Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Attend a dinner forum of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

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Call Ira Bryck, President of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, Inc., at (413) 835-0810 to get more information, discuss your situation, and commit to an evening that will expand your thinking about growing your business.


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JUNE 17, 2016 • FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM

Bulkley, Richardson, Springfield, Mass

WHAT YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS- part of our "third Friday morning workshop/ roundtable series- see more info here

JUNE 21, 2016 • TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

Selling your company doesn't happen often, or to many, so it's hard to predict how it will go, how it will feel, what you wished you knew before. Hear the stories of 4 people who went through it, sharing their lessons, their regrets, what they learned about their company in the process, how they are approaching their next chapter, what happened to their family members and other employees, what the buyer saw in their company that they may not have seen, and much more. There is no one right way to sell your company, but by learning so much from others who've been there, you can do it much more right for you, if and when the time comes.

Hear how banks and other credit grantors provide different sizes of loans, how loan parameters are different for various requests (working capital, equipment, property, etc.), how to prepare for a loan request, and when to engage your accountant, attorney or others to assist you. Presented by DAVID CANTOR, Senior Vice President, New England Region Team Leader, Business Banking for First Niagara Bank.

SEPTEMBER 7, 2016 • WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

Are You Running Your Business or is It Running You? If you’d like to be more in control of your organization, you’re not alone. As thousands of business leaders have discovered, the key to faster growth, bigger profits, more loyal customers and fewer frustrations is EOS. EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) is a comprehensive business system with real, simple, practical tools. This presentation helps participants learn to implement a simple "way of operating" that helps leadership teams clarify, simplify and achieve their vision. Leaders looking for a silver bullet or the next "flavor of the month" need not attend. In this value-packed workshop, attendees learn to see their businesses in a whole new light and to achieve better results through strengthening the Six Key ComponentsTM of a truly great organization. The outcome creates alignment and synchronizes all the pieces of your business to produce the results you want. Attendee Value and Takeaways: • Review the Six Key Components of top companies: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction • Learn a powerful tool to clarify and achieve your vision • Work with two simple tools that will get the right people in the right seats • Build the right company scorecard to deliver an absolute pulse on your business • Master practical tools that successful entrepreneurs use to get more done

Presented by a lifelong entrepreneur, NATE WOLFSON , who started IT services firm Thrive Networks in 2000 at the age of 23. Over the next six years, he grew the company from zero to $10 million in revenue before selling the company to Staples. In 2008, Nate took over web development firm Digital Bungalow. He successfully created and implemented a turn-around plan which restored the company to profitability and stability over his first two years. Nate then implemented a strategic growth plan— leveraging the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)—to grow Digital Bungalow into one of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2013, 2014, and 2015. In 2015, Nate sold the company to Nowspeed, Inc. Today, Nate is New England’s leading EOS implementer, with a focus on helping entrepreneurs and leadership teams who realize they don’t have all the answers, want to improve accountability, and are committed to working together to achieve extraordinary goals. Nate’s talent for aligning owners and their teams is rooted in his belief that “empowerment and accountability are two sides of the same coin.

IMPORTANT AND USEFUL INFORMATION, PRESENTED BY OUR STRATEGIC PARTNER, Ross and Rick Giombetti of Giombetti Associates. Topic to be announced shortly.

OCTOBER 25, 2016 • TUESDAY, 3:00 PM-8:00 PM (slightly longer than usual, but worth it!)

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass


To have an impact as a leader, you need to be attentive, self-aware and intuitive. And because you are responsible for the progress of others in your organization, you need to be able to help coach your employees towards greater emotional maturity and clearer thinking. To be effective as a coach requires that you can employ a spectrum of skills and strategies, to help your coachees progress in the “Five C’s”: the clarity to make appropriate decisions, a deep enough connection to not be overly anxious in relationships, the confidence to not over-deliberate, the calmness that prevents you from being uptight and blaming, and the courage to initiate candid conversations. This presentation, by John Engels, who got rave reviews when he last visited the FBC in 2013, will help you become more aware of and skilled about how to assist others in your company to be all they can be.

We proudly bring back JOHN ENGELS, President of Leadership Coaching, Inc., a Rochester, New York-based leadership consulting and development company founded in 1996. His firm delivers advanced-level relationship knowledge to CEOs, presidents and their executive teams. The company has gained a national reputation for integrating leadership, scientific research and Family Systems Theory. Leadership Coaching's consulting team draws on decades of learning with accomplished scientists who study the leadership behavior of wolves, elephants and chimpanzees. John's lifelong interest in self-awareness and relationship management has helped thousands re-calibrate and re-invigorate their leadership. Family firm owners, executive team members, presidents, directors and high-potential leaders in health care, engineering, IT, accounting and other technical professions have used Engels' teachings and coaching to gain advanced-level mastery in relationship management skills. John has addressed audiences across the world on topics related to the science and practice of high-maturity leadership, including Cornell University, Enterprise Worldwide, Japan Family Center, Simon School of Business, Caritas Bangladesh, Taziki Psychiatric Hospital in Okinawa, The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and industry associations representing architecture, engineering, food shipping, materials handling and direct marketing. John is leadership columnist for the Rochester Business Journal, has published in the Journal of Accountancy (July, 2007) and is a chapter author in Bringing Bowen Theory to Life, published in 2010. A Guide for Leaders, his privately-authored book of essays, won an Addy Award in 2001. John has traveled widely, taking part in developing world projects in Bangladesh, Haiti, Peru and South Africa. John's innovative approaches to leadership have been featured in The New York Times, ABC 20/20, Handelsblatt (Germany's largest business daily), his award-winning book of essays, A Guide for Leaders, and many other publications and broadcasts throughout the world. Engels and his wife, Alison Venuti, a medical education professional, have three adult children. They live in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York.

IMPORTANT AND USEFUL INFORMATION, PRESENTED BY TWO OF OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERS Kristine Houghton of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. and Michael Long of Axia Insurance (details to follow)

DECEMBER 6, 2016 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass


As business owners, we are constantly presenting ourselves and our expertise. We speak to customers, clients, employees, colleagues, vendors.  We introduce ourselves at networking meetings, pitch prospects, interview new hires, negotiate projects, and deliver technical presentations.  Most of our communication is spent listening and speaking and yet it is estimated that 70-90% of communication in business is misinterpreted, changed or misunderstood!  And, when it comes to presentations, most people would rather die or eat a live bug than make a speech. How do we influence others to take action, take advice, take a risk?  How do we engage a tired audience, attract a customer, motivate an employee, differentiate our business from our competitor’s?  In tonight’s interactive session, you will hear plenty of practical communication and presentation tips and see several people, just like you, putting these skills into action.

Presented by EILEEN N. SINETT, CEO of Speaking that Connects, who has over three decades’ experience working with professionals and corporations to improve their business presentations and personal communication performance.  Her mission is to promote confidence, clarity andconnection in speakers worldwide! Eileen is the author of Speaking that Connects, published in 2011, which explains her thinking, doing and being process for presentation excellence and  is currently writing her second book, 4 Points of Connection.Eileen has a Masters of Arts degree in Speech Correction (Kean University, NJ) and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in the Communication Sciences (Emerson College, Boston), with advanced training in Improvisation and Facilitation skills for business. Sinett was recognized as the Champion for Business by the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2015 and served as the Chair of the Plainsboro Business Partnership 2014-2016. She is a very approachable, energetic and engaging speaker, workshop leader and business professional.

IMPORTANT AND USEFUL INFORMATION, PRESENTED BY OUR STRATEGIC PARTNER, Ron Weiss of Bulkley Richardson. Topic to be announced shortly.

APRIL 18, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM



You're very lucky if you think that work is fun. It's not at all funny that 70% of employees hate their jobs, and less than 1/3 are engaged at work (even fewer are married). Tonight's presentation will explore how to create a lighter, less stressed feeling at your workplace; how to use humor to create more positive teams that believe in themselves; examples of real and practical ways that companies can make themselves a better or best place to work. Be prepared to get a new perspective on how to make your company a place where people want to be.

We're glad to again hear from IZZY GESELL, organizational alchemist, who will help you understand the different ways that people use humor, and what you can tell about your organization from the kinds of humor on display. Izzy was one of the first to use Improv Theater concepts as tools for personal and organizational learning. He is the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater, a co-author of Cancer & The Healing Power of Play, and of Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter, and a contributor of a chapter on Improvisation as a facilitation tool in the IAF Group Facilitators Handbook. His latest project is a deck of cards with improv games on them. Recognized by his peers, he has earned a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association. Less than 15% of NSA’s 4,000 members are CSPs. The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) regularly calls on him to train facilitators in his techniques.

Archive of past Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley dinner forum


or come as the guest of a member company or corporate partner
For more information, or to register, call Ira Bryck at (413) 835-0810 or email Ira Bryck

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