get exposure to best professors and learn directly from other family business all along the continuum of generations, competitions, ownership structures and size.”
Shareholder, Board Member, Bemis Manufacturing Company

“This program has covered a great variety of items and issues that family business deal with. The interaction with the other students was an experience that wouldn't have been possibly otherwise, and the classes were very thought provoking. I don't know how anyone could leave without a list of items to take home to work on with their family, board, and business.”
Potential Board Member, Family Council, International Dehydrated Foods, Inc.

Family Enterprise Suite

Address the unique challenges of running a family business

2021 Sessions

September 19-23, 2021

Start: September 19 at 2:30 PM

End: September 23 at 1:15 PM

Evanston campus

This Approval Program is limited to individuals with specific business experience. All applications will be subject to review and approval from the program’s Academic Director.


Fee includes lodging and most meals

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208