Olin’s Koch Center launches family ownership podcast

  • April 17, 2024
  • By Guest Blogger
  • 3 minute read

What does it mean to be a strategic owner? How might it matter if something is owned in the public market or, by a founder or family? What about the time horizon, and what does it mean to say you are invested for the long term?

Do the patterns of ownership of businesses across the country make a difference in the way businesses are run, whether mom-and-pop shops or multinational corporations?  A new podcast hosted by Peter Boumgarden, professor and director of the Koch Center for Family Enterprise at Washington University’s Olin Business School explores these questions.

Jennifer Wintzer, program manager, Koch Center for Family Enterprise, wrote this for the Olin Blog.

The podcast—named “The Owner’s Box”—officially launched its first six-episode season on March 28, 2024. A new episode drops at the end of each month with mini-episodes exploring some of the core ideas through the lens of academic research nestled in-between. The project is an initiative from the Koch Center for Family Enterprise under Boumgarden’s direction with podcast creative producers, Jennifer Wintzer and Austin Alred, rounding out the team.

“The profile of privately held businesses continues to grow, and our students are increasingly interested in this sector,” said Dean Mike Mazzeo.

The Owner’s Box represents a great platform to showcase the energy in private business and to elevate the impact of the Koch Center.

—Dean Mike Mazzeo

The first episode, titled “Transitioning with Soul,” begins with Bo Burlingham, pioneering business journalist and former Inc. magazine editor, as well as author of books Small Giants and Finish Big

“A lot of people simply aren't aware that they have the choice," Burlingham says at the outset of episode one. “And that's really what I hoped the readers of Small Giants, would take away from the book, which is you have a choice and you can define what you mean by great and then you can strive to create a business that reflects that definition of great.”

With Burlingham framing the focus, Boumgarden weaves a story with narration that blends academic research and insights from interviews with business owners, Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group and Ari Weinzweig of Zingerman's to illuminate what it means to transition a business with soul.


Each podcast episode will present a business owner and their approach to ownership while tapping the research and scholarship generated by the outstanding faculty at Olin and the Koch Center. Throughout the series, Boumgarden will explore the hidden patterns of ownership across the country as an invisible current with implications on the products we buy, the companies we work at and the communities we live in. The anticipated audience for “The Owner’s Box” includes family-business leaders and current students, as well as listeners interested in understanding the social impact of how these businesses are run. 

Visit the podcast’s website for a schedule of first-season episodes and guests. Listeners can subscribe on all their favorite podcasting apps, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Overcast.

“Ownership is a critical skill, but one we don’t talk about enough,” Boumgarden said. “What we hope to do in the podcast is to bring in incredible guests from across these different models, illuminate it through what we know from the academy, and then help each of us learn from the best and corresponding challenges of various distinct ownership forms.”

About the Author

Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

From time to time we have professors, students, staff, alumni, or friends who are not regular contributors, but want to share something with the community. Be sure to look at the bottom of the post to see the author.

Contact Us

For assistance in finding faculty experts, please contact Washington University Public Affairs.

Monday–Friday, 8:30 to 5 p.m.

Sara Savat, Senior News Director, Business and Social Sciences


Kurt Greenbaum,
Communications Director

Twitter: WUSTLnews