For more than thirty years, the Family Firm Institute (FFI) has been engaged in educating, connecting, and inspiring professionals who serve family enterprises. FFI is the leading association worldwide for family enterprise professionals and the organization of choice for the advisers, consultants, educators, and researchers who help perpetuate trans-generational family business enterprise. In adopting a multidisciplinary and global perspective, FFI understands family enterprise as a fundamental driver of global economic growth, prosperity, and stability.

For its global network of professionals, educators, researchers, and family enterprise members, FFI provides opportunities to participate in multidisciplinary educational programs and earn professional designations; enables collaboration at conferences, seminars, and online; and creates a single space for cross-pollination of ideas, expertise, and perspectives to further the field of family enterprise.

While families have been in business for most of recorded history, a dedicated field of family business is relatively new. For example, formal research devoted to family business only emerged in the 20th century, and it was only through the vision of pioneering thinkers such as Barbara Hollander and Richard Beckhard that a multidisciplinary field was established with the founding of the Family Firm Institute in 1986.

Board of Directors


Debbie Bing


Boston, MA USA

Vice Chair

Carlo Salvato


Bocconi University
Milan, Italy


Asher Noor


AlTouq Group, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia

Sandra McNeely, FFI Board member headshot.


Sandra McNeely


The Abbey Group
Rapid City, SD USA

FFI Fellows

FFI Fellow status was established in 2001 to recognize individuals who demonstrate ongoing expertise and commitment to the field of family enterprise.

View the distinguished list of FFI Fellows from around the globe.

Members of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) are encouraged to maintain the highest standards of professionalism. The Best Practices described are recommendations for FFI members to consider in conducting their practices.


Academic Awards

Best Dissertation
Dianne H.B. Welsh, chair
Alain Praet
Alfredo DeMassis
Anita van Gils
Claudia Binz Astrachan

Achievement Awards

Panikkos Poutziouris, chair
Alberto Gimeno
Daniela Montemerlo
Denise Federer
Preston Root


Debbie Bing, chair
Carlo Salvato, vice chair
Asher Noor, secretary
Sandra McNeely, treasurer
Michael Connolly, counsel
Judy Green, president

To ensure its continued leadership in providing cutting edge educational programming for the field, the FFI board of directors established the Legacy Fund in 2009. This non-restricted fund is used at the discretion of the FFI board to further the educational goals of the organization.

Chapters & Study Groups

Shannon Zur, chair

David M. Paradise, chair