UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Student Praise


"The family business classes made me realize the importance of succession planning, family constitutions, and outside board members. The family business resources coupled with other core courses, set Kenan-Flagler apart from other US business schools, and are extremely useful to international and domestic students going back to their family business."

George Alexander (MBA '11) The Muthoot Group, India

"The Family Business Center provided a platform for me to learn about family business issues and to develop the skills and awareness to be a stronger family business participant. Of all the classes I took towards my MBA, the family business class consistently featured the best guest speakers, held the most interesting dialogue, and provided the best leadership preparation."

Charlie Morris (MBA ’14) Belk Inc, Charlotte, NC

"For me, the family business classes have proved to be the most relevant and important learning experiences that UNC has to offer. I have never been so inspired and excited on both a professional and family level from any class in all my life. This class has already begun to steer my family’s business towards greater success."

Daniel Sullivan (BSBA ’14) Pate Dawson Company, Goldsboro, NC

 "I was very impressed with the curriculum, the quality of instruction and the guest speakers in both modules of the Family Business course."

Doug Gerald (MBA '09) Gerald Automotive Group, Chicago, IL

 "The Family Business course covered diverse topics such as succession, governance, estate planning, valuation of private companies, communication and conflict in family businesses. The Family Business course is definitely a differential of the Kenan-Flagler MBA Program."

Rafael Salazar (MBA '11) Construtora Aterpa S/A, Brazil

Student Experience

"It was definitely the most important course in business school for me."

Thiago Pendido (MBA '09) Serveng-Civilsan, Brazil

"The Family Business coursework was central to my decision to return to my family's business. The diverse curriculum and expert instruction, along with well-chosen guest speakers and a classroom filled with other students in my same situation all contributed to an invaluable consultative and educational experience."

Barrett Bohnengel (MBA ’13) Perfect Measuring Tape Company, Toledo, OH

"Having spoken with colleagues across various top-tier business schools, it appears that there is a dearth in supply of these important family businesses classes. In addition to being an amazingly valuable class, I believe Family Business also serves as a key differentiator for the Kenan-Flagler MBA Program."

Ayse Yasa (MBA '12) Aromsa, Turkey

"The courses offer exceptional speakers week after week that include both family and non-family business executives. The courses allow you to gain access to the speakers not only during and after lectures but also in special networking sessions designed to enhance the learning experience between speakers and students sharing similar business interests or family issues."

Roberto de Andrade (MBA '10) Andrade Holdings, Venezuela

"The cases covered in Family Business are delivered by the leaders of the businesses being studied. It is a rare opportunity to pick the brain of the actual subject of the case. This dynamic reveals the motivations behind the decisions that were made, allowing the student to more effectively learn from and empathize with the tough and ambiguous decisions every business leader must make."

Kevin Martin (MBA '09) Martin Architecture, San Diego, CA

Enhanced Communication

"The family business class was enriching and relevant. Working on my term paper brought me closer to my family, as we spent endless hours talking about the business—ultimately leading to discussion on ways to see continued and future success within the company."

Genna Zimmer (BSBA ’14) Reeds Jewelers, Wilmington, NC

"My experience in this class was instrumental in having valuable conversations with my father about our family business, and allowed me to bring up future business issues including communication, succession planning, and my role in the business in the future."

Elmar Trust (MBA '12) Rare Oz Books, Maryland

"I had a chance to learn about my own family’s business through the term project. I gathered research about our 60-year-old business by speaking to my parents and posed questions that I otherwise would not have been comfortable asking. I gained a new appreciation for what my grandfather had started and what my dad and his brother had continued, while my dad was happy to take a step back and consider the business in ways he hadn’t previously."

Ryan Goldenberg (MBA '10) Tampa Truck Salvage Tampa, FL

"The classes enabled me to proactively think about potential challenges that often face family businesses rather than re-actively responding to these challenges years down the line."

Shelley Marie Fluke (MBA '11) Sparians, North Carolina

"Before I started taking this course, I barely talked to my parents about our family business. I will definitely recommend several of the best practices for family businesses that I’ve learned to my family."

Tom Mudgett (BSBA '10) Transporter Tom Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Lasting Impact

"To me, and to many of my peers who plan on leading family businesses, being able to learn specific strategies related to the unique interpersonal dynamics that exist within a family business is an imperative. This class is not a "nice to have", but is a key determinant of my future success and that of my company."

Ayse Yasa (MBA '12) Aromsa, Turkey

"This class has given me the confidence to not only understand, but hopefully one day lead my family's business"

Katyayani Jhaveri (BSBA ’14) Devam Jewelry, India

"As a direct result of the class, I will be the first member of my generation to ever attend my family's board meetings, helping to fulfill one of my long-term career goals. I am confident that some of the concepts I learned will help add value to dozens of family shareholders and hundreds of employees."

Jack Wilder (MBA '11) E. Ritter & Company, Arkansas

"Many of the principles and best practices discussed including family office management, succession planning, effective communication techniques, and valuation, will not only be useful to my future as a private wealth advisor at Goldman Sachs, but are also great lessons for personal successful living."

Andrew R. Graves (MBA '11) Goldman Sachs, Maryland

"This class has been a critical piece of learning and preparation for my entire career. It has been one of the most relevant learning experiences I have had at this school."

Josh Johnson (MBA '10) R.L Johnson Construction, Jacksonville, FL, and Bentley's Popcorn, Atlanta, GA

"My understanding of business in general, as well as relationships, both in the family and business spheres, was greatly enhanced through the course. I learned to evaluate business more broadly, not just solely from the financial and career perspective but also from the perspective of building up the family and creating a personal legacy."

Yen Chiat Chew (MBA '10) Sunrise Phoenix Sdn. Bhd. Malaysia


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