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Board Provides Guiding Hand to Family Business

Kurt April 2008 WSJ Article

Kurt Welton, photo by Joseph W. Jackson III

By Pamela Cotant, For the Wisconsin State Journal

Establishing a board is considered to be one of the best practices to help a family business survive to the third generation or beyond. An independent board, which includes a limited number of family members, is recommended, said Ann Kinkade, director/faculty associate of the UW-Madison Family Business Center.

Yet many business owners¬†don’t create one – often concerned¬†about being told how¬†to run their company and¬†fearing a loss of control.¬†“If you really understand¬†how it works, you wouldn’t¬†be worried,” said Kurt Welton,¬†president/treasurer and chief¬†executive officer of Welton¬†Enterprises, a commercial real¬†estate development and management¬†company in Madison.¬†“If you pick good people,¬†you don’t have to worry¬†about what they are going to¬†tell you to do.”

To spread the word on the¬†importance of family business¬†boards, the UW-Madison¬†Family Business Center¬†is offering a program April 22¬†on the essential elements of¬†boards and their benefits and¬†challenges.¬†Boards can be set up as¬†advisory or fiduciary as businesses¬†want them to be, said¬†Kinkade, who also is a family¬†business adviser. A board of¬†advisers is elected by those¬†who want the advice. A board¬†of directors is elected by the¬†shareholders and is accountable¬†to them. Read more…

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