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January 22, 2013

New FEUSA Board Members Announced

Contact: Mike Burita
Phone: (202) 420-9361

Washington, D.C. – Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA), an independent, national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to highlighting the positive contributions made by America's business-owning families announces two new members to its board of directors.

Kirby Rosplock, PhD is a 4th generation member owner and board member of Babcock Lumber, a 125+ year-old family business. She is also a co-trustee on her family's foundation. Rosplock has a unique blend of personal life experience coupled with her experience leading Research & Development in a multi-family office, GenSpring Family Offices ( since 2004. She is a passionate researcher, speaker, writer, and innovator in the family business, family office and family wealth realms. She was also the editor of A Family's Guide to Wealth: Insights from Thought Leaders and Pioneers.

Preston Root is President of the Root Family Board of Directors, a position that has been continuously occupied by a family member for 110 years. He is the great grandson of C.J. Root who founded Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1901. Root Glass Company designed, patented and manufactured the original 6 ½ ounce Coca-Cola bottle in 1916. Preston has worked for the family business for 35 years in roles ranging from route sales to radio station manager. In addition, he currently works for MRN Radio – "The Voice of NASCAR” – American's largest independent sports radio network, broadcasting NASCAR and Rolex Grand-Am races from all across North America.

Rosplock and Root join the FEUSA board alongside Chairman Michael Hamra, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hamra Enterprises; Vice Chair Jamie Richardson, Vice President of Corporate Relations, White Castle Management Co.; and directors Eric Allyn, Co-Owner and Board Director of Welch Allyn, Inc., Skaneateles Falls, NY; Ann Kinkade, President, FEUSA, Minneapolis, MN; and Judy Rauenhorst Mahoney - Founder and President of Teach Me, Inc., Minnetonka, MN.

December 19, 2012

New Poll Shows Majority of Family Firms Optimistic About Revenue Growth, But Fewer Project Adding Employees in 2013

Message To Congress: Uncertainty About Government Tax and Regulatory Policy Impacting Family Business Planning and Development; Federal Debt and Deficit Number One Policy Concern

Contact: Mike Burita
Phone: (202) 420-9361

Washington, D.C. – Family-owned businesses remain optimistic about revenue growth in 2013, but continued economic uncertainty and public policy concerns are driving a reluctance to add to their workforce compared to the previous year, according to the 2013 Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA) survey of family firms. The annual survey released today compiles responses from 230 family firm executives from a wide range of industry sectors.

70% of respondents report revenue growth within the last 12 months, up from 50% of respondents from last year's survey. The result has been more hiring. A full 54% of respondents indicate that they grew their workforce in the last 12 months in response to the increase in business. Looking ahead, general attitudes toward 2013's business outlook remain slightly optimistic, measured by revenue growth projections, but companies are reluctant to commit to adding workers. While 75% of respondents anticipate that their revenues will grow in the next 12 months, only 45% believe they will add workers. As noted above, this is down from the 54% employment projection in last year's survey, which proved to be accurate.

"At the core of family owned enterprises is a focus on long-term, sustainable growth and that is why they continue to be a beacon of hope for hiring and revenue growth, despite the sluggish economy,” said FEUSA President Ann Kinkade. "But continued unease about the economy, uncertainty about tax policy and federal irresponsibility toward our debt and deficit is a hardship on planning and development for the primary drivers of our economy, family firms.”

Concern over external economic factors grew by nearly 10% from last year to this year to 91%, indicating an even more heightened sensitivity to the economic environment and the role government policy and uncertainty is playing in business planning and development.

The strongest public policy issue according to respondents was reducing the deficit and debt – 54% rated it as important (32% very important). This validates the central value of stewardship that family businesses embrace; leaving the company in a better position than when one's own generation took it over drives family firm successors. Not surprisingly, stewardship of the national economy and attention to fiscal responsibility increased with respondents from more established companies; 60% of respondents from firms over 100 years old said that reducing the deficit and debt was important (45% said very important).

The fate of the estate tax also ranked highly among respondents. Regardless of size or age, 41% of respondents favored eliminating it altogether, 20% believed the tax should be reduced for every estate, regardless of size, and 28% believed is should remain at the current levels. This extra tax burden limits the ability of families to pass on an asset they have taken risks to build. As important, the financial and human resources it takes to plan around the ever-changing tax and keep the business operating drains investment that would otherwise go to business expansion.

In the context of debate about increasing individual income tax rates, the question often comes up about how this will impact businesses that are organized as S-Corps or LLCs. FEUSA's survey indicates a strong plurality (47%) "will disburse additional funds to owners to ensure that they receive distributions sufficient to pay their taxes resulting in less money available for capital investments and other company expenditures” to deal with this issue. This is significant because of the survey respondents that predicted that they would add employees in the next 12 months, 70% are either S corps or LLCs. Taking more money out of their operations will directly impact their expansion opportunities.

"As lawmakers continue the debate on the fiscal cliff, the message from the FEUSA survey is clear,” Kinkade concluded. "Family-owned enterprises are a stable and resilient force for long-term economic growth and jobs, but they need certainty in government policy from their leaders, tax policy that encourages investment and growth and a commitment to reduce our federal debt and deficit.”

The 2013 Family Enterprise USA survey received 230 online responses from executive-level officials from family firms between October 2012-December 2012. 58% of respondents carry the title CEO or President, 28% are family members, 14% are Vice Presidents, and the balance are C-level executives. This year's respondents represent every region of the country and are involved in a broad cross-section of industry sectors from manufacturing (the largest category at 30%) to construction (11%), wholesale trade (8%), retail trade and real estate (6% each), finance, agriculture, hotel management, restaurants, and more.

Click here to Download the 2013 FEUSA Survey of Family Firms

Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA) is an independent, 501(c)(3) national nonprofit membership organization whose primary purposes are to highlight the positive contributions made by America's business-owning families, draw attention to the challenges they face due to public perceptions and public policies, and unite the country's business-owning families so they may begin to act collectively.

Nation's Restaurant News: "Family Businesses Are Essential For Job Growth" by Mike Hamra, President of Hamra Enterprises and Chair of FEUSA- March 19,2012

For more than 40 years, Nation's Restaurant News has been the leading publication and source of business intelligence for the restaurant industry. Reaching a circulation of 61,000 restaurant industry professionals, many of which are family-owned operations, the weekly magazine offers information solutions and addresses the challenges facing the foodservice business. As a family business owner, Mike Hamra knows "that stong family businesses make for a strong economy." It is because "we maintain our focus on 5, 10, 15, even 20 years down the road because we are more concerned with long-term sustainability than short-term profit." Mr. Hamra when on to say that "planning for the generational hand off of our family-owned business under the current laws and policies has been an incredibly arduous and lengthy process," and that this forces the expenditure of "significant financial resources to ensure our business survives and our vision for long-term sustainability is realized." 

Optimism in 2012 for Family FirmsFamily-owned firms are optimistic about hiring more workers this year, according to a new survey from Family Enterprise USA - March 13, 2012.

According to FEUSA’s second annual survey, family-owned enterprises continue to demonstrate many of the traits that make them successful: a commitment to their employees, emphasis on equity versus debt, and a long-term investment time horizon. While half of all respondents indicated flat or lower revenue since the start of the recession, only a third have reduced their workforce. Additionally, over half of the respondents indicated that they intend to hire more workers in the next twelve monthsFamily Firms remained focused on the horizon: a plurality dismissed those short-term strategies, like short-term tax cuts or stimulus packages, in favor of long-term stability in policy; set tax policy for ten years, halt new regulations, and businesses will start growing again.

FEUSA Survey Shows Majority of Family Firms Optimistic in Hiring, Retaining Employees in 2012 - March 10, 2012

Annual Family Business Survey Shows Executives Want Long-Term Predictability and Consistency in Tax Policy and Federal Regulations. The annual survey released today compiles responses from 300 family firm executives from a wide range of sectors on questions about their business and government policy. 54% of respondents indicated that they intend to hire more workers in the next twelve months, while only 8% said they would be reducing their workforce. "Because of their focus on long-term, sustainable growth, family owned businesses are committed to their employees and communities over time." - Ann Kinkade, FEUSA President.

FEUSA's "From White Castle to the White House" presentation gains recognition for bringing together family business stories for an unified advocacy - March 9, 2012

FEUSA President, Ann Kinkade has been traveling across the country with Vice President at White Castle, Jamie Richardson to speak to family businesses about their importance in the economy. Ann discusses Family Enterprise USA’s advocacy work and share stories about the family firms that drive its mission. While, Jamie discusses how White Castle upholds its values and maintains its culture in the context of government affairs, public relations and community engagement and the company’s involvement with us. The series of talks have caught the attention of many family firms concerned with the governments' role in thier business.

Family Enterprise USA's Annual Survey gains national coverage in Business Daily News for family businesses hiring, despite tough times - February 2012

Fox Business News carried Business Daily News article on FEUSA's 2012 annual survey to reveal family business leaders optimism in the economy, but hints at the problems of uncertainty from policy makers. "Uncertainty in the tax code and in government regulations is keeping many businesses from hiring. More than 40 percent of family firms said it was the biggest impediment to job growth."

Family Enterprise USA releases the 2012 Annual Survey to reveal an optimistic outlook despite the concerns over varying tax policies – February 2012

Also view Business Daily News' coverage article Family-Owned Businesses Hiring, Despite Tough Times, February 24, 2012. Family Businesses "have greater workforce stability and are more likely to hire and retain employees in the face of a tough economy.' Because of their focus on long-term, sustainable growth, Family-owned businesses are committed to their employees and communities over time." - Ann Kinkade, FEUSA President.

Family Business Radio Welcomes Ann Kinkade, President, Family Enterprise USA and Jamie Richardson, Vice President of White Castle - February 2012

Atlanta Business Chronicle - Family Enterprise USA reveals the external and internal influences on succession planning in "How to pan succession in a family-owned business” – January 2012



FEUSA Promotes a Shared Voice for Family Businesses - October 2011

Family Enterprises Touted on Forbes by FEUSA - "The Key to Job Growth is on the Kitchen Table" - October 2011

FEUSA Releases Report on Congress’ Personal Ties to Family Businesses - September 2011

The Network Journal - Family Owned Businesses - July 2011

The Hill - How Mom and Pop Can Save the Economy - June 2011

Wall Street Journal blogs about FEUSA's Annual Survey - May 2011

FEUSA's press release - Now Hiring: America's Family Businesses - May 2011

Ann Kinkade quote featured in GenSpring study press release - March 2011.

Greg McCann writes about his upcoming speech at FEUSA's Annual Meeting - Jan 2011.

InBusiness Madison Magazine Features FEUSA's President, Ann Kinkade in December 2010 Issue.

Family Enterprise USA Convenes Family Business Policy Session at the Family Business Network International Summit - September 2010.

Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA) is featured in the National Chimney Sweep Guild's "Sweep's Say" - December 2009. 

Family Enterprise USA (FEUSA) appears Corp!­ Magazine - Nov/Dec 2009 issue.

Family Business Wiki Interviews FEUSA President, Ann Kinkade - September 2009.

Media Inquiries

Members of the media can contact Family Enterprise USA by calling one of the contacts listed here or by emailing us at  

                         Ann Kinkade                       Lynn Berglund

                         President                          Executive Coordinator

                         (651) 962-4171                   (651) 962-4170


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