A senior advisor of The Family Business Consulting Group, Chris Eckrich specializes in building leadership excellence and maintaining family unity in enterprising families. He assists family owned firms in preparing future owners and leaders, forging alignment on goals, and establishing orderly continuity plans that maximize effective leadership transition and prevent conflict during the transition. He also provides family members with skills and strategies to successfully manage working relationships and reduce the inherent conflict that is present when family members work together. In his work, Chris assists family owners in developing family agreements and, when needed, family constitutions.
Chris’s family history of entrepreneurship in meat processing and other industries provided the impetus for his commitment to the family business field. His clients include family businesses from a wide variety of business sectors and other asset-owning families. He has presented at national conferences and regularly gives seminars and workshops on family organization and governance, succession planning, building leadership, managing relationships, and preventing conflict in business and asset owning families. Chris has served on several review committees for the Family Firm Institute. He has published in academic and business publications, and co-authored The Family Council Handbook: How to Create, Run, and Maintain a Successful Family Business Council
, a comprehensive resource for enterprising families seeking to organize themselves to achieve long-term family and business goals.
As an adjunct faculty member at The University of Notre Dame, Chris taught Family Enterprise Strategy to both MBA and undergraduate students, and has been involved in alumni education activities related to the topic. He also served as a founding advisor to a university-based education center for family business owners and their families, where he led the Next Generation Leaders group.
Chris and his wife, Carol Ann, live in Ft. Wayne, Indiana with their three children. They are actively involved in their community and their church in a variety of leadership activities.
Next Generation Education & Leadership Development
Succession & Continuity
Conflict & Communication Management
Family Council Development
Alignment Around Policies/Family Constitutions
Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Family Firm Institute
Chris received a B.B.A. in organizational behavior from Notre Dame and earned both a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Purdue University.
"Chris Eckrich has been a perennial favorite for the family business leaders of the Stevens Center for Family Business at Saginaw Valley State University. Chris always has excellent information to share, in an engaging yet authoritative style. Chris always gets high marks from his audiences here!"
Stevens Center for Family Business at SVSU
"Chris’s highly interactive presentation was an easy to follow road map for family business governance. His strength was his ability to connect with our members -- family business owners and their family members. His common sense approach: Used concrete, practical examples from his family business consulting experiences. And, he provided specific takeaways that our members could use immediately in their family businesses.
Chris’s visit with the VA. Family & Private Business Forum was a home run! His presentation was evaluated by our membership as one of the “best” ever. The quote heard repeatedly was: Please bring Chris back again next year!"
Charles J. Gallagher, Ph. D.
School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University
"Chris Eckrich was one of our highest ranked speakers to date. All of our survey respondents indicated that his presentation was useful to them. He covered the topic of “Family Meetings, Councils, and Advisory Boards – The Nuts and Bolts of Family Business Governance” and helped propel our Family Business Center forward with the quality of his program and delivery. At least one of our members chose to hire him as a result of hearing what he had to say. His rapport with the audience was evident and we will definitely ask him back."
Kathleen B. Hoye
Executive In Residence and Director
Family Business Center, University of Louisville