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Brunch to honor recipients and their families for the Minnesota Hall of Fame for 2014.

Family Business Center

History & Leadership

The St. Thomas Family Business Center is a nationally recognized source of research, education and outreach. We use practical, holistic approaches to help family businesses grow and thrive.


Jon Keimig

Director, Family Business Center
Phone Number
(651) 962-4560
Guests clap following a talk at the annual Entrepreneur Awards Ceremony and dinner.

Our History

In 1991, St. Thomas board members Harry McNeely and Gerald Rauenhorst founded the Family Business Center. They were inspired to create the center because of the first-rate education being offered far from the Twin Cities, at schools such as Wharton. Believing that this type of business knowledge should be available locally, they decided to create an organization dedicated to local business families, providing actionable solutions backed by rigorous scholarship.

Today, the Family Business Center hosts more than 140 families at its breakfast series alone. All companies engaged with the center are business families, meaning a family member has either an ownership stake or managerial control of a significant portion of the business, and is interested in passing the business on to heirs. Families come from a variety of industries, and range from less than $1M in annual revenue, to hundreds of millions. Some are St. Thomas alumni-owned businesses and travel from around Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa to attend.

Our Leadership

Ritch Sorenson, Ph.D.
Opus Endowed Chair in Family Business
Academic Director
(651) 962-4252

Ritch Sorenson teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in family business management at St. Thomas. He was an early pioneer in establishing family business education, and continues to develop new courses. Dr. Sorenson is an associate editor for Family Business Review, the premier journal in family business, and he publishes research in top management journals. He is also an active participant in many professional organizations, including the Family Firm Institute, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the Academy of Management.

Jon Keimig
(651) 962-4560

Jon Keimig plans the Family Business Breakfast Series, Adviser Engagement Luncheon Series full-day seminars and peer groups, and is your resource for questions about the Family Business Center and its offerings. Keimig became the director of the Family Business Center in 2016 after spending three years at the University of St. Thomas, both working in the Family Business Center and Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. In 2017, Keimig earned the Certification in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute.

Our board is made up of local business families and advisers who have participated in our membership activities.

Mary Daugherty
University of St. Thomas

Terry Gilberstadt

John Hughes
Ollum Consulting

Maggie Johnston
The Johnston Group

Paddy McNeely, Chair
Meritex Enterprises

James Moeller
R.F. Moeller

Richard Murphy
Murphy Warehouse

Claire Schafer
Northern Ingredients

Ritch Sorenson
University of St. Thomas

Angela Spiteri
Pritchard Family Auto Services

Margaret A. Tortorella Cronin
Bridgeview Legal Advisors, PLLC

Carla Warner
Warners’ Stellian

Emeritus Board Members
Harry G. McNeely, Jr.
Meritex Enterprises

Gerald Rauenhorst
Opus Corporation


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