Succession Planning: Family Business

Company Profile

A forty million dollar service company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, with 1200 employees in seven offices across the Midwest.


The father/owner of a 40 year old company was looking to transition leadership to one of his children. His children had limited post high school education; however they all had some experience working in the business in a variety of administrative roles. None of them had experience in the sales or operations of the business. It would have been easy to hire someone from the outside to run his company, but he believed that one of his children had the talent and could learn to lead the company.

Revela Solution

The process began with identifying the critical skills, knowledge, and experiences needed to run the company in the future. There are times when the future company will need some skills that the current leadership does not possess. Then, the strengths and weaknesses of the owner were assessed. This was important because he had to learn that the person replacing him may not have the same strengths as he had, but the leadership team could round out the strengths that were not critical for the leader to possess. The strengths and weaknesses of the leadership team were also assessed to determine any gaps.


Next, Revela assessed the skills, knowledge, and experience of the owner’s children along with their strengths and weaknesses. Through this assessment process, it became clear who could become the leader if the right support was in place on the leadership team.


A five year development plan was created to provide the knowledge and experience to enhance her skills. This development plan included coaching from her father along with members of the Revela team. Part of the development plan included bringing her to the leadership table for the leadership team to work through strategic planning and other strategic thinking objectives. This built confidence between her and the other members of the team.

Where We Are Today

After five years, she was named President and was ready to lead the company. Her father continued to have an office near hers, and functioned as a consultant to her for many years. Today, he attends Board of Director meetings but is not largely involved in the day to day operations of the business.

Why Succession Planning With Revela?

After starting and selling several businesses, Wayne Nielsen and his daughter Andrea Fredrickson started Revela (then known as American Institute of Management) in the mid-1990s. As the company grew, other family members came and left while additional companies were started. Through their experiences of working as family members in their businesses and working with other family-owned businesses, Revela has first-hand experiences of the joys and challenges of a family-owned business. From communication to succession planning, Revela helps you accomplish your family business goals.

Revela Process
  • The process is always customized according to the goal(s) of the owner(s).
  • Interview the owner(s) to determine specific goals.
  • Interview the leadership team to determine perceptions regarding the dynamics and relationships among the family and other leaders.
  • Establish a plan of action which will include individual and group work with Revela.
  • On-going progress checks.