Conference Agenda

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New England Family Business Conference 2017 Schedule

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Finalists Cocktail Hour & Photos
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. General Reception and Networking
6:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. Massachusetts Family Business Awards Dinner (separate ticketed event)
Introduction of Master of Ceremonies and local comedian Jeff Smith ,Keynote Speaker, Presentation of Awards & Closing Remarks

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. General Registration, Networking and Continental Breakfast

9:15 a.m.  – 10:30 a.m.
Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)

Three Types of Succession, Ownership, Leadership, Power and Control

Presented by Ted Clark is the Executive Director of the Northeastern University Center for Family Business and Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Succession is descripted as a process, but why then does careful planning and following the process often not yield the desired results?  At this interactive program we will discuss three Types of Succession, factors that affect succession, and why even the most careful planning often doesn’t result in success.

As part of this program we will:

  • identify three types of succession in a family business,
  • discuss factors that influence succession, and
  • identify strategies to increase the opportunity for success.

Understanding the types of succession, and the forces that influence and cause them can help you to develop more appropriate and successful strategies for your family business.

The Power of Planning

Why business owners need viable and specific growth and transition plans, and practical strategies for putting them in place
Moderated by Mark J. Anderson, Head of Fiduciary Services, Wilmington Trust, N.A.. Panelists include: Bruce F. Hoffmeister, Director of Wealth and Fiduciary Planning Wealth Advisory Services, Wilmington Trust, N.A., Matt Allen, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College, James Mamary Sr., Founder and President of Royal Health Group, and James Mamary Jr. Executive Vice President of Royal Health Group.

Together with Babson College’s Institute for Family Entrepreneurship, Wilmington Trust recently conducted a survey of more than 200 owners of privately held businesses. Join us for an interactive panel discussion highlighting the research results and strategies for successful business change, diversification and transition.

10:45 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)


Continuing the Legacy: Preparing the Next Generation for the Family Business

Moderated by David M. Karofsky, The Family Business Consulting Group. Panelists include: Jacob Grossman, The Grossman Companies, Andrew Salmon, Salmon Health and Retirement and Ethan Becker, President, The Speech Improvement Company

There is no better way to carry on the legacy of your family business than preparing the next generation to take it over.  Unfortunately, statically speaking, only 1/3 of family businesses successfully continue through a 2nd generation.  For a multitude of reasons, sustaining the legacy of the family business continues to be a challenge and arguably may get even tougher. In this panel discussion, you will hear from next generation family members about how they successfully continued the legacy of their family’s business along with tips and best practices to prepare the next generation for a successful transition.

IT and Cyber-security

Moderated by Christopher Mellen, Director Marcum Group. Panelists to include Konrad Martin, CEO and Director of Business Development, Tech Advisors, and Nate Gravel, Vice President-Information Security and IT, GraVoc.

Your communications, your network, your data – it can be as much of the lifeblood of your company as your employees. Learn trade secrets and best practices in efficiency, clarity, cost, and fending off hackers and breaches from IT experts who also run family businesses.

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch and Keynote Speaker


Family Business: A Survival Guide

Keynote Speaker: Howdy Holmes, CEO of Chelsea Mills, a four generation family business and maker of “Jiffy Mix” products.

Few family businesses are as well-known – and as its CEO puts it “boring” – as “Jiffy Mix” products. And that is something Howdy Holmes, CEO of Chelsea Mills, a four-generation family business and maker of “Jiffy Mix” products, is very proud of.

Howdy’s story is a unique one and you can hear all about it at the 2017 Family Business Conference when he joins us as our keynote speaker. After a twenty-year career Indy car career where he was named “Rookie of the Year” at the Indy 500, Howdy returned to run his 100-year old family business to re-energize the Jiffy brand and most importantly continue a long tradition of treating all his employees like family.

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)


Management Issues & Transitioning Family Businesses: Governance, Organization, Pay and Other Key Aspects for the Next Leaders

Moderated by Debra Drapalla, Regional President – Boston, Webster Bank. Panelists will include Thomas Davidow, founder and principal of Thomas D. Davidow & Associates, Geoffrey Wilkinson, Sr. and Geoffrey Wilkinson, Jr. of George T. Wilkinson, Inc. and Aviva Sapers, President and CEO, Sapers & Wallack, Inc

Family businesses undergoing management and ownership transition from one generation to the next face many issues within the family and amongst key non-family members contributing to the business.  The family faces important topics such as the family business plan for this transition.  Consideration must be made for conversations or previous agreements amongst the family members and others.  Challenges are sure to arise and must be overcome.  Family issues can interfere with sound family business decisions.  Dealing with the soft side of the decisions from the lens of psychology and family counseling is important for a successful transition of the family business to the next generation.

Preparing for Tomorrow, Today: The Reality of Preparing and Executing an Exit Strategy, and the Importance of Viewing Managing Wealth as Your New ‘Business’

Moderated by Michael Radin, Attorney at Law , Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C , Panelists will include Laura Moruzzi and C.M. Macgowen of Moody, Famiglietti,and Andronico, Glen McElwee, Director, MFA Cornerstone Consulting’s Valuation Practice,  Karen Bressler, FBA Award Winner and Former CEO of AGAR Food Supply

This invaluable, interactive session will focus on the significance of developing a business exit strategy now and why it’s equally important to begin establishing a plan for maximizing shareholder wealth. During the session, we will explore the intricacies, nuances and realities of formulating an exit strategy along with the planning and preparation required for a successful execution. We will also discuss managing expectations and pitfalls to avoid. Just as important as developing and successfully executing your business exit strategy is the need to plan for shareholder wealth well before the exit. During the second half of the session, we will identify a number of crucial areas to consider prior-to the sale of your business and why it’s important to view managing wealth as your new “business.”

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)

How Advisors Will Guide You Through the Transition of the Family Business

Moderated by Deb Drapalla, Regional President- Boston, Webster Bank. Panelists will include Attorney Thomas Sheehan, Ken Kirkland, CPA, Ed Pendergast, Founder and President of Pendergast & Company LLC, and Aviva Sapers, President and CEO, Sapers & Wallack, Inc.

If you are currently transitioning your family business to the next generation or planning for the day when you will have to, hiring the right team of advisors is critical. From the company attorney, accountants, or independent member of an informal board, all bring a specific set of skills that are invaluable for a successful transition. Learn how to utilize their talents effectively to help ensure your transition is a successful one.

The Importance of “Boards” in the Success of Your Business

Presented by Caleb White, Senior Consultant, CFAR. Panelists will include Chip Johns – President of Butler Automatic and former CEO of Vanguard Sailboats, Engin Okaya – MD of Prudential Capital and board member at both Legal Seafoods and Polar Beverage and Mike Mulrain CFO & COO of Polar Beverage and a member of the Kayem Board

Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, Peer Advisory Boards: Which is right for your organization, who should be participating and why. They are vital to the Strategic Direction of your company, and when maximized they can help drive your growth. They are particularly useful when your business is pivoting and undergoing major change. Hear from experts and successful business owners who have learned through experience to gain the utmost value from the appropriate board.

4:15 p.m.