San Francisco State UniversityWeb A-ZFind it Fast

College of Business to launch Family Business Center on May 13



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs


Center will provide courses, forums, retreats to as many as 50 family businesses

SAN FRANCISCO, May 5, 2004 -- With an eye toward the 90 percent of U.S businesses that are family-owned, the College of Business at San Francisco State University launches a Family Business Center on May 13. The center will provide classes, workshops, forums, retreats and more educational and networking opportunities specifically geared to the family-owned business.

The center will emphasize its curriculum and events on the unique challenges that family businesses face, including transition from generation to generation, estate planning, financial compensation and conflict resolution.

While most of the nearly 50 family business centers at U.S. universities concentrate primarily on small "mom-and-pop" businesses, SFSU’s will also focus on bigger family businesses that generate upwards of $1 million in annual revenue.

The center -- in partnership with the San Francisco Business Times, Sugar Bowl Bakery and Union Bank of California -- launches with a seminar on the challenges of maintaining the values of a family business after it is passed on to the next generation.

"We will provide strong lifelong learning and networking opportunities for family-owned businesses," said Richard McCline, Ph.D., director of the SFSU Family Business Center and associate professor of management. "In turn, businesses that participate in the center will also provide invaluable input to augment University curriculum in entrepreneurship and small business management."

The U.S. economy is highly dependent on family businesses, which account for 50 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, 60 percent of employment and 65 percent of wages. About 90 percent of businesses in the United States are family-owned.

The SFSU Family Business Center will reach as many as 50 family businesses in its first year. Faculty from the University's College of Business will participate in panel discussions at all forum events and will be available to family businesses as expert resources. Students will also have opportunities to do consulting work and internships with participating family businesses.

The center will also publish newsletters and create awards for the Family Business of the Year and Family Business Educator of the Year.

"The launch of this endeavor represents a new day for Bay Area family businesses -- a day when they can begin to look to us for a forum to listen, learn and develop strategies to help their businesses succeed," said Jerry Platt, dean of the SFSU College of Business. "The College of Business is uniquely positioned to offer the expertise and skills of our faculty, as they are focusing their research and outreach activities toward aspects of opening and operating a family business more than ever before. In addition, many of our students are hopeful entrepreneurs or heirs to a family business."

Sugar Bowl Bakery President and CEO Andrew Ly and his brothers bought a struggling coffee and donut shop in San Francisco’s Richmond District in 1984, nearly five years after emigrating from Vietnam. The bakery now employs more than 200 people and operates six locations and two production plants, catering to businesses from Novato to San Jose as well as distributing quality baked goods through warehouse clubs and supermarket chains.

"As an alumnus of SFSU, I am especially proud that Sugar Bowl Bakery is a sponsor of the new Family Business Center," said Ly, who earned a degree in business administration and accounting from SFSU in 1986. "I hope to learn from other participating businesses as well as offer constructive ideas that stem from my 20-year experience of working within a successful family business. It's challenging to achieve a certain goal when all of my family members do not agree but it's also incredibly rewarding to see our business grow in the double digits year to year."

The partnering companies provide financial support, representation on the advisory board, input on the planning of programs, and outreach to their respective customers, clients and vendors.

The SFSU Family Business Center is based in the SFSU Ohrenschall Center for Entrepreneurship, a well-respected program with an award-winning curriculum that advances the teaching and understanding of entrepreneurship. McCline serves as co-director of the Ohrenschall Center.

Accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, SFSU's College of Business enrolls nearly 5,000 undergraduate and 900 graduate students in traditional full-time programs and an accelerated MBA for working executives. Each year the College of Business awards more business degrees than Stanford, UC Berkeley and USF combined, and is the largest grantor of MBAs to minority students in the United States. All of its full-time faculty members hold doctoral degrees, and most have experience with commercial enterprises and engage in applied business research.

For details about the SFSU Family Business Center, call (415) 338-7886, e-mail or visit:


Inaugural seminar

WHAT: "Family Values and Family Business: Passing on the Torch While Keeping the Founder's Values Burning -- Challenges and Victories," presented by John De Luca, executive vice chairman of the Wine Institute

WHEN/WHERE: 4 – 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Argent Hotel, 50 Third St., San Francisco


PREREGISTRATION: Erin Candolo, (415) 288-4925,

San Francisco State University Home     Search     Need Help?    

1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132  415/338-1111
Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs