Skip to main content
University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Family Business Conference - The Challenge of Change

Friday, March 1, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive, Lincoln, Nebraska

A Conference on Kinship and Commerce

Formally launching the Nebraska Family Business initiative, the Nebraska College of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurship will host the inaugural Family Business Conference on March 1. The conference will provide education, networking and new knowledge for a family business.

the Family Business Whisperer Book


Cost is $20 for students, $49 for professionals.
Register by Monday, February 25 at 11:59 p.m.

Day of registration costs $60.

Registration includes lunch as well as a complimentary copy of The Family Business Whisperer by Dave and Taneil Specht. The book provides questions, processes and a framework to get started on being intentional about “preserving your family and perpetuating your business.”

Register Now

The Challenge of Change

Our conference theme is “The Challenge of Change”, featuring presentations and workshops by thought-leaders, family business principals, nextgens, and consultants, who will be addressing a range of business and leadership topics, including:

  • Learning to anticipate and confidently handle transitions in the family business, such as the departure of senior members and the rise of the next-generation as owners and leaders.
  • Change for good: The reinvention of the family farm.
  • Cultivating the grit to survive and thrive when family life and family business are intertwined.
  • Women and their changing role in family businesses.
  • How to identify and leverage your strengths to thoughtfully and effectively deal with change in your family enterprise.

clipart handshake The conference is also a significant opportunity for Nebraska family business leaders to network with each other. By sharing their experiences and resources, attendees can learn to become better leaders, managers, owners and entrepreneurs.

Dave Specht

Keynote Speaker: Dave Specht

Dave Specht, an internationally recognized expert in family business management, will kick of the conference as our keynote speaker. Specht serves as national development manager for family dynamics at Wells Fargo Private Bank. He is also the founder of Advising Generations LLC, a strategy consulting firm for family-owned businesses. He gained international attention for his creation of the GenerationalBusiness360© process and a new mobile app called Inspired Questions-For Farmers. In addition, he coauthored The Family Business Whisperer, and The Farm Whisperer: Secrets to Preserving Families and Perpetuating Farms.

Register Now


11-11:30 a.m. Registration/Check-In
11:30-11:50 a.m. Welcome and Luncheon
11:50 a.m.-12:50 p.m. Keynote: The Challenge of Change
Dave Specht, national development manager for family dynamics, Wells Fargo Private Bank
1-2 p.m. Session 1
  • Classroom blueprint
    Reinventing the Family Farm for the 21st Century
    Joseph and Matthew Brugger, co-founders of Upstream Farms & Innovations, former winners of the UNL New Venture Competition
  • Never Give Up - The Survivor Way - Dealing with Change in Family Business
    Holly Hoffman, author, motivational speaker and previous competitor on the reality competition show Survivor Nicaragua
2:10-3:10 p.m. Session 2
  • Using Gallup’s CliftonStrengths in the Family Business
    Samantha Kennelly ’16, assistant director of the Clifton Strengths Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • The Female Perspective: Issues and Challenges in Family Firms
    Panel hosted by the Undergraduate Women in Business. Panelists include: Alice Dittman, ’52 and ’55, Cornhusker Bank; Umeda Islamova, ’08 and ’12, Nebraska Business Development Center; and Angie Muhleisen, Union Bank, Lauren Mosser, Marketing major, Jessica Weeder, Agribusiness major
3:20-4:20 p.m. Panel Discussion: Passing the Baton from Generation to Generation
Sid Dinsdale ’75 , Chairman of Pinnacle Bancorp, Dr. Tom Field, Director of the Engler Agribusiness Program and Paul Engler Chair of Agribusiness Entrepreneurship, Betsy Grindlay ’07, Director of Marketing, Speedway Motors
Discussion about learning to anticipate and confidently handle transitions, such as the departure of senior members and the rise of the next generation as owners and leaders.
4:20-4:30 p.m. Closing

Undergraduate Women in Business

The Undergraduate Women in Business student organization helped make this event possible