Martha L. Sullivan
P: 608.445.5727

Areas of Expertise

  • Succession & Transition Planning
  • Leadership Development & Team Building
  • Strategic Planning & Risk Management
  • Human Resources
  • Exit Planning, Mergers, Acquisitions, & Business Value Growth, including ESOPs
  • Facilitating Strategic & Challenging Family Conversations

Create a shared and meaningful understanding of what is important: first as a family, second as owners of a critical asset and then for the business. That understanding is your talisman. Talk about it, develop consensus, document it and abide by it.


Martha L. Sullivan

According to Martha Sullivan of The Family Business Consulting Group, ownership transitions in a family business are much more than mere transactions. They represent a transformation of the entire enterprise system, impacting relationships, legacy, wealth, reputation, and the livelihood of many. Martha believes that each generation of owners deserves support and guidance as they craft their own transformation.

What sets Martha apart is her unique blend of industry and advisory experience. Having “sat on both sides of the desk,” she has served in various financial and leadership positions, including roles as a CPA, Controller, CFO, COO, and even as an owner. This firsthand experience has given her a deep understanding of the challenges that come with running a successful family enterprise.

She also knows that due to the wide range of implications of ownership transition, sometimes the most challenging element is knowing where to start. Her ability to simplify complex financial concepts enables family members to reach a shared understanding and make well-informed decisions as they navigate this once-in-a-lifetime transformation.

Martha’s experience includes assisting family enterprises with exit readiness assessments, ownership transitions to family members and employees, including ESOPs, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence, strategic planning, and execution. She also creates governance structures that support the transitioned organization and business value growth engagements.

Before joining FBCG, Martha served as a Succession Planning Leader for an accounting and business consulting firm where she co-led the organization’s Business Transition Strategies and Decision Support Services practices. It was there that she stepped in to fill the void left by other key advisors who were focused on the transaction, sometimes overlooking the fact that the needs of the family were as, if not more, important than the mechanics and financial outcomes of the transaction.

Thought Leadership

“Family business strategies: Staying power,” Meat + Poultry

The Real Business Podcast: Coordinating the Needs of the Business with the Needs of the Family


  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified Mergers & Acquisition Advisor
  • AICPA Accreditation in Business Valuation
  • Certified Exit Planning Advisor
  • Certified Value Growth Advisor


University of Wisconsin, Madison, BBA: Accounting & Information Systems


Martha and her husband live in the Madison, WI area and have two aspiring adult children. In her free time, Martha serves on the Board of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association and enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and a good laugh.

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