Posted on Jun 27, 2014
President’s Perspective: Anton Gfesser Anton & Barb Gfesser at the Starlight Ball

CFBC President 1999 – 2000

The Gfesser family and I were very fortunate to discover The Family Business Council in 1996. I spoke to a number of members at my introductory dinner Program gathering and knew right away this was the organization that would help the Trendler family business address the dynamics that were challenging the partners at Trendler. My brothers and I soon found numerous ways to address and communicate in a more effective and focused manner.

Then in 1998, I was approached by the then acting president of FBC Bill Stringfellow to become the next president. I could not serve at that time, as we were in the process of moving our family business to a new location. I told Bill, I would be ready to take on the leadership role the following year in 1999. My most rewarding time came, when I began having meetings with Jim Liautaud to orient me with his strategic vision for the FBC. We soon discovered that future leaders needed a similar orientation and the organization needed to develop a process for future FBC leaders. From those meetings, we started the Leadership forum.

We also realized that we needed to have a process in place to allow the natural leaders of the organization to serve the FBC with their unique skills and abilities. At the time, I was also serving on the board of the American Furniture Manufactures Association in North Carolina. It was only natural to share that experience and to introduce their process for advancing proactive members to serve in leadership positions. That process is still in place at the CFBC today.

Serving as president of the FBC got me intimately involved in how important our organization was to all the family businesses in the Chicagoland area. I discovered what an effective leader needed to practice in order to constructively address family business issues. I also realized how important it was to listen and help to bring out the leader in everyone I met. FBC introduced me to some of the best Leaders in my life. Those Leaders brought out the Leader in me, for which, I am eternally grateful to the many past and present Leaders of the CFBC.

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