Virtual Breakfast Series—Transition When You Don't See it Coming (And When You Do)

Virtual Breakfast Series

Virtual Breakfast Series—Transition When You Don't See it Coming (And When You Do)

Thursday, January 19, 2023 (8:00 AM - 10:00 AM) (CST)


The process of succession looks different for each family. Some transitions are well prepared while other times they may happen out of our control. Hear from local families on how they navigated their generational leadership and ownership succession plans. Learn tips and tools they used to choose who would manage the company and how they communicated this change with family, employees, vendors and customers. Also, learn how the senior generation might let go of control and methods the next generation can use to gain trust.

Stacey Bales

President, Bales Metal Surface Solutions

For as long as she can remember, Bales has been part of Stacey’s life. She’s cleaned offices, answered phones, worked in shipping and receiving, in sales — even spent time masking and blasting on the floor. Stacey and her sister Sara were both just in their twenties when they came to be in charge of a male-dominated manufacturing business following their father’s sudden passing in 2009. Their abiding goal since has been to carry on his vision, dream and passion for the company. 

There was no succession plan in place — no blueprint for the future. But his daughters were determined to keep the company alive, despite advice from advisers (including their banker) to liquidate. With the support of longtime employees, other family members, and valuable mentoring by numerous leaders in the manufacturing industry, Stacey and Sara were not only able to make sure their company survived — they now are thriving. They have grown Bales by developing new products and processes; expanding into new markets; enhancing operational efficiency; and growing capacity. They have done all that while continuing Bales’ reputation for innovation, as well as honesty and integrity.

As President of Bales since November 2009, Stacey drives long-term strategic vision, is responsible for financial management and legal matters, and is the company spokesperson.

Jim Sandstrom

Former President and CEO, HM Graphics, Inc.

Jim Sandstrom brought 45 years of diverse operating experience, family-business stewardship and a servant-leadership philosophy to his role at Yukta Fence, where he stepped in as General Manager and led the reorganization of the fast-growing company. Previously, Jim reduced operating costs by approximately one million dollars and improved operating margins in the after-market area by 6% during his one year as COO at Centrisys, a leading centrifuge manufacturer. Jim is a human-centered leader proving he can transition from one industry to another and produce revenue growth and cost savings regardless of the industry.

The masterwork of his career was as President/CEO of HM Graphics Inc, a family-owned printing and packaging company owned and operated by seven brothers and sisters. During a tenure spanning over forty years, he spearheaded growth from $385,000 to over $30,000,000 through multiple technological changes and numerous economic downturns in the printing industry. Under his Board guidance, he helped leaders see the importance of staying focused on their core business, formalized goal setting and performance evaluations and held the hands of a father-son team going through leadership succession. Jim is a die-hard advocate for employee training, human-centered management and team leadership development, which helped HM Graphics grow from 12 to 150 employees while keeping employee turnover below 5 % Prior to embarking on this career at HM he worked for a small public accounting firm Meier, Clancy and George. Jim was an athlete and a scholar, earning awards for cross-country, track and basketball while maintaining a high (3.5) GPA and earning a triple-major-degree in Accounting, Finance and Economics from Carroll University in Wisconsin.

Jim is an active community-minded supporter of several groups including the Professional Directors Association, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative and the Small Business Development Center. He served on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Center for Independence for 18 years, the Multiple Sclerosis Society for 22 years and served on the board and was elected the chairman of the Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA) for 20 years. Jim lives in the Greater Milwaukee area with his lovely wife of 40 years, Sue, and enjoys cycling, beekeeping and anything outdoors.


FREE with the UNI Family Business Center membership

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Event Contact
Jayne Kielman
(319) 559-0050
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Thursday, January 19, 2023 (8:00 AM - 10:00 AM) (CST)
Virtual Breakfast Series
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