The Center for Family Business hosts workshops on issues of interest to family-owned enterprises, such as this event in September 2016.

The Center for Family Business hosts regular workshops on issues of interest to family-owned enterprises, such as this event in September 2016. Photo by Remington Graham’ 16

For 22 years, the Center for Family Business has served as an educational and networking forum for local family businesses, entrepreneurial students and alumni. Here is a look at how to engage with the center during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Ways for Students to Get Involved

Center Director Ed Hart encourages all Cal State Fullerton students to study family business, noting that nearly 70% of businesses are family-owned, thus having a significant impact on the economy and many students’ careers.

“Most of us will work, directly or indirectly, with a family business at some point in our careers, since the majority of all businesses in the world are family owned,” says Hart.

The Center for Family Business sponsors MGMT 335 – Family Business Dynamics, a course offered each fall that is open to undergraduate and graduate business students, as well as the broader Orange County community. Taught by Tam Nguyen ’05 (MBA), president of Advance Beauty College, the course provides an introduction to business issues and interpersonal dynamics facing family-owned enterprises, with a combination of classroom instruction and outside practical activities such as site tours.

“Students experience what it is like to work with, lead, manage and relate to family members in a business setting,” says Hart. “They also develop networks with classmates and leaders from family businesses throughout the area.”

Members of the Orange County community not enrolled in a degree program at CSUF may also take MGMT 335. Contact Adrienne Bailey, the center’s coordinator, at or 657-278-4182 for information on how to add this course through CSUF Extended Education as a non-student. Space is still available for the fall 2017 course, which meets on Mondays from 4 to 6:45 p.m. at the CSUF main campus.

The center is working to expand its outreach to students by sponsoring additional courses and inviting a limited number of business majors to participate in the upcoming Family Business Executive Leadership Development Program, which will debut in 2018.

They are also considering launching a family business club, which would provide networking, speakers and career development opportunities for students who may work in the family business, are considering founding startups of their own, or would like to better understand the dynamics of entrepreneurship.

Additionally, the center consistently employs one to two paid student interns, who assist with events, perform administrative duties and maintain the center’s relationship with members. For more information on current openings, reach out to Ed Hart at 657-278-7431 or

Fourth Annual Center for Family Business Hall of Fame Awards

Featuring keynote speaker Ken Blanchard, author of The One Minute Manager and founder of the management consulting Ken Blanchard Companies, the center’s main annual event will be held at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on March 13, 2018.

“The purpose of this event is to celebrate the family businesses of Southern California,” says Hart. “We honor three to four peer-nominated businesses in our network for their achievements and impact on their community, employees and customers.”

Past awardees are recognized on an honor wall at the center’s office at SGMH 5284.

The networking opportunities and workshops available to businesses in the Center for Family Busines

Members of the Center for Family Business benefit from instruction on trends that matter to them through workshops and networking opportunities. Photo by Remington Graham ’16

Ways for Businesses to Get Involved

The center holds monthly member workshops and events with topics related to the various aspects of running a family business, such as finance or passing down the enterprise across generations.

Center membership is open to all family-owned businesses, regardless of their affiliation with Cal State Fullerton. “This enables family businesses to learn from one another, do business with each other and address issues together that are typically found in a family business environment,” says Hart.

In 2018, the center will launch the Family Business Executive Leadership Program. “This first-of-its-kind program will consist of a hybrid of in-person and online courses open to executives of family-owned enterprises from around the country,” he says.

To become a member, complete the following application and mail it to the center at:

Center for Family Business

California State University, Fullerton

Mihaylo College of Business and Economics

800 N State College, SGMH 3100

Fullerton, California 92831-6848

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