The Institute for Family Business was founded by Dr. Karen Bowerman, Lee Lockhart, Doris Payne, Fred Ruiz, Ken Newby and Robert Oliver. It was created based upon the findings of The Central California Institute for Family Business Study. At its inception the primary activity of the organization was to sponsor an annual conference dealing with matters of importance to family businesses. The first such annual conference was held in 1990.
The Institute for Family Business at California State University, Fresno was established in 1989 and in 1994, the organization was renamed the Family Business Institute. To assist the Advisory Board, a part-time director Dr. Bill Rice of the Craig School of Business was added, later replaced by Tom Burns and Jeanne Cochran. In August 2006, Dr. George Vozikis was named as a full-time Director under the auspices of the Craig School of Business. In 2007, the organization's name was returned to the original Institute for Family Business (IFB) and remains housed in the Craig School of Business. Most recently, Laurie Taylor Hamm, was appointed the Director in July 2017.
Our reason for existence is the preservation of the family business heritage by providing a forum for exchanging ideas, research findings, academic courses and information about the business and personal issues that are unique to family firms. We strongly believe that the promotion and development of the family business as a major economic sector deserves to become a focal point in California’s economic development efforts and more specifically in Fresno and the surrounding central San Joaquin Valley.
The Institute for Family Business is proud to be a reciprocal member of The Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, The Visalia Chamber of Commerce and The Fresno County Farm Bureau.