Dennis Kessler consults with family business owners, family members, management teams and their business advisors to assist them with a variety of strategies for enterprise success. These include succession planning, conflict resolution, family meetings, strategic planning, employee recruitment and retention strategies, as well as the policies and structures for a board of directors, an advisory board, or a family council.
Dennis is the former Co-President of Fel-Pro Inc., a private company held by his family for five generations. During its highly-successful run, the firm earned the ranking of fourth on the Fortune magazine list of “Best Companies to Work For.” He held several managerial positions at Fel-Pro, including Vice President of Engineering, Operations, and Original Equipment Sales. He was also President of the Ventures Group of companies that included Fel-Pro Realty, Inc. and Fel-Pro Chemical Products, LLP. When the company was sold in 1998, he was serving as Co-President of Fel-Pro, Inc. Early on in his career, before he joined his family’s business, he held posts at DuPont, Union Electric, and Orchard Paper.
Dennis has been involved in family businesses all his life, having grown up and worked in Fel-Pro, and now for nearly 15 years enjoying a second career as a family business consultant. He is an independent Director on the board of four family controlled businesses, including Ideal Industries, Inc., MFRI, Inc., SWANK Motion Pictures, and O’Neil Industries.
He has lectured on family business issues at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago, Northwestern and Washington Universities, as well as the Loyola Family Business Center, the Northern Trust Bank, the Chicago Bar Association and the Young Presidents Organization.
Dennis maintains a strong commitment to nonprofit work, serving on the board of directors of several organizations including the Loyola Family Business Center, the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, and The Michael Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. He is also Chairman of the Founder’s Council of the Emergency Fund Director for the Workforce Investment Board of Lake County.
Dennis earned an MEA (Engineering Administration) and a BS in Industrial Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
- Entrepreneurship; The Kellogg School, Northwestern University
- Executive Leadership; University of Chicago
- National Association of Corporate Directors
- Family Firm Institute
- Board Source