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In their own words: Family businesses share stories through new podcast

Posted in ,   |  April 22, 2024

Family businesses now can hear directly from other family businesses with the launch of a podcast.

Produced by Prairie Family Business Association and hosted by executive director Stephanie Larscheid, the first three episodes of “Family Business Connection” launched this week.

Stephanie Larscheid, executive director of Prairie Family Business Association, and Kyle Bender, executive vice president of Falcon Plastics

The first episodes feature:

  • Growing into leadership: Jenn Barlund and Kyle Bender of Falcon Plastics.
  • How key nonfamily leaders impact succession: Jake Quasney and Becky Word of Lloyd Cos.
  • Championing culture: Lorie Pope of Nexus Innovations.

Going forward, one new episode will be released monthly.

We learned more about the podcast from Mason Van Essen, the association’s business development manager.

What made you decide to launch a podcast?

After going through a brand strategy workshop with our sponsor Six-Point Creative, we identified a need to tell our story. This podcast is the result! We need to tell our story more and better, and we need to tell more stories of our families. We are a community of family businesses, and our community learns best from one another. There will be something for everyone: small or large business, a lot of family members involved or very few, second generation or fifth generation. The goal of the podcast is to foster connections — that’s why we titled the show “Family Business Connection” after all — between family business leaders to expose them to ideas and solutions they may not have thought of before.

What would you say is the focus of the podcast as far as the content?

We’re talking to all sorts of family business leaders with all kinds of backgrounds and experiences. Our guiding themes are the topics our family business members request most often: communication, culture, innovation, leadership, strategy and succession. We’ll touch on many of these themes in every episode, but each episode will have one of these themes as its core focus.

This content will have a long life cycle. When we welcome a new family into membership, we can point them to a podcast episode that is relevant to their current situation. Similarly, with a long-standing member who is at a certain transition point, we can reference an episode that will give them the information they need to take their next step.

What stood out to you specifically about each of the first three episodes?

Jenn and Kyle of Falcon Plastics shared what it’s like to be a young leader of a family business. Many assume leadership positions are handed to the next generation, but Jenn and Kyle explain how they intentionally approached working their way up in the business and how they sought mentorship from the previous generation and from their board.

Jake Quasney and Becky Word of Lloyd Cos. shared the succession-planning journey the company has gone on in recent years driven from their employee survey. They took creating continuity beyond the founder seriously and formed a board, which challenged them to think long-term rather than addressing day-to-day issues. As key nonfamily leaders, they also shared what it’s like to be managed by family and have family members also report to them.

Lastly, Lorie Pope of Nexus Innovations talked about how she’s influenced the culture at their family business. Their culture goes beyond the surface-level concepts. Specifically, the company wanted to do conflict well. When you have these principles in place, everyone is growing in the same direction, projects get done faster, and everyone is eager to come to work because they’re not worried about protecting themselves when they feel heard and understood. It results in high employee satisfaction and a high retention rate.

You can listen to “Family Business Connection” at, as well as all the major podcast players.

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