Family Business Center

Celebrating 25 Years

Working with Your Parents or Children

Family Business Breakfast Series


This event took place September 12, 2014

Working across generations proposes challenges for parents and their children. As the younger generation, how do you earn the trust of your parents and grandparents in the business? As the older generation, when can you let go of responsibilities to the younger family members in the business?

Hear from family businesses as they share stories of successes and failures they’ve found:

  • working across generations,
  • deciding when to separate business from family, and
  • determining who has final say in conflict and the tools they use to employ a resolution.


Discount Steel was founded in 1992 as a small metal supplier, with two employees and a 5,000 square foot warehouse. The family business has grown to 90 employees and more than 200,000 square feet of warehouse space across its Minneapolis and Fort Worth, Texas, locations. President and CEO Diane Dormanen, and her daughter Jane Dormanen, Human Resources and Accounting Manager will talk about how the eight family members in the business work together. Discount Steel is a 2014 Twin Cities Business Family Business of the Year finalist.

RSW Management is a third-generation western Wisconsin family business that operates and invests in a variety of businesses across the country, including a resort, seafood store and security company. Second-generation owner Ron Ward began purchasing companies, investing money and his own brand of personal management. Hear from Ron, and his son Peter Ward, as they share tools for working across generations. RSW Management is the 2008 University of St. Thomas Family Business of the Year.


Event Details:
Friday, September 12, 7:30 a.m.

University of St. Thomas
Opus College of Business
1000 LaSalle Ave
Opus Hall
Room 201/202
Minneapolis, MN 55403

A note to family business advisors: The breakfast series is restricted to members of family businesses.