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Martin Stepek Inducted Into Family Business Hall Of Fame

We are delighted to announce that Martin Stepek has been inducted into the Family Business United ‘Family Business Hall of Fame,’ which recognises the exceptional contribution of individuals and their work in advancing the field of family business.

Martin is the CEO of the Scottish Family Business Association who advises and mentors individuals and families within the family business sector.

Born in 1959 into a first generation Polish-Irish-Scottish family business, Martin worked in the business throughout his school and university years, and came back from abroad in 1987 to work in and become co-owner of the business. He did this from 1987 to 2002 when the business went into administration. During this period, from 1995 to 2001 he attended the ground-breaking Centre for Family Enterprise at Glasgow Caledonian University, under the guidance of Dr. Barbara Murray.

In 2005, he set up the Scottish Family Business Association, launching it in 2006. The Association engaged with and encouraged advisors, academics, government bodies, and of course family business leaders to actively pursue greater interest and expertise about family businesses. As more institutions and individuals grasped the challenge and opportunity, they withdrew from the areas they were involved in, in order to give more space for them to flourish, and not to be an impediment to their success.

Martin co-authored several academic papers over the years, wrote booklets advising lawyers how to best work with family businesses, and delivered endless talks, speeches and workshops to the wider world of family business.

In the tentative ‘post-Covid’ era Martin has focused on fewer but deeper talks and other events in order to restimulate those in the sector to engage more fully in a world that is now very different from the one left behind in March 2020.

As an individual Martin now has a focus primarily on helping individuals within a family business context on how to live a fulfilling, meaningful life, either within the family business setting, or outside of it if it is a hindrance to the individual.

As Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United adds, “Martin has been a great pioneer and ambassador of the family business sector over the years and deserves his place in the Family Business Hall of Fame.”

As Martin concludes, “I experienced many joys and woes in my life as a member of a business family. My work is ultimately about helping others in the same setting enjoy more joy and endure a whole lot less woe than they might otherwise have experienced.”

The sector is complex, so I wouldn’t say I love it, but I do feel very deeply for the people who are in a family business and innately care for their wellbeing. The sector is the most natural organic form of business there is, and as such expresses more powerfully all the best and worst of human nature, and I try to help people in those situations.”

"I am honoured to be recognised in the Family Business Hall of Fame, not for myself, but for two groups of people; those who did the crucial work before me, especially Barbara Murray, then George Stevenson, and those who worked with me in the early days of the Scottish Family Business Association, particular the founding board, all of whom were family business leaders. The other group of people to whom I would like to dedicate this award are my siblings, my parents, and the remarkable heritage of business success, and survival through warfare and famine, that my Polish and Irish ancestors achieved.”


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