Wisconsin School of Business
Adjunct faculty member

Deb has experience helping families and businesses meet various needs, concentrating on communication, transition, and next-generation development. She has worked with numerous families on developing effective communication and conflict resolution skills, facilitating various negotiated agreements (including shareholder and family employment agreements), developing family meetings, beginning stages of board development, and working with younger-generation members of family firms.

As a consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, Deb interacts daily with several family business entities and their members at various stages of development. She has presented on numerous occasions to industry groups, family business centers, and individual company retreats on topics including the next generation and succession, communication and conflict resolution, and negotiation. She teaches for the Wisconsin School of Business in the BBA and MBA programs and also works with the Center for Professional and Executive Development.

Deb earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin. She also holds a Certificate in Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from the Family Firm Institute.


  • Succession & Continuity
  • Conflict & Communication Management
  • Leadership & Next Generation Development


In 2015, Deb achieved Fellow status from the Family Firm Institute (FFI) for her ongoing expertise and commitment to the field of family enterprise.

Education Deb earned her bachelor, masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, specializing in interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, and perceptions of fairness within a family business. Deb is active in post-doctoral work in Bowen Family Systems Theory. She also holds a Certificate in Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from FFI.


Family Business Advisor Articles:

  • Introducing Teens and Young Adults to the Family Enterprise
  • Undiscussables: Dealing with the Elephants in Family Business
  • Building Family Harmony Starts with Living Our Values
  • How to Manage Chronic Conflict in Your Family Enterprise

Blog Posts:

  • 10 (Plus One!) Tips for Strong Families Part I and Part II
  • Communication and Family: What "Should" We be Doing?
  • Defining What's Right for Your Generation

Other Publications:

  • When Family Conflict Threatens the Business
  • The Myth of Working with the Family System
  • Are Your Children Ready To Inherit?
  • The Who, What and How of Family Meetings

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