UNH Center for Family Business

UNH Family Business Program Salutes Leadership Grads

By Janet Lathrop
UNH News Bureau

May 30, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire's Center for Family Business at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, also sponsored by the UNH Division of Continuing Education, recently celebrated the success of five graduates from the Leadership Development Program.

Barbara Draper, director, applauded those who completed the course, noting that participants represent their family owned company's future generation of leaders. They spend "a very full day" once a month through the academic year learning how to develop strong leadership skills, recognize their own and others' management styles and guide organizational change.

This year's leadership development graduates are Charles Blake Jr., Blake's Turkey Farm, Concord; Chris Brown, New Hampshire Distributors Inc., Concord; Annmarie Boissoneau and Mark Decato, Electropac Co. Inc., Manchester; and Grant Cumming, Dunn Industries, Inc., Manchester.

Charles Heard, of Cleveland, Waters and Bass, a Concord law firm, sent the graduates off with an encouraging message, saluting them for taking time from busy schedules to pursue an educational experience of lasting value.

CFB advisor Steve Fink, retired associate dean of the Whittemore School and a professor of organizational behavior, is in his fourth year of teaching the leadership development course. He said these students -- all highly motivated adults -- focus on learning their strengths and developing more skills as they prepare to step into leadership roles in the family business. With a month between sessions, they have time to take classroom lessons back to the real world for on-the-job application. Class days bring everyone back for sharing stories about what worked and did not work.

"They develop themselves in the areas they feel they need to," Fink says, " and they're very open and self-revealing when they return to class. They learn a great deal from their classmates, and there tends to be a lot of interaction and sincere dialogue in our discussions."

The center's mission is to assist the entrepreneurial family in finding solutions to business challenges and concerns. Staff help families run successful meetings, bring family members into the business, improve communication, sustain profitability, and transfer leadership and ownership. It is sponsored by MassMutual Insurance; Berry, Dunn and McNeil and Parker Certified Public Accountants of Manchester; attorneys Cleveland, Waters & Bass of Concord; and Genus Resources, Needham, Mass.

For information about the next CFB leadership course, contact Draper at (603) 862-1107, or by e-mail at: Barbara.Draper@unh.edu

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