More than half of the businesses in New Mexico are owned by families. They employ from two to more than 500 people. Their collective economic impact on the state is impressive.
Unfortunately, there were few services available to assist them in the unique and sometimes daunting operational challenges they face. For a variety of reasons, fewer than 15 percent of these businesses endure to the third generation. Can that number be raised? And if so, what will the process require?
A small dedicated group of family business owners and professional advisers recognized this void and decided to establish the New Mexico Family Business Alliance in 2005. Its mission was to provide educational opportunities to family-owned businesses via breakfast meetings, dinner presentations and an annual daylong symposium.
In 2014, Douglas M. Brown, dean of the Anderson School of Management, presented his vision of a family business center affiliated with the University of New Mexico through the Anderson School of Management. Many colleges and universities around the country host such centers, but this was a first in New Mexico. Anderson brought faculty experts in family-owned businesses; the Family Business Alliance brought highly talented directors who also had a vision of something bigger and better for the business community.