During the past year, the International Family Enterprise Research Academy has been working on a number of different projects with the main objective to increase its value proposition to members as well as the family business field at large.
In this last article of 2018, we would like to provide an overview of what has been done and to express our deep gratitude to the amazing people that made all this possible.

Active from February 2018, the new website has been designed to allow members to proactively engage with IFERA all year long. As a result, the users are growing on a steadily base, showing a constant engagement from the IFERA 2018 Conference onward. Since the launch of the new website, the average number of weekly visits is 273, with peaks of 600 visitors during Conference sensitive dates and Newsletter releases. Special thanks for this project go to Ramia El Agamy and her team at Orbis Terra Media. Ramia guided us through this journey with patience, creativity and great professionalism.

Special features of the new website are:

The IFERA blog, developed to provide the Family Business Community with interesting contents and updates. Special thanks go to Carlotta Benedetti (our content contributor) for her great ideas and endless energy.

The Members Area, designed to facilitate contacts among our community is the point of access of all services dedicated to IFERA members. We take the opportunity to warmly encourage all members to update their social profile on the reserved area.

The Buddy Review service, created to submit work-in-progress for friendly review through the IFERA website and obtain feedback and guidance toward publication in leading academic journals from peer researchers and experienced family business scholars.
The purpose of the new IFERA Buddy Review system is to support each other in conducting rigorous, relevant research in the family business field, to activate our community and boost collegiality by providing an easily accessible platform to facilitate feedback and collaboration among family business researchers throughout the year.
Special thanks go to our Research and Publications Committee, specifically to Unai Arzubiaga, Jasper Brinkerink and our Committee Director and Board Member Josip Kotlar for their great commitment and their willingness to make things always better,

The Education Resources, dedicated to share and spread educational material among members and non-members. Special thanks go to Alfredo de Massis and Josip Kotlar for providing us with useful data from their article “Learning resources for family business education: A review and directions for future developments.” (De Massis, A., & Kotlar, J. (2015). Learning resources for family business education: A review and directions for future developments. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 14(3), 415-422.)

The IFERA Monthly Newsletter, featuring the latest article from our Blog, sharing upcoming events, new membership benefits and calls for jobs and papers. The IFERA Newsletter is currently sent out to over 1300 subscribers with a 34% opening rate.

IFERA is now a member of the AACSB Business Education Alliance. AACSB International is a global association of leaders in education and business dedicated to support and advance the quality of business education worldwide.

An IFERA chapter is a distinct geographical component of IFERA, working or residing in a multi-country area indicated by the Chapter. On November 21st-22nd, the LATIN AMERICA Chapter has been created as the first IFERA Chapter thanks to Pedro Vazquez (LATAM Chapter Chair) and his team and our Board Member Rania Labaki.
Other chapters to be considered in the future are Asia (multiple areas), Oceania, Africa and North America with the goal of breaking geographical boundaries by reaching specific communities directly.

A dedicated summer school for Ph.D. students as well as young researchers in family business is a much-needed opportunity for this next generation of family business scholars to hone their family business research skills, to present and discuss their ideas and receive focused feedback, and the build a network of family business researchers that will facilitate their academic careers in the years to come. An IFERA Summer School would represent a unique learning experience in a relaxed environment where doctoral students could build relationships and meet senior scholars, discuss their research projects and learn about new and established theories that are promising avenues for future research in the field. Our Education and Professional Development Committee, led by Claudia Binz Astrachan is working hard to create an unexpected and innovative experience. Thanks to Massimo Bau, Claudia Binz Astrachan, Anneleen Michiels, Emanuela Rondi and Judith Van Helvert-Beugels for undertaking such an ambitious project with great enthusiasm.

Last, we would like to thank all the people that have not been mentioned above but have contributed immensely to our latest developments and achievements.
First, our President Torsten Pieper and our Board Members Britta Boyd, Isabel Botero, Donella Caspersz, Rania Labaki and Josip Kotlar for their continuous support, commitment and guidance.
The 2018 Conference Chairs Anita Van Gils, Ilse Matser and their team for organizing such a great event and for the amazing journey made together.
Not less important, we would like to thank and officially welcome to our family the 2019 Conference Chairs Tommaso Minola, Mara Brumana and Giovanna Campopiano for jumping into this new adventure with us.
Finally, thanks to all IFERA Members for their continuous trust and support and for making this association the best community of family business scholars in the world.

We wish you all an Amazing New Year!

The IFERA Team