How to Work Happily with your Mom and Grow her Business | Elizabeth Blount McCormick | Episode 049


Theme: A Daughter Successfully Manages Business Change

Summary: Elizabeth Blount McCormick describes how she took over her mother’s business and introduced the changes and culture that have helped the business continue to thrive.

Featured Guest: Elizabeth Blount McCormick, President and Owner of Uniglobe Travel Designers


Key Quotes:

  • “My sister and I had a call with my mom, who was thinking of selling the business. We told her ‘Don’t sell…we’d like to work in the company. Give us a chance.’”
  • “A lot of people my mom hired had watched me grow up. It was challenging. I had so much to learn and to prove. But I was also bringing in a lot of the best practice I had learned. My sister and I had to change the culture, and our mom allowed us to change things.”
  • “We’ve had some millenials come here—and I tell them the world is their oyster, but they have to work hard. I try to lead by example. I’m trying to bring on the right people-you’ve got to surround yourself with people who are smarter-people who are eager and ready to go.”

How Family Business Centers Support Women and their Businesses | Lanie Jordan | Episode 048

Theme: How Family Business Centers Support Women

Summary: Lanie Jordan, Executive Director of the Family Business Alliance at Wilkes University, describes how college-based family business centers can support women through education, peer groups, events, and research.

Featured Guest: Lanie Jordan: Executive Director of the Family Business Alliance at Wilkes University.

Website: Family Business Alliance – Wilkes University

Key Quotes:

  • “We see amazing opportunities for women…about 24% of family businesses are led by female CEOs or presidents. Women are making great strides in family businesses…it’s such a vast contrast to corporate trends.”
  • ” There are 50 university-based centers that are affordable, that have wonderful speakers…and that provide an opportunity to engage with other families. Knowing that others have tread the waters you’re in can change your outlook.”
  • ” The most important thing that women can do is to find a place where there are other women are in your shoes. Find a safe space where you can share your situation where you can feel unjudged and supported….and also accountable.”

What to Look for in an Advisor | Holly Isdale | Episode 047


Theme: The Importance of Trusting Your Advisor

Summary: Selecting an advisor who protects your interests is crucial for women in family businesses. Holly Isdale discusses how women in family businesses can learn to protect their information-and themselves.

Featured Guest: Holly Isdale: Founder and Strategist for Wealthaven, a consulting firm which serves very wealthy families and family businesses and helps them implement their goals.


Key Quotes:

  • “In family businesses, really good estate plans can fall short or get outdated very quickly. They’re designed with one goal in mind: preserve the family business. This creates this awful dilemma…not thinking about the implications for the beneficiaries.”
  • “For younger women, it’s about knowing yourself, how you make decisions, and how you maximize your voice in the process.”
  • “I’m a big believer that you should understand the landscape (of advisors)-meeting with other advisors, lawyers…not your father’s. It’s important for daughters to understand where the conflicts lie and where the allegiances lie.”

What It Takes to Prepare a CEO | Tacy Byham | Episode 046


Theme: The Best Preparation for Becoming CEO

Summary: Tacy Byham, an industrial/organizational psychologist like her dad, is now CEO of DDI, a global talent management organization. She describes her thorough preparation for the role of CEO.

Featured Guest: Tacy Byham, CEO of DDI and co-author of “Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others.

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Key Quotes:

  • “Authenticity as a trait is a behavior that we can display to others. People see that and know whether they can trust you.”
  • “Research tells us that more stress comes from getting promoted. That challenge is absolutely real.”
  • “If you’d like your children to become part of the family business …be careful about what behaviors they’re observing!”

How working for your Mom can be a great career move | Sadie Ferguson | Episode 045


Theme: Deciding to Work for Your Mom

Summary: Sadie Ferguson, a social worker now working in her mother’s successful flower shop, describes how working with her mother is allowing her to develop her interests and passions and nurturing her entrepreneurial spirit as well.

Featured Guest: Sadie Ferguson, Robin Wood Flowers
Key Quotes:

  • “The challenge for me was determining if I was ready to change my work identity, from social work to entrepreneurship.”
  • “My mom and I are good friends; I worried that some of that would be threatened when I joined. It’s interesting getting to know her as a professional, not just as my mom.”
  • “I’m satisfied, and I have an entrepreneurial spirit that is growing…and I didn’t know that that would happen.”

A banker-and an image consultant-discusses how your professional image affects your business-and you | Kristie Sheanshang| Episode 044


Theme: How your image affects your business

Summary: Kristie Sheanshang, a private banker-and an image consultant-discusses how your professional image can make a difference in how you feel at work, and how others do, too.

Featured Guest: Kristie Sheanshang, stylist, speaker, and private banker
Key Quotes:

  • “You might be tempted to fit in with your team, but as a leader, you might be better off dressing to a higher standard-not business casual.”
  • “Boundaries are a big part of my life. I try to be present when I’m home. I outsource tasks I don’t like.”
  • “So many times in bank meetings, daughters don’t speak up. Prepare some questions, be involved, get on the agenda. Advisors are a resource. They would love to help you-but often don’t know how.”

How a Daughter Became a President | Kristy Knichel | Episode 043


Theme: How a Daughter Became a President

Summary: Kristy Knichel, President of Knichel Logistics, discusses what she learned from her dad, and what led her to make the choices that have helped the company adapt and thrive.

Featured Guest: Kristy Knichel
Contact:  724-449-3300, ext. 222 or
Key Quotes:

  • “I felt like I always had something to prove to my dad; there were times when even customers and vendors didn’t want to work with me because I’m a woman in a male-dominated industry.” 

  • “There’s a way to get the job done and be respectful about it.  I tell people we’re successful because of our employees. They’re more valuable than anything. I consider our employees and our vendors our customers.” 

  • “My husband was a stay-at-home father for two years; now he has his own business. We take turns.  We have a 50/50 agreement-it was our agreement before we had our son. 

How a Family Champion Can Benefit Your Family Enterprise | Dr. Joshua Nacht| Episode 042


Theme: The Emerging Role of the Family Champion

Summary: Dr. Joshua Nacht discusses his research on what he calls “the family champion”, and the impact of this role on supporting the family relationships and connections that help to perpetuate and sustain business families.

Featured Guest: Dr. Joshua Nacht, steward, scholar, and family business consultant
Contact:  Ph: 303-868-5517 email:
Key Quotes:

  • “The family champion is not a leader of the business; it’s a family member who says ‘we can do better’ and takes a more active and engaged role as an owner. That aspect of taking initiative is key.”
  • “In my research, the gender of the family champion didn’t matter; the right person emerged for their family.”
  • “Family systems evolve over time. They’re not static. We have to appreciate where the family is now.”

How a Father is Encouraging his Daughter to Lead the Family Business | Sarah & Tony Dunser| Episode 041


Theme: Grooming a Daughter to Take Over

Summary: A father and daughter discuss the experiences and choices that led them to work together and to prepare her to take over the family business.

Featured Guest: Sarah Dunser and Tony Dunser
Organization: True Grit Inc.
Photo: Photo by: Luisa Porter/Columbus Dispatch Staff
Key Quotes:

  • Sarah: “I asked my dad, what would it take for me to run the business, and he said ‘get a degree, any degree’. So I got my degree in chemical engineering.”
  • Tony: “We tried to groom her from day 1 to take on to take over my job. She’s always had an interest…she’s not a girly girl; getting her hands dirty is not a problem.”
  • Sarah: “I hope I can grow the business, I hope we can hire more people, take in more work, and provide better customer service.
    I pay attention to detail now-are we doing the job right, are we making money or losing money-I see a lot more now.”
  • Tony: “I hope Sarah gets us into a different field of work. With Sarah’s background and effort that she can get us into new areas. She has brought an intellect into this company that we’ve never had.”

The Unique Advantage of Working in a Family Business | Amy Schuman | Episode 040 (Encore)


Theme: What Daughters Can Offer to Family Businesses

Summary: Amy Schuman discusses the paradoxes that family businesses manage, how dealing with them can lead to business success, and the role that daughters can play in the process.

Featured Guest: Amy Schuman, Family Business Advisor and Author
Organization: The Family Business Consulting Group
Book: Family Business as Paradox
Key Quotes:

  • “Paradox is a hot topic now…family businesses ARE a paradox: head and heart, love and performance…two seeming opposites that can be complementary….you can gain so much in the process of wrestling with them.”
  • “There are certainly still many family businesses where the participation of women in the operations is not yet happening, or is happening for the first time.  I’m super conscious that these women are pioneers.”
  • “What shifts when women join the conversation? What could daughters bring that’s special and different?  The power of calm-of support, of time.”