Family Businesses Face Big Issues

• By 2017, it is estimated that 40.3 percent of family business owners expect to retire, creating a significant transition of ownership in the US. Less than half of those expecting to retire in five years have selected a successor. (Mass Mutual American Family Business Survey, 2007)
• Nearly a third of family business owners (31.4 percent) have no estate plan beyond a will. Only 53.5 percent of these owners reported having a “good understanding” of estate taxes that could be due. (Mass Mutual American Family Business Survey, 2007)
• Even though nearly 70% of family businesses would like to pass their business on to the next generation, only 30% will actually be successful at transitioning to the next generation. (Peak Family Business Survey, 2011)

Family Business Advising

Vision, Mission, Council

Organizational and Leadership Development

Coaching, Assessment, Support

Family Business Support Groups

Knowledge, Expertise, Experience

Karen Kehr’s background includes over 25 years experience with diverse clientele from corporate executives to self-employed entrepreneurs. Her passion is to help individuals, families, and family businesses thrive.  Working together with Chuck Bower, her business partner, Karen helps family businesses create and implement a game plan that reflects what they want to contribute, and how it will make a difference for future generations.

She has developed next-generation family business leaders and prepared them for the challenges of running their companies in over 20 family businesses.  She has assisted in the creation of exit plans for family business clients; helping retiring business owners and executives leave their organizations and perpetuate their vision and values to their successors.

She has formed Family Councils and helped family businesses establish meaningful guidelines and resolve differences.

Click here to download the Family Business Advising services brochure.

Please contact Karen Kehr at 574-596-3058 for more details.

Latest News:

Thank you to everyone who attended our Sept. 20 event! Barb Dartt’s presentation was informative and her case study got the discussion rolling! Here are a few photos from the event –







Thank you all for attending our Family Business Luncheon in April! It was informative to listen to and discuss different experiences within the world of family business. We shared resources and created contacts outside of our own network.





11/6/15: Karen attended the Family Business Transitions West Conference in Newport Beach, California, November 4 to 6, 2015. The Transitions conference is sponsored by the Family Business Magazine, and featured speakers, educational sessions and round-tables by notable family business leaders and experts from around the U.S.

About Karen Kehr:

Karen Kehr

Karen Kehr

Karen Kehr has over 25 years of experience with diverse clientele, from corporate executives to self-employed entrepreneurs. She transforms organizations, improving their talent management through coaching, family business planning, leadership development, and strategic planning. Across her career, Karen has created innovative new training delivery systems that improved quality and customer satisfaction while reducing turnover.

Karen has earned a Certificate in Family Business Advising, is a frequent speaker for Renaissance Executive Forums, and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She holds a graduate degree in counseling and human services and a degree in education. Karen is certified in Profiles International’s assessment tools and Target Training International’s assessment tools and organizational Stages of Growth programs.

"I have seen how the complexities of family members in business together can negatively affect the family, the business, or both.  With 2 married sons in our 3rd generation family business, I want to avoid those potential problems.  Karen Kehr has helped us to create our Family Business Council.  Now we have a forum to deal with the family business  issues.  Karen has helped us to communicate better, and deal with the issues as we continue to build our business.  The investment that we’re making is definitely worth it."

Jeff New, President, Mid-City Supply Co., Inc.

Company Name: Mid-City Supply Co., Inc.
Designation: President

"I have worked with Karen Kehr and Hawthorne Services for the past 5 plus years.  We utilized her in a wide range of activities dealing with strategic planning, professional development, employee DISC assessments, and family business transitions.  We have focused on my professional development through individual coaching sessions.  Karen’s coaching sessions have improved my overall confidence and employee accountability.   While working with Karen I have greatly benefited from different perspectives and information to make good business decisions."

B.J. Bonin, Vice President, Bertrand Products Inc.

Company Name: Bertrand Products, Inc.
Designation: Vice President

"Karen & Chuck, I wanted to reach out to you and thank you for the great experience Wiers has had working with you on the following projects with the Wiers Senior Leadership Team and Departmental Leaders: Employee development through individual coaching, assessments of style and behavior, and supervisory training; Hiring support utilizing best practices and hiring assessments; Turnover and retention analysis resulting in cultural and systems changes; and Succession planning and development of family business concepts with 3rd generation family members. Thank you so much for your advice and help. Sincerely, Tom Wiers"

Tom Wiers, President, Wiers International, Inc.

Company Name: Wiers International, Inc.
Designation: President

"Our company engaged Hawthorne Services to facilitate a critical family business discussion amongst the multiple owners. This was a very delicate situation that required innate knowledge of the individual personalities and styles. Effective facilitation of this discussion made the process proceed very smoothly and efficiently. Without such help, this discussion could have taken much longer than needed without a detailed plan of action or results."

Dan Adams, VP & Owner, Manufacturing Technology, Inc.

Company Name: Manufacturing Technology, Inc.
Designation: VP & Owner

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