The newest member of the Prairie Family Business Association team is a small family business owner himself with a history of helping other entrepreneurs.
Peter Hauck is the new assistant director for the organization, which is the region’s premier resource for family businesses, helping them thrive through generations by providing a resource network for success.
Born and raised in Sioux Falls, Hauck attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where he met his future wife, Alicen, and then returned home to start his career. He most recently served as community manager of Startup Sioux Falls.
We caught up with him to learn more about his next steps.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role with the Prairie Family Business Association?
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a bit of a nerd for business and entrepreneurship. I’m constantly devouring business books and podcasts, and I love talking to and learning from business owners at every stage about the unique struggles they face. I’m excited to continue and expand upon that work at Prairie Family Business Association. Family-owned businesses are so incredibly important to our country and our economy, but they also come with hurdles that can be difficult to navigate without the proper resources. I’m so excited to jump in and start working with the families we serve to help them navigate these intricacies in a way that helps them grow, protect and pass on their businesses.
What are some of your key responsibilities and first priorities?
In my role, I’ll be responsible for supporting and forming relationships with the families we serve, growing membership and developing valuable programming. From day one, I’ll be working to hit the ground running on our events and programs, to understand how Prairie Family Business Association operates and to develop a strong understanding of our current relationships with our member families and our sponsors. Prairie Family Business Association is a well-established, well-respected organization, and I’m excited to plug in to the amazing work that this team does.
Family businesses are by nature entrepreneurial. How do you think your most recent experience with startups prepares you for this new role?
I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve gotten to spend countless hours talking to entrepreneurs at every stage from ideation to multigeneration. I think that experience has really helped me to empathize with entrepreneurs in a unique way. Entrepreneurship is interesting in the fact that the struggles an entrepreneur faces — both mentally and operationally — are often unique to business owners and very personal in nature. I think my experience will help provide me with a big-picture view as I meet our members where they are at in their journey.
I think there is also a great deal of potential for next-generation family business owners to innovate in the way their business is run in the next generation, especially as they look to grow.
You also are a family business owner yourself! Tell us about your company – how it’s going and what’s next for you.
My wife, Alicen, is a lifelong figure skater, and late last year we launched Rink Rabbit — a primarily e-commerce figure skating equipment company. It’s been going well so far. We’ve got an incredibly strong product market fit, which we’ve been really excited about.
Right now, we’re working on growing brand awareness through some targeted influencer campaigns and putting together a dealer network that can sell our products at figure skating competitions around the world. We’re a small company, but we’ve sold products in dozens of cities, 17 states and two countries so far, so the growth has been exciting.
What have you been surprised to learn about the Prairie Family Business Association that also might be of interest to others?
I was interested to learn that Prairie Family Business Association is a member of the Family Business Alliance — a group of family business associations that serve different regions — and is well respected by many of the other organizations doing similar work for family-owned businesses. I’m excited to meet with and learn from some of the national and international peer organizations in this industry.
What can we find you doing when you’re not working or building your own business?
I like to keep busy. Outside of Prairie Family Business Association and Rink Rabbit, you can find me spending time with my family, managing our investment property, exploring downtown Sioux Falls, hanging out at Pickerel Lake and sneaking in the occasional round of golf. And, if you ever want to talk shop about South Dakota, entrepreneurship — especially e-commerce — or family life, let’s connect! I’m curious and passionate about all three, and I’m always looking to learn more!