Welcome!

News Feed Item

Gift of $10 Million Establishes Smith Family Business Initiative at Johnson at Cornell University

John Smith, MBA '74, and spouse Dyan promote education as key to founding and fostering family businesses across generations

ITHACA, N.Y., Jan. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cornell University and its graduate business school made a big difference for John Smith, MBA '74, and perhaps an even bigger difference for the family business, to which he returned after earning his MBA. For while Smith was studying at the then Graduate School of Business and Public Administration (BPA), he became convinced that federal deregulation of his family's freight trucking business was inevitable.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140120/NY48707)

"You have no concept of what the competitive pressures are going to bring on your business in deregulation," said Smith. "I met the right professors at Cornell, who convinced me that this was going to happen, and we'd better be prepared."

Education and the preparation it inspired paid off, and today, CRST International of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is among the 10 largest U.S. truckload concerns. And of equal importance, the company remains a family business. Their wish for family businesses of all kinds to be owned and operated by subsequent generations moved the Smiths to make a $10 million gift to the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University to found the John and Dyan Smith Family Business Initiative.

"It is in the best interest of family businesses and the country for these businesses to be carried on for many generations," said Smith. "With a focus on family businesses at Johnson, good research will be conducted, educational seminars will address the unique needs of family businesses, and prospective students will be drawn to Johnson because of the family business expertise on campus."

"One of the main reasons we are moving forward with CRST remaining within our family is because of education," added Dyan Smith. "The initiative is the next step to putting Johnson in the forefront of family business management."

The Smith Family Business Initiative will be housed in Johnson's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, and will fund three key additions to the institute:

  • The John and Dyan Smith Professorship of Management and Family Business, who will serve as the initiative's lead faculty member
  • The Smith Family Clinical Professorship of Management, who will serve as director of the initiative
  • The Smith Family Research, Program, and Faculty Support Fund, which will support a number of activities, including course offerings, student and alumni programming, marketing and outreach, presentations by visiting executive speakers, and faculty recruitment

The Smith's son Ian, currently earning his MBA at Johnson, is among many students from family businesses, who have joined Johnson over the past several decades—a trend that Soumitra Dutta, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean, expects to continue.

"With the Smith's generous gift, we can now put in place a systematic program to help prepare students for starting, scaling, and managing a family business," Dutta said. "The Smith Family Business Initiative will have a profound and lasting impact on family business and graduate business education at Johnson and Cornell."

The Smith Family Business Initiative is likely to be a game-changer for Johnson and for Cornell, both in the U.S. and the world, said Wesley Sine, faculty director of Johnson's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute.

"Family businesses are the most common type of business on the earth, particularly in developing countries," Sine said. "The greater the extent to which we help family businesses across the globe be more successful, the greater our relevance and the larger our impact."

Recognizing that family businesses are the foundation of economic growth worldwide, Johnson is moving forward quickly with both research and new and innovative curriculum specific to them. Sine is currently developing the Smith Family Business Initiatives first two programs—a course that will focus on the benefits and challenges that are peculiar to family businesses; and the Smith Family Distinguished Family Business Lecture Series, which will bring executives from the world's most successful family businesses to the Cornell campus.

Ian Smith, MBA '15, will likely graduate before the Smith Family Business Initiative is in full swing. That doesn't concern his parents, though, who already see how Ian's Cornell graduate education will help advance CRST International. Ian plans to join the board of the directors of the company immediately upon graduation, and immerse himself in learning all aspects of the family trucking business.

"Ian has a very strong background in finance and strategy," said Dyan Smith. "He likes to figure out the best way for the company and family to grow and change  in the future, " –what John Smith calls "up at 20,000 feet looking down; seeing how the pieces fit together and where we should be going."

Bringing the next generation into the family business was critically important to the Smiths, as it is for most families in business together. Yet there are many obstacles to be overcome. Infightings and misunderstandings can overwhelm a business, the Smiths said. Divisive issues are often emotional rather than business related.

"Who do you go to for help in addressing these problems and proceeding into the future? Where do you go for information on starting a family business and keeping your children in it?" said Dyan Smith. "We hope Cornell will flourish in being the source for family businesses."

About Johnson at Cornell University
Johnson at Cornell University prides itself on being an intense, collaborative community that functions like a high-performance workplace. Our world-renowned faculty educates leaders for the connected world through five MBA programs, PhD Program and non-degree executive education. Johnson also offers programs across Latin America, Mexico, and China.

SOURCE Johnson at Cornell University

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...