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Executive Partners
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Wondering how successful family businesses do it?

Executive Partner volunteer advisors will let you in on the secret!

‘You can't stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.’ If you are a young executive trying to ride the learning curve toward effective family business leadership, you will find productive insights from the Executive Partners.”
- Ben Thompson, Owner & General Manager, Thompson Remodeling, Inc. and Executive Partner participant.

Team Up with Someone Who Has Walked in Your Shoes

Executive Partner (EP) Advisors are experienced, successful family-owned business executives who volunteer their time to provide one-to-one assistance and coaching to other family business owners to help them succeed from generation to generation. EP Advisors are passionate about family-owned businesses. Whether active or retired, EP Advisors have demonstrated success with both business and family concerns. Understanding that when family businesses thrive, the whole community benefits, EP Advisors want to share what they have learned with others. EP Advisors have been particularly successful in helping business owners name and frame critical family business issues.

Some Areas Addressed through the Executive Partner’s Program

Succession planning Board creation
Family meetings Leadership coaching
Strategic planning Non-family employee issues
Family employee issues Non-employed family issues
Management transitions Organizational structure and planning
Estate planning Maintaining family ownership

To Request An EP Volunteer Advisor

Contact the Family Business Alliance Director, who will ask you about your needs and explain the services offered through the Executive Partners Program. The Director will then match you to an Executive Partner Volunteer Advisor, who will contact you directly to determine how to best assist you. In some cases you may be able to meet with a number of Volunteer Advisors, who will help guide you to the best resources and most experienced advisers for your situation.

Current Executive Partners

Wayne Muller, Committee Chair, Mullers Family Shoe Center (retired)

Rich Baker, Baker Book House

Happy Fox, Henry A. Fox Sales

Jim Gordon, Gordon Food Service

Tim Schad, Nucraft Furniture

Dick Young, Behler-Young Company

Jim Zawacki, GR Spring and Stamping

To learn more about seeking the services of an EP volunteer or becoming an EP volunteer, contact Ellie Frey Zagel, Family Business Alliance Director, at 616.771.0574 or

Advisee Application Form

FREE to FBA members.