Seminar to focus on family business

A forum focused on matters related to family business – including topics such as ethics, professional issues and succession – will take place Tuesday in Starkville.
The “Issues in Family Business” seminar will take place in the Greater Starkville Development Partnership boardroom.
“We know that across the country that small businesses are our primary job creators,” said Allison Matthews, GSDP vice president of membership and community development.
“We have some very important businesses in Starkville and in our Chamber of Commerce that are family businesses. We simply want to bring our members and our community good information,” she said.
In 2006, there were 46,437 small businesses in Mississippi, according to information published by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy.
During the 2005-2006 year, 11,423 net new non-farm jobs were created in the state. Businesses with one to four employees generated 6,177 of those jobs. The remaining breakdown is as follows (with the number of jobs generated followed by the range of employment): 2,647, 20-99 employees; 1,723, five to nine employees; 1,032, 10 to 19 employees and 1,005, 100 to 499 employees.
In the same period in the state, companies with 500 and more employees shed 1,161 workers.
The GSDP is holding the event in conjunction with the Technology Resource Institute at Mississippi State University.
Matthews supplied background on the presenters, who will be:
• Tim Barnett, a management professor at MSU who is the Richard and Mary Puckett Notable Scholar and a fellow of the Center of Family Enterprise Research. He teaches undergraduate courses in human resource management and leadership ethics and doctoral seminars in organizational behavior and HRM. He is vice president and program chair-elect of the Southern Management Association.
• Jim Chrisman, an MSU management professor, Adkerson Notable Scholar and director of COFER. He edits two academic journals, has published approximately 120 journal articles and conducts annual impact studies for the Small Business Development Center on the state and national levels.
• Allison Pearson, the W.L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Management at MSU. She uses her background in organizational behavior to research team dynamics in organizations, including family firms. She also an Adkerson Notable Scholar and John Grisham Master Teacher.
Barnett will focus on business ethics, Pearson will address professional issues and Crisman will hone in on family succession.
“I’m excited to offer programming that is very relevant and applicable to many of our small businesses in our community,” Matthews said.
“The core of the Chamber is supporting small businesses and one way to do that is by connecting them with resources and information that they can immediately take back to their businesses and implement in a useful way,” she said.
This is part of the Blue Ribbon Business Resources Series, Matthews said.
“We’re going to be constantly looking for ideas for programming workshops that will be of interest to our small businesses,” she said. “In this two-hour session, there’s going to be a variety of topics covered. At the end of the session, we are going to do are short survey to see if there may be interest in a follow-up session on one of the subtopics that will be covered,” Matthews said.
The event is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. because “people who are running small or family businesses often cannot set aside time during the work day to attend a seminar in hopes of making it convenient for people who need this information the most,” Matthews said.
Matthews encourages non-GSDP members who are interested in this topic to attend. An RSVP is needed and the fee is $20 for GSDP members and $35 for non-members, she said. “We would really welcome anyone to attend who has a family business of any variety,” Matthews said.
Space is limited but still available.
For information, e-mail Allison Matthews at or call her at 323-3322.