Anne Smart, director of the Family Business Center, retires after 13 years of service to the center's strong community of family businesses. 

Anne Smart has announced that she will be retiring as director of the Family Business Center, effective October 3, 2022.

“I have loved the work I’ve been privileged to do with the families and businesses that are part of the center’s community and the people at Quinlan and Loyola,” said Smart. “I leave knowing that the center’s team, including its peer group facilitators, coaches, and institute faculty, will continue to grow and shape the best programs and services for the community.” 

Molly Henry, the Family Business Center’s membership and program manager, will continue to support the community while Loyola searches for the next director. 

Words of praise 

Leaders at Loyola University Chicago expressed their gratitude for Smart and her service to the family business community. Maciek Nowak, interim dean of Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business, praised Smart’s leadership and thoughtful support of family business. “Anne has been instrumental in the success of the Family Business Center over the last 13 years, first as membership director, then as director,” he said. “In their work with her, family businesses found a trusted advisor and partner.”

Abol Jalilvand, executive director of the Loyola Business Leadership Hub, which houses the Family Business Center, praised Smart’s “extraordinary leadership rooted in balancing resilience and innovation.” He also said that she was critical to increasing interdisciplinary research, professional education, and faculty and student engagement within the Business Leadership Hub and its centers.

Overseeing growth and regeneration 

The third director of the Family Business Center, Smart oversaw a period of growth and regeneration. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she sustained membership, programs, and institutes through a swift transition to virtual peer groups, meetings, and just-in-time expert webinars. The Family Business Center became an oasis for families and a source of support during a period that challenged families, businesses, and their communities.

The pandemic also required transforming the 30-year-old Illinois Family Business of the Year awards and moving to a digital platform. In 2020, Smart led the launch and implementation of the Family Business Heroes Campaign, an annual social media campaign that raises funds and friends, as well as shines a spotlight on the important contributions of family-owned business.

Other accomplishments include strengthening:  

  • Sustainable contributions to family business education, community, and practice  
  • Long-term relationships with middle market business-owning families  
  • Nationally recognized family business institutes and peer programs 
  • Research support for faculty

Searching for a new director 

Loyola is currently accepting applications for the next director: Family Business Center director job posting. The search committee is led by Gezinus Hidding, a Family Business Center board member and Quinlan faculty member, and final candidates will be interviewed by additional Family Business Center board members. 

“I want to thank the families, the Family Business Center Board, Quinlan, and Loyola for their investment in a sustainable and generative future for family business at Loyola,” said Smart.