Iowa Family Business Conference

Each year, we bring in the most experienced leaders from the family business world to help you navigate best practices, tough conversations and more. This one-day event offers a keynote speaker, luncheon and 6+ breakout sessions for every member of the family business.

Jane Blain Gilbertson was the 2023 keynote speaker
2023 Keynote

Jane Blain Gilbertson

Jane Blain Gilbertson is President, CEO, and second-generation leader of the 43 Blain’s Farm & Fleet stores throughout the Midwest and Blain Supply, Inc., headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin. The family owned companies were founded in 1955 and currently employ 4,400 associates. When Jane returned to the family business in 1985, she became the children’s apparel and giftware buyer. After the passing of her father and uncle, Jane and her brother bought out the remaining family shareholders in 1998. Jane and her brother ran the business together for 16 years, until 2014, when he retired.

The Blain's Farm & Fleet Story

Tune in to hear Jane Blain Gilbertson and Sarah Gilbertson on the Never Go Against the Family podcast! The pair discuss their paths to joining the family business, the importance of a next generation, outside work experience and much more.

Tony Simmons

Tony Simmons, Tabasco

Anthony “Tony” Simmons is the retired President and CEO of McIlhenny Company, the makers of Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce. A member of the fifth generation, Tony is the great-great-grandson of founder Edmund McIlhenny. Tony lives at Avery Island, Louisiana with his wife of 48 years and his golden retriever Moose. He has two children and six grandchildren and is an avid sportsman and golfer.

Craig Culver Speaks at conference

Craig Culver

In 2021, the University of Northern Iowa hosted the first-ever Family Business Conference, presented by BrownWinick Law Firm. Hosted at the EFCO family's headquarters in Des Moines, this one-day event was designed to connect, educate and provide helpful resources to Iowa family businesses. Craig Culver, of Culver's Restaurants, and Tom Hubler, of Hubler for Business Families, provided keynote addresses, amid breakout sessions by other Iowa family business leaders.

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