The Future of Family Businesses: Social Distancing and New Business Models

COVID-19 required many family firms to change the way they do business in the short- and long-term, from checking employees’ temperatures before each shift to serving an entirely new market. What success factors enabled them to adapt, and will the changes be permanent, and are there implications for family enterprise governance?

Friday, June 19, 2020
2 p.m. ET | 11 a.m. PT
60 minutes
COVID-19 required many family firms to change the way they do business in the short- and long-term, from checking employees’ temperatures before each shift to serving an entirely new market. What success factors enabled them to adapt, and will the changes be permanent, and are there implications for family enterprise governance?
In this session, you’ll learn:
• How business leaders kept the family informed about plans and new developments
• What factors contributed to families’ adaptability
• The role of relationships as families got back to business


Jack Mitchell

Chairman, The Mitchell Stores

Jack Mitchell is Chairman of the Mitchell Stores (Mitchells/Richards/Wilkes/Marios), a three-generation family business that operates men’s and women’s specialty stores in Connecticut, New York, California, Washington and Oregon that are nationally renowned for their personal service touches and strong relationships. Jack himself has been recognized as one of the top ten retail visionaries of his time by the Women’s Wear Daily.


After completing a B.A. at Wesleyan University in 1961 and an M.A. at the University of California-Berkeley in Chinese History, Jack joined the family business, Ed Mitchell, Inc., which was founded by his parents, Ed and Norma, and later became Mitchells of Westport.  In 1995, Mitchells acquired Richards, the leading men’s clothing store in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in 2005, added Marshs of Huntington, Long Island, to the group.  In December of 2009, they also proudly acquired Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California and in October of 2015 they partnered with Marios in Seattle and Portland.


Under his leadership, the Mitchell Stores have become well known for employee engagement and longevity and providing exceptional customer service and high quality merchandise in an exciting, friendly, and visually dynamic atmosphere.  Jack is an active leader on the floor listening and learning along side his brother Bill, wife Linda, his three sons and three nephews.  Mitchell Stores is a case study at Harvard Business School.


In 2003, Jack Mitchell launched a “second career” as a speaker and author.   His first book, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, was a Wall Street Journal best seller and received rave reviews in the New York Times.  In addition, it was endorsed by Warren Buffet on the cover with the following quote:  “It’s a gem.  I wish everyone at Berkshire would follow his advice – we would own the world.”   In April, 2015, a revised and updated version of Hug Your Customers was released.  In 2008, Jack published his second book, Hug Your People:  The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees to Achieve Remarkable Results where he illustrates a business blueprint to personalize relationships to drive success and achieve greater satisfaction at work.   In 2018, Jack published his third book, Selling the Hug Your Customers Way:  The Proven Process for Becoming a Passionate and Successful Salesperson for Life which illustrates how to apply the proven principles of Hug Your Customers to refine selling techniques, boost sales and keep customers coming back for more.


Jack has become known as a passionate enthusiastic public speaker, keynoting at over 200 events for corporations including Merrill Lynch, Pitney Bowes, Morgan Stanley, Conde Nast, Nike, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Luxottica, Merrill Lynch, FactSet and Harvard University addressing audiences of all sizes and reaching over 50,000 people globally with Hug Your Customers/Hug Your People presentations.   Jack has appeared on The NBC Today Show, and Kudlow & Cramer TV show as well as numerous radio interviews and online and print articles.   Jack has been quoted in national magazines as a customer service and management leadership expert.  In April 2005, INC Magazine listed Jack as one of the 26 Entrepreneurs We Love.  Jack also offers hugging workshops for corporations.


Jack shares with his family a number of Community leadership Awards from the Anti-Defamation league, The Menswear Division of UJA-Federation of New York, and Sacred Heart University.  Jack is on the Yale Cancer Advisory Board, a Trustee at the Greenwich Hospital, and is an Executive in Residence at the Columbia University School of Business.


Jack has been happily married to Linda for over 50 years with four sons and seven grandchildren.


John Tallichet

President & CEO, Specialty Restaurants

As Chairman, CEO and President, John Tallichet sits at the helm of this family business.  In his role as President and CEO, Tallichet is responsible for the company’s restaurant, real estate and aviation divisions.  With more than 30 years of experience, working in a variety of roles – from busser to assistant manager to overseeing operations, he has touched every possible role within a restaurant. Tallichet has worked in an official capacity with SRC since 1987, and has gradually moved his way through the ranks.


Tallichet holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Southern California, and Masters of Business Administration from Haas Business School at UC Berkeley and Columbia Business School at Columbia University.  Tallichet is also heavily involved in the local restaurant and aviation communities – he works closely with the California Restaurant Association (CRA), where he serves on the CRA’s Orange County Board of Directors, the CRA State Board, and the CRA Foundation Board. He is also a board member of the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, AZ, and is a trustee of the Flight Test Historical Foundation at Edwards AFB.


Pat Soldano

President, FEUSA

President, FEUSA
Founder & Chairman, Policy and Taxation Group
Patricia M. Soldano has spent over 30 years providing family office services. She developed Cymric Family Office Services into a multi-family office in 1996, and sold to GenSpring Family Offices in January 2009, where she was Managing Director of Western Region for GenSpring for 5 years and then a Family Office Consultant to GenSpring until December of 2017. Ms. Soldano is now a Family Business and Family Office Consultant working directly with families herself.

Ms. Soldano is President of Family Enterprise USA; its mission is to promote the growth of family businesses in the US. She is Principal Advisor to the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute, and a member of CSUF Family Business Center and on Family Business editorial committee for Trust & Estate Magazine. She is also Chairman of Policy and Taxation Group and is on the Investment Committee, Comp Committee and Audit Committee for Alzheimer’s Orange County. Ms. Soldano received an MBA from Claremont Graduate School, The Drucker School and a BA in Business Administration from Cal State University Fullerton.


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