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UBS Family Business at the Swartz Center

Family Business at the Swartz Center

Scroll through your favorite streaming service and you’ll see that family businesses have captured our cultural imagination. Whether the Duncans, the Roys, or the Hos. And for good reason–they are relatable to many of us.

Family Businesses are also the chief form of global enterprise. Accounting for the vast majority of all businesses, there is no more significant structure of enterprise worldwide than the family business. Studies show that family firms, on average, outperform and outlast non-family businesses. They are an important way that communities build wealth. The family business also represents a uniquely complex enterprise to manage. Building on our 2021-2022 Strength in Numbers program, through which we’ve worked intensively with family businesses all all stages and scales throughout our Pittsburgh community, we have developed programming to better support our Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh area family business leaders.

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Meredith Grelli

Meredith Meyer Grelli
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship,
Tepper School of Business
mmgrelli@andrew.cmu.edu

Faculty member Meredith Meyer Grelli, is a family business founder and owner, who deeply understands the unique complexities facing family firms.

Sonya Ford

Sonya Ford
Program Manager
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
sonyaf@andrew.cmu.edu

Allyson Hince

Allyson Hince
Program Manager
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
ahince@andrew.cmu.edu

Aleks Petkov

Aleksandar Petkov
Program Manager
Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship
apetkov@andrew.cmu.edu

221201_giSuccess and Innovation at Giant Eagle Talkanteagleleadershipseriestalk_040_em.jpg 221201Giant Eagle, Inc. Chair and CEO Laura Shapira Karet and Chairman Emeritus David Shapira_gianteagleleadershipseriestalk_043_em.jpg Ed Stack & Meredith Grelli

UBS Family Business Speaker Series

UBS Family Business Leadership Speaker Series

Family Business Speaker Series, Open to the Community

Each year, we invite Family Business Leaders to join us for a talk open to the Tepper and broader Pittsburgh community.

Speakers include family business leaders, family enterprise thinkers, as well as advisors targeting particular pain points around succession, valuation, mediating family conflict and other family business specific topics.

2023-24 Family Business Leadership Speaker Series

Helen Hanna CaseyHelen Hanna Casey
CEO,
Hanna Holdings

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EST
CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad, 3rd Floor, 4765 Forbes Avenue

Register

Helen Hanna Casey has been a Real Estate industry leader for more than four decades, repeatedly being named the Most Powerful Woman in Real Estate by the Swanepoel Power 200 report for the past 10 years, as well as being recognized as a Top 10 Industry Leader overall. She was the first person to be named a Newsmaker by RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, has been named 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate list by Inman News and was honored with the 2019 Women of Influence Career Achievement Award from The Pittsburgh Business Times. In addition, she has received two honorary doctorates and is often a requested keynote and featured speaker for women’s groups and business leaders throughout the country.


Past Speaker

Ed Stack

Edward W. Stack
Executive Chairman,
Dick's Sporting Goods

It’s How We Play The Game: How DICK’S Built Its Business From a Small Bait and Tackle Shop to America’s Largest Sporting Goods Retailer

Wednesday, November 29, 2023
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. EST
CMU, Simmons A, Tepper Quad, 4765 Forbes Avenue

Ed Stack is the executive chairman of DICK'S Sporting Goods, the largest, omni-channel sporting goods retailer in the United States. In addition to overseeing merchandising for the company, Ed leads several of DICK'S key strategic growth initiatives.
 
From 1984 through January 2021, Ed served as the company's chairman and chief executive officer. He led the company through a remarkable period of growth, guiding the company's evolution from two stores in upstate New York to a Fortune 500 company with more than 850 DICK'S Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, Public Lands and Going, Going, Gone! stores.
 
A passionate advocate for youth sports, Ed has led DICK'S Sporting Goods' efforts to help more than one million young athletes across the country play sports through support from DICK'S and The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation's Sports Matter program, the largest such charitable initiative of its kind.
 
Following the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, he and the company made the decision to stop selling assault-style firearms and high-capacity magazines and raised the age to purchase any firearm to 21. He also appealed to Congress to make changes to the nation's gun laws. Ed has vowed to keep the conversation going around commonsense gun reform until meaningful change is realized.
 
For his work in business, leadership and advocacy, Ed has received numerous accolades. In 2020, he received the CeaseFirePA Keystone Courage Award, a Corporate Citizenship Award from the Committee on Economic Development at The Conference Board and a Courage in the Boardroom award from the Corporate Board Member organization. He has been recognized as one of the most influential business leaders in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Business Times (January 2020) and a Pittsburgh person of the year by Pittsburgh City Paper (December 2019). He also was honored with the Maverick in Leadership Award by The Yale School of Management's Chief Executive Leadership Institute (June 2019), recognized as a Force for Good from the CECP: The CEO Board of Boards (February 2019) and named a Groundbreaker by The New York Times at its 2018 DealBook Conference.
 
Ed is the author of It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference. He serves on the board of directors of the National Retail Federation and the advisory board of Wharton's Jay H. Baker Retailing Initiative. He is also a member of Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety. Ed formerly served on the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Seton Hall University Board of Trustees and the KeyCorp Board of Directors. Ed earned his Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in accounting from St. John Fisher College.


George Tong

George Tong (MSIA '90)
President,
Gemini Food Corporation

Managing a Multi Cultural and Intergenerational Family Business

Wednesday, February 7, 2024
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EST
CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad, 3rd Floor, 4765 Forbes Avenue

George is currently the President and CEO of Gemini Food Corporation, Tong Enterprises and Gemini Food Taiwan, a nationwide grocery import/export/distribution business.  George assumed his current position upon retirement of his father and founder of Tong Enterprises, Chiun Mau Tong, in 2009.  He is a visionary leader in the Asian grocery import/distributing industry with 30 years of innovative ideas and industry leading management practices.

George joined his family business, Tong Enterprises, in 1991 upon finishing his graduate studies, having received his BS from University of Notre Dame and earned his MSIA (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University.  George helped his father grow the family business from a regional import/distribution business to a national import/distribution business with coverage throughout the entire United States, Canada, and export operations to South Pacific and Latin America.  He introduced the vertical integration of import supply chain with launch of Gemini Food and Gemini Food Taiwan, and nationwide point-to-point distribution networks to the industry by being the first one to execute this vision.  George’s other notable achievement was being one of the first importers to offer popular Asian branded grocery products to Costco.  The success of those early day programs led to the current nationwide Costco Ethnic Programs.

George has been active in Scouting for many years, including a successful tenure as Scoutmaster for a local Troop.  He also served on the boards of various nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area. 

2022-23 Family Business Leadership Speaker Series

Success and Innovation at Giant Eagle

Laura Shapira Karet
Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Giant Eagle, Inc.

David S. Shapira
Chairman Emeritus, Board of Directors, Giant Eagle, Inc.
Chairman, David S. and Karen A. Shapira Foundation

December 1, 2022
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EST
CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad, 3rd Floor, 4765 Forbes Avenue

 

From Mississippi Dirt Roads to the Obama Presidential Center:  Building Generational Success

Stephanie Hickman
President & CEO, Trice Construction Company

Tuesday, February 7, 2023
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. EST
CMU, Simmons A, Tepper Quad, 4765 Forbes Avenue

Emily Sheetz, VP of Strategy and IT , Sheetz, Inc

Wednesday, March 22, 2023
12:30 - 1:30 p.m. EST
CMU Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, Tepper Quad, 3rd Floor, 4765 Forbes Avenue

Giant Eagle Talk Participants Gazal Makkar George Tong Talk

Peer Advisory Groups

In Spring 2023, the Swartz Center will kick off 6-8 person advisory groups which will meet on campus once every 6 weeks. The group will meet for a brief 15-20 minute talk by Tepper Faculty in the Swartz Center. Then the advisory groups will break out into separate rooms for confidential discussions. We will create these advisories, grouping businesses at like stages of development. We will provide a new prompt each session and a faculty or an alumni moderator for each group. All groups will sign NDAs and will be held to strict confidentiality.

Interested in participating? Email mmgrelli@andrew.cmu.edu to be added to the list of interested business owners.


Meredith Grelli and George TongTepper Courses Relevant to Family Business Leaders

  • 45-819 Family Business
  • 45-807 Commercialization & Innovation Strategy
  • 45-817 Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

Family Business Course

Family Business Course

Offered through Tepper School of Business

This course is geared towards students who are involved with the management of a family business, either their own or someone else’s. The course is relevant as well to those interested in family firms as prospective targets in mergers and acquisitions, as well as students interested in a career supporting family enterprises via succession planning, estate planning, or through management consulting.

Offered Annually, Mini 2

Featured Family Business Class Speakers

Stephanie Hickman

Stephanie Hickman
President & CEO
Trice Construction Company
Chicago, IL

Melissa Rackoff

Melissa Rackoff
Principal & Director of Leasing
Brause Realty
New York, NY

Dan Reese

Dan Reese
CFO
The Milkshake Factory
Ann Arbor, MI

Mark Broadhurst

Mark Broadhurst
Chief Operating Officer
Parkhurst Dining
Pittsburgh, PA

Jaclyn Faulds

Jaclyn Faulds
Director
Houston Harbaugh
Pittsburgh, PA

Anne Chen

Anne Chen
Chief Idea Builder
BLD:ac
Cincinnati, OH

Justin McIlhatten

Justin McElhattan
Industrial Scientific
Pittsburgh, PA

David Henry

David Henry
Director
Houston Harbaugh
Pittsburgh, PA

Peter Rackoff

Peter Rackoff
Vice President, Operations and Strategic Partners
Andritz Metals