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October 10, 2003


LA CROSSE, Wis— John and Donna Hansen, and  their daughter, Amy Hansen-Strom, will kick off Viterbo’s 2003-04 Brown Bag noon-hour talks Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003 by sharing the values that have served as the cornerstones of their successful family-run businesses.

The presentation will be held in the D.B. and Marge Reinhart Center.

The Hansens were the founders of Kwik Trip Corporation, which numbered over 300 stores by the time they sold the business in July 2000.  Literally the day after the sale, the Hansens formed another family- owned- and- operated partnership called Nesnah Ventures.

Nesnah Ventures is a holding company comprised of 30 convenience stores, ethanol and wheat production facilities, and a wholesale fuel operation. Because the core businesses of Nesnah employ nearly 500 individuals in Wisconsin, Kansas, and Ohio, the company has also developed a human resources specialty company called People Ventures.
Like many family owned and run businesses that operate over time, businesses such as Kwik Trip and Nesnah Ventures, started by husband and wife John and Donna, acquired a multi-generational flavor with the addition of their daughter Amy and other family members.

Rick Kyte, director of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, indicated that the idea of promoting successful family businesses appealed to him and others who advised him on the four-part series. "What are the key values that these families pass down through their businesses and what kind of benefits accrue to the community and future generations? I think that kind of discussion will be very informative to those attending.

Four other families are scheduled to discuss their approach to operating a family business in the Brown Bag series. They are:

  • Dave and Mark Skogen, Festival Foods, Nov. 11,
  • Jim and Tim Servais, Hamburg Hills Farm, Jan. 27,
  • Steve and Nancy Rose, Rose Jewelers, and Todd and Deb Ondell, Grounded Specialty Coffees, March 10.

The talks are sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership and the Dahl School of Business. For more information call Richard Kyte at 608-796-3704 or email

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