Family business leaders complete CEL program

From left: Lorne Smith, Tammy Morris, Tracy Farrell, Michael Tyrpak, Gerald Tomanio, Donna Tyrpak and James Tyrpak celebrate completion of the "Growing a Healthy Family Business" course.

Release date June 16, 2015 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — A new class of entrepreneurs are better prepared to successfully manage the unique challenges of running a family business after completing the “Growing a Healthy Family Business” course in the University at Buffalo School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL).

Launched in fall 2013, “Growing a Healthy Family Business” is a 10-session course that empowers family members to come together to identify and apply solutions to help their business thrive. Sponsored by Wilmington Trust, a subsidiary of M&T Bank, the course delivers practical solutions on topics relevant to family businesses, including communication, interpersonal relationships, conflict resolution, strategic planning and succession and next-generation leadership planning.

Eight entrepreneurs from three Western New York businesses completed the course this year and were honored at a joint graduation ceremony for five CEL programs on June 3 at UB’s Center for the Arts.

The graduates and their businesses were:

  • Tracy Farrell and Gerald Tomaino of Wrights Corners Self Storage
  • Tammy Morris and Evan and Lorne Smith of Berenson Hardware
  • Donna, James and Michael Tyrpak of Tyrpak Financial Associates

The graduates now become members of the CEL Family Business Association, an initiative that addresses the unique challenges associated with operating a family business, while also supporting the traditional needs of any entrepreneur. As members, they’ll receive complimentary registration to networking events and workshops with expert speakers, discounted registration for other professional development opportunities, and access to professionally facilitated peer support groups.

The CEL is currently enrolling new members in the Family Business Association. The center will host a workshop on succession planning this September and a luncheon in November for members. For more information, contact the CEL at 716-885-5715 or

Established in 1987, the CEL provides participants with individualized and interactive education in entrepreneurship. More than 1,300 CEL alumni employ more than 22,000 Western New Yorkers, and their businesses are worth more than $2 billion to the local economy. 

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Matthew Biddle
Assistant Director of Communications
School of Management