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NextGen Leadership Program
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Next Generation Leadership Program

An NSRA education and mentoring project

NSRA understands the challenges business owners face when they decide they're going to pass down their businesses and retire.

In conjunction with Loyola University of Chicago, NSRA has established an ongoing educational initiative to help equip the "Next Generation of Leaders in Shoe Retailing” for their roles.

NextGen works with the Family Business Center at Loyola University to take up-and-coming retailers to conferences, meetings with footwear manufacturers and mentoring sessions with retailers five to ten years older, who have already experienced the highs and lows of carving out their place in the family business. It teaches younger generations the delicate dynamics of joining a family business, building their own credibility, learning to supervise older employees, developing the ability to talk back-and-forth with older relatives and eventually learning to succeed a parent or other relative as CEO or co-owner of the business.  The initiative, launched in 2009, forms new classes regularly, allowing retailers to build professional networks with peers and colleagues that will serve them all their lives.  Classroom at Loyola University

NextGen also offers a "NowGen” component, which helps current store leaders understand the need for business succession planning and helps them create a plan long before it must be put into place. Business succession planning is about more than leaving a business – it's about making sure the employees, the vendors and the customers continue to enjoy the high quality established by the original owner.


Did You Know?

Family-owned businesses face high hurdles, according to the Small Business Administration:
  • Only 33% survive the transition from first to second generation.
  • Of that 33%, only 12% stay viable into the third generation.
  • Only 3% of that 12% continue into the fourth generation and beyond.

Nearly 70% of NSRA members have family members in their business. NSRA's "Next Generation of Leadership" intends to improve the odds.

NSRA Typical NextGen Events & Timelines


3-day leadership course and succession planning meeting on campus at Loyola University, Chicago 


3-day program on campus at Loyola University, Chicago


Special sessions during NSRA's Annual Leadership Conference

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