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Husson’s Center for Family Business and EMDC Team Up to Share Research on the Retirement of Small Business Owners

Published on: October 23, 2015

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BANGOR, Maine - The retirement of small business owners will be the subject of a workshop cosponsored by Husson University and the Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business on Husson’s campus in Bangor, Maine. Dr. Nancy Forster-Holt, an assistant professor in Husson University’s College of Business and executive director of the Center for Family Business will present recent research findings about what happens to the retirement planning and continuity concerns of small business owners as they consider their exit strategy options.

Workshop organizers hope to create a cohort of business owners who are at mid-career or considering retirement, from established companies, that feel they would benefit from additional educational opportunities. At the conclusion of the session, Husson University and EMDC will solicit feedback from participants that will help shape future sessions. In addition, this information will help the organizations to engage advisors specializing in retirement, valuation, and business brokerage services.

“This is a topic of significant concern to small business owners,” said Forster-Holt. “While this workshop is meant to inform and engage, we expect there will be some lively discussion between the workshop participants.”

The presentation, “The Retirement of Small Business Owners: How? When? If? A Review of Myths and Realities,” is a continuation of the popular spring 2015 sessions with EMDC on small business strategies and the September 2015 “Conversation at the Dyke Center” presentation on exiting business concerns with Richard E. Dyke, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Windham Weaponry, Inc. and business broker Greg Caswell of the Caswell Vlachos Group, a merger and acquisitions/investment banking firm.

The event is ideally suited to the owners and leaders of existing businesses and new companies. Those involved in startups may not find the content suited to their needs.

Future 2015 educational sessions are tentatively scheduled to occur on Friday, November 20 and Thursday, December 17, 2015.
Individuals interested in attending the upcoming “The Retirement of Small Business Owners: How? When? If? A Review of Myths and Realities,” can register by calling 207.942.6389 or visiting Questions about the upcoming session should be directed to Dr. Nancy Forster-Holt at 207.404.5699 or

More About the Presenter

Dr. Nancy Forster-Holt holds a Ph.D. and a M.B.A. from the University of Maine, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in labor economics. She brings deep business experience to academia. She joined the Husson faculty in the summer of 2011 as executive director of entrepreneurship, assistant professor, and director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business. She has developed and taught BA 440 Small Company Management, BA 441 and BA 628 New Venture Creation, BA 625 Global Strategy, BA 443 Business Planning, BA 442

Applied Small Business Management, and BA/SC 243 and BA 799 the Business of Innovation (a Lean startup course based on the teaching of Stanford’s Steve Blank), as well as Small Business Accounting. She has published and presented her research to national and international audiences in the area of business owner retirement, business acquisition, and other types of business exits and was awarded the Research Medal for the College of Business. She is a charter member of the Entrepreneurship Research Society. She serves the Husson community on several committees.

Forster-Holt is also the co-owner of Shaw & Tenney, a manufacturing company that is over 150 years old and which recently won MTI grants for innovations in the manufacturing and commercialization of wood products. Shaw & Tenney ships products all over the world and has begun to establish a foreign presence through dealer agreements. During Summer 2014, she was brought on board as interim CFO for Double Blue Sports Analytics. Double Blue’s products have been adopted by many NHL teams and are used for Stanley Cup analysis on network TV. To date the company has raised venture capital money from two groups of angel investors and has pitched to several more. In Fall 2015, the company is going to be featured on the show Greenlight Maine.

A Certified Management Accountant, Forster-Holt completed coursework and exams at UNC Greensboro leading to the Registered Financial Gerontologist certification. She presented research to international audiences on entrepreneurial exit, or “endrepreneurship” a termed she has coined. She serves on the Key Contact network of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Big Gig steering committee, the UMaine Business Plan Challenge, is a Top Gun mentor, and serves on the USASBE Family Business SIG.
Prior to earning her doctorate, she gathered substantial work experience in both large and small business including banking at Maine Savings FCU, accounting, audit and expatriate tax at the Big Four firm of Ernst & Young, sales and marketing for national accounts, SBA counseling, and consulting. Her work in asset/liability management (ALM) garnered national C.F.O. best practices awards and inclusion of the credit union in a national ALM pilot program by the N.C.U.A.

Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) is a private, non-profit organization focused on providing business, community and workforce development in the Eastern Maine region. EMDC can be reached by calling 207.942.6389 and on the web at

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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