More than 350 guests attended the Family Business symposium in April 2017

Contact Koch Center

  • Peter Boumgarden, Director, Koch Center, Koch Professor of Practice of Family Enterprise, Washington University
  • Barton H. Hamilton, Research Director
  • Alex Haimann, Associate Director
  • Amanda DeBord, Administrative Coordinator
  • Email: | Call: 314-935-7398

​Family Business Speakers & Events

The Olin Family Business Program engages the off-campus family business community by delving into topics that impact family businesses, through special events, symposiums, and seminars. Hundreds have attended these events, including the annual Olin Family Business Symposium, which is hosted each spring at Olin Business School.

Areas of interest at events include:

  • Incorporating a family’s values into the brand of its business
  • Reinvigorating a family business as it passes from one generation to the next
  • Developing champions for the business as it grows and matures
  • Learning how a family business can “get out of its comfort zone”
  • Learning how mergers, acquisitions, and financial diversification can influence the life cycle of a family business

“What Your Family Business Should Know about Big Data”

Watch the video October 27, 2020 | presented by Liberty Vittert, Washington University in St. Louis

Whether you are implementing data processes already or are simply considering the merits, this talk will use real case studies to show how implementing data science into your family business can help your bottom line—and the unfortunate cases when it doesn’t do a darn thing.

Family Business Symposium

The morning-long symposium brings together business faculty, students, family business practitioners, and community members to gain insights into the perspectives and unique challenges of family-owned and managed businesses. Guest speakers have included representatives from noteworthy family businesses in the region, such as Enterprise Holdings, Tacony Corporation, Schnuck Markets, Commerce Bancshares, Lewis & Clark Capital, Essex Industries, Volpi Foods, and Weekends Only. More than 300 guests attended the symposium in January 2020.

Lunch and Learns

The student-run Family Business Club organizes and hosts the Family Business Lunch and Learn Series, four informal events during the year that feature practitioners in family businesses or firms that serve their needs.

These programs—developed for students and by students, with funding support from the Family Business Initiative—include topics such as M&A issues for family businesses, insights from family members within a family business, and contrasting insights from non-family members who serve in leadership roles at these enterprises.

March 10, 2020 | "Succession Planning - Where do I start? What are my options?"
Moderator/Interviewer: Mike DeCola, former CEO of HBM Holdings, with panelists:

  • Bob Dunaway - Aerofil Technologies
  • Bruce Holland - Holland Construction Services
  • Chris Hoffmann - Hoffmann Brothers
Listen to the post-event interview with Mike DeCola and panelists.

June 10, 2020 | “Adaptive Innovation in Times of Disruption” presented by Dr. Nir Tsuk, New York University
Dr. Tsuk presentation Dr. Tsuk is a seasoned practitioner, academic and facilitator with over 20 years of international experience in the fields of social capital, entrepreneurship, impact, and culture of innovation. Serving as NYU's Global Distinguished Scholar (as well as a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Osaka University, Japan), Nir has recently launched for New York University the Institute for Impact and Intrapreneurship.


New events coming soon.