Center for Family-Owned Businesses

Established by Our Family Business to Serve Your Family Business
  • Designed exclusively for family businesses.
  • Tailored resources to serve the unique needs of family business members.
  • Network with like-minded family businesses.

News and Events

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1 Decision Making (New)

Four Tips on Balancing Family Business Decision Making

As a family business, making business decisions can be cumbersome. Similar to non-family businesses, your decisions weigh heavily on the success of the business. In particular for family businesses, these decisions may also impact the family harmony.

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2 Generational Success (New)

Dalin Dental Associates: A St. Louis-Based Family Business That Makes Everyone Smile

Crafted with the same core values as the First Bank family, Dalin Dental Associates is a multi-generational family business that is devoted to serving its clients, is fully invested in the longevity of its organization, and possesses a passionate commitment to the St. Louis community.

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3 Innovation & Growth

Getting Noticed in a Crowded Space

Think back to a time not so very long ago, when local storefronts on Main Street USA were the only retailers in town in which to buy goods and services. If your family business has been in operation for some time, the competition it faced many years ago was likely manageable, located within the same geographic region that was central to your location, and easily identifiable.

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4 Generational Success

Establishing a Healthy Board in a Family-Owned Business

A board of directors is the fiduciary arm of a company on behalf of its shareholders. Its purpose is to help guide the company on important decisions, including hiring senior team members and setting salaries; making decisions on investments and dividends, mergers and acquisitions; and setting goals for the team and providing the resources to support those objectives to help ensure a company’s long-term success.

The board also plays a key role in family business governance and oversight – making sure it operates in a professional, fair, ethical, and moral manner.

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5 Client Spotlight

Client Spotlight: Let’s Focus on the Culture at Hartwig, Inc.

Established in 1960, Hartwig, Inc., is a family-owned, multi-generational manufacturing solutions and support company.  “Our mission is to help people in manufacturing control their destiny every day,” said Geoff Hartwig, President and third generation leader of Hartwig, Inc. “However, we’re also committed to maintaining lasting relationships with our clients, team members, and partners.”

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6 Innovation & Growth

Giving to Grow: Core Values in a Family Business

Core values are what drive our daily decisions. From how we interact with others to the causes we support, everyone is motivated differently. This can also be the case for businesses.

According to, core values are traits or qualities that represent an organization’s highest priorities, deeply-held beliefs, and are the heart of an organization.

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7 Philanthropy & Giving

The Role of Philanthropy in Family, Business, and Community

Family businesses often have deep roots in their communities. They receive many benefits from the people that surround them. With effective philanthropy, they have the opportunity to give back. Barbara Carswell, Chief Executive Officer at Youthbridge Community Foundation, Deborah Dubin, CEO & President at Philanthropy Missouri, David Frederick, Director of Client Success and Advice at First Bank, and Stacy Clay, Director of Community Affairs at First Bank, discussed the benefits of business philanthropy, how the business can be an avenue for a family’s charitable intentions, the best ways to structure charitable gifts, and opportunities to get involved in the community.

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1 Client Spotlight (New)

Client Spotlight: A Slice of St. Louis History

At First Bank, we celebrate like-minded, family-owned businesses that have survived and thrived through multiple generations of change. Now, in its fourth generation, First Bank has also done just that. 

One such First Bank client, Imo’s Pizza, is a long-term First Bank client. Credited with offering the first local pizza delivery service, Ed and Margie Imo began their family-owned business journey, opening their first pizza parlor in 1964 in St. Louis, MO. With humble beginnings, the first Imo’s kitchen was comprised of a used oven and a stove they purchased for only $75. They even used an old tackle box as their first cash register.

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2 Innovation & Growth

Growing Up in the Family Business

From being labeled the “boss’s kid” and learning the business to unique family dynamics, Michael Dierberg, fourth generation family leader, Chairman of FB Corporation, and President of First Bank, unpacked the challenges many next generation family business leaders face.

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1 Family Communication (New)

Bridging the Generational Communication Barrier

In order for a business to be successful, an organization’s leadership often concentrates on the more common business side of the business, including the balance sheet, quarterly sales, and marketing strategies, as well as building a customer-centric culture.

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2 Family Business Differences

Bridging Generational Differences Within a Family Business

Each generation brings different thoughts and skillsets to the proverbial table and, unfortunately, these don’t always align. Nearly every family has its fair share of issues that has caused rifts and ripples between family members. In some cases, these disputes can go on for months, or even years, over perceived hurts.

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3 Family Business Governance

First Bank Family Business Symposium Josh Baron part 1

The First Bank Center For Family-Owned Businesses held a conference on building and sustaining a successful, enduring family business enterprise. Josh Baron, author of the Harvard Business Review Family Business Handbook, and co-founder of BanyanGlobal, presented his Four Room Model as a family business governance structure.

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4 Legacy

What Legacy Will Your Family Business Leave?

For family businesses, legacy can mean the succession of business and family assets from one generation to the next.  In fact, Merriam-Webster defines “legacy” as: a gift by will, especially of money or other personal property, and/or something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. It’s a common misconception, however, that legacy only equates to financial terms in a family business model. That’s not always the case.

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5 Growth

Family Businesses and Growth: Four Pitfalls of Growing Too Fast

Growth is critical for businesses that want to gain traction and become a dominant business in their industry. Growth is often seen as a positive thing, but growing too fast can be dangerous. Joe Ambrose, Executive Director of the First Bank Center for Family-Owned Businesses, said, “While growth is an important objective to ensure success of your business, rapid short-term growth can pose many risks if your business isn’t properly prepared.” For family-owned businesses focused on longevity and multi-generational leadership, recognizing the warning signs and handling them appropriately can help ensure healthy growth in the future.

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Family Business Management Solutions

Achieving long-term success as a family business demands the right tools. Let First Bank’s tailored family business solutions help your organization achieve success now and for generations to come.

Explore First Bank in our clients' words

Bright Lives Healthcare Inc.

After observing how healthcare facilities are run, CEO and Executive Chairman of Bright Lives Healthcare Inc., Prabal Gupta, took advantage of an opportunity to improve the environment in which seniors with Dementia and Alzheimer’s live.

Dependable Solutions

Marty Malysz, President at Dependable Solutions, shares his insight on the company's partnership with First Bank.

JD Barlow Construction

Dawn Vernola shares her insight on her company's experience with First Bank.
Commitment to Family-Owned Businesses Michael Dierberg
Our multi-generational family history uniquely positions us to understand the needs and challenges.