Family businesses are the pillars of any community, and West Michigan is no exception. Named the Family Business Mecca by several international business consultants, West Michigan truly understands “family business”.
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, 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.
Ellie’s path has taken her from her home in Charlevoix to Boston, Chicago, and New York, with stops in San Francisco and Uganda before landing back in West Michigan. A crew scholarship and four years of rowing in a NCAA Division 1 School taught her how to work hard – and confirmed that quitting just wasn’t in her DNA… (Read More)