Transitions East 2016

The conference for family businesses by family businesses

Transitions East 2016 is now sold out. If any openings should occur, we’ll notify those who ask to be added to our waitlist in the order they were received. To be added to our waitlist, please fill out and submit this waitlist form.

Alternatively, registrations for Transitions West 2016, to be held November 9-11, 2016 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ, are now open. Click here to register for Transitions West 2016.

This conference is for family companies and enterprises of all sizes and ages.  

Special Bonus:  To extend and enhance conference learning, all attendees will receive a free one year's subscription to Family Business Magazine (or a one-year extension to their current subscription).  Subscription includes access to Family Business' online archive of more than 700 articles, organized by topic.

Download the conference brochure

We continually strive to enhance your conference experience:

  • Special interest group meetings for those who would like to meet to discuss issues related facing family councils, family offices, the NextGen, non-family executives and the senior generation with like-minded attendees.
  • Smaller group sessions to facilitate discussion.
  • Topic-based focus sessions to allow you and your family members to drill down more deeply into areas of specific interest or need.
  • Some families bring family members who do not attend the conference itself. We've created the opportunity for these families to schedule a working family meeting prior to and after the conference, with a professional facilitator. (Limited space available, please contact Justine Wood at 703-850-5497 for details). Please note: our hotel room block allows families to book rooms before and after the conference, at our group rate, to extend the duration and value of your visit.
  • Family Business Basics--a pre-conference session focused on key family business terms and ideas, and on how to get the most out of the conference itself.

Transitions features:

  • Speakers from family companies: Our focus is on speakers from family enterprises, sharing real-life problems and solutions. 
  • Intimate, open environment: Limited attendance, and a private "safe harbor" environment in which to openly share challenges and opportunities with other families. 
  • Collaborative discussions: Opportunities to work through family issues via guided discussions. 
  • No-Sell Environment:  Conference sponsors understand and commit to participating as thought leaders and experts, and are restricted from actively selling their products and services.
  • Special content and sessions for next-generation and married-in family members
  • Networking with families like yours: Hosted networking, opening reception, meals, breaks and workshops are all designed to allow you to meet many family enterprise attendees.
  • Family focus: Brought to you by family-owned Family Business Magazine, we use family-owned or controlled hotels, transportation services, restaurants and service providers whenever possible.  We believe in, and invest in, America's family businesses.
  • Hosted family meetings:  For attending families who want to meet before and after the conference, professionally facilitated. Limited availability.

Featured Speakers

Mitzi Perdue

Perdue Farms

Carol L. Bernick

CEO, Polished Nickel Capital Management

Louie Gentine

CEO, Sargento Foods

Marylyn Reed

Family Council Member, Mary Kay, Inc.

Sam Freeman

Senior Vice President, Freeman's Trusts & Estates Department

Debbie S. Brown

Chairman of the Board, Laird Norton Company

Laura Gicela

Family Employee Engagement Liaison, Elkay Manufacturing Company

Timothy B. Hussey

President and CEO, Hussey Seating Company

Todd Litzsinger

Chairman of the Board, Follett Corporation

Christi Offutt

CEO, RDO Equipment Co. and Chair, Offutt Family Companies

Chris Vernon

President and COO, The Vernon Company

Meredith Donaher

Marketing Director, Gault & Co.

Mary Vermeer Andringa

Chair of the Board, Vermeer Corporation

Emily Sheetz

Director of Talent Development, Sheetz Inc.

Ryan O’Melveny Wilson

Vice President and Executive Chef, Lawry’s Restaurants Inc. 

Preston Root

President, Root Family Board of Directors

Sylvia Shepard

Former Chair and Founder, Smith Family Council, Menasha Corporation

Meghan Juday

Family Council Chair and Director, IDEAL INDUSTRIES; Director, Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Saint Joseph’s University

Register Today!

Registration Information

Transitions East 2016 is now sold out. If any openings should occur, we’ll notify those who ask to be added to our waitlist in the order they were received. To be added to our waitlist, please fill out and submit this waitlist form.

Alternatively, registrations for Transitions West 2016, to be held November 9-11, 2016 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ, are now open. Click here to register for Transitions West 2016.

Please Note: Attendance at this conference is limited to members, owners, senior executives (including non-family executives and non-family board members) or shareholders of family-owned businesses whose primary business is other than advising family-owned businesses. Senior advisers to family businesses may attend only with family members. Attendance is strictly limited to the first 75 family businesses/enterprises who register

Past attendees of any Transitions Conference receive an additional 10% discount on their registration fees.

All registrants receive a free one year subscription to Family Business Magazine ($79 value), or a one-year extension to their current subscription.  Subscriptions include free online access to Family Business Magazine's extensive online archive of articles, organized by topic. Registration fees do not include hotel or travel expenses.

Click here to begin your registration.

Standard Pricing (after January 15, 2016)

Family Company Attendees
$1,850--First Attendee from your family company
$1,350--Each additional attendee (Age 30 and above)
$1,150--Each additional Next Generation attendee (age 29 or below)

For general questions on attendance or help with registration, please contact Justine Wood at (703) 850-5497. Please register all attendees from your company on the Registration Form at the same time.  If you determine at a later time that you need to add registrants, we will need to process the registrations offline in order to apply the discounted registration fees.  To register offline, please email registrant information (name, title, company name, mailing address, phone number and email address) to  For the payment, please call  Jerri Smith at 215-405-6071 to provide the credit card number or use the Credit Card Authorization Form available here.

All attendees will be verified prior to acceptance of registration. A family company's advisers may attend only if accompanied by one or more family company members. Other family company advisers may contact Scott Chase at (301) 879-1613 for information on attending.

Registration price includes all conference materials, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner on April 7, breakfast and lunch on April 8, and a welcome reception with buffet dinner on April 6, as well as refreshment breaks.

Registration contact:
Justine Wood
Program Manager
(703) 850-5497

Cancellation policy: All conference cancellations must be made in writing and sent to Justine Wood, Transitions Program Manager, 13631 Maidstone Lane, Potomac, MD 20854; faxed to (301) 987-0476 or emailed to Registrants who cancel more than four weeks prior to the program date are entitled to a full refund of the registration fee less an administrative fee of $150 per registrant; if canceled within four weeks, but more than 10 business days prior to the conference date, 50% of the conference registration fee will be refunded less an administrative fee of $150 per registrant; within ten business days of the conference date and no shows, no refund is possible. Family Business Magazine may cancel the program if attendance does not meet required levels; in case of cancellation or rescheduling, full refunds of registration fees will be made. Travel fares and hotel deposits cannot be reimbursed.


Wednesday April 6

2:30-6:30 pm  Registration

3:30-4:30 pm Family Business Basics

Speakers:  Wendy-Sage Hayward, The Family Business Consulting Group; Andrew D. Pitcairn, Pitcairn Family Council Chair; Peter Begalla, Conference and Education Director, Family Business Magazine; Steven R. Walker, General Counsel, Secretary, and Director of Board Advisory Services, National Association of Corporate Directors

5:00-6:15 pm Secrets of the Oldest Family Businesses

It is not easy to sustain a family enterprise for more than 100 years. Owners of companies that have been continuously owned by the same family for more than a century discuss the challenges they encountered along the way, how those challenges were overcome, their successful business strategies, and the values that have kept the family united in support of their business.

Speakers:  Timothy B. Hussey, President and CEO, Hussey Seating Company; Sylvia Shepard, former Chair and Founder, Smith Family Council, Menasha Corporation; Debbie S. Brown, Chairman of the Board, Laird Norton Company; Sam Freeman, Senior Vice President, Freeman's

Moderator:  Jonathan Flack, Partner and US Family Business Services Co-Leader, PwC

6:15-6:45 pm  Opening Keynote

Speaker:  Mitzi Perdue: Success Tips for Members of Family Businesses

Introduced by: Jay Mattie, Partner and US Family Business Services Co-Leader, PwC

6:45-9 pm  Welcome Reception and Dinner

Thursday April 7

7:30 am-4:30 pm  Registration Open

7:30-8:30 am  Breakfast

8:30-9:45 am Navigating Shareholder Dynamics:  Relationships, Policies and Process

Having policies in place before they are needed can help a family ownership group navigate smoothly through issues such as shareholder liquidity, protecting the business from divorce, buying out an owner and discussing an offer to sell. Panelists will explain their policies and how (and why) those policies were developed.

Speakers:  Mary Vermeer Andringa, CEO and Chair of the Board, Vermeer Corporation; Todd Litzsinger, Chairman of the Board, Follett Corporation; Preston Root, President, Root Family Board of Directors

Moderator:  Jill Shipley, Managing Director, Family Dynamics and Education, Abbot Downing

9:45-10:15 am  Networking Break

10:15-11:30 am Uniting Siblings and Cousins

In order to be successful as a business family, siblings and cousins must learn to think of each other as business partners. What can be done to overcome rivalries and bring them together -- including their spouses? Panelists discuss the role of family governance and informal bonding experiences in keeping relationships on track.

Speakers:  Maryln Reed, Family Council Member, Mary Kay, Inc.; Chris Vernon, President & COO, The Vernon Company;  Meghan Juday, Family Council Chair and Director, IDEAL INDUSTRIES; Director, Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Saint Joseph’s University

Moderator:  Rhona E. Vogel, CEO and Founder, Vogel Consulting

11:30 am-12:30 pm Expert Briefings

  • The Transition to the Second Generation:  Kevin M. Harris, Managing Director of the Family Business Group, Northern Trust
  • How to Teach the NextGen about Wealth and Finance:  Lauren Benenati, Director of Family Education, GenSpring
  • Creating Effective Family Employment Policies:  David Guin and Mark Haranzo, Partners, Withers Bergman LLP
  • Key Family Documents, Including Prenups: Lloyd E. Shefsky, Founder and Co-Director, and Justin Craig, Co-Director, Kellogg Center for Family Enterprises
  • Capitalization and Liquidity for the Family Business:  F. Douglas Raymond III, Partner, Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Taxes, Trusts and Estate Planning:  Allison P. Shipley, Personal Financial Services Tax Partner, PwC 
  • NextGen:  How to Be an Entrepreneur in Your Family Business:  Nancy Drozdow, Principal/Founder and Debbie Bing, Principal, CFAR
  • Strategies for Dealing with Family Conflict: Doug Baumoel, Founder, ContinuityFBC
  • Security:  Personal and Cyber:  Jordan Arnold, Managing Director, New York and Joseph M. Lawlor, Associate Managing Director, New York, K2 Intelligence

12:30-1:30 pm Lunch

1:30-2pm Networking Break

2:00-3:15 pm Engaging the Next Gen with the Family Enterprise

What’s the best way to introduce your children to the family business -- whether or not they envision themselves working there one day.  What does the family business mean to the family, and how can this best be communicated? How do you initiate a frank discussion about wealth, values and work ethic? What are age-appropriate ways to talk about these topics with kids as they grow?

Speakers: Meredith Donaher, Marketing Director, Gault & Co.; Emily Sheetz, Director of Talent Development, Sheetz Inc.; Laura Gicela, Family Employee Engagement Liaison, Elkay Manufacturing

Moderator:  Bryant W. Seaman III, Managing Director and Head of Private Asset Advisory Services, Bessemer Trust

3:15-3:30 pm Networking Break

3:30-4:30 pm Concurrent Sessions

  • Next Generation Roundtable: Barb Dartt, Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group
  • Married-Ins:  Anna Nichols, Director of Communications, Altair Advisers LLC
  • Cousin Relationships:  Douglas Pugliese, Director of Business Development, SEI Private Wealth Management
  • Sibling Relationships:  Nancy Drozdow, Principal/Founder and Debbie Bing, Principal, CFAR

6:00-9:00 pm Family Dinner

Vinoy Club

Speaker:  Family Dinner Traditions, with Tim Hussey, President & CEO, Hussey Seating Company

Friday April 8

7:30-8:30 am  Breakfast

8:30-9:15 am Keynote Address

Carol L. Bernick, CEO, Polished Nickel Capital Management (and former Executive Chairman, Alberto-Culver Company)

9:15-9:30 am Networking Break

9:30-10:30 am Expert Briefings

Repeats sessions from Thursday

10:30-10:45 am Networking Break

10:45 am-12:00 pm Successful Successor Development

What can the senior generation do to help successors establish authority and effectiveness? What is the best way to mentor a rising next-generation member? How can senior-generation members teach the future business owners about judicious risk taking? How should a future leader be introduced to key partners such as bankers, vendors and customers?

Speakers:  Christi Offutt, CEO, RDO Equipment Co. and Chair, Offutt Family Companies; Louie Gentine, CEO, Sargento Foods; Ryan O’Melveny Wilson, Vice President and Executive Chef, Lawry’s Restaurants Inc.

Moderator:  Scott A. Winget, Senior Managing Director, Center for Wealth Impact, Ascent Private Capital Management

12:00 pm-1:15 pm Conference Wrap and Lunch

About Conference

Transitions East 2016 is sponsored by Family Business Magazine, and is the only conference created for family companies, by family companies.

Who Should Attend

Attendance at this conference is strictly limited to owners, shareholders, family members and in-laws of 75 family businesses/enterprises. The conference is designed to facilitate conversation on important family issues among generations. There is special programming for family business members aged 15-29, and for those who have married-in to the family business.

The Transitions conference is for family companies and family offices of all sizes. At our last conference, approximately one third of attendees represented companies with revenues of under $25 million, one third of attendees had revenues of between $26 million and $300 million; and one third had revenues of over $300 million. And approximately a third of attendees were in the third generation or less; a third were in generations 4 and 5; and third were part of companies more than 6 generations old. What all attendees share is a desire to see their family enterprise grow successfully through generational transitions.

68% of attendees at Transitions are coming to the conference for the first time; 98.5% of attendees at our last conference say they'll attend again, and that they'd recommend the conference to other family members.

NOTE: All attendees will be vetted to ensure that they are family company leaders, members or shareholders. This event is only for family-run companies or enterprises. Senior advisers to family companies may attend ONLY with the family company they represent.

For further information, contact conference director David Shaw at (301) 963-6162 or email


Registration fees do not include hotel or travel expenses. Due to the customization of the conference seating and session assignments, registrations need to be submitted at least one week prior to the start of the conference.  On-site registration is not available.

The dress code for the conference is business casual to business. Meeting room temperatures will vary, so please bring and wear the appropriate layers of clothing to ensure your personal comfort.

Propose a Topic or Speaker

Contact Peter Begalla, Conference and Education Director, (386) 785-7856 or email Please note that the conference extends a complimentary registration for conference speakers.  In addition, conference speakers are featured in Family Business and Directors & Boards magazines and websites.  Speakers are responsible for their own expenses, to include hotel, meals, and travel.  Proposals promoting company products or services will not be considered.

Advisers and Sponsors

If your company provides services to family businesses, please considering sponsoring the conference.  Access to Transitions conference attendees—by attending the conference, a tabletop exhibit and/or by participating as a moderator/panelist is only available to conference sponsors.   Alternatively, if you are an adviser to family businesses, you may register to attend the conference with a family member for a business you advise. Contact Scott Chase at (301) 879-1613, or email

Student Registration

Students who are interested in attending the conference should apply through the standard attendee registration process (submit a registration form for consideration).  Complimentary student registrations are not available.
Press passes are not available for this conference.

What Attendees Say About Transitions

“This is one of the best conferences I've ever attended.  The diversity of topics, the openness and candidness of the attendees, the structure.  All of it was awesome.”
“Loved having access to dynamic family businesses in a helpful environment.  The speakers were so giving and open--a true gift!”
“Very well done, with friendly people.  The conference was set up to be very easy to talk to others and the crowd was really good.”
“Excellent.  I appreciated all the takeaways from the conference and enjoyed meeting and talking with others.  I liked the positive/negative shared experiences from the family businesses.”
“Transitions is just a great place to learn about family business issues.”
“I am a small business owner.  Initially, I was intimidated by the general body of large family businesses.  What was amazing to me is that, large or small, we all experience the same issues.  Very inspirational and comforting to know obstacles can be overcome.”
“This was an incredible experience!  I am so grateful to my family and my family company that I was asked to attend.  I particularly liked the format of the presentations: panels with excellent moderators and audience questions.”
“A wonderful family business conference!  I realized that all sizes of companies go through many of the same issues and we can learn from each other through story and question and answer.”
“We are sending our kids to Transitions as soon as possible as a condition to have anything to do with our family business!”

"This is the most rewarding conference I've ever attended.  Everyone has been so candid, genuine and open,  Love that the tone is showing and not telling people what to do."

"I think this was the best run conference that I have ever attended.  So much value.  We will be back."

"Oftentimes I'm excited to go to a conference and then it's unmemorable.  This conference was well-planned, extremely relevant, extremely relevant, unpretentious...and we had a good time."

"Great interaction and sharing.  Brilliant!"

"Transitions is a great mix of information, networking with others in similar situations, and 'best practcice' for future planning."

"This is my sixth transitions and I continue to learn priceless information and make valuable connections with other families."

"Very insightful conference, so many notes I can take back and implement ideas.  Great validation of what we are doing right and where we need to improve."

"Incredible experience with more opportunities than possible to soak up. Such a unique conference!"

"I was hoping to get the family to raise questions and their awareness. I did not expect to actually walk away with a healthy to do list--things we need to change or do.  Thank you!"

"Incredibly informative, efficient, and the most well-organized and intentionally designed conference I've attended."

"Transitions was an eye-opening experience to help our family business create the appropriate ownership and succession structure for the business to thrive into the 6th generation."

"My goal was to raise awareness within the family of how we could bring governance to the business to make it stronger. I had been receiving resistance to the idea and the family left inspired to start a more formal family council structure and create mission and values statements. Goal accomplished!" 

"It was wonderful being able to relate to all these families going through similar issues.  I learned a great deal and will be able to bring this knowledge back to my fellow G3 cousins."

"Great conference, especially in generating NextGen interest and development."

"Very relevant information in settings that were non-threatening with easy and open discussions."

"I always take a number of practical ideas home with me--well worth the cost!"

"Thanks again for hosting a fabulous conference. My dad and I really got a lot out of it, from thinking about governance structures to new insights into executive compensation. For me, more than anything else it was nice to be in a room full of people who think about their businesses from a 'long-term' perspective. It's awfully hard to build anything substantial when your perspective is limited to 5-7 years...I look forward to attending many future Transitions conferences!

"This is truly a conference 'created for family companies by family companies' and, once again, we enjoyed some great, honest presentations by some outstanding family business members, non-family executives and family business experts."

"Great forum for discussion, sharing and learning that can be applied to both our family and our business."

"I was overwhelmed by the value I received from this conference. You did a phenomenal job."

"Very good networking and very good speakers. I was glad to have experienced this conference."

"This was my first family business conference and I met a lot of good people and gained a lot of ideas I can bring back to my family's business."

"Transitions was very enlightening and gave a broader perspective of what others are facing and how they have overcome similar challenges to the ones we face."

Confirmed Speakers

Todd Litzsinger

Chairman of the Board, Follett Corporation

Todd Litzsinger is chairman of the board of Follett Corporation. Prior to his current role, he served as president of Content Solutions and Services for Follett School Solutions. Todd’s previous experience with Follett includes serving as president of Follett Library Resources, president of Follett Educational Services, president of BWI and national sales director for Custom Academic Publishing Company (CAPCO), a joint venture with BMI Systems. Prior to Follett, Todd worked for Jostens, the school yearbook and ring company. He is a board member of Reading Power, a non-profit focused on improving literacy in North Chicago, and has been active with the United Way and the Chicago Public Schools. Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Christian University.

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers print and digital learning materials, retail services, library resources and school management systems on more than 980 college campuses and across 80,000 elementary and high schools. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately-held company.

Louie Gentine

CEO, Sargento Foods

Louie Gentine is a third-generation owner of Sargento Foods and served as President & Chief Customer Officer for four years before becoming CEO in 2014. He has worked at Sargento in many capacities – from washing trucks in high school to working on the production lines, in accounts receivable and in retail sales during college. Following family succession rules, Louie worked outside the company as a commercial lender for three years following his graduation from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Finance. He completed his MBA at Loyola and returned to Sargento, gaining additional experience with management roles in production, procurement and marketing, and held the position of President-Consumer Products Division from 2006 until 2009.

Sargento is a leading national marketer of natural shredded, slice and snack cheeses, battered and breaded appetizers, sauces and other culinary solutions, headquartered in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

Christi Offutt

CEO, RDO Equipment Co. and Chair, Offutt Family Companies

Christi Offutt is the second generation Chair of Offutt Family Companies, a $3 billion operation composed of agricultural producer R. D. Offutt Company and agriculture and construction equipment provider RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. sells and supports agriculture, construction, environmental, positioning, surveying, and irrigation equipment from manufacturers including John Deere, Vermeer, and Topcon. RDO Equipment Co. has 77 locations across the United States, including partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, and Australia.
R.D. Offutt Company and affiliates is a large potato grower, growing more than 50,000 acres of potatoes annually on farms in seven states and operating seven potato processing facilities in four states. The company markets its crops through relationships with major processors such as Simplot, ConAgra Foods (Lamb Weston), McCain Foods, Michael Foods, Tillamook, Calbee, and Frito-Lay. R.D. Offutt Company is a Fargo-based company and was established in 1964.
Christi is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound with degrees in politics and government and in business administration; earned a juris doctor degree in May 1996 from Boston University; and is a graduate of Harvard’s Executive Advanced Management Program. She currently serves as a Director for Bell State Bank & Trust and the R.D. Offutt Family Board. She is a former Director for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.

Meredith Donaher

Marketing Director, Gault & Co.

Meredith Donaher is the Marketing Director of Westport, Conn-based Gault & Co., consisting of three residential energy companies, a retail stone and masonry business as well as a real estate development firm. Recognized as the oldest business in Westport and the oldest family-owned and -operated energy provider in Fairfield County, Meredith is a sixth generation Gault family employee. She started at Gault & Co. in November 2013 and holds the role of Marketing Director for the energy and stone businesses as well as a manager for the family real estate branch, Hamilton Development. Meredith graduated from Dickinson College in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Management. She also has her real estate broker’s license and practices with her sister, Megan. 

Mary Vermeer Andringa

Chair of the Board, Vermeer Corporation

Mary Vermeer Andringa is Chair of the Board at Vermeer Corporation, a global industrial and agricultural equipment company headquartered in Pella, Iowa. Prior to assuming her current role in November 2015, she was CEO and Chair of the Board for one year and President and CEO for five years. Her earlier roles at Vermeer have included Co-CEO and COO, focusing on her passion for continuous improvement and innovation.

Ms. Andringa is integral in continuing the family legacy of her father and Company Founder Gary Vermeer. With humble beginnings, Vermeer Corporation has grown to become a global organization with more than 3,000 team members at Vermeer and affiliated organizations, serving the environmental, construction, mining, forage, trenching and drilling industries. Today, Vermeer facilities are found in Latin America, Asia Pacific, China, Europe and the U.S.

Due to her successful tenure at Vermeer, as well as her growing reputation as an expert ambassador for manufacturing, Ms. Andringa is sought after as a speaker and spokesperson. She recently concluded her two-year term as chair of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the nation’s largest manufacturing association, leading efforts to promote a stronger manufacturing industry. Ms. Andringa is one of 18 private sector members of President Obama’s Export Council, where she represents manufacturing on important trade matters. In 2013, Ms. Andringa was inducted into IndustryWeek’s Manufacturing Hall of Fame and is also a past member of the Export-Import Bank Advisory Committee.

Ms. Andringa credits her background in education for her inherent proficiency at leadership and inspiring team members to reach new heights in their personal and professional development. After receiving her degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she taught in the Iowa public school system and later in Omaha, Nebraska, for approximately six years. She is currently providing her leadership to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, as one of the nine citizen volunteers responsible for governing the state’s three public universities and two special schools. In addition, she has recently completed a two-year term as the co-chair of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and has been named one of the Top 100 CEOs in STEM by STEMconnector®.

Mary Andringa also is involved in the following boards: Member of the Vermeer Board of Directors; Director of the Herman Miller Company in Zeeland, Michigan; Director of the Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, South Carolina; Member of the Iowa Business Council; Trustee for the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California; Trustee Emeritus at Central College; and Past Chair of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

Mary and her husband, Dr. Dale Andringa, have two children and six grandchildren.

Sam Freeman

Senior Vice President, Freeman's Trusts & Estates Department

Sam Freeman serves as a Senior Vice President of Freeman's Trusts & Estates department.  A family run business since 1805, Freeman’s is America’s oldest auction house. Mr. Freeman specializes in estate planning and administration as they relate to personal or collectible property.

Mr. Freeman joined Freeman's in 2005 to further develop the Trusts & Estates department, becoming the seventh generation of the Freeman family to follow in the footsteps of Tristram B. Freeman, the company's founder. With over 30 years of professional experience with finance, insurance and technology, his primary experience in sales and customer service. Mr. Freeman brings a solid understanding of managing delicate relationships and customer relationship management to the Trusts & Estates department.

Mr. Freeman is serving his third term as a board member of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council as well as being an active member of Estate Planning Councils around the mid-Atlantic region.  In addition, he is involved with various charitable organizations and assists in their fund raising efforts at events throughout the year.  He enjoys spending  his free time at the New Jersey Shore and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay.

Freeman’s auction house services clients in the buying and selling of fine art, antiques, and jewelry. With international experience and comprehensive knowledge of market conditions, the specialists at Freeman’s, work closely with consignors and collectors to offer unparalleled service in the sale and purchase of fine art, antiques, jewelry, books and more.  A combination of skillful marketing strategies and a team of leading authorities in the auction business make Freeman’s an ideal environment for handling unique items, collections, and estates for corporations, private collectors, and museums. The current Chairman of Freeman’s is Samuel M “Beau” Freeman II, the sixth generation of the Freeman family to run the auction house.

Marylyn Reed

Family Council Member, Mary Kay, Inc.

Marylyn Alexander Reed is a fourth generation shareholder in Mary Kay, Inc., a company founded by her great grandmother over 50 years ago.  While Marylyn is not involved with the company operations on a daily basis, she has been elected to serve on the board for the newly formed Family Council.  Marylyn received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from the University of Houston.  Fourteen years ago, she founded a successful luxury spa business near Houston, Texas and currently has plans to expand her business in 2015.  She is also an investment partner in a storage facility and a real estate development company.  Marylyn, and her husband Steve, reside in Kemah, Texas and have three children, two in high school and one at LSU. When she isn't running her business or raising teenagers, she can be found in the great outdoors, fishing, hunting and traveling.

Mitzi Perdue

Perdue Farms

Mitzi Perdue is the spouse of the late Frank Perdue and holds degrees from Harvard University and George Washington University, is a past president of the 35,000 member American Agri-Women and was one of the U.S. Delegates to the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi.  She currently writes for the Academy of Women’s Health,  and GEN, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Perdue Farms is the family-owned parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness. Perdue Farms is a major chicken processing company based in Salisbury, Maryland, United States with annual sales in excess of $6 billion. The company was founded in 1920 and is 95 years old this year.

Most recently, Mitzi authored Tough Man, Tender Chicken, Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue, and I Didn't Bargain for This, her story of growing up as a hotel heiress. She also programmed a computer app, B Healthy U, designed to help people track the interactions of lifestyle factors that influence their energy, sleep, hunger, mood, and ability to handle stress.  In addition to being a programmer and software developer, Mitzi is also an artist and designer of EveningEggs™ handbags.

In addition, Mitzi is the author of the I Want to EggScape™ Book, A Quick Guide To Successful Media Appearances, and six cookbooks, including The Farmers' Cookbook series and the Perdue Chicken Cookbook. She is also the author of more than 1600 newspaper and magazine articles on food, agriculture, the environment, philanthropy, biotechnology genetic engineering, and women's health.
She was a syndicated columnist for 22 years, and her weekly environmental columns were distributed first by California’s Capitol News and later, by Scripps Howard News Service, to roughly 420 newspapers.  For two years she served as one of the commissioners for the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.
Mitzi also produced and hosted more than 400 half hour interview shows, Mitzi's Country Magazine on KXTV, the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, California. In addition, she hosted and produced more than 300 editions of Mitzi's Country Comments, which was syndicated to 76 stations. Her radio series, Tips from the Farmer to You, was broadcast weekly for two years on the Coast to Coast Radio Network.

Debbie S. Brown

Chairman of the Board, Laird Norton Company

Since June 2012, Debbie has served as Chairman of the Laird Norton Company Board. She also serves as Board Chairman for one of their subsidiary companies, TimberRiver Properties. Prior to being named Board Chairman, Debbie served as a director of the company from 1996 to 2007 and beginning in 2011, was elected to a second term.

During her prior term, she chaired their Compensation Committee and served as a director on their Winona Capital Management Board. Debbie also served on their Investment and Nominating Committees and recently, on the company’s 2010-12 Long Range Planning Committee. Prior to joining the board, Debbie played a leadership role in the planning and implementation of the Family’s Children’s Program, affectionately known as “Camp Three Tree.”

Outside of the family company, in 1990, Debbie founded and served as CEO of Pacific Preschools, Inc., a network of private, high quality, work-site child care programs. In 1997, she led the sale of the company to Bright Horizons, the premier provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education, and work/life solutions and, later that same year, participated in their IPO. In addition to her leadership role at LNC, Debbie continues to work for Bright Horizons as Vice President of Regional Development.

From 1990- 2007, Debbie also served as a founding director and board member of Child Care Resources, a non-profit agency that works with families and communities to ensure that all children have access to high quality child care and early education.

Debbie and her husband Henry live in Seattle, Washington. They enjoy kayaking, skiing and hiking and most recently, spoiling their four grandchildren ages infant through age 3.

In 1855, William Laird joined forces with his cousins James and Matthew Norton as partners in a frontier lumber operation. A family company was born. Now seven generations and over 400 members later, the Laird Norton family continues to promote intellectual growth, responsible investing and business experience in order to ensure excellence for generations to come. 

Chris Vernon

President and COO, The Vernon Company

Chris Vernon is the president and chief operating officer of The Vernon Company. He joined the company in 1987 and has served in his present role since 1999.

A fourth-generation family business founded in 1902, Vernon Co. manufactures and markets promotional products programs designed to help other businesses improve brand awareness, recognize employee service and increase revenues. The company has 30,000 customers, served by 270 account executives throughout North America, as well as 200 administrative/production employees in its Newton, Iowa, headquarters and two sign graphics manufacturing subsidiaries based in Missouri and New Jersey. Vernon works with many renowned brands including Delta Airlines, LinkedIn, Mercedes Benz, and Lancôme.

Chris has been named eight consecutive years to the Counselor Magazine Power 50, the annual ranking recognizing the advertising specialty industry's most influential leaders. He is the only Iowan ever represented on the industry Power 50 ranking.

Chris received his B.A. from Northwestern University and later his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern. He has been active in national and community organizations including Progress Industries Foundation, Promotional Products Association International, CEO International, World President's Organization, YPO - Iowa Chapter and Northwestern Alumni Admissions Council.

Chris is married and has one son, aged 19.

Timothy B. Hussey

President and CEO, Hussey Seating Company

Tim Hussey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hussey Seating Company, joined Hussey in 1982. After holding positions in manufacturing, sales and operations, he was named President in 1995, and was named President and CEO the following year.

Tim received his bachelor’s degree from Colby College in 1978, and his master’s of business administration from Cornell University in 1982. 

Tim currently serves as a Board member of Educate Maine and the Davis Foundation. He has previously served on the Boards of Colby College, Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine Development Foundation and RSU 21 School Board. He is a member of the World Presidents Organization.

Tim lives in Kennebunk, Maine with his wife Marcia, and they have three adult children.

Founded in 1835, Hussey Seating Company is one of the oldest family-owned business in Maine, and currently managed by the 6th generation of the Hussey family.  Hussey is a world leader in developing and manufacturing seating solutions, and their full line of top quality spectator seating products includes fixed plastic, padded and upholstered chairs, telescopic platforms and telescopic gym seats.  Hussey serves the education and sports markets including installations in stadiums, arenas, gymnasiums, auditoriums, convention centers, and performing arts venues.  Hussey products can be found in more than 75 countries and are available from more than 60 dealers, some of which have been offering Hussey products for more than 50 years.

Carol L. Bernick

CEO, Polished Nickel Capital Management

Carol Bernick serves as CEO of Polished Nickel Capital Management, a privately held company that manages diversified investments and owned operating companies in retail and professional sports.  Ms. Bernick also serves as Chairman of the Board of Northwestern Memorial Healthcare.  

She served as Executive Chairman of Alberto-Culver Company, a $1.6 billion global manufacturer of consumer products including Alberto VO5, TRESemme, Nexxus, Motions, St. Ives, Noxzema, Simple Skin Care, Mrs. Dash and Static Guard -- the latter two brands which she created -- until the company’s May, 2011 acquisition by Unilever, a process which she initiated and directed.  Carol became president of Alberto-Culver’s consumer products unit in 1994 and served in that role until elected executive chairman in 2004.  In the president’s role, she reenergized the consumer businesses, dramatically increasing the company’s growth rate growth rate while instituting a nationally-recognized cultural overhaul of the company profiled in the June, 2001 Harvard Business Review and as recently as 2014 in Resurgence - The Four Stages of Market-Focused Reinvention [Palgrave MacMillan Trade].  As chairman, in 2006 Carol oversaw the process that separated the then $3.7 billion company’s consumer products business and its Sally Beauty Company into two free-standing public companies and she remained executive chairman of the consumer products company.

Among various community commitments, in addition to Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, a board she has served on for over 17 years, she serves as a vice chair of the Board of Tulane University, a member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Club of Chicago, a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Advisory Board for Northwestern University’s Kellogg Management School and a member of the Women’s Leadership Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Women’s Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago,. She founded a support group for Prentice Women’s Hospital that has raised millions of dollars to benefit women’s and children’s health.  In 2005 she was named National Working Mother of the Year by the Moms in Business Network. Carol holds an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Lewis University and has recently been honored by Athena International and Legal Momentum for her role in mentoring and advancing women’s careers and by the Illinois chapter of Children’s Home & Aid with its Love of Children award.  Mrs. Bernick has three adult children and four grandchildren.

Laura Gicela

Family Employee Engagement Liaison, Elkay Manufacturing Company

Elkay Manufacturing Company is an industry-leading privately held international manufacturer with 19 operating facilities and business operations in the U.S., China, Mexico and Canada, employing over 3,500 people worldwide. A family-owned company, Elkay has been an innovative manufacturer of stainless steel sinks, faucets and fixtures for residential and commercial use for over 94 years. Headquartered in Oak Brook, IL, Elkay has operations in 10 states as well as China and Mexico. The company expanded its commercial plumbing offerings 43 years ago to include efficient water coolers, drinking fountains and the award-winning EZH2O rapid bottle filling stations. Elkay is also one of America’s leading cabinetmakers, with eight brands in the marketplace. Elkay’s products are sold through a variety of channels, including home centers, builders and traditional plumbing, kitchen and bath, and cabinetry dealers. The company’s best-known product brands include Halsey Taylor, Elkay Sinks and Water Coolers, Medallion Cabinetry, Mastercraft Cabinetry, Yorktowne Cabinetry, Elkay Foodservice, Schuler Cabinetry, American Cabinetry and InnerMost Cabinetry.

As a member of the founding family, Laura Gicela has been actively employed by Elkay Manufacturing Company in various positions at its corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, IL since May of 1991. Laura earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Management from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. After earning her degree, Laura started her career at Elkay and has worked in accounting, marketing, finance, engineering, IT, and now in corporate management as a Senior Manager, focusing on Family & Employee Engagement. In addition she is involved on the strategic direction of the company, maintaining a strong open relationship with the board of directors as well as the executive leadership team and the shareholders.

Emily Sheetz

Director of Talent Development, Sheetz Inc.

Emily Sheetz is the Director of Talent Development at Sheetz Inc. She is a third-generation family member and one of eleven active in the business. She also serves on the Sheetz Family Council. Emily is participating in a leadership rotation program within the company and has held positions in Real Estate, Human Resources and Operations prior to commencing her current role. She also manages the Sheetz Cafe project. Prior to rejoining Sheetz, Emily helped to found Knightsbridge Schools International, a private, for-profit K-12 school in London, an affiliate of Knightsbridge School. She spent five years heading up Business Development and finance and helped to open schools in Turkey, Montenegro, Columbia and Panama. Emily previously worked for three years at Deutsche Bank in New York in Debt Capital Markets and for a year at Huron Consulting Group. She also has spent time at Sheetz since the age of fifteen, working various functions in marketing, finance and as a salesperson over the years.

Emily holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and her BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Hollidaysburg, PA with her husband Justin and their two children, Felix and Lila.

Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz, Inc. is one of America's fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains, with more than $6.9 billion in revenue and 17,000 employees. The company operates over 500 store locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.

Ryan O’Melveny Wilson

Vice President and Executive Chef, Lawry’s Restaurants Inc. 

O’Melveny Wilson is the executive chef for Lawry’s Restaurants Inc. and the director of operations at Five Crowns and SideDoor in Corona del Mar and the Tam O’Shanter in Los Angeles. He also serves as a vice president for the company and represents the fourth generation of the Frank family to become immersed in the Lawry’s brand, proudly carrying on the family’s 90-year legacy.

Ryan’s desire to learn new cooking techniques fueled a creative fire that earned him a chef’s coat in some of the West Coast’s finest eateries, including San Francisco’s lauded, two-Michelin star restaurant, Quince, and Napa Valley’s famed eatery, La Toque. Ryan also spent time in Chianti under renowned Italian butcher Dario Cecchini, and was mentored by master chefs throughout Italy and Japan. His most recent culinary venture led him into two of New York’s most popular kitchens, Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern and Tom Colicchio’s Craft.

Before pursuing his culinary ambitions around the world, Ryan grew up creating dishes for his mother and sister. He officially stepped into the family business in 2002 as the prep cook at the Tam O’Shanter and later transitioned to the Five Crowns kitchen as a line cook. After following culinary opportunities outside the Lawry’s realm, he returned as the opening chef for The Prime Rib restaurants in China and Japan. Stateside, he served as opening chef for Lawry’s Carvery at L.A. Live and in 2008 returned to the Tam O’Shanter as Executive Chef.
During his time at the Tam O’Shanter, Ryan worked closely on the concept and execution for SideDoor in Corona del Mar and later became the executive chef for both SideDoor and Five Crowns. In 2014, Ryan assisted in opening the SideDoor gastropub in Chicago and remains focused on providing the highest quality food service available through his corporate and operational roles. For 2015, Ryan’s responsibilities have grown to include the operational oversight of the six licensed Lawry’s Prime Rib locations in Asia and the future growth of Lawry’s international portfolio.

Sylvia Shepard

Former Chair and Founder, Smith Family Council, Menasha Corporation

Sylvia Shepard is a fifth generation member of the Smith Family, which has owned Menasha Corporation (a Wisconsin-based manufacturing company) for 160 years. While serving on the Menasha Corporation Foundation board she was introduced to the idea of family governance. Over the past ten years Sylvia has been the driving force behind the development of family governance within the Smith Family, beginning with the founding of a family council seven years ago.

She is the founder and former chair of the Smith Family Council. Sylvia recently completed her MBA from Babson where she studied family entrepreneurship with Tim Habbershon, and in October, was awarded her certification as a family business advisor from the Family Firm Institute.

Sylvia also holds a Masters in Psychiatric Occupational Therapy from Columbia University and a BA from Smith College. She spent 25 years in college textbook publishing as an editor at McGraw-Hill and then in a freelance capacity. She is the executive director of the Jane and Tad Shepard Family Foundation.

Preston Root

President, Root Family Board of Directors

Preston Root is President of the Root Family Board of Directors, a position that has been continuously occupied by a family member for 110 years.

He is the great grandson of C.J. Root who founded Root Glass Company in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1901. Root Glass Company designed , patented and manufactured the original 6 1/2 ounce Coca-cola bottle in 1916.

Root Company relocated to Florida in 1950 and started to build what would become one of the largest independent bottlers of Coca - Cola in the United States. Preston has worked for the family business for 35 years in roles ranging from route sales to radio station manager.

In addition, he currently works for MRN Radio--"The Voice of NASCAR"--America's largest independent sports radio network, broadcasting NASCAR and Rolex Grand-Am races from all across North America.

Preston has served on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Volusia County , Museum of Arts and Sciences of Daytona Beach and The Arc of Volusia and Flagler Counties. In 2010 Preston was named "Top Volunteer in the State of Florida" by The Arc. He also serves on Halifax Health Foundation.

Preston is a certified SCUBA instructor and an EMT. His interests include mountain biking and aviation.

Meghan Juday

Family Council Chair and Director, IDEAL INDUSTRIES; Director, Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Saint Joseph’s University

Meghan Juday is an enthusiastic champion for family business. Her dedication to the global family business community is rooted in her experience as the fourth generation leader and director of the IDEAL Industries family. It was there, in her family’s business, that she developed a real heart for stewardship, and it is evidenced in her work with families as principal of the Family Business Strategy Group and as director of the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship at Saint Joseph’s University. 
For the past 12 years, Meghan has been the IDEAL Family Council Chair and a director on the IDEAL Industries board of directors, a primarily independent board. She also chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee. Her work at IDEAL builds on her years of experience as a business analyst and project manager at CSC, Computer Sciences Corporation. She has consulted for diverse clients in the private and public sectors and is a dynamic public speaker. Meghan also worked closely with the Loyola Family Business Center (LFBC) to develop the Family Business Stewardship Institute and Governance Institute. Meghan developed and implemented the interactive website for the Stewardship Institute, and served on the ongoing committee to help develop the Institute’s curriculum. 
In her role as director of the Saint Joseph’s University’s Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship, Philadelphia’s only university-based family business center, Meghan leverages her experience as a family member of a family business and family business consultant to develop relevant and meaningful programming for family businesses and service providers. 
Meghan was one of the first graduates of the Family Business Stewardship Institute at the LFBC. She also sits on the Finance Committee at the Germantown Cricket Club, a non-profit organization. Meghan has a BA from St. John's College in Santa Fe, NM where she graduated in 1994 with a concentration in Mathematics and Philosophy.

Jonathan Flack

Partner and US Family Business Services Co-Leader

As a leader of PwC’s US Family Business Services practice, Jonathan leverages his personable and entrepreneurial spirit to develop collaborative, trusted, and deeply-valued relationships with family-owned businesses. He strives to anticipate his client’s needs and to create diverse approaches, helping them achieve their business goals. 
His innovative and visionary spirit instills an empathetic mindset in his teams, creating a differentiating client experience. His entrepreneurial drive stems from his experience launching two offices for the US firm (Nashville & Charleston) where he identified and developed high-performing teams, quickly gaining deep client trust and respect.  
Jonathan is a lead engagement partner to some of the US’s largest family-owned businesses and leverages a strong global network of partners with a similar focus. He also taps external advisors (attorneys, family business counselors, trust advisors) as needed to deliver innovative solutions to multi-generational family businesses. 
As part of his role in leading the US family business practice for PwC, Jonathan spearheads the strategy, operations, talent development, thought-leadership and marketing for the family-owned business sector. He supports other client teams serving this sector and has published thought-leadership and led regional forums on family business issues. 
Jonathan is also an Assurance Partner where he has extensive international experience with multi-billion dollar, private clients. He assists clients with business transactions and new products. He started his career in the Carolinas working on large privately-held businesses in multiple industries.
Jonathan’s passion for family businesses starts with his own commitment to family. His wife, English, is a pediatric cardiologist at Vanderbilt and they have two daughters Laney and Sadie

Bryant W. Seaman III

Managing Director and Head of Private Asset Advisory Services, Bessemer Trust

Mr. Seaman is a Managing Director responsible for Bessemer's Private Asset Advisory Group, which includes Family Company Advisory, Real Estate Management and Advisory, Oil & Gas Advisory and Property and Casualty Insurance. Mr. Seaman also works closely with Legacy Planning to manage the delivery of Bessemer's expertise to family businesses held in trust.

While at Bessemer, Mr. Seaman served for several years on the Board of Directors of GeoResources, Inc. (NASDAQ: "GEOI"), an independent oil and gas company, where he was Chairman of the Compensation Committee and a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He also serves on the Boards of several private companies owned or controlled by Bessemer's clients.

Prior to joining Bessemer in 2005, Mr. Seaman was Head of International and a member of the Management Committee at the NYSE, Head of Large Cap Telecom and Media Investment Banking at Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and Co-head of Global Corporate Finance at CSFB. He started his career practicing corporate and securities law at Sullivan & Cromwell.

Mr. Seaman earned an A.B. degree in Political Science with Distinction from Stanford University, and J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He has been a member of the New York State Bar, the NASD International Advisory Committee and the National Committee for US-China Relations.

Jill Shipley

Managing Director, Family Dynamics and Education, Abbot Downing

Jill Shipley is a managing director at Abbot Downing who strives to identify families’ wealth objectives and develop long range strategies critical to sustaining wealth over generations.   Jill, as part of Abbot Downing’s Family Dynamics and Education Practice, helps  families clarify family and individual values, enhance  communication, plan for transitions, engage in shared philanthropy and prepare heirs. Overall, she is focused on the preservation and continued development of  the qualitative aspects of a client family’s wealth.

Prior to joining Abbot Downing, Jill served as the Director of Family Education at GenSpring Family Offices leading the firm’s efforts to prepare family members for life with wealth. She pioneered the development of interactive educational programming and facilitated multigenerational family meetings focused on enhancing family cohesiveness, celebrating and capturing family legacy, and building family member competencies. Before GenSpring, Jill co-developed the country’s first academic major in Family Business at Stetson University  and was an adjunct professor teaching family business courses.

Jill was awarded the 2014 Family Wealth Report Award for being the Rising Star in the family wealth management industry. She is a noted speaker on the topic of family wealth and has been quoted in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s Penta, Trust & Estate Magazine and Financial Advisor Magazine. Jill is certified as a meeting facilitator as a Creative Wealth International Coach and is qualified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s of Business Administration degrees from Stetson University. Jill, her husband and son make their home in West Palm Beach, Florida. 

Rhona E. Vogel

CEO and Founder, Vogel Consulting

Rhona Vogel is the CEO and Founder of Vogel Consulting Group. While working in public accounting, Rhona recognized an unfulfilled need in the wealth management industry. Her clients, affluent individuals and business owners, desired a depth of integrated service in tax and estate planning, as well as unbiased investment advice. As a result, she formed Vogel Consulting – an independent multi-family office.
Rhona founded the firm around the concept of integration and is passionate about Vogel’s customized approach. She is actively involved with many of the firm’s largest client families, working intimately to plan, manage and build their wealth for present and future generations. Areas of special interest include tax-efficient investing and direct investment deal negotiations. Testament to her decades of hands-on experience, Rhona frequently speaks on topics ranging from family office best practices to future tax legislation and investment strategies.
A graduate of Marquette University, Rhona began her career with the Internal Revenue Service and soon after began her climb through the ranks at Arthur Andersen. In 1987, she was named one of Andersen’s first female tax partners and led Andersen’s Family Wealth Planning Group.
Rhona gives of her time and expertise on the board of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation and as a member of Marquette University’s School of Business, Dean’s Council of Excellence. She also serves on the board of several private family foundations.

Scott A. Winget

Senior Managing Director,  Center for Wealth Impact, Ascent Private Capital Management

From the earliest years of his career, Scott has been a planner. Even at a young age, Scott was keeping a ledger to manage his own allowance money and to this day prides himself as the financial and social planner for trips and events with his friends and family.

Scott sees himself “organized and analytical” and takes great pride in helping families tackle complex financial situations with a mix of sophisticated planning and forensic sleuthing. “I find it very satisfying to take a detailed look at complex family arrangements and then to help families start to work together as a unit – setting aside old family dynamics and setting up new decision-making and wealth-transfer systems.”

Scott brings more than 20 years experience in the planning and financial-services industries to his position. Scott holds a J.D. from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and graduated cum laude from The Ohio State University with a B.S.B.A. degree in accounting and finance. He also has several years of previous experience as a CPA in public accounting. Scott is a frequent lecturer on wealth planning and has authored a number of white papers and articles on wealth-management topics.

Allison P. Shipley

Personal Financial Services Tax Partner

Allison Shipley leads the Personal Financial Services (PFS) practice for PwC in the state of Florida. With over 25 years of experience at PwC, Allison specializes in comprehensive planning for high-net-worth families, business owners and family offices. 
Her areas of expertise include income tax planning and compliance services, investment planning and wealth transfer solutions for both U.S. and foreign individuals. She is regularly quoted in news media, including the New York Times, Barron’s and Bloomberg. Allison has an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business (Charlottesville, VA) and a B.A. in Economics from Kenyon College (Gambier, OH). She holds the Certificate of Language and Civilization of French Studies from La Sorbonne University (Paris, France). Allison is also an Enrolled Agent, authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service. 
Allison is a member of the board of directors of the Miami Foundation and of Goodwill Industries of South Florida. Prior to joining the firm, Allison was an Assistant Vice President at Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co. in New York.

F. Douglas Raymond III

Partner, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Doug Raymond has been a corporate lawyer for 25 years and has been consistently singled out as among the top lawyers in his field by Chambers USA, "Best Lawyers in America" and the Legal 500. He has been described as "an excellent advisor who stands out for his practical and solution-oriented advice" and praised for his "excellent business sense and problem-solving abilities." He has also been endorsed by Practical Law Company. Doug was formerly a Managing Partner of the firm and served as the chairman of its Corporate and Securities Practice Group for over 10 years, stepping down in 2010 to return to the full-time practice of law.

Much of Doug's work is transactionally focused - on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings and joint ventures - and is driven by his relationships with his clients. Doug focuses on understanding his clients' businesses and industries, their objectives and how they want to achieve them, and he is dedicated to helping his clients accomplish their goals, effectively and efficiently.

Doug also works extensively on matters of corporate governance for both public and private companies, and advises boards of directors and special board committees across a range of challenges from conflicts of interest and changes in control, to corporate investigations and risk management assessment.

Following college, Doug worked as a commercial lender. After receiving his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School magna cum laude, Doug clerked for Judge Walter K. Stapleton on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Doug graduated from Harvard College with a degree in classics and is a member of the boards of directors of the Atwater Kent Museum and National Community Capital Advisors.

Jay Mattie

Partner and US Family Business Services Co-Leader

Jay Mattie serves as the US Clients Leader for the Private Company Services (PCS) practice.  In that role he is responsible for supporting and building relationships with large private companies across the US.  Jay also co-leads our Family Business Practice in the US. He is based in Boston and serves several important family business clients in the Northeast market in the Retail, Consumer and Service sectors. 
Jay has been with PwC since 1981 and was admitted to the partnership in 1990.  During his tenure, he has focused on providing private growing companies with audit and business advisory services in the technology, services, retail and consumer and industrial products industries.  Jay has an array of experience working with family businesses in financing their business, international expansion, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and internal controls.  Jay has assisted family owners as they seek liquidity options for their shareholders, consider generational transition, and plan for leadership succession.  He has a broad range of industry experience and has served clients ranging from large multi-nationals to partnerships and closely held private companies. 
Jay is an author of several publications and articles related to family business on topics including succession planning and governance. Jay is frequently quoted and is a speaker on topics important to family business.

Lauren Benenati

Director of Family Education, GenSpring

Lauren Benenati joined GenSpring in 2011 and is the Director of Family Education. In this role, Lauren is responsible for developing and delivering effective learning through a variety of education programs. These educational opportunities are focused on preparing next generation family members for various roles and transitions that occur over a lifetime. She works one-on one with family members and also participates in multi-generational family meetings on a broad array of topics such as financial education, wealth preservation, family communication and career development. She is a certified administrator of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
Prior to joining GenSpring, Lauren worked in the investment banking industry as a Human Resources Generalist at Barclays Capital in New York City. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

David Guin

Partner, Withers Bergman LLP

David Guin leads the commercial practice group  of Withers Bergman in the US.  He focuses on securities law matters and has significant experience representing clients with regard to matters governed by the Securities Act, the Securities Exchange Act, the Investment Company Act, the Investment Advisors Act and the Commodity Exchange Act as well as the rules of various self-regulatory organizations and stock and commodity exchanges.

He devotes a significant amount of time to advising high net worth domestic and international individuals, families, family offices and their advisors about their obligations under U.S. securities laws, including the acquisition and disposition of public and private securities, beneficial ownership reporting obligations and the applicability of the U.S. Investment Advisers Act and U.S. Investment Company Act to their investment activities.

Mark Haranzo

Partner, Withers Bergman LLP

Mark Haranzo's practice at Withers Bergman is focused on domestic and international private client matters for affluent individuals and their families. He has more than twenty years experience in all aspects of estate and gift planning for individuals and families, many with complex multi-generational or multi-jurisdictional issues.  He regularly advises corporate and individual fiduciaries  and beneficiaries on all aspects of trust and estate administration.  He also represents clients in connection with disputes including Will and Trust contests, fiduciary appointments and contested accountings.

A former estate tax attorney with the Internal Revenue Service, Manhattan District, Mark has extensive experience handling tax audits of complex estates and substantial gifts.  He also counsels charitable organizations and advises individuals on philanthropic matters.

Kevin M. Harris

Managing Director of the Family Business Group, Northern Trust

Kevin M. Harris is a Senior Vice President at The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. He is the Managing Director of the Family Business Group which consists of a team of professionals who manage, value, advise and act in officer and director capacities for closely-held entities held by Northern Trust in either an advisory or fiduciary capacity. 
Mr. Harris has extensive experience in income, gift and estate tax planning as well as the administration, management and governance of closely held business entities. Kevin serves in an officer and /or director capacity in a number of companies held in the Family Business Group’s portfolio which Northern Trust holds in a fiduciary capacity. He engages with business owners in addressing their needs and in developing strategies to assist them in achieving their goals.
Mr. Harris assists Northern Trust relationship managers in addressing the “family dynamics” that many times surround the ownership of closely-held businesses. He has also had hands-on involvement with overseeing the provision of advisory services to business owners including engagements addressing strategic planning, governance, business restructurings and the marketing and sale of closely held entities. 
He joined Northern Trust in February 2005 after having spent 12 years in the Family Office industry. Most recently, Mr. Harris served in a CFO role for a first generation Family Office and held officer and director level positions in a number of its portfolio companies. He has hands-on experience working with companies ranging from start-ups to mid-size businesses including both organizations that are growing as well as those requiring “change-management.” Previously, Mr. Harris worked in public accounting including seven years with Arthur Andersen, Chicago.
Mr. Harris is a Certified Public Accountant and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®)

Wendy Sage-Hayward

Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group

Wendy Sage-Hayward is a consultant at the Family Business Consulting Group. She has 25 years of experience working with business leaders, family firms, and boards. She serves a global and diverse set of clients across industry facilitating meaningful conversations with multi-generational families on matters relating to firm continuity, next generation preparation, governance and, when needed, conflict resolution.
Wendy has a Master’s Degree in Family Systems Counseling Psychology from the University of British Columbia and an Executive Master’s Degree in the Neuroscience of Leadership from the Neuroleadership Institute. She is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business where she leads programs for both business families as well as their advisors in the Business Families Centre. Wendy also teaches for Executive Education at the Sauder School of Business where she leads two senior management training programs in facilitation and coaching. Previously Wendy was faculty at the Institute for Corporate Directors where she taught board dynamics in the Director's Education Program through the Rotman School Management at the University of Toronto.
Wendy is certified in Insights Discovery™, the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) ™, and Ethical Fitness™. She has been a speaker at several conferences across Canada and in the US including most recently at the University of Louisville (2013) and the Florida Agricultural Financial Management Conference (2013) and the Canadian Bar Association of BC’s Annual Conference in San Diego (2013). Wendy is an adjudicator for the Institute for Family Enterprise Advisors (IFEA) which offers is a new designation for advisors who serve family business.
Wendy is a member of a family firm in the United States which recently celebrated its 128th Anniversary. Her family business is at the cousin consortium stage consisting of approximately 45 cousin partners. Wendy is a member of the board of directors for her family business.
She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and two children.

Nancy Drozdow

Principal/Founder, CFAR

Nancy Drozdow is one of CFAR’s five founders and a member of the firm’s board of directors. She has led CFAR’s Family and Owner-Led Business practice for more than 30 years and has been instrumental in the development of CFAR’s approach to strategy. Nancy is 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 strategies, structures, processes, people, and metrics that can enable or stand in the way of productive action about complex issues of performance, money and relationships.

Nancy is a founder of the Family Firm Institute. She is also an FFI Fellow and served on the organization’s original board. She is currently 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 organizational 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, and the New York Times. Nancy holds an MBA in strategy from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Doug Baumoel

Founder, ContinuityFBC

Doug Baumoel brings an extensive background in family business operations and executive management to his work with clients.  He served as a second-generation executive in his own family’s business and has held key executive positions in other family and non-family businesses.  He started businesses in both the US and Europe, and lived overseas for six years while founding and managing the European offices of his family’s business. He has applied more than 20 years of business experience in developing The Conflict Equation, a process for analyzing key variables of family business conflict. 

Doug’s expertise is in helping family businesses manage the inherent, and often extraordinary, conflicts of working or owning together, as well as to develop reliable succession plans and effective governance. 

Doug contributed the chapter on managing family business conflict to the legal reference, ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Guide’, published by Thomson West.  He is also the author of ‘The Stakeholder Map’, a core tool used by many family business consultants and educators to identify the roles, motivations and concerns of each stakeholder of the family enterprise.  He has also had several articles published in Family Business Magazine.  

Doug earned his MBA from the Wharton School and a BS in Engineering from Cornell University.  He is a dual certificate holder in both Family Business Advising and Family Wealth Advising from the Family Firm Institute and received his certificate in Civil Mediation from MCLE. He is a past president of the New England chapter of the Family Firm Institute and has been awarded status as an FFI Fellow for his commitment and contribution to the field of family business advising.  Doug was awarded Fellows status with the National Association of Corporate Directors and has completed the NACD Director Professionalism program.  Doug is also adjunct Professor of Family Business for the Endicott College MBA program.

Debbie Bing

President, CFAR

Debbie Bing, President, is a member of CFAR’s next generation of leaders. She heads up CFAR’s Boston office and is a member of CFAR’s board of directors. She also co-leads the firm’s Family and Owner-Led Business practice group. Debbie’s specialty is helping family businesses and philanthropies create leadership, strategic and continuity plans that bridge the interests of family, business (when an operating company is in the mix) and its owners, across generations. Debbie works with senior and next-generation family members to design governance structures and forums that engage family members, guided by shared goals for the entire family enterprise. Debbie views conflict as a useful starting point for a productive exchange about organizational priorities and performance. She helps business leaders and executive teams build collaborative approaches to their most pressing challenges, particularly when managing the multiple pressures of mission, performance, culture, competencies and competition.

She is an experienced speaker and has presented to many owner-led and family business audiences, including the Family Firm Institute, the Council on Foundations Philanthropy Conference and 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”). As a second-generation owner of CFAR, she draws on personal experience in working through the dilemmas of strategy and succession. Debbie holds a master of arts in international law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Robert H. Rock

President and CEO, MLR Holdings LLC

Bob Rock is president and CEO of MLR Holdings LLC, an investment company with holdings in publishing and information businesses, including the technology industry analyst firms The 451 Group and Tier1 Research and the Uptime Institute, a data center, consulting, research and education firm. MLR also owns and manages companies that publish journals, newspapers, online newsletters and databases, including Family Business and Directors & Boards. From 1989 to 2001, Dr. Rock was chairman and majority owner of Montgomery Newspapers, which published 17 weekly papers in the Philadelphia suburbs, including Main Line Life, The Ambler Gazette and The Times Chronicle, as well as a number of specialty publications, including Philadelphia Golfer, Parents Express, Art Matters, and Bucks County Town & Country Living, In June 2001, Montgomery Newspapers was sold to the Journal Register Company. From 1991 to 1995, Dr. Rock was also chairman and majority owner of IDD Enterprises, which published magazines and newsletters and provided online data for financial executives. IDD's publications included Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Dealers' Digest and The LPO Reporter. Its databases included Tradeline and Gari Software. In 1994 IDD's M&A database was sold to Goldman, Sachs, and the remainder of the company was sold to Dow Jones & Company in 1995. Prior to joining MLR in 1998, Dr. Rock was the chairman and chief executive officer of the Hay Group, a management consulting firm with more than 90 offices in 27 countries specializing in compensation, benefits and human resources consulting. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude), MBA and DBA degrees from Harvard University. His book publications include The Chief Executive Officer (Heath 1977), Corporate Restructuring (McGraw-Hill 1991), and The Mergers & Acquisitions Handbook (McGraw-Hill 1993). Bob resides in Gladwyne, PA, with his wife, Caro, who is publisher of Family Business Magazine. They have two grown sons.

Andrew D. Pitcairn

Pitcairn Family Council Chair

Andrew Pitcairn, John’s Pitcairn’s great grandson, is a 4th generation member of the Harold Pitcairn Family line and is the current Pitcairn Family Council Chair. The Pitcairn Family Council was one of the first in the nation, established in 1982 as a platform for identifying family talent, educating family members about the operating business, identifying and implementing solutions for family connectedness and interfacing directors, management and owners, among other duties. Growing up in the small suburban town of Bryn Athyn and attending the community Swedenborg faith based school gave Andrew a spiritual sense that we are all here for a greater purpose and that to live life helping others was the highest calling one could achieve.  

After studying psychology at Temple University, Andrew entered the world as a small business owner and from 1999-2008 owned and operated two small businesses in the Philadelphia area. This proved to be invaluable in gathering real world experience and setting the path for the next chapter in his life.

As a Pitcairn Family member Andrew has spoken at many events, including Transitions, South Eastern Family Office Forum, Hamptons Family Office, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Opal Financial, Delaware Family Business Center and the Private Asset Management Group.

In 2009 Andrew moved from a Family Council member to the Co-Chair position, and after one year he took over as Chair of the Board. In 2010 he became a committee advisory member of Pitcairn's Capital Committee, a member of the Governance Committee as well as Chair of the Nominating Committee. Recently Andrew completed a course from Cannon Financial for qualification to sit as Co-Trustee with Pitcairn Trust Company on Family Trusts. Andrew sits on the Board of Directors for Pitcairn as well as Chairman of the Board for LighTouch Medical.

Anna Nichols

Director of Communications, Altair Advisers LLC

Anna has more than 12 years’ experience of marketing, research and educational programming in the family wealth industry. Prior to joining Altair Advisers, she was the Managing Director for Content at Family Office Exchange (FOX), a membership organization for ultra-high net worth families and their advisors. Anna has authored multiple studies, articles and whitepapers and is a well-known writer and speaker on a wide range of generational wealth issues. Her work has been published in the Journal of Trusts and Estates, Private Wealth Management, Family Business, and SRR magazines among other publications. In addition she has presented at numerous wealth management industry conferences, including the Schwab IMPACT Conference, the Family Firm Institute (FFI) International Conference, the Southeastern Family Office Forum and the Family Business Magazine Transitions Conference. 

Previous to her work at FOX, Anna held management positions with the New York City Bar Association, and the YWCA of New York City. Anna came to Chicago as a consultant for the real property probate and trust section of the American Bar Association. 

Anna received a bachelor’s degree from Guilford College and an MBA from Fordham University. She lives in Evanston, IL with her husband and two children.

Jordan Arnold

Managing Director-New York, K2 Intelligence

Jordan Arnold is a Managing Director in K2 Intelligence’s New York office and brings more than a decade of investigatory and legal experience to complex engagements on behalf of private and public entities, financial services and law firms, and family offices.
Since joining K2, Jordan has directed an array of investigations and incident response assignments, including into allegations of fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, theft of trade secrets, insider misconduct, data breach, threats and stalking. He has also conducted proactive investigations to acquire evidence of corporate and individual wrongdoing, including the use of covert techniques, and has provided law enforcement referral and liaison services.
Additionally, Jordan heads K2’s Art Risk Advisory Practice, offering strategic assistance with evaluating transactions and partners, protecting collections and overcoming challenges to rights and authenticity.
Prior to joining K2, Jordan served as an Assistant District Attorney at the New York County District Attorney’s Office. In his final assignment, Jordan led development of and headed the Financial Intelligence Unit, and served as a Senior Investigative Counsel in Major Economic Crimes.
As a prosecutor, Jordan routinely worked with the Major Case Squad of the New York Police Department (NYPD) on some of Manhattan’s most sensitive investigations, involving abduction, extortion, stalking, bank robbery and art crime, as well as thefts committed within the Police Commissioner’s Office, judicial chambers, cultural institutions and luxury hotels. One of these investigations resulted in the return of a stolen Salvador Dali watercolor, and the conviction of its thief.
Jordan’s homicide prosecutions included that of Nicholas Brooks, for the domestic violence murder of Sylvie Cachay at a private club, and a member of the Bloods street gang for an execution-style killing. Also assigned to the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit, Jordan directed proactive, long-term investigations that dismantled gun and drug trafficking crews.
Jordan was twice recognized by the NYPD for meritorious service and his courtroom work has been quoted by publications including the New York Times, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and New York Daily News, and covered by CNN, BBC, CNBC, and 48 Hours.
Jordan received his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and his B.A. from the University at Albany.

Joseph M. Lawlor

Associate Managing Director-New York, K2 Intelligence

Joseph M. Lawlor is an Associate Managing Director in the U.S. Cyber Investigations and Incident Response practice at K2 Intelligence.
Before joining K2 Intelligence Joseph served as a Special Agent in the Cyber Branch of the New York Office (NYO) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), where he was a lead incident responder and investigator of computer intrusions that were sponsored and executed by foreign nation states. Joseph’s casework included complex, multinational investigations into major intrusions at the world’s largest institutions in the financial, energy and transportation sectors. He was awarded the Assistant Director’s Red Ant Award for excellence in cyber investigations and has briefed members of Congress on his casework’s impact on the counter-proliferation of dual-use technologies.
In September 2014, Joseph was named Acting Supervisory Special Agent (A/SSA) of a National Security Cyber squad in the NYO charged with investigating the top four foreign threats to United States national security. Joseph has applied his strategic vision and tactical expertise as one of the authors of the NYO’s cyber incident response plan. He served as a subject matter expert in cyber matters for the FBI’s Investigative Technology Training Team in its course and curriculum development as part of a Director’s initiative to improve internal training. And he has contributed as a participant and coordinator for numerous public and private sector table top exercises such as GridEx, and established the cyber critical infrastructure program in the NYO for the Energy and Transportation sectors. Joseph has also served on the planning committee for the annual International Conference on Cyber Security, co-hosted by the FBI and Fordham University since 2013.
Joseph received his B.A. in Physics at Rutgers University. Prior to joining the FBI, he taught Physics and worked as a technologist for a marketing company that serviced Fortune 500 companies. He holds certifications for the GIAC Security Essentials, Certified Intrusion Analyst, and Certified Penetration Tester. Joseph has deployed and trained with the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He completed training with NSA in cyber defense and the DHS’s advanced Industrial Control Systems protection training.

Douglas Pugliese

Director of Business Development, SEI Private Wealth Management

Douglas Pugliese is Director of Business Development for SEI Private Wealth Management business. In this role, Doug is responsible for developing new client relationships with ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a view toward advising and managing their wealth. Doug joined the firm with more than 16 years of experience in financial advisory roles as a trusted senior adviser to CEOs, senior executives, and boards of directors.
Prior to joining SEI, Doug served as Executive Managing Director and Principal of the Northeast region for a valuation consulting and financial advisory firm. In this role, he was responsible for developing and driving business growth while managing the New York and Philadelphia offices.
Previously, Doug was a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. In this capacity, he developed and executed strategic merger & acquisition and financing transactions worth more than $12 billion while based in the firm's New York and London offices.
Doug has conducted business all over the world, having lived and worked for more than 10 years in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. He also served as an officer and pilot in the United States Navy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and Spanish literature from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration in finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Lloyd E. Shefsky

Founder and Co-Director, Center for Family Enterprises, Kellogg School of Management

Lloyd Shefsky is Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship, Founder and Co-director of the Center for Family Enterprises and Co-Founder of the Center for Executive Women at the Kellogg School of Management. Professor Shefsky has taught courses, lectured and spoken in China, Japan, Thailand, Canada, Israel and throughout the United States.

He has written professional articles on family business, entrepreneurship, and other related topics, and is the author of Entrepreneurs Are Made Not Born, published by McGraw-Hill and translated into seven languages.

Lloyd is a consultant, coach, mentor and advisor to family businesses and public companies controlled by families on matters including: establishing and improving corporate governance; developing and implementing succession of leadership, ownership, and voting power; creating fair bases and techniques for hiring and compensating family members; facilitating and encouraging enterprising activities within family enterprises; instituting philanthropic efforts and
selecting the most appropriate vehicles; and introducing courses, programs and events to educate, and develop relationships among family members. In addition, Professor Shefsky has co-founded several businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Lloyd is also a coach, consultant and mentor to entrepreneurs. Over the years he has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, often from their earliest stages through expansions, public offerings, sales of the businesses, and in some cases succession to one or two additional generations of the founders' families.

Shefsky has received honors, including the 1995 Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his support of entrepreneurship from Ernst & Young and Merrill Lynch, the 2002 Civil Rights Award from the Anti-Defamation League, and the 1992 Award of Excellence from the Sports Lawyers Association.

Lloyd founded and is now Of Counsel to the Chicago law firm, Shefsky & Froelich Ltd. He received his JD from The Law School at the University of Chicago and is also a CPA.

Lloyd has a new book coming out this summer from McGraw-Hill: "INVENT, REINVENT, THRIVE: The Keys to Success for Any Start-Up, Entrepreneur or Family Business."

Justin Craig, PhD

Co-Director , Kellogg Center for Family Enterprises; Co-Director, Kellogg ISB MFAB Program

Justin Craig, PhD, is a clinical professor of Family Enterprise at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, and co-director of the Kellogg Center for Family Enterprises.  Dr. Craig’s teaching and research focuses on entrepreneurial multi-generational family enterprises, the people responsible for their stewardship and the intersection of entrepreneurship and family business.  He ensures his research is “practically relevant” through his ongoing facilitation of training to family business leaders, their consultants and advisors. Prior to pursuing a career in academia, Justin worked with and for business families in various capacities, including entrepreneurial ventures
with his brother. 

Steven R.Walker

General Counsel, Secretary, and Director of Board Advisory Services, National Association of Corporate Directors

Steven R. Walker has led the legal affairs and Board Advisory Services of the National Association of Corporate Directors since 2009 where he currently serves as the General Counsel and Director of the Board Advisory Services. In his Board Advisory Services role, Mr. Walker provides counsel to board leaders and C-suite executives on a wide range of strategic governance matters. He is a frequent public speaker on the topic of board governance, performance, and composition and has been designated a Board Leadership and Governance Fellow by NACD.  Prior to joining NACD, Mr. Walker has served as general counsel and senior executive to public and private entities ranging from private equity backed start-ups to Fortune 100 corporations in a variety of sectors, including managed healthcare, healthcare delivery, pharmaceuticals, life and health insurance, banking, securities, finance, technology, funeral and cemetery, and software.  Mr. Walker has also served in the government sector as an Attorney-Advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Corporation Finance during the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley. He was also a Senior Attorney with the State of Florida Division of Banking, Finance, Securities and Investor Protection.  Mr. Walker is the past Co-Chair of the Securities and Governance Forum of the Association of Corporate Counsel Washington Metro Chapter. The breadth of his board service also includes the Advisory Board of ContractRoom, Orange Bowl Committee, Association of Corporate Counsel-MI Chapter, American Cancer Society-Tampa, and Friends of the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts-Miami.  Mr. Walker is an alumnus of Florida State University where he earned his BS and JD degrees. He also completed post graduate studies at Oxford University and Emory University. 

Barb Dartt

Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group

Barbara Dartt is a consultant for The Family Business Consulting Group, assisting businesses with succession strategies, long-term planning, management transitions and family governance implementation, as well as other opportunities and challenges unique to family-owned businesses.
Barb’s path into family business consulting is based in very traditional roots. Growing up, she watched her grandfather and father provide educational extension services to family-owned farms. Her interest in serving farm families led her to study veterinary medicine, earning her doctoral degree from Michigan State University in 1996.
In 1998, Barb earned a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics at MSU where she worked as a graduate research assistant, then as a Farm Business Management Specialist. She continued her family legacy as a third-generation extension agent working closely with family farms to enhance their business practices, develop management skills and identify growth opportunities. 
Drawing from her strengths as a financial and project management advisor, Barb focused her career on supporting the distinctive needs of family business entrepreneurs as a senior business consultant for Salisbury Management Services (later named Lookout Ridge Consulting) in 2001. She later became a founding partner of GROW, a family business advisor firm serving a wide range of agricultural sectors from manufacturing to service industries. Barb also helped create, a peer network of family business mentors working within the agricultural industry.
In 2014, Barb joined FBCG to leverage her extensive advising experience to work with family enterprises across industries. According to a client, “Without Barb’s help, we wouldn’t have made the progress much needed on our decision making and family relationships.”
She earned the Advanced Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute in 2014. Barb currently serves as a board director and is past-president of the Michigan FFA Foundation.
Barb lives in Olivet, Michigan with her husband and three children where she enjoys cooking, reading and cheering on her favorite basketball teams.

Daisy Medici

Managing Director of Family Governance and Education, GenSpring

Daisy Medici joined GenSpring Family Offices in 2006 and is the managing director of governance and education. In addition to her primary role, Daisy manages GenSpring’s Women & Wealth Initiative, advises GenSpring’s executive committee and is a member of GenSpring’s leadership team. Daisy focuses much of her time on developing and administering GenSpring’s proprietary tools and processes designed to help families increase their chances of sustaining wealth over generations. Daisy leads a team of GenSpring professionals skilled in the non-investment components of these processes, who work alongside the firm’s advisers as they help client families identify wealth objectives and develop appropriate methods for governing their shared assets.

Daisy is a frequent speaker on the topic of family governance and all that effective governance involves. Among the many topics Daisy addresses are family communication, family conflict and recovering trust, non-investment risk management, the emotional impacts of wealth and the importance of family governance and family policies in sustaining wealth across generations. Daisy has been a contributing author for Families in Business and was recently published in Family Business Magazine.

Daisy brings to GenSpring Family Offices extensive experience in the family business space. Prior to joining the firm, Daisy was a partner at The Roseview Group, an investment banking and family business advisory firm, where she worked with client families and focused on new business development and marketing. Prior to Roseview, she was managing director of Genus Resources LLC, a business consultancy catering exclusively to the needs of family enterprises.

Daisy earned her graduate degree in communications management at Simmons College in Boston, MA. She has been an active member of the Family Firm Institute for many years and served twice as co-chair of FFI’s annual conference. Daisy currently co-chairs the program committee for FFI’s New England Chapter.

In addition to her career, Daisy’s main passion is her large, loving, gregarious family, who span the country from coast to coast. Daisy hails from a family who proudly spent five generations in the newspaper business.

Conference Location

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, from family-owned Marriott Hotels, is near the area's most popular attractions, including the Salvador Dalí Museum, the Morean Arts Center, Tropicana Field and a variety of pristine Florida beaches. The hotel also offers easy access to Tampa International Airport (TPA), St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) and a variety of shopping and restaurants. Guest rooms feature stylish decor, expansive marble bathrooms, plush bedding and LCD TVs. The Vinoy Renaissance is also home to five celebrated restaurants, a full-service spa, beautiful 18-hole golf course, ultramodern fitness center, and shimmering outdoor pool.

The Vinoy Renaissance is sold out of guest rooms.  Alternative hotels in St. Petersburg include the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront and the Courtyard Marriott St. Petersburg Downtown.  
For more information about these hotels and to make a reservation via the hotel website, please visit:
333 1st Street South
300 4th Street North

The hotel is 19.5 miles from Tampa International Airport (TPA) and does not  provide shuttle service.  Estimated taxi fare is $60 one way.

Our special conference room rate is $249 (net non-commissionable), and reservations must be made before March 15, 2016 to earn this rate.    The hotel is sold out.

To book online, click here.

To book by phone, call:  

Reservations Toll Free: 1-888-789-3090
Reservations Local Phone: 1-888-303-4430

Ask for the Transitions East 2016 group rate.


Register Today!

Registration Information

Transitions East 2016 is now sold out. If any openings should occur, we’ll notify those who ask to be added to our waitlist in the order they were received. To be added to our waitlist, please fill out and submit this waitlist form.

Alternatively, registrations for Transitions West 2016, to be held November 9-11, 2016 at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix, AZ, are now open. Click here to register for Transitions West 2016.

Please Note: Attendance at this conference is limited to members, owners, senior executives (including non-family executives and non-family board members) or shareholders of family-owned businesses whose primary business is other than advising family-owned businesses. Senior advisers to family businesses may attend only with family members. Attendance is strictly limited to the first 75 family businesses/enterprises who register

Past attendees of any Transitions Conference receive an additional 10% discount on their registration fees.

All registrants receive a free one year subscription to Family Business Magazine ($79 value), or a one-year extension to their current subscription.  Subscriptions include free online access to Family Business Magazine's extensive online archive of articles, organized by topic. Registration fees do not include hotel or travel expenses.

Click here to begin your registration.

Standard Pricing (after January 15, 2016)

Family Company Attendees
$1,850--First Attendee from your family company
$1,350--Each additional attendee (Age 30 and above)
$1,150--Each additional Next Generation attendee (age 29 or below)

For general questions on attendance or help with registration, please contact Justine Wood at (703) 850-5497. Please register all attendees from your company on the Registration Form at the same time.  If you determine at a later time that you need to add registrants, we will need to process the registrations offline in order to apply the discounted registration fees.  To register offline, please email registrant information (name, title, company name, mailing address, phone number and email address) to  For the payment, please call  Jerri Smith at 215-405-6071 to provide the credit card number or use the Credit Card Authorization Form available here.

All attendees will be verified prior to acceptance of registration. A family company's advisers may attend only if accompanied by one or more family company members. Other family company advisers may contact Scott Chase at (301) 879-1613 for information on attending.

Registration price includes all conference materials, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner on April 7, breakfast and lunch on April 8, and a welcome reception with buffet dinner on April 6, as well as refreshment breaks.

Registration contact:
Justine Wood
Program Manager
(703) 850-5497

Cancellation policy: All conference cancellations must be made in writing and sent to Justine Wood, Transitions Program Manager, 13631 Maidstone Lane, Potomac, MD 20854; faxed to (301) 987-0476 or emailed to Registrants who cancel more than four weeks prior to the program date are entitled to a full refund of the registration fee less an administrative fee of $150 per registrant; if canceled within four weeks, but more than 10 business days prior to the conference date, 50% of the conference registration fee will be refunded less an administrative fee of $150 per registrant; within ten business days of the conference date and no shows, no refund is possible. Family Business Magazine may cancel the program if attendance does not meet required levels; in case of cancellation or rescheduling, full refunds of registration fees will be made. Travel fares and hotel deposits cannot be reimbursed.


Your Hosts

Conference Hosts: 
Barbara Spector
Barbara Spector, who grew up in a family business, has served on the editorial staff of Family Business Magazine since 2000 and has been the magazine's editor-in-chief since 2004. She has also compiled and edited six volumes in the acclaimed Family Business Handbook Series, most recently the all-new revised edition of The Family Business Succession Handbook. Previously, she was the managing editor of Jewelers' Circular Keystone, a trade magazine for the jewelry industry, which is primarily composed of family businesses.
Caro Rock
Caro Rock is the publisher of Family Business Magazine, which is itself owned by a family company with interests in media and information technology research. She was the founder of Main Line Life, a weekly newspaper with 15,000 readers covering the western suburban communities of Philadelphia. She grew up in a family business that manufactured and sold flour under the labels Ceresota and Heckers Flour. The Uhlmann Company, formerly Standard Milling Company, also produced Wheatena and Maypo hot cereals, Patio Chef Charcoal and Just Add Water jelly mix. Today, her father and brother are involved in the family business, which has ventured into additional related businesses.
Peter Begalla
Peter Begalla is a family business owner, Family Business Magazine's Conference and Education Director, and Adjunct Professor with Stetson University's Family Enterprise Center. He is at the forefront of Next Generation Leadership Development, having helped hundreds of college-aged students establish credibility and marketability with their family, with their family businesses or with non-family employers. He combines years of counseling experience with over 10 years of business development and marketing experience in online education.