Bill Muir, FBA Chair
President, Grand Rapids Label Company
The Grand Rapids Label Company was founded in the late 19th century and has remained a family business ever since, with Bill Muir serving as the fourth-generation President. Bill leads the company of 70 employees, which includes 2 cousins. Muir family members are encouraged to join and “get their hands dirty” for their first jobs. He has been involved with FBA since 2007.
President & CEO, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Rick is President/CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, a 2,400-member business organization that is actively engaged in developing strong leaders, a diverse workforce, and a business environment that fosters economic prosperity. Under his leadership, the Chamber has established a strategic plan with a vision for the Grand Rapids region to be a dynamic, nationally recognized, top-of-mind community. Rick began his career in chamber of commerce management in 1988 and is a passionate advocate for business.
“The concentration of multigenerational family owned businesses contributes to the unique, dynamic characteristic of the West Michigan business community. The Grand Rapids Chamber has a long history of supporting programming that meets the needs of our family businesses’ within our region. Having been raised in a family business, I have personal passion to serve and represent the interests of the businesses who contribute to our diverse economy.”
President & COO, Custer
Todd Custer is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Custer, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a second-generation owner with his brothers, Todd oversees the daily operations of the company and its subsidiaries, Century Floor Space and C&S Electric Service. Custer employs 120 people and has offices in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Traverse City. Todd has been a part of the Family Business Alliance since 2007.
“As we have transitioned Custer from its first to second generation of leadership, the FBA has been pivotal in providing the right resources, research, and expertise to ensure our success. We’re committed to giving back to the other family businesses in West Michigan through the Family Business Alliance.”
Fettig is a Staffing and Recruitment firm that has been serving West Michigan for over 10 years. Mike Fettig serves his family owned firm as President and believes that having healthy family relationships inside the company has been a key to its success. He has been involved with the FBA since 2009.
“The FBA is an important resource to the business community because it provides great ideas and tools to help your family business succeed and aligns you with people in similar situations to get you support, encouragement and ideas to take you to the next level or get you through the storms!”
Chairman & CEO, Irwin Seating Company
“Earle S ‘Win’ Irwin’ is Chair of the Board of Directors of Irwin Seating Company, a 110-year-old manufacturer of public seating for movie theatres, stadiums, schools, Performing Arts Centers, and arenas. He served 31 years as CEO of the company and has been with the company since 1975. He serves the West Michigan community as a board member of Opera Grand Rapids, Talent 2025, Literacy Center of West Michigan, and Community Rebuilders. He is passionate that ‘Family Businesses are Better.’ Irwin Seating Company is now lead by its 4th generation.
Rachel Mraz, Co-Chair Next Generation Peer Group, Immediate Past Chair
Senior VP & Wealth Management Advisor, The DeVries, Freeburg & Mraz Group
Rachel works with individuals, foundations, and retirement plans to define their financial goals and implement appropriate investment strategies. Rachel uses an ongoing process that includes goal setting, determining asset allocation, implementing strategies, and reviewing performance. Rachel graduated from Cornell University with honors and a concentration in Securities Analysis and Portfolio Management. She returned to Michigan in 2003 to join Merrill Lynch and the Grand Rapids based wealth management team founded by her mother, Eileen DeVries. Having a passion for philanthropy, Rachel currently serves on the boards for the YWCA of West Central Michigan, Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Saint Mary’s Doran Foundation, Davenport University Foundation and the Family Business Alliance. She is working on several initiatives to inspire the next generation of philanthropists to get involved and serves on a national speakers bureau focusing on the next generation topic.
Tim Schad, FBA Treasurer
Chairman, Nucraft Furniture Company
Tim Schad is Chairman of Nucraft Furniture Company and the 3rd generation of his family to serve the company. From 1980 to 2015, he served in several positions at Nucraft including President or CEO from 1985 to 2015. His sons Matt and Brandon are the fourth generation of the Schad family to serve Nucraft. Tim graduated from Creston High School in 1966 and then from Dartmouth College in 1970 and Harvard Business School in 1977. Before joining Nucraft, Tim worked for Steelcase and General Motors in Computers Systems, Environmental Activities, and Finance. Tim also served as CFO and Vice President at Grand Valley State University for 5 years from 2001 to 2006. Tim has served on many family business boards, public company boards, and non-profit organization boards. He has been married to Cindy Schad since 1970 – they have two children (Matt & Brandon) and two grandchildren (Abby and Nico).
“Strong Family Businesses are good for the community as family business leaders become community leaders.”
Brent Van Haren
President, SecurAlarm Systems, Inc
Brent joined SecurAlarm in 2006 after attending Tufts University for an undergraduate degree and later Marquette University, where he pursued his Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. Brent began his career with the company as a Project Manager where he was first exposed to what it feels like to work alongside an amazing team of people who are masters in their crafts. Shortly thereafter, he transitioned to Manager of Engineering where he learned how to improve standards and processes. During his own journey of learning and self-discovery, he began to truly understand the power of serving others in ways that are meaningful to them. Today as the Chief Operating Officer, Brent has the honor of helping to grow SecurAlarm’s team and shape their culture as they pursue their reason for existence as a company: We Care, So We Protect. Brent has a true passion for people and unlocking lasting happiness through personal growth. Outside of work, Brent will be found with his amazing wife Stacey and their growing family of girls!
Bruce Young, FBA Secretary
Secretary, Behler-Young and Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
Bruce C. Young is a third generation shareholder of The Behler-Young Company, where he serves on the Board of Directors and as Secretary. Behler-Young, a family-owned business since 1926, is Michigan’s leading wholesale distributor of HVAC/R equipment. Bruce’s day job is as a partner with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP where he has been serving as a trusted advisor to family-owned businesses and family offices for more than 30 years.
“As a lifelong resident of West Michigan, I appreciate the huge contribution of our many family-owned businesses in making West Michigan the unique community that we enjoy. I love that my participation in the Family Business Alliance helps support family-owned businesses continuing for future generations.”
Ana Gonzalez is the Director of the Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI), and academic center at the Seidman College Business dedicated to champion and serve family businesses through scholarship, education and advocacy. She is also Assistant Professor at the Management Department at Grand Valley State University. Ana Holds a Ph.D. in Management from Tulane University in New Orleans, U.S.A, has M.Sc. in Economics and an Bachelor degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. Her research interests include entrepreneurship, corporate governance and social responsibility in family businesses. Ana has been a member of the STEP Project for Family Enterprising since 2006, a Global research initiative about entrepreneurship in family businesses.
Ellie Frey Zagel
Almost everything Ellie Frey Zagel knows about success comes from her years growing up on the family farm: Treat people with respect. Embrace hard work. Appreciate and love the outdoors. Don’t shy away from working with your hands. If someone lends you something, return it in better shape.
Those are the values Ellie still lives by in her role as Director of the Family Business Alliance (FBA), a West Michigan-based nonprofit that helps family businesses succeed from generation to generation. Under her tenure, the organization has more than tripled in size, growing to 170+ members and expanding programming to meet the needs of family business leaders.
Marci Schafer likes to joke about how her parents “didn’t really like the letter ‘E,’ ” else her name would have been Marcie.
But the letter “E” translates in a big way when it comes to Marci’s professional life, standing for the “Energy” she brings to her job as Program Coordinator and more for the Family Business Association. In this role, Marci makes sure that everything runs smoothly – from board meetings to networking sessions to member events – and that members stay informed and up to date.
Marci brings a love of nonprofit work and volunteering to FBA. She’s spent time working on membership with the World Wildlife Fund and fundraising for Conservation International. She’s served as a catechist for churches in Virginia and more recently Lake Odessa, and has contributed as fundraising chair for her son’s high school PTO. Marci has also pitched in at VFW hall in Lyons, attending to events that honor veterans.
Marci’s son, Machally, is now a Specialist in the U.S. Army. Marci lives in Lake Odessa with her fiancé, Jim, who works as a construction project manager. They have two dachshunds, Taco and Pickles.