L.A. Center For Family Business Director Loves His Career Choice

Edward Hart is the director of the Center for Family Business at Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and President of Hart Professional Services, Management Consulting and Executive Coaching. Hart leads a 20-year-old program that creates educational opportunities and consulting for family owned companies in Southern California. The program leads these owners in succession planning, leadership development, next generation preparation, retirement planning, etc. They conduct monthly workshops with expert speakers, small groups, one-on-one coaching and much more.

(Photo Courtesy of Edward Hart)

(Photo Courtesy of Edward Hart)

Hart has a degree in business management from Pepperdine University and has taken several advanced and executive education programs at USC. He also teaches Sports Management in the Post Graduate Sports Management program at UC Riverside. Hart teaches 10-15 international students each quarter. 

What are the scope and responsibilities of your current role?

“As the director of the Center, I create all the leadership curriculum, monthly workshops, oversee all small groups and hire facilitators and speakers.  I’m also responsible for all business development and fundraising for the Center.  I created a Family Business Hall of Fame on OC earlier this year, and had Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss as our inaugural keynote speaker.  In my role as President of Hart Professional Services, I lead executives in developing personal and organizational leadership plans, strategic planning, personal development, and team building.”  

What is your favorite part of your daily duties? 

“I literally love everything I do! I get to assist people with their journey to excellence and success. My favorite part of my work is that I get to watch as family business leaders learn things that can apply in their daily work as well as in the future of their organizations and families. Everything we do is driven by maintaining family harmony and business success.”  

Do you feel your education prepared you for your current role?

“Absolutely. I learned in school the importance of listening to others, processing the information I receive and then working towards a solution as a team. I also gained a tremendous amount of confidence in my abilities because my professors at Pepperdine and USC taught me how to think, how to respond and how to find solutions rather than just diagnosing and prescribing.”

Do you have any advice for people who desire to pursue a similar career? 

“The first thing I tell anyone on this topic is to find people who are doing what you want to do, and then offer to buy them a cup of coffee (I like iced nonfat caramel macchiatos, by the way!  Ha ha) and pick their brain. Successful people love to talk about their journey, so meet with them and find out what they did to get where they are. Ask for their advice. Ask what they would do differently. Ask them to be your mentor.”

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com and MichelleGuilbeau.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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