Virginia Commonwealth University [View Image]School of Business

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Business communityVCU Family Business Forum

The VCU Family Business Forum provides educational programs and networking opportunities to family-owned businesses throughout the region. 

The forum is housed at the VCU School of Business. Monthly seminars feature topics of value to owners and members of family enterprises. Topics include succession planning, governance, family communications, leadership development, conflict resolution and other matters unique to multi-generational family businesses.

Membership is open to all family businesses. The annual membership fee is $1,500 and permits participation by all owners, family members and non-family executives of the member business. 

2019-2020 Forums

Breakfast is available at 8am, and programs are 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

September 11, 2019 Dan Hatzenbuehler, E. Ritter & Company 

October 9, 2019 - Succession Planning Panel

November 13, 2019 - From Family Business to Business Family: Integrating Non-Family Executives into the Family Business

December 11, 2019 - Engaging Family through Philanthropy

January 8, 2020 - Effective Communication in Family Business

February 19, 2020 - Michael Russell, CEO of H.J. Russell & Company 
March 11, 2020 - Family Matters: Cultivating human capital, financial capital and innovation across generations in family businesses with Karen Reynolds Sharkey 
April 2020 - *POSTPONED* Discussing Transition to the Next Generation: A panel discussion with David Karofsky, of the Family Business Consulting Group and John, Sam, and Mason Corey of CSC Leasing 
May 13, 2020 - FE Mindset & Capacity: A Mindset and Practice for Succeeding in the New Normal, with Greg McCann (extended session 8:00 am  - 12 pm) 
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  • The Family Forum has been very beneficial to our company. We have obtained many ideas from the seminars, and the networking among the members has been invaluable.
    Richie Siewers
    Siewers Lumber & Millwork
  • If you want your family business to remain in the family and still be run like a business, generation to generation, your interests are aligned with the VCU Family Business Forum. I recommend the VCU Family Business Forum programs.
    Joe Kelleher
    Kelleher Corp.

Contact us

For more information about membership and sponsorships, contact: 

Katy Wilder Schaaf

Carrie Hawes

(804) 828-2616

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Our Director

Meet Our Director

Katy Wilder Schaaf headshot [View Image]

Katy Wilder Schaaf

Katy is a shareholder of E. Ritter & Company (ERC), a 5th generation agriculture and communications company founded in Marked Tree, Arkansas in 1889.  As a family business owner, Katy is the Chair of the Ritter Family Council, serves on the Ownership Committee, Next Generation Committee, and previously on the Philanthropy Committee. She has written about her work on family governance for Family Business Magazine and serves on the Family Business Magazine Advisory Board. Katy has had the opportunity to speak locally and nationally about her work in family business. In Richmond, Katy works as a clinical psychologist in her private practice. She and her husband Matthew have two children.



  • Bank of America
  • Community Foundation for a greater Richmond
  • Ernst & Young
  • Morgan Stanley - Graystone Consulting
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