FBA Annual Conference

May 17, 2019  |  8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

Needham Sheraton, 100 Cabot St, Needham MA

This event is a unique gathering of family business owners and managers from around New England. It draws companies large and small from a wide variety of industries and professions. It is an outstanding opportunity to hear from and network with fellow family business owners, and to learn from top experts who focus on the family business space.

We feature educational sessions with panels comprised of diverse family business owners and topic specialists. This one day event, preceded the night before by the Family Business Awards, packs in a multitude of subjects, upwards of two dozen speakers, networking time, as well as breakfast and lunch.

The FBA Annual Conference is about you and for you. We love to get input from family businesses before, during and after the event. If you have ideas for content, speakers or activities, please reach out and let us know. That includes yourself, don’t be shy, your family business peers can benefit from your knowledge and experience. You can be a part of a panel discussion for any number of topics.

Use the Contact Us form to let us know how we can help you.

2019 Family Business Association Conference

Crucial Topics in our Interactive Sessions for Family Businesses

Hear from experienced family business owners and industry experts

How to Thrive Amid The Unique Disruptions Family Businesses Face

A business is a living, breathing organism with a life cycle of its own. Market conditions and consumer trends change. Competitors emerge. Industries rise and fall. Navigating such disruptions is a challenge for any business. But for family businesses, the challenge is far more complex because a whole new layer of disruptions comes into play in the form of personal lifecycle changes : death, illness, marriage and more.

Just like when dealing with business cycle disruptions, family businesses must ultimately have one question in mind when facing personal disruptions: are we going to engage with these as setbacks or as opportunities?

Raméz Baassiri, author of Interrupted Entrepreneurship: Embracing Change in the Family Business (Forbes Books, 2018) has deep experience wrestling with this question. His own family business, AHB Group Investments, has been balancing business cycles with the family life cycle for more than a century.

Baassiri, a member of AHB’s fourth generation, will discuss how to anticipate, prepare for and overcome life cycle disruptions in the family business. After talking candidly about some of the personal life cycle disruptions he has faced, from the sudden death of his father – his company’s beloved patriarch – to health-related sabbaticals, he’ll share some of the fascinating case studies from his book demonstrating how other family companies like Cargill and Carlson have overcome similar hurdles. He’ll explore questions such as how to prepare proactively for inevitable changes rather than reacting suddenly when they occur and how to learn from the legacy of past family giants without feeling overshadowed. Finally, he will offer tactics for engaging with these changes, or “interruptions,” as opportunities rather than setbacks so that ultimately, they can help family businesses achieve new levels of success.

Learn How to Execute the 4 Critical Decisions to Scale Up Your Business

Is your time free to focus on growing your business or are you like most businesses owners who spend too much time on the day to day operations as you put out fires?

Learning Objectives
1. How to align your team to the #1 thing that needs to be accomplished to move the company forward
2. Creating systems of accountability to ensure goals are met
3. Developing effective communication rhythms so information moves through the organization accurately and quickly.
4. How to make sure your core values are alive and well in your business

How to Measure the ROI of your Marketing Strategies

There are myriad different ways to market your business and all of them require time and money. In this session, we will review data from dozens of small businesses to determine where exactly you should be focusing your resources. Using these successful case studies as our guide, we’ll analyze their approach to marketing online and identify a few of the most effective marketing strategies. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll have this discussion within the context of a marketing plan so you’ll be able to take home a comprehensive framework for use with your business.

Session Takeaways:
– A framework you can use to evaluate traditional and digital marketing
– Metrics to track and analyze the success of your business’ performance
– Which online marketing strategies generally have the best ROI

Working With & Preparing The Next Generation

There are many reasons why family owned businesses do not transition to a new generation. If that is a goal or desire for your company, there are steps you can take to help make that a reality. A succession plan is great and a necessity, but there is a lot more that comes prior to drafting that plan. The next generation first needs to be engaged, assessed, educated, prepared, motivated, property utilized, and more before you or they are ready for any transitions. That does not even include the work that needs to be done with non-family employees who will surround that next generation.

Come and learn about the more complete picture of preparing your next generation to move in, move up and move on with your precious business.

Building a Performing Board in Your Family Business

Research indicates that performing boards help drive increased revenue and earnings in over 95% of companies where a board is in place. As one of the faster growing trends in family business, the development of a performing board is critical as it can help reduce family conflict while also improving strategic planning and building greater accountability.

Join us as our panel of family business board members explore the opportunities of building a performing board in your family business. Hear directly from the experiences of well-established New England family businesses as to how they built their boards and the benefits of doing so.

Is it time to look elsewhere? Evaluating Leadership Transitions when a Family Member is not an Option

Much has been written on managing ownership and leadership transitions so it’s no surprise that 96% of family business owners agree that having a plan is important BUT then WHY do only 18% of this same group actually have one?

Leadership transitions in a family business are hard for many reasons. Participate in this engaging dialogue where attendees will be asked to share their experiences in contemplating or completing a leadership transition. Particularly difficult are those situations when a family member is not an option today – whether often due to timing, competency or desire.
Whether transitioning in or out of the family business, join us as we discuss recruiting from outside the family or even the business. What if you want out, NextGens want in but they aren’t ready or the reverse you’re not ready to step out, but they are ready to step in. We will discuss the options to consider to maximize family harmony and long term business success in this context. What works and what can get in the way in one of the most critical decisions you will have to make.

Attendees will benefit from the sharing of transition experiences by other family enterprise members and the provision of a best practice template and roadmap successfully utilized by the Guest Speaker with her clients across the country.

How Successful Family Businesses Lead and Grow: Key Elements of Leadership Essential to Your Success
  • The biggest enemies that leadership is facing
  • How the top leaders are embracing OCG
  • Why Goals are more important than ever
  • The three laws of leadership
  • Critical B4’s you must understand for sustained growth
  • And much more!

Top Line Speakers

Herb Cogliano is now spearheading his own advisory practice based on the award-winning books Scaling Up and the Rockefeller Habits. As a business coach and experienced CEO Scaling Up practitioner, he has learned firsthand what it takes to overcome many business challenges. Herb is pursuing his passion of working with leaders of growth companies to achieve freedom by helping them create industry leading strategies and flawless execution within their organizations. He will offer coach-supported programs implementing Scaling Up methods and growth systems that help senior leadership teams grow, scale and create a culture of action and accountability.

In 1987, Herb began his career in the staffing industry and in 1993, he founded Sullivan and Cogliano education business.

A resident of Westford, Herb graduated from Westford Academy in 1983, and received his BSBA from Boston College in 1987 and his MBA from University of Massachusetts (International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma) in 2016.

Sullivan and Cogliano joined a select group of companies that have appeared on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Company list multiple times. The Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth over a four-year period. This achievement puts us in a unique position, especially if you consider that over 27 million businesses are registered in the USA.

His firm was a Multiyear recipient of Boston and South Florida Business Journal Best Places to Work Award. This honor recognizes Sullivan and Cogliano achievements for changing the business landscape, in creating a positive work environment that attracts and retains employees through a combination of employee satisfaction, working conditions and company culture.

Herb serves on the Carroll School of Management Board of Advisors at Boston College. He has been a member of the American Staffing Association, and formerly served on its Board of Directors as Chapter Relations Committee Chair. He is past president of the Massachusetts Association of Staffing Services, and previously served on the boards of Employment Resources, Inc. and Junior Achievement.
Committed to his community, Herb has been an active volunteer and coach in several youth sports programs and a generous supporter of events that help local youth and civic organizations in Westford. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Westford Charitable Foundation, Inc. and was appointed a Westford Academy Trustee in May of 2015.

Bryan Dodge’s 29 years of experience teaching and inspiring people of all walks of life to reach their full potential has made him one of the nation’s leading choices as a professional speaker/trainer for corporate events, conferences, and conventions. He incorporates experiences from his professional and personal life into each one of his presentations. Bryan has been happily married for over 39 years and a dedicated father of three wonderful children.

After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1980, he accepted a position with Elanco where he earned the prestigious “Mac Award.” After seven years with Elanco, Bryan started Results, Inc., a company to promote educational seminars throughout the United States and Canada. As his company grew to over 100 employees, he relocated to Dallas and added another division called Results Educational Network, which filled stadiums in six major cities and featured the most sought after speakers and personalities. The knowledge he acquired and relationships he built from working with top executives evolved into delivering an increased number of in-house training and coaching sessions. After 12 successful years, Bryan sold Results, Inc. to pursue a full time professional speaking and coaching career.

Bryan Dodge probably holds the record for being the busiest communicator in America. His inspirational keynotes cover professional development, success habits of the wealthy, team-building/ leadership principles, negotiating skills, and much more. The underlying thesis of all of Bryan’s teachings is that “Life is too short not to be happy, and life is too long not to do well.” His programs are designed to accelerate professional/personal growth, and produce the favorable results people look for in life.

• The Good Life Rules: 8 Keys to Being Your Best at Work and at Play, published by McGraw-Hill (2009)
• Becoming the Obvious Choice, published by Cornerstone Leadership Inc. (2001)
• The Principals of an Unstoppable Family Business; How Successful Family Businesses Think and Grow, published by Morgan James (To be released in May 2018)

For 8 years Bryan was the host of the “Build a Better You” radio program. The show aired on Dallas/Fort Worth’s premier radio station, KLIF570 every Sunday and has been featured on WBAP as well as No Boundaries Business Radio. During his show Bryan reaches out to his audience, inspiring them to strive for their goals and aspirations.

Raméz Baassiri is a global authority on entrepreneurship and family business with a passion for storytelling. For the past two decades, he has served as a board member of AHB Group Investments in Dubai, a multi-generational family office invested in a wide range of sectors including real estate, construction, manufacturing & trading, healthcare and food and beverage, among others.

In helping AHB’s fourth generation maintain its legacy while pursuing new routes to success, Raméz quickly developed a keen  understanding of and appreciation for the intricacies and nuances of the family business institution. His new book, Interrupted Entrepreneurship: Embracing Change in the Family Business (Forbes Books, 2018) is an Amazon bestseller and acclaimed by BookAuthority as one of the “Best Entrepreneurship Books of All Time”.

As a family business authority, Raméz is frequently tapped to provide expert commentary by some of the leading business and finance news brands such as Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Digital Journal ,Young Upstarts,Global Trade Magazine and American Express Open Forum.

He is a sought-after speaker on how businesses can survive and thrive through disruption and innovation and on the unique challenges family businesses face, and has presented for Young Presidents Organization (YPO), BrightTalk, and The American Society for Quality (ASQ). He is also a founding member of The U.A.E. chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).

Robert J. Rosenfield is the Chief Executive Officer of TruRoad Holdings, Inc., as well as CEO of JN Phillips Auto Glass. Prior to forming TruRoad Holdings with his founding partners, Bob led the growth and development of JN Phillips Auto Glass from a small local auto glass business to the largest independent auto glass provider in the U.S. and formed the Bowrail Group to own and operate several businesses in the automotive service and claims technology sectors.

Bob is a veteran thought leader and entrepreneur with a 30-year track record of building businesses and producing above-market returns by continuously improving the value proposition and customer satisfaction levels of the companies. He is a graduate of Trinity College and Harvard Business School. Directly, and through its JN Phillips Foundation, Bob supports many civic and social service initiatives that build stronger and more supportive communities.

David Karofsky is a senior consultant with The Family Business Consulting Group with over 25 years of experience coaching and consulting to individuals, families and companies to develop better cross-team communication and build alignment among the senior management team. His client work is focused on executing the transition of ownership and leadership, professional development, conflict resolution, strategic planning and forming governance structures for family and closely-held businesses.

Prior to working with The Family Business Consulting Group, David worked in his own family business consulting practice with his father, Paul for eight years. The father-son team are the authors of So You’re in the Family Business: A Guide to Sustainability. In addition, David was vice president of marketing for a software start-up where he helped launch the company and raise over $10 million in funding. David also served at EMC Corporation for eight years holding various corporate roles including managing operations for worldwide marketing.

The recipient of multiple achievement awards, David has been a guest speaker internationally and is a mentor to current and former MBA students at Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Business and serves on the Marketing Career Track Advisory Board. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Mazie Mentoring Program and a former member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Men’s Associates at Hebrew SeniorLife.

David and his wife, Jennifer, and their two children reside in Framingham, Massachusetts. He can be reached at karofsky@thefbcg.com or by phone at 508.875.7751.

Peter Ross is the co-founder of 829 Studios, a midsized marketing firm based in Boston. Peter has defined the vision, strategy, and culture of 829 Studios since its founding in 2007. It has been his mission to help clients transform their data into strategy and provide an integrated approach that blends creativity with technological sophistication. He is constantly hunting for new opportunities clients can leverage to achieve differentiation, develop competitive advantages, and better communicate their brand story.

Peter received his Executive MBA from Imperial College London and primarily focuses his time on business consulting, marketing strategy, site architecture, frontend/backend development, SEO/SEM, and interactive media. Last year, his team was awarded two Adrian Awards by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) for their work on OceanEdge.com and Oars.com. Peter serves on the Board of Advisors for the Family Travel Association, America Outdoors Association, and TedXKenmore Square. Other notable clients include Stanford University, Oxfam, Black & Decker, and BitSight.

Andrew Salmon, Director of Network Development, Salmon Health and Retirement
Andrew Salmon joined the organization in 2006, after being an administrator for a healthcare corporation. Formerly Northbridge campus executive director, his current position links SALMON to the business community. He manages a referral center, skilled nursing admissions and transfers and maintains relationships with discharge planners, case managers and other health organizations. Andrew has been trustee and board member of Milford Regional Medical Center and on the boards of Whitin Community Center and Mass. Assisted Living Federation of America. He is a corporator of UniBank and Greater Worcester Community Foundation and chairs the development committee of Blackstone Valley Education Foundation.

Letitia Hussey Beauregard, Board Chair
Letitia Hussey Beauregard is a member of the 6th generation of the Hussey Family and has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2012 and became Chair of the Board in 2016. She is one of the principals and a founding member of Family Capital Trust Company which is a New Hampshire chartered corporate trustee that manages family trusts and multi-generation wealth. As Director of Personal Trust at Family Capital, Letitia oversees the trust services and sits on the company’s Board of Directors and its Investment Committee. Letitia graduated with a BS in Business Economics from Alfred University and attended Northwestern’ s National Trust and Graduate Trust Schools. She is a member of the Boston Estate Planning Council and the Essex County Estate Planning Council.

Lynn Clarke is an independent board director with consumer packaged goods, digital, e-commerce, operations and retail expertise. Currently, Lynn is a director of several family held companies, including Abarta Coca- Cola Beverages a $600million+ 3rd generation company that was one of the early adopters of an independent board. She is also Chairman of Nielsen-Massey Flavorings. Recently, she was asked to join the first independent boards for two other family-owned companies. Lynn has repeatedly seen how independent directors can guide private companies to successfully and profitably extend generational success. Her experience includes 17 years of branding, marketing, and operations roles at PepsiCo & General Mills, four years as CEO of private equity-owned companies and 11 years as CEO and owner of a direct to consumer e- commerce/digital business that was awarded the E-Commerce Innovator of the Year by the International Housewares Association. Lynn’s goal as a board member is to help businesses profitably grow by understanding digital disruption and develop brand building strategies based on a deep understanding of consumer and customer needs with the objective of transcending the competition.

Caleb specializes in the complex strategic and operational issues facing today’s organizations. He draws on his experience as a high impact leader in both privately-held and large public companies, at different stages of development and across multiple industries. This includes leading his sixth-generation family business, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc. Caleb brings both personal and professional insight to leadership and governance dilemmas facing clients.

As a member of CFAR’s Owner-Led business practice, Caleb’s work is driven by an ability to create strategic value: identifying investment/acquisition opportunities, strong P&L acumen, and dedication to building a culture of operational excellence. From his experience in his family’s business, he is also particularly attuned to high stakes shareholder issues and complex multi-generational family business dynamics.

Prior to joining CFAR, Caleb was President and CEO of Ensign-Bickford, a privately held portfolio of diversified manufacturing companies, where he furthered expansion and spearheaded nearly ten acquisitions helping transform the portfolio into new areas. He is now a member of its Board of Directors. Caleb also serves as a Director of the Lee Company, Axiam Inc., and Brokers International, and has been a member of numerous not-for-profit boards throughout his career, including St. Mark’s School of Southboro, MA and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, which was founded by his father.

Caleb received his MBA from Northwestern University/Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and his BA in East Asian Studies from Yale University.

Janice DiPietro – Founder and CEO, Exceptional Leaders International

Driven by a passion for helping people, families and organizations succeed, Janice has successfully led and consulted to companies for over 25 years. She has experience in many diverse and complex industries with a focus on family controlled enterprises. Janice founded Exceptional Leaders International (E.L.I.) to channel her passion for family and business success in a powerful new way, bringing together an exceptional team of C-level executives dedicated to guiding clients successfully through periods of growth and transition.

Whether our clients are seeking to expand, improve performance or effect a change in ownership, E.L.I. Partners deliver solutions that solve their most challenging problems. E.L.I. uniquely focuses on assisting family controlled businesses balance family dynamics and business realities during these critical transitions so that ownership value may be maximized.

Janice holds an MBA and doctoral degree from Boston University, where her dual concentration in accounting and psychology led her to focus on expert decision-making and leadership.

Sponsored by







Tickets are only $85 and include breakfast and lunch.

Tickets are for family business professionals ONLY.

Advisors and service providers must purchase a sponsorship to attend.
Sponsorships with speaking opportunities for service providers are available.

Check them out!

For questions about content, speakers, attending, sponsoring, speaking, the venue or any details about the event call 866-930-1209 or email info@fbaedu.com.



Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2017 Family Business Conference. It was the most successful gathering of the association to date, and it was an honor to have a diversity of industry leaders convene to offer advice and anecdotes to attendees. Many thanks to those who shared their expertise, as well as to those engaged listeners who sparked such lively discussion during the panels. It was a similar distinction to acknowledge and welcome new members at this year’s awards ceremony; they are all a testament to the strength of family businesses in our commonwealth, and all across New England.