News Briefs

July 1999

1999-2000 Programs

    Our program calendar for the year reflects member suggestions and ideas and the diligence of our program committee.  Because the majority of you asked for it, this year's programs include two great national experts, Paul Karofsky and John L. Ward.   It also includes family business owners and sponsors who will focus on the issues you want to discuss.
Please reserve these dates on your calendars now so you don't miss any of the presentations or discussions:
Date/Time Topic/Event Presenter
Aug. 26, 1999 
Facilitation Training Dale Feinauer
Sept. 14 
7-11 a.m.
Responsibilities of Ownership Sponsors
Oct. 20 
3:30-6 p.m.
Using a Board Effectively Bill Bassett
Nov 10 
7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Generational Perspectives Paul Karofsky
Jan. 27, 2000 
7-10 a.m.
Styles and Patterns of Communication Catherine Lindsay & Pat Nichols
Mar. 10-18  Creating & Preserving 
                        A Family Tradition1
Apr 11 
7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Which Comes First the Family or the 
 John L. Ward
May 8  A Family Heritage Paul Hoffman
1 The fee for this workshop is in addition to the annual fee.

Statewide Reciprocity

    Forum members can again attend family business programs offered by Marquette University's Center for Family Business and the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Family Business Center.
    This issue of News Briefs lists the programs offered by Madison's Family Business Center.  Your membership in the Forum entitles you to attend their 3 hour programs for $25 each.  To attend one of their programs, contact Jean at 608-265-3052 and tell her you are a Wisconsin Family Business Forum member.
    As soon as Marquette's program calendar is complete, you will receive a copy.
    This reciprocity program is a great way to add value to your membership at an extremely reasonable cost.  I hope you will take full advantage of the program.


    We are pleased to announce that the J.J. Plank Corporation and Marion Plywood Corporation have become members of the Forum.  J.J. Plank was founded in 1907 by Joseph J. Plank and is now led by president David Plank. David is one of five family members active in the business which is presently owned and managed by the fourth generation of the Plank family.  Headquartered in Appleton, the company has additional plants in Louisiana and New Hampshire.
     J.J. Plank and its division, Spencer Johnston Company, are the world's largest producers in their market.  They produce watermarks and produce and repair dandy rolls and spreader rolls for the paper industry.
    Founded by Peter C. Rogers in 1894, Marion Plywood of Marion, Wisconsin, is led by great-grandson Peter T. Rogers.  This fourth generation business is a manufacturer of specialty plywood and veneer for businesses all over the world.
     Please help us welcome David, Pete and their families.

Grant Thornton - Welcome

    As of July 1, Grant Thornton is our new accounting firm sponsor.  As we have met with Dan Thome and his associates in our introductory meeting and committee meetings, we have been pleased with the depth of their expertise and their willingness to contribute to the Forum.
        Grant Thornton LLP is an international accounting and management consulting firm with offices throughout the United States and in over 97 countries worldwide.  Their mission is to be the leading global organization creating, enhancing, and preserving wealth for entrepreneurial companies and the people who own and run them.  They accomplish this by providing business, tax and financial services that deliver measurable value to their clients.
        Grant Thornton is the only international accounting and consulting firm with offices in the Fox Valley.  They have over 120 professionals in their Eastern Wisconsin offices serving a base of clients from Milwaukee to Upper Michigan and from Stevens Point to the Lakeshore.
        In the 1998 Arthur Andersen/MassMutual "American Family Business Survey", 67.7% of the family business respondents indicated that they do not generate any international sales.  In today's market, globalization is a challenge that should not be ignored.  Grant Thornton's global perspective and expertise makes them a welcome partner.
        Professionals from Grant Thornton will be participating with the other Forum sponsors - First National Bank - Fox Valley; McCarty, Curry, Wydeven, Peeters & Haak; Retained Earnings Company/MassMutual; and the College of Business Administration, UW Oshkosh - in presenting the September program, Responsibility of Ownership: family, business and community.

Member News

    We would like to share your company news, too.  If you have news to share, please send it to Sue Schierstedt.

Peer Groups

    Peer groups will hold their first Fall meetings over lunch after the September 14 program.  If you are interested in participating in one of these generational groups, be sure to reserve this date and time on your calendars.
     These groups provide an opportunity for members to talk with their peers about specific issues and problems, confidentially.
    More details will be available before the September meeting and reservations will be requested.

Membership Drive

    Our Each One Bring One drive continues. Membership fees for 1999-2000 are $1,800 for family businesses with annual sales of $5 million or more and $1,400 for those with less than $5 million in annual sales.
    We want to be sure to include as many family businesses in our Forum as possible.  The more members, the better the networking, and the greater the learning for everyone. If you know a family business owner that would benefit from participation in the Forum, call Sue Schierstedt with the contact information.
    Just a reminder -- members will receive a "Thank You" gift for each new family business that becomes a paid member by September 30, 1999.  The referring member will have a choice of one of the following gifts donated by our sponsors...
a half-day sporting clays and pheasant hunting at Hunter's Park near Brillion,
a basket of wines
a business development course at UW Oshkosh (non-credit)
tickets to the UW Oshkosh theater
seasons tickets to UW Oshkosh basketball or baseball
        Congratulations and thanks  to Jim Neumann, RB Royal Industries, and Joe Verhagen, Larry's Markets, Inc., for telling J.J. Plank and  Meyer Services about the Forum.  Jim and Joe have their choice of one of our Thank You gifts.

Special Year 2000 Program Opportunity

    Creating and Preserving a Family Tradition - The European Experience, a family business workshop, Cervinia, Italy, March 10-18, 2000.  The outcome of this workshop should be a formal strategy, culture and mission statements for both your family and business.
    Members will work with European educators, family business professionals, and business owners to explore the traditions and practices that promote their family business longevity and success.  We will meet with Forum sponsors, peers, and family members to accomplish our goals.
    This experience in family and business growth will be at the Grand Hotel Cristallo, an Italian ski resort at the foot of one of the most inspiring and famous mountains in Europe, The Matterhorn.
    This workshop is open to Wisconsin Family Business Forum  members and sponsors only.  The fee for this workshop is in addition to the annual fee.
The workshop outline is set and details of the workshop are now being finalized with the travel agency and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.  Each member will receive detailed information and registration information as soon as it is available.
    Those who want to participate will be asked to complete and submit the registration form and deposit to reserve the appropriate number of places.

Formal Planning

    Earlier in this issue, we reported on findings of the Arthur Andersen/MassMutual family business survey as it related to globalization.  The survey also found that less than one-third of respondents reported having a written strategic plan.  The findings indicate a correlation between the existence of a written strategic plan and taking actions commonly viewed as essential to family business survival.
    Written plans require talking about difficult issues such as dreams, goals, power, control, and ownership.
    Your family business peers have planned the March workshop to help you do some formal planning.   We want to ensure that your business is a survivor!

Thanks and Farewell

    Our program assistant Renee Grahl is leaving the Forum on July 9 for a promotion to confidential secretary to the warden at the Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution.
    In the four months that Renee has been with the Forum, she has worked her way into our hearts with her outgoing nature, wonderful smile and excellent organizational and customer service skills.
    We wish Renee the best as she takes on her new responsibilities.  We will miss her.

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Vol. 3 No. 1 New Briefs
(c) 1999 Wisconsin Family Business Forum
Editor: Susan Schierstedt
(920) 424-2257
800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI 54901