The VCU Family Business Forum provides educational programs, leadership affinity groups and networking opportunities to family-owned businesses throughout the region. 

The forum is housed at the VCU School of Business. Monthly seminars feature leading experts on topics of value to owners and members of family enterprises. Topics include succession planning, governance, family communications, leadership development, conflict resolution and other matters unique to multi-generational family businesses.

Membership is open to all family businesses. The annual membership fee is $1,500 and permits participation by all owners, family members and non-family executives of the member business. 

2019-2020 Forums

Breakfast is available at 8am, and programs are 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

September 11, 2019

Dan Hatzenbuehler will be joining us from E. Ritter & Company (ERC). Dan is the retired chairman and CEO of ERC, a 5th generation Arkansas family business. Dan’s work with ERC began in 1979 on the Board of Directors and later in 1998 as CEO. Prior to joining E. Ritter & Company, he was a partner with Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz, Memphis, Tennessee, concentrating in securities and mergers and acquisitions. During his tenure, Ritter Communications, a subsidiary of ERC, expanded into cable TV, high speed internet, and business services, and it also began development of a fiber network across northern Arkansas.

We look forward to Dan sharing his stories of Succession Planning.  Although not a Ritter by blood, he has always had the best interests of both the family and the business in his heart. Dan has navigated the work of being the first in-law to lead the business, the professionalization of the ERC Board of Directors, the development of a family council, and at his retirement, the introduction of the first nonfamily CEO of ERC. 

October 9, 2019

We are excited to welcome back Sam Davis! Sam will join us to moderate a panel of family business owners from the community. Together the group will discuss the topic of Succession Planning from a variety of perspectives. We look forward to hearing the perspectives of family business leaders at various stages of planning for leadership transitions.

November 13, 2019

Jim Wood, Executive Director for Family Enterprise Services for EY will present for our November meeting. Jim will continue our work on Succession Planning with his talk “From Family Business to Business Family: Integrating Non-Family Executives (NFE) into the Family Business”.

Save the dates for the remainder of the season. 

  • December 11, 2019
  • January 8, 2020
  • February 19, 2020
  • March 11, 2020
  • April 8, 2020
  • May 13, 2020


  • Bliley’s Funeral Homes
  • E. Ritter & Company
  • Endeavor Capital   
  • Genesis Properties
  • H.F. Bulifant & Sons Inc.
  • HandCraft Services, Inc.
  • J. D. Miles & Sons Roofing
  • Kelleher Heating & Cooling
  • Kenmore Envelope Company
  • Lansing Building Products           
  • Luck Companies
  • Ross Publishing
  • Siewer's Lumber & Millwork
  • Stone's Office Equipment
  • Ukrop's Homestyle Foods
  • Valley Proteins
  • Woodfin Heating, Inc. 
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  • The Family Forum has been very beneficial to our company. We have obtained many ideas from the seminars, and the networking among the members has been invaluable.
    Richie Siewers
    Siewers Lumber & Millwork
  • If you want your family business to remain in the family and still be run like a business, generation to generation, your interests are aligned with the VCU Family Business Forum. I recommend the VCU Family Business Forum programs.
    Joe Kelleher
    Kelleher Corp.
  • It is so wonderful to listen to members of other family businesses and realize that most of us experience the same problems no matter the size or nature of the business. The guidance we have received in being able to handle these problems has been worth far more than what we could have afforded independent of the forum.
    Lynne Rabil
    Hubbard Peanut Company