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Helping Family Businesses
Prosper Across Generations®


norton_200x300 JoAnne Norton


 Former Consultant

 Contact JoAnne:

 P. 773.604.5005

Dr. JoAnne Frese Norton, a member of the prestigious Family Business Consulting Group, has been working with multi-generational family businesses for well over a decade primarily in the areas of family governance, communication, and leadership training. She is the former Vice President of Shareholder Relations for a large family-owned media company, where she worked with 65 family owners. She now consults with family business owners and family offices throughout the United States and Canada.

In 2001 Dr. Norton founded the Family Business Dynamics course at California State University, Fullerton and was an adjunct professor in the School of Business and Economics at CSUF for seven years. She continues to serve on the Advisory Board of the Cal State Fullerton Family Business Center, and she facilitates a Young Leaders Affinity Group.

Dr. Norton earned a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University, and she trained at the Georgetown Family Center in the Postgraduate Program in Bowen Family Systems Theory. She has also written “Bringing Bowen Theory to Family Business,” which appears in Bringing Systems Thinking to Life.

Dr. Norton is a speaker for Vistage International, which provides training to CEOs and executives, and the Global Family Business Network of the Young Presidents’ Organization.

She has made presentations for the National Banking Institute, the New York Family Business Center, the Family Business Network in Cannes, France, and the Institute of Private Investors.

JoAnne grew up in a successful second-generation family business in the Midwest where she learned the complexities of maintaining harmonious relationships as well as the importance of maintaining good communication by observing her father, mother and two uncles. She lives in Irvine, California with her husband Brian.


"Over the last decade, JoAnne has expertly brought her considerable knowledge of family governance to help the Hoiles family found a successful Family Council and to productively work with a non-family CEO. JoAnne has stewarded the development of fourth generation family members through workshops, internships, and management development programs to prepare for leadership positions on both Freedom’s Family Council and Board of Directors. Additionally, with JoAnne’s creative problem solving skills, the Family Council developed programs geared towards fifth generation children to introduce them to the business. JoAnne’s sensitive awareness of family dynamics has enabled all family members to feel engaged in the many difficult decisions we have had to face. Her humor, compassion, and concern for all parties involved have made her an invaluable team member."

Kathie Bassett
4th generation Family Council member
and Freedom Communications intern

“JoAnne was the Vice President of Shareholder Relations at my family's business, Freedom Communications, for several years. She was (and is) a very dedicated, very caring and very professional person and was a tremendous resource for family members. She assisted our family's Family Council with its formation, organization and leadership succession issues and assisted the Family Council's chairmen with many of the responsibilities of managing the group. In my role as Chairman of the Board of the company (2004 through the present), JoAnne was instrumental in my responsibilities in communicating with the family group and in facilitating meetings and discussions with the family (who are geographically dispersed across the country). I highly recommend her to any family-owned business seeking assistance with the "human" side of the balance sheet and in the growth and development of junior members of the family in learning their roles and responsibilities as stewards of a family's heritage.”

Thomas Bassett
4th generation member and
Chairman of the Board
of Freedom Communications

8770 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste 1340W, Chicago, IL 60631
P: 773.604.5005 E: 

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