Family Enterprise Boards: A Program for Current and Prospective Directors

Learn the ins and outs of serving on a family business board and how to navigate these unique organizations

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.

Ivan Lansberg / Academic Director

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


Ivan Lansberg - Academic Director; Adjunct Professor of Family Enterprise; Academic Director for Family Enterprise Executive Education Programs

James B. Ethier - Adjunct Professor of Family Enterprise

Jose Maria Liberti - Clinical Professor of Finance

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

CPE Credits

Continuing Education Credit
This program is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and is recommended for 39.0 CPE credits.

Continuing Professional Education Information
The Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

All Kellogg programs that qualify for CPE credits do not have pre-requisites. Advanced readings and case preparation is required. A packet of course materials is emailed to all participants before the program begins.

All Kellogg programs are group-live or internet-based. Program level: Advanced. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaints and refunds, please contact our office at 847-467-7000.

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

2019 Sessions

September 15-19, 2019

Start: September 15 at 2:30 PM

End: September 19 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