CORVALLIS, Ore. – Northwest college and university students whose families own businesses are invited to attend the Oregon State University’s 2009 Family Business Student Conference on Friday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, Wash.

The conference is sponsored by OSU’s Austin Family Business Program and the OSU chapter of Students in Free Enterprise.

“Students from family businesses have unique challenges and opportunities,” said Robin Klemm, director of the Austin Family Business Program, which is in OSU’s College of Business. “These students need to network with others of similar backgrounds. They need to share and validate their unique experiences – yet some will find their experiences are more alike than different.”

Dave Christensen of Christensen Shipyards Ltd. will give a keynote address and also lead a tour of his executive yacht-building facility located near the waterfront conference center. Other speakers include Michael Powell of Portland’s Powell Books addressing the issues of multi-generational leadership in family businesses.

The conference program features a plenary panel with multi-generational perspectives on preparing for leadership in a family business. The panel will include next-generation business leaders Jodi Grimmett of Glass Academy Ltd. and Dustin Caldwell of Old Dominion Auto Repair. Current generation leadership speakers include Patricia McConnell, Old Dominion Auto Repair; Sue Halton, Halton Co.; and Michael Powell, Powell Books.

Transportation will be available from OSU and Portland State University campuses. Students attending any Northwest college or university are welcome. There is a $14 registration fee to help defray expenses, including a luncheon. Also on the agenda is an opportunity to engage in speed networking.

For information, contact the Austin Family Business Program at OSU at 800-859-7609 or visit

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Robin Klemm,