Walsh College

Family Business

The Succession Success Award

Nominations are open for the Succession Success Award for Family Businesses, presented through #MichBusiness the Best of Michigan Business.

Walsh College is proud to announce the Succession Success Award, a new recognition for family owned and operated businesses.  The Walsh College Leadership Center, in partnership with DKSS CPAs + Advisors, is presenting this award through the Best of Michigan Business awards program.

Nominations must be submitted by August 20, 2015.  The winner will receive a free one-year membership to the Leadership Center.  Nominees do not need to be current Leadership Center members.

This award honors family owned and operated businesses that have successfully transitioned leadership and ownership from one generation to the next.  Nominees should exhibit the tenacity, vision, and love of their businesses to plan for the future and successfully transition toward it.

The Succession Success Award is one of several that will be presented at the Best of #MichBiz event on November 17, 2015 at 5:30 p.m., at the International Banquet Center in Detroit.



Member Spotlight

Debra Behring
President, JB Cutting
Mt. Clemens, Michigan 

A member of the Females in Family Business Affinity Group since 2011, Debbie Behring considers the group her saving grace, as she navigates the world of family business. Not only has it been a great support as she weaves through the challenges and achievements of running the business her parents built in the 1970s, Behring loves the abundance of Walsh College programs, seminars, and classes she can send her employees and colleagues to.

Here’s her story:
"My parents created JB Cutting in the early 1970s, primarily as a cabinet shop, producing commercial and residential cabinetry. When I graduated from college, they were getting into component processing and no longer installing cabinets. My brother already worked for the family business; we grew up in the business together, spending summers working with our parents and helping out throughout the year. So it was a no-brainer that I would join the company after college. 

As my dad started to transition the business, we expanded to new product lines – making doors and drawer fronts, mostly for the closet industry. Our business is primarily b-to-b. I’ve been a part of my family business since 1995.

My dad always liked tinkering with cabinetry. In fact, my grandfather made cabinetry for beauty salons, so you could say I am the third generation in this family business. Where my dad liked making things from the work of his hands, I have always been more interested in the idea of running and growing a business. I enjoy building processes and systems and seeing them implemented and helping us to be more efficient and successful. I can see the changes I institute and how it affects people across our company.

What I like best about this Affinity Group is that I can connect with others in family business situations and we share advice and experience. Most of us can relate to what each other is going through. It’s very specific, and it’s very helpful."

Follow JB Cutting on Pinterest.


Family Business Success Story

Walsh College alumnus Lou Schmidt was interviewed by the Detroit Free Press just before speaker at the Leadership Center luncheon. Read the news story here.

Read about Past Family Business Success Stories

  • White Castle
  • Hiller's Markets
  • Garden Fresh Gourmet Salsa
  • Two Men and a Truck
  • Carhartt


Family Business Honor Roll

The Family Business Honor Roll was created to bring family businesses into the spotlight.  These companies are members of the Walsh Leadership Center.  It is our intent to bring these family businesses to the attention of one another, in the hopes that they will help each other continue to succeed from one generation to the next. A number of these companies have second generation leaders, and some of them are in transition to the third generation:

Atlas Wholesale Food Co. 
CIA Financial Group
Conti Corporation
Dealers Supply Co.
Demorest Law
DMS Moving Systems
Garden Fresh Gourmet
GraphiColor Systems Inc.
Harvey Hohauser & Associates
Hercules & Hercules, Inc.
HMS Mfg. Co.
HMS Products Co.
HoneyBaked Ham

JB Cutting Inc.
Margot European Day Spa
Mastermind Solutions
Monahan Media
Painters Supply and Equipment Co.
Prefix Corporation
Re-Source Partners Asset Management
Rehab Pathways Group ®
Royal Aluminum & Steel, Inc.
Simple World of Golf
John Tagle Associates

Honorary Members

White CastleFamily Enterprise USA

How do you get your company name on the Family Business Honor Roll?
Companies on the Family Business Honor Roll are members of the Walsh Leadership Center. Membership information is available here. The Walsh definition of a family business requires that the business employ one or more family members including the owner; more than one family member may own the business; or a married couple who are in business together. Once the business has passed to the next generation, the business may have only one family member employed. Contact Jan at jhubbard@walshcollege.edu if you're interested in membership. 

The Leadership Center offers a variety of educational opportunities for members and leaders working in a family business. Click on the links for more information. 



Affinity Groups

Females in the Family Business
Wives, daughters, aunts, sisters, and mothers in a family business are invited to attend. Women who own, are partners in, or work for family businesses meet to discuss and share solutions in a non-threatening, non-competitive, non-sales roundtable. This group meets at 8 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Troy campus. Moderators are Ursula Scroggs, CPA, and Jennifer Coon, CPA, DKSS CPAs + Advisors

Next Generations
Those poised to be next in line to lead a family business or small enterprise, discuss the legal as well as the personal issues in succession planning. Members are peers who hash out the problems of dealing with the leading generation as they develop leadership skills in preparation for their next role.  This group meets the fourth Friday of the month at 8 a.m. and is moderated by Todd Hohauser, CEO, Harvey Hohauser & Associates



For more information about programs to increase the success and sustainability of Michigan's small and family businesses, email Jan Hubbard.