Family Business Exchange

The Family Business Exchange is a community of Pacific Northwest family business owners who engage in education, networking, and professional development tailored specifically to their needs.

Father with baby on his feet

A Seattle-based family business institute for the Pacific Northwest

Seattle University’s Family Business Exchange (FBX) is a community of Pacific Northwest family business owners who gather to engage in education, networking, and professional development tailored specifically to their needs. 

FBX provides opportunities for families to address their unique challenges through relevant programming. It serves as a forum for information exchange with the goal of helping each member thrive through future generations. Areas of best practice that we cover include family business succession planning, governance, leadership development and growth, among others. Albers School of Business and Economics east entrance

FBX is run by Seattle University’s acclaimed Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (IEC). Housed in the Albers School of Business and Economics, it engages with and serves hundreds of students, alumni, volunteers, and local businesses in accelerating entrepreneurship for the common good. 

IEC Executive Director Peter Rowan previously led the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship (PACE) at the University of Hawai’i’ at Manoa’s Shidler College of Business. PACE runs the Family Business Center of Hawai’i which was created in 1995 to equip, educate, and celebrate Hawai’ian families in business. He brings his considerable knowledge and experience of running this center to FBX.

Importance of the Family Business in Entrepreneurship

According to Fortune (2023), the family business is the most ubiquitous form of business structure in America, with 87% of US businesses being family-owned or controlled.

The Pacific Northwest is a region with a significant family business presence. According to OnDeck’s analysis of the US Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (2022), 35.6% of businesses in Washington state alone are family-owned while 32.5% are owned by spouses.

Entrepreneurs are experts at leveraging limited resources to create value and overcome challenges. This is nowhere truer than within the family firm, where personal capital, rather than secondary market capital, must be deployed to maintain and grow the business. This requires a keen strategic sense of innovation, optimization, and agility, yet family firms are often overlooked in the field of entrepreneurship. This is why FBX was formed.

Join the Family Business Exchange

Network with and find support from peers who truly understand the challenges and rewards of running a family business. Learn relevant information, attend useful events, and enjoy the benefits of being part of an exclusive group.

Upcoming Family Business Exchange Events

April 29 FBX Lunch: Transform Employee Benefits into Retention

Two people clinking mugs

The key to retaining amazing talent is closer than you think. Join us with trusted friends at Assured Partners to learn the language in nurturing long-lasting relationships with your employees.

Bring your thoughts and questions to discuss with other family business owners in this supportive and confidential roundtable lunch.

FBX members can RSVP to Amber Chun. If you are interested in learning more about FBX and would like to attend, email Amber Chun to attend as a guest.

Past FBX events

A Slice of History: Growth & Acquisition for Family Businesses
Michelle Galvin, Co-owner and CFO, Pagliacci Pizza

Unlock Your Leadership Potential with StrengthsFinder
Angela Oakley, Talent Advisor at Clark Nuber

Everyday AI for Your Family Business
Trent Gillespie, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Day One Innovation

Succession Planning in Family Businesses
Bob Wallace, Founder and CEO of Wallace Properties

Empowering the Next Generation of Family Business Leaders
Ainsley Close, President of Guardian Security

Bridging the Gap: Cultivating the Next Generation
Ella Chase, Co-founder, Wellth Works

Hot Topics in Family Business Research
Dr. Monika Hudson, Associate Professor, University of San Francisco School of Management

FBX Advisory Board

  • Brian Quint, Aqua Quip
  • Jasmine Donovan, Dick's Drive-in Restaurant
  • Joe Trieu, Ark C3 Holdings
  • Chris Koh, Coho Real Estate
  • Carmen LaPonte, Quality Sewing
  • Robert Wallace, Wallace Properties
  • Ainsley Close, Guardian Security

Confidentiality First and Always

Families can be complicated. Working with family members can add an extra layer of complexity. To encourage openness and trust, FBX does not record meetings, nor does it share any information publicly without the express permission of the members providing it.

We also deliberately limit attendance of non-family business individuals at FBX events with the exception of vetted partners we have worked with throughout the years: Alexander Hutton, Assured Partners, Bernstein Private Wealth Management, Clark Nuber, Equinox, and Heritage Bank. These firms are well known for their expertise and discretion in servicing family businesses of all sizes.

Interested to join FBX?

Contact Amelia Marckworth today to get full details

Amelia Marckworth

Director of Community, IEC

Amelia Marckworth headshot