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Midwest Chapter Event: "Independent Directors: Yes or No?"
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Midwest Chapter Event:

Independent Directors: Yes or No? with Dennis Kessler

When: Tuesday, May 21
From 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM
Where: McDermott, Will & Emery
227 W. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL  60606
United States
Contact: Family Firm Institute

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Independent Directors: Yes or No?

Family Business owners are often reluctant to add Independent Directors to their Board of Directors. This panel discussion will explore the reason for this hesitancy and how beneficial Independent Directors can be to the business and the family. Dennis Kessler’s family company, Fel-Pro, used Independent Directors to great advantage. Dennis now is President of Midwest Family Business Advisors and has helped his Family Business clients overcome their hesitancy and helped them recruit and establish Boards with Independent Directors. Dennis serves as an Independent Director for four family owned businesses.

David Juday’s family company, IDEAL Industry, has had Independent Directors on their board for over 20 years. David will discuss why he thinks Independent Directors are a good idea and how they have helped his company and his family.

About the Presenters:

Dennis Kessler, Principle, Midwest Family Business Advisors

Dennis Kessler, a principal with Midwest Family Business Advisors, serves on the board of directors for four family-owned businesses and draws from his personal experience as the former Co-President of Fel-Pro, Inc., a business that was in his family for 80 years. Dennis is well versed in the issues facing family businesses: Fel-Pro had 35 members of the family as stockholders and actively employed nine family members in the business. He helped ensure smooth transitions between generations and was an integral part of an exceptional culture at Fel-Pro, which was recognized with a fourth-place ranking on Fortune magazine’s list of best companies to work for. Dennis has a Master’s Degree in Engineering Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. He has lectured on family business issues at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including Wharton, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, and Washington University, as well as the Loyola Family Business Center and the Young Presidents Organization.


Dave Juday, Chairman, IDEAL Industry

Dave Juday was born and raised in Sycamore, Illinois.  He is married to Suzanne and they have 4 grown children and 9 grandchildren.  They live in rural Sycamore.

Formal education consists of undergraduate work at Shimer College and graduate work at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. 

In 1972 Dave came to IDEAL.  Since that time he has had many jobs at IDEAL including manufacturing, IT, sales and marketing.  He became the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1984, titles he held until 1999.  He is currently Chairman.

Dave is a director of The National Bank and Trust Company of Sycamore, director of The Community Cares Clinic, past director of the Hintzsche group of agronomy related companies and the Loyola Family Business Center.  He is or has been active in the DeKalb County Community Foundation, Sycamore Charities, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, Kishwaukee Hospital Foundation, NIU President’s Advisory Council, Federated Church, Rotary and the DeKalb County Juvenile Justice Council.  He was a 10-year member of the Illinois State Board of Education as well as having served on the local school board.