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Thomas Hubler

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Tom began his family business consulting practice in 1980 as one of few professionals addressing family-owned businesses in the United States. He integrates the notion of spirit in his work with family businesses, and assists family business clients with succession planning, leadership development, business planning, board development, and wealth preparation planning.

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When Thomas M. Hubler began his family business consulting practice in 1980, he was one of the few professionals addressing family-owned businesses in the United States. Hubler has over 35 years of experience of working with families. While a good portion of that experience has been in working with business families, at the same time he is noted for his ability for peacemaking within families. In his early career, he was a marriage and family therapist and, after receiving a Bush Fellowship in 1977, he pioneered the concept of succession planning in family owned businesses.

Since that time, Hubler has played a major role in shaping this field, from helping colleges and universities establish family business institutes to his work with countless families and their business enterprises. As the acknowledged “dean” of family business consulting, Hubler continues to shape this important field, helping families strengthen connections and eliminate barriers to healthy, productive family and business relationships.

Has Hubler made a difference?  Don Hermes, President of Hermes Floral, a successful third-generation family-owned business and early Hubler client says: “He helped us unravel the family issues, setting the foundation for us to be successful today.”

Today, the Hubler firm continues its long-standing dedication to helping families of wealth and family-owned businesses succeed. The firm helps families develop a shared vision for the family and for the business; identify individual talents; tackle any unspoken issues; and create individual and organizational strategies to ensure a personally and financially rewarding business. In addition, the firm assists families of wealth with the creation of a wealth preparation plan that ensures family values continue to emphasize a family culture of gratitude, philanthropy, and living purposeful lives.

Hubler is a founding member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI) in Boston, a professional organization serving the needs of family-owned businesses. He is a Fellow in FFI, an honor bestowed on only a very few members. In addition, he served as a professional in residence at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and served on the advisory board for the Center for Family Enterprise for 10 years. Hubler is a former adjunct instructor at the University of St. Thomas, where he co-taught a class on Family Business Management for over 10 years. He is a certified leadership and career coach from the Hudson Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Hubler served as a board member for Catholic Charities, and also served for 15 years as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem for Ramsey County. Hubler is a former board member of YouthCARE, a Twin Cities based nonprofit organization with a successful 30-year history of directing leadership development, multi-cultural, and educational programs and services for urban youth 7-18 years old. He previously served as a board member for Listening House, a drop-in center that serves homeless individuals in Saint Paul. Hubler is also a former president and board member of Mental Health Resources, a nonprofit, community-based organization that exists to optimize the capability of people with serious mental illness to live a full life, an organization he served for 16 years, and former board member for The College of Visual Arts (CVA) located in Saint Paul. He currently serves on the board for Banyan Community in Minneapolis.

Hubler is a widely quoted expert on family business issues. He served for 22 years as a member of the editorial board of the Family Business Review. He has authored articles on success strategies for family-owned businesses and has been widely quoted in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Corporate Report, Nation’s Business, Inc. and StarTribune. In August 2001 and April 2005, Hubler appeared on the NBC Weekend Today Show, commenting on family business issues, and has been a periodic guest on Minnesota Public Radio’s programs. Hubler had online columns that appeared in the Elite Advisor Forum, Minnesota Business Magazine, and Twin City Business Magazine.  Hubler is the founder of the Minnesota Family Business of the Year Award, now in its 12th year of celebrating outstanding Minnesota family businesses.

Hubler has developed many of his theories on family businesses and families of wealth while studying systems and organizational development as a Bush Leadership Fellow, and has taught at various universities. Today, he lectures internationally on topics of interest to family businesses and families of wealth including keynote titles:

  • Creating Family Unity in Your Family Business
  • What Makes Family Businesses So Successful?
  • Your Legacy and the Last Challenge of Entrepreneurship

For 40 years, Hubler tended bees, harvesting honey for family, friends and clients.  His “Three Acre Wood” honey was noted for its mellow flavor and vibrant color.


Speech Titles and Descriptions:

Creating Family Unity in Family Businesses

This presentation on creating unity in family businesses focuses initially on the family business challenge, and the major pitfalls in family businesses.  It also discusses the importance of the BOSS and how to utilize the BOSS as a tool to inspire a contribution to the common good to create family unity.

What Makes Family Businesses So Successful?

This presentation discusses not only the family business challenge, but also the characteristics of a soulful family business and how they can influence the success and unity of your family business.  It discusses how family business can identify their essence and use it as a resource for family business success.

Your Legacy and the Last Challenge of Entrepreneurship

This presentation focuses on the understanding of legacy.  It also focuses on succession planning and the role entrepreneurs play in succession planning and how to create an exit strategy that does not require the entrepreneur to leave the company, but how they must change your job description.


Tom addressed our group of 175 bank owners and he held their rapt attention for an hour. Attendees asked several questions which demonstrated their engagement in the presentation and their respect for his experience and expertise. Tom's extensive experience gives his anecdotes real poignancy. He takes on real-life issues and offers real-world answers -- maybe not always what a business owner wants to hear, but certainly what the business owner needs to hear. I would recommend Tom as a speaker for any group that deals with business ownership.

Tom Bengtson
Bank Holding Company Association


Tom Hubler is truly a family business guru. A spiritual teacher and mentor who listens and imparts wisdom, he is also a nationally-recognized author, speaker, and adviser on one of the hardest business industries to master. I have had the privilege of working with Tom and families struggling with business succession planning, conflict management, and power issues. He brings a unique combination of business acumen, skills as a therapist, and the heart'n soul of an insightful godfather to the negotiating table. As a speaker, Tom is a profound story-teller with the demeanor of a prophet who methodically and almost quietly explains "this is how it is" in family businesses.  Seek out Tom and his book "The Soul of Family Business" for inspiration and expertise.

M.E.G. Roy
PI Midwest


When you hear Tom speak, you can clearly see his genuine love and caring for his client families shining through.  Tom is keenly aware of the complex relationships that exist in family businesses and he tackles them head on in a professional yet loving way.  He understands that love is at the core of family relationships and does not shy away from making that a topic of discussion, which I found refreshing.  His presentation style is an engaging mix of both stories and expertise; I would highly recommend Tom as a speaker and family facilitator.

Angela Alvig, CPA
Simplify Wealth LLC


I loved Tom’s genuine nature as a speaker. I was impressed with his ideas about what really drives successful family business. The comfort and clarity he has around the real work of family business make success feel very possible.

Dan Neitz


The SOUL of Family Business


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