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Meet Anne Smart, director of the Family Business Center

Meet Anne Smart, director of the Family Business Center

Anne Smart (right), the new director of the Family Business Center, believes passionately in her work with member businesses and family business education.

By Adriana Geday  |  Student reporter

“What excites me is to be able to retain the best of the past and look forward to a broader future,” says Anne Smart, the new director of the Family Business Center at Loyola.

In June 2016, Smart was named director after serving as the Family Business Center’s membership director for six years. She succeeded Andrew Keyt, who led the center for 18 years before becoming a clinical professor in family business within the Quinlan School of Business.

Here, Smart discusses her vision for the Family Business Center, and its importance to its members and the Quinlan community.

Tell me about your first 90 days as director.

It’s been a time of assessment, celebration, and change. As we celebrate the center’s 25th anniversary this year, it’s a very appropriate time to celebrate our past and look forward to future.

As we look at the past, we see that our outgoing director, Andrew Keyt, did a beautiful job of growing the center and really making our mark in the world of family business. We’re proud to say that the Family Business Center is an internationally recognized leader in family business development and education, and has nearly 100 member businesses, ranging from more than $12 billion to $10 million in annual sales. Over the past 90 days, I’ve enjoyed reaching out to our very supportive member community, and listening to their hopes for the center.  We remain committed to our focus on building and supporting the family business community at Quinlan.

Another change is that the Family Business Center joined the new Loyola Business Leadership Hub over the summer. This new entity within the Quinlan School of Business serves as a point of contact for organizations looking to tap into the resources of Loyola and the global Jesuit network of colleges and universities.

As part of the Hub, five centers within Quinlan are now working more closely together than ever:

I’m excited by the resources and opportunities the Hub will bring to Family Business Center members and to Quinlan.

What excites you about serving as the new director?

It really is the opportunity to expand the Family Business Center mission to include Quinlan students. We’ve created a powerful community of family-owned businesses and will integrate that with an expanded focus on student education in family business at the undergraduate and graduate level. My dream is for the center to eventually teach a course or two at the graduate level, offer a three-credit class at the undergraduate level, and support a Family Business Club for students.

All of us in the Family Business Center believe passionately in our work with member businesses. We know it makes a difference and that the impact of our engaged member community has a positive and long term impact on the families, their businesses, employees and communities. We’re excited by Quinlan’s strong support of our mission and commitment to family business education and sustainability.

Why have a family business center within Quinlan?

Privately held businesses are the economic engine that drives the country’s economy. More people are employed by privately and family-owned businesses than any other form. It is the central organizing unit for business. So, Quinlan students may at some point in their career work for a family-owned firm. Equally important, many of our students may come from families that own their own businesses and operations. Quinlan and the Family Business Center are giving them the tools they need to succeed.

For the members of the Family Business Center, Quinlan serves as an important resource in effectively running and sustaining ownership of their businesses generation to generation. We have the opportunity to present these family run businesses with all of the opportunities that Quinlan offers. Quinlan’s faculty members partner with business owners to share expertise on subject matters, and many of our families have some sort of affiliation with Loyola. Several are even alumni. By sitting within Quinlan, the Family Business Center is able to improve these natural partnerships. 

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