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SDBJ Insider

All in the Family Biz

A new program out of University of San Diego’s Free Enterprise Institute is taking aim at helping foster more successful family businesses. The USD Family Business Initiative at the Knauss School of Business will support existing and potential family businesses with educational resources and networking opportunities covering topics specific to family businesses such as succession planning, as well as broad topics like fundraising and financial planning, but through a family business lens.

Free Enterprise Executive Director Mysty Rusk described USD as “uniquely positioned” to offer the programming because the university’s “number of students who come from successful family businesses.” USD is also home to successful entrepreneurial programs such as the San Diego Angel Conference pitch competition and The Brink Small Business Development Center innovation hub.

The Family Business Initiative is co-chaired by Dr. Jeremy Lurey, a senior consultant at the Family Business Consulting Group, and Chris Yount, a UDS alumni and former president and CEO of Fortifiber Corporation – a third generation family business that manufactured waterproofing products for home construction.

Yount pointed out that family businesses face unique challenges, such as managing “complexities associated with familial relationships” and “strategic and leadership issues.”

USD’s partners in the new initiative include The Family Consulting Group, Marsh McLennan Agency, RSM and Whittier Trust.

The USD Family Business Initiative is kicking off its programming with an educational event April 9 exploring the benefits and impact of family philanthropy and family foundations. Registration is required, visit tinyurl.com/hnek96by

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Last year, Lincoln Club San Diego made what Executive Director Victor Lopez described as “the monumental shift” of moving its membership and events from its political action committee (PAC) to a 501c(6) named the Lincoln Club Business League.

The Lincoln Club has gone through several major changes since it was founded in 1983 as a PAC initially named The Golden Eagles. In the 1990s, the group changed its mission from supporting Republican candidates to a non-partisan organization supporting pro-business candidates. Moving away from a PAC last year, Lopez said, was another step to transition the organization into a “premier economic collation.”

“We don’t care what you represent politically, we care about what you represent in terms of the business community and what is going to make San Diego County a better place,” he added.

In service of the goal of becoming a premier economic coalition, the club has initiated a marketing campaign led by David Perloff of Perloff Media, who said he is “modernizing” the club’s outreach to existing and potential members with a social media campaign and updated website. The club has also stepped up its events open to nonmembers, like a free, upcoming mixer on April 17 at Swing Social in downtown San Diego.

Currently, the Lincoln Club Business League has more than 320 members, Lopez said, that represent a range of business interests, from large companies to mom-and-pops, and make political endorsements that have “really adapted to the landscape of San Diego County.”

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