Accessing your Resilience: Real Stories and Tips for Family Businesses to Deploy in a Crisis

Join Debbie Bing, President & Principal, and Nancy Drozdow, Founder & Principal of CFAR, along with David Shaw, Publishing Director of Family Business Magazine as they share real stories and helpful tips for staying resilient during the current climate.

Accessing your Resilience: Real Stories and Tips for Family Businesses to Deploy in a Crisis
Tuesday, April 14, 2020
3pm ET | 12 pm PT
60 minutes

Family businesses are no strangers to crisis. Many of you have likely weathered what became a turning point, and if you haven’t, you aim to do so now. What gives you real-time advantage? What does it take to craft a path to last beyond this distressing time? What adaptations have you already made, what holds you back, what resources could you access?  

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the resilience of even the most practiced businesses and families. The scale, speed and impact are unprecedented, demanding a level of resilience and adaptation none of us has tapped into as fully as needed now. The age-old dilemmas of steering business performance, coupled with developing successors or being a successor, corralling growing numbers of shareholders, reassuring customers, collaborating with suppliers, and more, are still front and center, and even more challenged in the current context of social distancing, shut downs and a spiraling economy.  

This webinar will tackle the topic of resilience in today’s context: how can you find sources of strength and creativity in the midst of resounding pressure? How can you identify strategies and tactics with the speed required to fortify your family and business for the long-term path you have worked so hard to create? We will explore stories from past crises and share ideas emerging as recently as the last few weeks from multiple family businesses. We will cover the whole “system” — your board, your family and your business – and offer space for questions and idea sharing, throughout the webinar.  Attendees will receive a special email prior to the webinar with a quick pre-survey  (3 questions) to help guide the live conversation.

Join Debbie Bing, President & Principal, and Nancy Drozdow, Founder & Principal of CFAR, along with David Shaw, Publishing Director of Family Business Magazine as they share real stories and helpful tips for staying resilient during the current climate.

Webinar attendees will take away:

  • Sources of their own resilience (it's literally in their DNA!)
  • Real examples, large and small, of families who have adapted to today's urgency to prompt your own creative thinking
  • Tips and ideas for deploying change strategies that can strengthen families and businesses beyond the urgency of the moment
  • A space to share your questions, experiences and ideas with peers



Debbie Bing

President & Principal, CFAR

Debbie Bing, President and Principal, began at CFAR as a Project Consultant in 1998, became an Associate in 1999, and a Principal in 2006. Her assumption of the Presidency in 2016 represents the shift to CFAR’s Second Generation of Leaders. Debbie is also a member of CFAR’s Board of Directors and co-leads the firm’s Family Business and Owner-led practice group. As a second-generation owner of CFAR, she draws on personal experience in working through the dilemmas of strategy and succession.

Debbie views conflict as a useful starting point for a productive exchange about organizational priorities and performance. She has led negotiation teams in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe, and uses that expertise to help business leaders and executive teams in family businesses, entrepreneurial organizations, universities, associations and foundations to build collaborative approaches to their most pressing business challenges. She is especially skilled at helping clients make decisions and implement change in highly politicized, emotionally charged environments as they manage the multiple pressures of mission, performance, culture, competencies and competition. Her methodology brings all appropriate players into the process of generating options, making decisions, and committing to a plan so that they “own” the solution.

She is an experienced speaker and has presented to groups including the Family Firm Institute, the Council on Foundations, the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (from which she won The Bridger Award in 2008 for her paper, “Crowding Out the Space: The Weakness of a Strong Leader”), the Northeastern University Center for Family Business, the Healthcare Business Women’s Association and numerous Boston area business groups. In October 2014, Debbie was honored as a Fellow of the FFI, from which she earned both the GEN and Advanced Certificates in Family Business Advising. In addition, she has been published in People & Strategy Magazine, and has had several articles in Family Business Magazine. She is member of the Board of Directors of E4TheFuture, a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute, a member of the international board of the Family Firm Institute, a member of the Professional Advisory Committee of the Boston Foundation, and an adjunct faculty member at D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University.

Debbie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies from Haverford College and a Master's of International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Nancy Drozdow

Founder & Principal, CFAR

Nancy Drozdow, Founder and Principal, is a member of both the firm’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee. She leads CFAR’s Family and Owner-led Business practice and has been instrumental in the development of CFAR’s approach to strategy. Nancy is nationally known for her expertise as a thinking partner to leaders, successors, and successor candidates across the family enterprise. Nancy helps her clients creatively identify and test options, and then make hard choices working through the structures, processes, people, and metrics that can enable or stand in the way of productive action.

Nancy is a founder of the Family Firm Institute, a global resource created to provide interdisciplinary intelligence, education, and professional development to educators and professionals serving the family business and family wealth fields. She is an FFI Fellow and served on the organization’s original Board. She is past President of FFI’s Mid-Atlantic chapter. Nancy won the 2012 Richard Beckhard Practice Award from the Family Firm Institute, which annually honors a founding member and distinguished practitioner in the family enterprise field, recognizing outstanding contributions to the field of family business practice.

Nancy has lectured widely on topics such as risk, competition and growth, governance, succession, exit and continuity, and leadership and organization development. Her work and ideas have been published in the business press including Sloan Management Review, Business Week, CEO Magazine, Family Business Magazine, the Journal of Management Consulting, Family Business Review, the New York Times among other publications.

Nancy earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Penn State University and holds an MBA in Strategy from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

David Shaw

Publishing Director, Family Business Magazine

David Shaw is the publishing director of Directors & Boards and its sister publication, Family Business. With more than 30 years of experience in business-to-business and consumer media markets, he has served as an editor, publisher, publishing director, group publisher and group vice president of a variety of publications, trade shows, conferences and websites.

Prior to founding GRID Media, David served as senior vice president for Phillips Business Information Inc., where he oversaw nearly 100 discrete media properties, and helped build the business from $35 million to more than $100 million in annual revenues. He is a frequent author and speaker on issues related to business-to-business media, multi-generational family businesses and private and public company governance. He is married, with two grown children, one serving in the Navy and the other in law school.


  • No cost to attend
  • Opportunity for questions and feedback
  • All participants receive a copy of the webinar materials after the event.
  • All participants receive Family Business Magazine weekly newsletter, with news, tips and trends that impact your family business. You may, of course, opt out at any time.
  • Unbiased third-party family business education
  • 60 minutes -- maximum value for time