PORTLAND, Ore. - Northwest college and university students whose families own businesses are invited to attend Oregon State University's 2010 Family Business Student Conference on Friday, April 23 in Portland.

The conference, sponsored by OSU's Austin Family Business Program, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Oregon Zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Rd., Portland. It will feature programming from the Columbia Leadership Institute designed specifically for family business students.

"In these times, students from family businesses have difficult leadership challenges," said Robin Klemm, A.E. Coleman Chair in Family Business at OSU and director of the Austin Family Business Program. "We're giving the future family business leaders a place to gather and to network while we show students how they can advance their leadership skills while working in their family business."

The conference program also includes "speed" networking and features a panel with multi-generational perspectives on preparing for leadership in a family business. The panel will include next-generation business leaders Shobi Dahl of Milwaukie-based Naturebake/Dave's Killer Bread and John Schoenheit of Clackamas-based Pacific Fence and Wire Co. Current generation leadership speakers include Ken Madden of Beaverton-based Madden Industrial Craftsmen, and Barbara Brazelton of Lowell-based Fall Creek Farm and Nursery.

Transportation will be available from OSU and Portland area students can ride the MAX to the Washington Park stop. Students attending any Northwest college or university are welcome. There is a $14 student registration fee to help defray expenses, including a luncheon. Parents are invited to attend the lunch and panel session only and must pay a $20 registration fee.

OSU's Austin Family Business Program is the second oldest university-based family business program in the United States. It is one of the few programs of its kind on the West Coast and the first in the nation to offer online classes specifically designed for family businesses.

For information, contact the Austin Family Business Program at OSU at 800-859-7609 or visit http://www.familybusinessonline.org

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Robin Klemm, 541-737-6017