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Media Release: Mohawk College Launches Workshops For Family Businesses

May 4, 2016 (Hamilton, Ontario) – An estimated 70 per cent of family-run businesses won’t survive the hand-off to the next generation, according Canadian Association of Family Enterprise.

Mohawk College wants to help family businesses beat those odds. Mohawk’s McKeil School of Business is launching a series of workshops this month that will include an introduction to family business, ownership and governing models, strategic planning and operations, conflict management and negotiations, succession planning, transfer of ownership and philanthropy.

Mohawk’s Family Business Series is designed by successful Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara family business owners. Founding families and guest speakers include:

  • Ward, Brandon and Carley Campbell (Starwood Homes)
  • Dennis Concordia (POWERGROUP Resources)
  • Dale McDonald (Ira McDonald Construction Ltd.)
  • Ben Gould and family (Milli)
  • Blair McKeil (McKeil Marine)
  • PJ and Joe Mercanti (CARMEN’s Group)
  • Sam Mercanti (CARSTAR)
  • Lisa Mercanti-Ladd (Southbrook Golf and Country Club)
  • John Peller (Andrew Peller Limited)
  • Michael Schwenger Jr. (Stresscrete Group)
  • Robin, Teresa and Michael St. Jean (St Jean Realty)
  • PJ Vermeer (Westbrook Group of Companies)
  • Chris White (Fruitland Manufacturing)

The first Family Business Service workshop will be offered May 19. For more information on the Family Business Series, go to www.mohawkcollege.ca/familybusiness.


“Family-run businesses are the backbone of our regional economy and a major employer of our graduates. We’re proud to be working with some of the region’s most successful founding families to share their expertise and experiences with other family businesses.”
Piero Cherubini, Dean of Mohawk College’s McKeil School of Business
“There are many rewards and challenges with running a successful family business. Having a reputable college like Mohawk offer a program like this is a fantastic opportunity for Canadian family businesses.”
Michael Schwenger Jr., President of the Stresscrete Group


According to research by the University of Alberta and the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, family businesses:

  • Generate approximately 60 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product
  • Employ six million Canadians
  • Create 70 per cent of all new jobs in North America
  • Account for 55 per cent of all charitable donations

A 2014 Deloitte Family Business Survey found that only 17 per cent of businesses surveyed had formal leadership succession plans in place.

According to the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, 70 per cent of family businesses will not survive the hand-off to the second generation.

The Mohawk Family Business Series is facilitated by Janice Locke, a past CEO and CFO of a family business.

Each Family Business Series workshop costs $199 or $999 for all nine workshops.


For more information, contact:

Jay Robb, Mohawk College Director of Communications, 905.979.8893, jay.robb@mohawkcollege.ca

About Mohawk

Mohawk College educates and serves more than 29,500 full-time, part-time, apprenticeship and international students at three main campuses in Hamilton, Ontario and learning hubs across Hamilton through City School by Mohawk, and at the College’s Centre for Aviation Technology at the Hamilton International Airport. Mohawk is among the top five colleges for applied research in Canada. It has been named one of Canada’s greenest employers seven years in a row, holds a GOLD STARS rating from AASHE for sustainability achievements and is home to the country’s largest and first institutional building to receive dual certification for Zero Carbon Building Framework design and performance for The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. More than 135,000 people have graduated from Mohawk since it was founded.