UNI’s Advance Iowa Program Helps Family Business Succession Planning

Family business


Family businesses are widely recognized as a powerful driver of economic growth – generating more than 60% of U.S. GDP and 75% of private sector jobs. These businesses are often the economic engine for rural communities across Iowa, providing employment, identity and philanthropic resources to many places that Iowans call home.


The UNI Family Business Forum launched in September 2018 as a way to provide specialized services to family businesses. More than 3 in 10 family owned firms successfully transition to Generation 2, and only 12% survive to Generation 3 of a family. The forum’s focus is on bringing family business owners together to allow them to learn from each other and provide a vehicle for them to learn more about issues specific to family owned businesses.  


The Family Business Forum has expanded service offerings to family owned firms to include focused succession planning services to families going through generational transition.  In addition, a Next Generation Leadership Development Peer group program designed to bring young family leaders together has been launched that will provide them with tools, resources, mentoring and support to help develop them as future leaders in their family companies.  


The Family Business Forum series will hold their next all-day event on Tuesday, April 30, at the Vermeer Corp. campus in Pella, Iowa. Vermeer, a manufacturer of industrial and agricultural equipment, was founded in 1943 by Gary Vermeer. Since then, three generations of the family have operated the business, including Gary’s son, Bob, daughter, Mary Andringa, and grandson Jason Andringa.

​If you are interested in next generational family business planning and succession planning, learn more at advanceiowa.com/family-business-forum.