Second-generation family businesses play a crucial role in family-owned enterprises’ stability and growth. As highlighted in the Harvard Business Review, the second generation can make or break a family business’s future. While they inherit a legacy, they also face extraordinary challenges, such as managing relationships, implementing changes, and establishing their own identity. Research from the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell emphasizes that only about 30 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation. This brings to focus the importance of effective succession planning. Second-generation family business leaders can create a lasting and prosperous tradition by leveraging their inherited wisdom and adapting to market changes.
As a native Michigander, Ivy Stoller was born in downstate Lowell and made the trip up north to Houghton to pursue her education. Ivy graduated from Michigan Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, concentrating in data analytics, in the spring of 2023. During her time at MTU, Ivy was active in various clubs and student organizations. She participated in Kappa Sigma Iota (KSI Accounting Club) and was a member of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helping with tax returns for fellow MTU students and local community members. Additionally, Ivy was a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business students. Beyond academic achievements, Ivy cherished her time at Michigan Tech as a period of personal growth and building lifelong friendships.
Ivy’s family owns a business called Heidi’s Farmstand & Bakery located on 30 acres in southern Lowell. The family farm was founded in 1949 with many functions: raising cattle, running a dairy operation, and growing corn, soybeans, and wheat. Its business operations were started in 2006 by Ivy’s parents in collaboration with her mom’s brother. Later in 2007, the business was sold to Ivy’s twin uncles. Now, since Ivy has graduated, the family plans on changing it to a joint venture between the uncles, Ivy, and at least one of her siblings.