“At a time when our country desperately needs leadership in the area of job creation and budget discipline,” writes Ann Kinkade in a recent issue of Forbes, “our elected officials would be smart to talk to family business owners.”

Ann Kinkade knows a little something about the endurance and mystique of family businesses. She is President and CEO of Family Enterprise USA, a national nonprofit organization that promotes family businesses and the policies that contribute to their success.

Ann is also an active member of the Wind River Financial Advisory Board, which provides the guidance and insight that drives Wind River’s long-term business planning.
In an op-ed to Forbes entitled, “The Key to Job Growth is on the Kitchen Table,” Ann makes a claim that seems obvious to us, but may sound outlandish to others:

…businesses run by families have a financial and personal commitment to their companies that others simply don’t have. That connection leads to a focus on longer-term investments and growth, lower worker-to-management salary ratios, and a strong commitment to employees, especially in tough times.


When Mark Courchane and I established Wind River Financial over 11 years ago, we knew that the company’s long-term growth and stability would be rooted in that commitment to employees. Today, Wind River boasts a culture rarely seen in the payment processing industry – one that places a premium on not just our own family, but employees’ families as well.

Our conference room isn’t adorned with corporate propaganda; instead, it’s decorated with pictures of employees’ families. Our team enjoys scheduling flexibility so that they can put family matters first. And the elusive “work-life balance” isn’t just a hollow aspiration; it’s the Wind River mantra.

You might be surprised to learn that family businesses employ nearly two-thirds of the American workforce. But the success of family businesses, including one-third of S&P 500 companies, should come as no surprise.

Click here to read Ann’s op-ed, and feel free to use the comment section to add your own insights and anecdotes about family businesses!