Become a Member

The Family Business Forums are created specifically to address the unique challenges in running a family business. (see definition below) Our programs are free to Forum Members. Owners of family businesses may attend one program as our guest at no charge to explore the benefits of membership. Non-members may attend programs for a cost of $99 per person, payable at the event.

 

Reasons to become a member

  • Attend all Family Business Forums for free from nationally known experts in their respected fields. Value - $7000.
  • That's 30 hours of professional education for $8 an hour per person from the only program in WNC dedicated to family business. Value - $240.
  • Receive one-hour complimentary consultation with each sponsor per year. Value - $800.
  • A subscription to the nationally recognized Family Business Magazine. Value - $79.
  • Discounted membership to the UNC Asheville Fittness Center. Value - $200.
  • Learn from and confer with other owners in a non-solicitious enviroment. Value - Realizing you are not alone. 
  • Understanding the complexities of family ownership so your business can function profitably and your family live harmoniously.  Value - Piece of mind. Priceless.
  • Free membership to UNC Asheville full-time students and their families who have family owned businesses. Proof of enrollment is necessary.

Membership Criteria

A family business is defined as a business with two or more members withnin the management team from the owning family.  Family businesses may have ownership and/or be managed by individuals who are not family members.

A closely held privately company is defined as a company where fewer than five individuals hold more than fifty percent of the company.

A sole proprietor with no employees may apply for membership for the purpose of education and not solicitation.

To become a member, complete and return the Member Application and Agreement forms:

Membership Structure and Annual Fees

Membership Type

Description

Fee*

Attendess
at no charge**

Strategic Partner Service Provider, Industry Exclusive $5500        8
Large Business More than 50 employees on payroll excluding owner(s) $1500        6
Medium Business 20-49 employees on payroll excluding owner(s) $1000        4
Small Business 6-20 employees on payroll excluding owner(s) $750        3
Micro Business 1-5 employees on payroll excluding owner(s) $500        2
Sole Proprietor No employees $250        1
Collegiate Member Member of family is enrolled full-time at UNC Asheville (proof of enrollment is necessary) Gratis        1

*Annual membership fees are used for program expenses (speaker fees, travel expenses, books, program food and beverages); operating expenses; Family Business Scholarship; and subscription to Family Business Magazine.

**Cost for additional attendees from businesses at all levels of membership is $99 per person.

Payment Options

  • One payment in full due 30 days after joining, or
  • Fee divided in two payments due 30 days after joining and December 30, 2015.

Membership Benefits and Return on Investment

1. Content - Educational programming from nationally known experts on family business preservation, governance, transition, personal dynamics, strategic planning, communication, and how to handle risk/reward situations appropriately.

  • Members report that making better decisions, saving money and having access to professional networking are benefits from their membership. 
  • Strategic Partners receive knowledge and expertise required for professional advisors.
  • Membership receives current articles regularly including research findings and information about running a successful family business.
  • Complimentary subscription from the national publication, Family Business Magazine.
  • Complimentary University OneCard (for each member allowed at no charge) for Ramsey Library lending privileges; discounts on Bulldog and bookstore merchandise.

2. Camaraderie - Building relationships with family businesses and service providers.

  • Opportunities to identify with other business families in a trusting environment. 
  • Members share common challenges and exchange best practices with each other.
  • Complimentary one hour consultation from Strategic Partners per year.
  • Exposure to expert advisors provides the member objective advice crucial to success. 
  • This exposure may evolve into client relationship(s) benefitting both parties***
  • University involvement and shared responsibility of bringing collective talents to help shape the economic, cultural, and societal future of community, according to the University Strategic Plan.

***The Strategic Partners provide a valuable financial and professional resource to our members. They are experts in the areas of law, insurance, investment and banking, strategic planning, and executive coaching. Our Strategic Partners are committed to sustaining family businesses for the well-being of the economy and the community. Through long-term relationship building between Member Companies and Strategic Partners, there may evolve client/customer relationships (or current relationships strengthened). The non-commercial nature of the Forum necessitates restrictions on solicitation and any marketing efforts that are construed as too aggressive for the "safe harbor" environment the Forum provides will not be tolerated. Please advise the Executive Director of the Forum, if you feel this understanding has been violated.

3. Commitment - Dedication to preserving family business for future generations.

  • Involved members strengthen the bond of their family and employees as a result of learning together.
  • Business owners learn that efforts toward a more cohesive family business create a lasting legacy.
  • Community involvement and contributing to the success of family businesses in Western North Carolina.
  • Member companies are known for their commitment to family business preservation by being listed on fbf.unca.edu.
  • UNC Asheville Fitness Center Memberships for $200 for same number of eligible attendees at no charge for the different membership types.

Strategic Partner Additional Benefits

  • Industry Exclusivity - only one business from each industry in the Family Business Forum.
  • Ability to give a complimentary membership a year to a valued client.
  • Recognized at programs. 
  • Seat on the FBF Board to guide policy and assist in member recruitment.
  • Logo, company description, and link on website and in the email newsletters.

Family business owners are welcome to one program at no charge.