About the Center for Closely Held Business

The Center for Closely Held Business at William Paterson University was developed by and for successful closely held and family business leaders. It draws on the strengths of the University’s Cotsakos College of Business (accredited by the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) that include faculty expertise and research, the William Paterson University Small Business Development Center, the College’s worldclass facilities and the Russ Berrie Institute for Professional Sales—as well as local closely held and family businesses.

Among the resources to be offered are practical hands-on workshops, real-world case studies, presentations by industry experts, peer-to-peer problem solving and peer monitoring.


The structure of the Center is changing its format to an organizational membership. The purpose of converting to a membership basis is to better serve the closely held and family owned businesses who attend our events. We can provide programs which are more relevant and focused by having committed members.


Membership organizations benefits from:
bullet Knowledge: Obtain information on best practices and the most recent and useful tools in the field today through workshops and training seminars.
bullet Networking: Attend events alongside other professionals from a variety of industries. You will get the opportunity to meet new people with new ideas as well as form new business relationships.
bullet Practical ideas: Our workshops and seminars focus on topics and tools that are practical, timely, and relevant for family and closely held businesses in today’s economy.
bullet Advice from business people who have demonstrated excellence: Many of the facilitators and speakers at our events are successful business leaders from family owned and closely held businesses. The speakers draw from their extensive experience to give you the most useful advice possible.

“I have found that benchmarking ‘best practices’ is a great way to learn. The Center provides our participants opportunities to learn in a non-intimidating and relaxed environment, from people who have demonstrated excellence in their particular business process. The Center will also be a good place for closely held or family owned businesses to develop and benefit from peer-to-peer mentoring.”

— Basem Hishmeh, owner of closely held and family owned businesses • Chairman, AERCO International Corp. • Chairman, Sigma-Netics, Inc. • Former Chair of Executive Committee, Center for Closely Held Business at William Paterson University