Non-Family Board Members Bring Perspective and Growth

Non-Family Board Members Bring Perspective and Growth
Category: Interviews
Published: June 9, 2022
Updated: August 17, 2023
Views: 17848
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What happens at a family firm with shared ownership and leadership? Matt Nielsen, Managing Director of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas International Europe, is candid about the disagreements and stalemate that can ensue.

Enter the non-family board members. The 100-year-old flavorings company, whose products can be found on supermarket shelves everywhere, faced a crossroads when it needed to grow the business and manage the family dynamics of having three siblings with executive roles. As Nielsen points out in this interview with Editor Kimberly Eddleston, not everyone in the family was keen on the idea of bringing in outsiders to help, and it took two years to figure out the best way for family and non-family board members to work together. But Nielsen says it's now paying off in clearer strategies and less conflict.

In this interview, Matt Nielsen counsels family businesses on the best way to bring outside perspectives to the family business board. 


Kimberly Eddleston
Kimberly Eddleston
Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship / D'Amore-McKim School of Business / Northeastern University
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Cite this Article
DOI: 10.32617/796-62a222efb00fb
Eddleston, Kimberly. "Non-Family Board Members Bring Perspective and Growth." 9 Jun. 2022. Web 24 Jun. 2024 <>.
Eddleston, K. (2022, June 9). Non-family board members bring perspective and growth. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from