UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Shaping Leaders, Driving Results

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


For more information about the Family Enterprise Center, please contact:

Cooper Biersach, Director and Co-Founder


Want to become part of the Family Enterprise Network? Please take a moment to tell us about yourself and we will be back in touch. Thank you!

Our People

  • Cooper Smith Biersach, Executive Director, Family Enterprise Center

    Cooper Biersach

    [Show Bio]

    Cooper Biersach is the Co-Founder and the Director of the Family Enterprise Center. She is an adjunct assistant professor and co-teaches two courses in family business. She received her BA in English at UNC- Chapel Hill, followed by her MBA and JD with honors.

    Prior to moving to North Carolina, Cooper lived in Boston, MA, where she served as the Senior VP, Worldwide Human Resources and as a member of the Executive Committee of Jack Morton Worldwide, an integrated marketing communications agency that provides live meetings and events, learning, exhibits and 3-D environments, multimedia and interactive experiences, channel marketing and measurement to the world’s leading companies. In her role, she faced firsthand many of the challenges and opportunities of a family-run business — exponential growth, succession planning, acquisitions, global pressures, and the purchase of the company by a publicly traded holding company (Interpublic Group). While at Jack Morton, Cooper created an innovative HR culture focused on leadership and employee development that resulted in the company’s ability to meet ambitious growth objectives. During her tenure, the company grew from 170 employees in 9 U.S. offices to over 1200 professionals in 30 offices worldwide. Company revenue grew from $51 M to over $200 M.

    Cooper is the founding director of the Carolinas Family Office Forum, and she serves on the advisory board of the Carolina Clinic at UNC, a premier executive health program that addresses the needs of high-level executives. She is a member of the advisory board for Camps Seagull and Seafarer, and she is a leader of a community-wide Bible study for women.

  • Stephen P. Miller, President, GenSpan Inc.

    Steve Miller

    [Show Bio]

    President, GenSpan, Inc.
    51 Hilltop Road, Asheville, NC 28803
      (828) 277-7570

    Steve works with family businesses to help them develop world-class, sustainable enterprises. Steve’s approach to family business leadership is to create and employ business and governance strategies that align business, family, and ownership goals.

    Steve draws on his experience working as the top non-family executive of The Biltmore Company. During his 34-year career with the Vanderbilt/Cecil owned property, Biltmore has become the most visited historic home in the United States, and successfully launched a winery, licensing program, and four-star hotel.

    In addition to ongoing succession planning and strategic growth consulting for The Biltmore Company, Steve serves on the boards of Asheville Savings Bank, Draper & Kramer, and Celebration Associates.

    Steve graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he now serves as adjunct professor for family business at Kenan-Flagler Business School. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and is currently working on his doctorate at Case Western Reserve University.

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