The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith Family Enterprise Center will host New York Times top-ten author Dr. Tom Deans, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, as the keynote speaker for the quarterly breakfast meeting of the Family Enterprise Center (FEC).


Deans, who is the author of Every Family’s Business, will speak to FEC members, business owners, and community guests at the June 4 event, which begins at 7:30 a.m., in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center, located at 800 N. 49th St. in Fort Smith.


The FEC is a business outreach program of UAFS that provides consulting and training to area family businesses.  


“80-90% of all US businesses are family owned,” explained Dave Robertson, Director of the FEC, “and those family businesses face unique challenges when it comes to planning for ownership and leadership succession.”


Deans’ book, Every Family’s Business, challenges the idea that family businesses must keep business and family issues separate.  He offers a compelling and new perspective that it is virtually impossible to separate family and business.  


“There is a reason why Every Family’s Business has sold more than a million copies,” said Deans. “It helps families answer the difficult question: Who will own this business in the future?  If protecting family wealth and relationships is important, I guarantee  this book and keynote speech will offer extraordinary help.”


The FEC serves over forty local multi-generational family businesses by providing workshops on succession planning and leadership development. Topical speakers on subjects from estate planning to conflict resolution are used to help present best practices for leading family businesses.


“We like to say that we have developed a ‘Learning Community,’ where family members and key employees can gather in a safe and supportive environment to learn about how to effectively face the unique challenges of family business,” added Robertson.  “We take the conversation away from the family’s table, where it can be challenging to have these discussions, and bring it to our table where all family members can hear from experts who have compassion and no hidden agendas.”


The breakfast is free for FEC members and their guests, and $20 for non-members.  


Registration for the event is required and can be completed by e-mailing Robertson at


UAFS Staff
Date Posted: 
Thursday, May 23, 2019
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