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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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.

WHO SHOULD YOU BE SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH? (Well, it depends on who YOU are, of course) How do you build an inner circle of people who complement your strengths and weaknesses, who won't drive you crazy, who can challenge you as needed, and will help you be your best self? How do you avoid the mistakes in selecting those people, in the same ways you might make mistakes in everyday interviewing and hiring? Presented by Ross Giombetti of Giombetti Associates, a strategic partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

OCTOBER 21, 2016 • FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM (our morning workshop/ roundtable series)

Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass.


Some statistics say that a staggering 40% of employees don't trust management—and without trust, employees feel a sense of uncertainty, insecurity, and worry that creates a barrier to effective performance. With our current business reality and global economy revolving around relationships and partnerships, the ability to establish, cultivate, and restore trust with our colleagues, employees, vendors, and customers is an essential leadership capability. In addition, demands for talented workers are on the rise and competition to hire and retain the best is increasing. There’s a growing need to build trust in your organization and to find ways to engage your employees more fully so they might resist the temptation to “jump ship” to a company that offers a more rewarding and trusting work environment. This workshop will be filled with excellent content, and conversation with other business owners also interested in cultivating a trust based work environment.

Presented by Michael Francoeur, who represents one of the world’s largest professional talent development training organizations--Dale Carnegie Training.  With over 100 years of experience, Dale Carnegie Training trains professionals in all industries providing development opportunities. Mike is a graduate of Villanova University.  He began his professional career with Dale Carnegie in 1981. In 1988, Mike became President of Results Inc., presenter of Dale Carnegie Training® in CT.  He is the father of 4 and lives in West Hartford, CT.

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.


NOVEMBER 18, 2016 • FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM (our morning workshop/ roundtable series)

Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass.

STOP SCRAPING BURNT TOAST (and start making money)

There are countless ways where you get where you want to be by burning the toast and then scraping off the burn, instead of figuring out how to toast it correctly. Burnt toast is rampant in all business dealings, from wrong items to car re-repair to bad hiring to poor product launches, etc etc. This morning workshop will be a valuable lesson and discussion of effective problem solving and process management, helping you improve in many areas of your business, including hiring, training, research, billing and sales lead execution. We will cover how to clearly think of cause and effect, to find the drivers that need to be remedied; how to construct accurate diagrams to determine if your process is properly designed and how to get buy-in from all involved; about determining the cost of poor quality of your products, services, and processes; and ways to stick with the process, so that it's not just the flavor of the week. Our morning workshop/ roundtables are a great mix of content from an expert presenter and sharing of ideas among the 15- 20 business owners and managers who attend. A few of the early registrants will have the opportunity to have problems from their specific business or industry as examples in this workshop, so sign up soon! (free to FBCpv members and strategic partners; $30 for other owners and key managers of WMass companies)

Presented by Gary Nader, Principal Consultant of Total Quality Associates.  He consults internationally with companies in various industries, with special emphasis on strategic planning, customer satisfaction, management leadership, performance improvement, work team development and cultural change.  Gary has a broad management background including positions in R & D, Materials and Logistics with Customer Service, Quality Assurance and Operations.  He served as Director of Total Quality and a management board member of a large specialty division within James River Corporation. Gary has extensive hands-on experience, applying improvement methodologies in all aspects of manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities. He has instituted many successful customer and supplier improvement breakthrough programs. Gary has received corporate awards for business performance excellence. He was one of the early leaders of ISO 9000 certification in North America and has been a featured speaker throughout the United States on this subject. His pioneering paper on Applying Quality Methods in Non-Manufacturing won the Best Paper Award, among 400 submitted worldwide, at an International Quality Conference in Toronto Canada. Gary has been engaged in all aspects of the continuous process for over 25 years.  He has provided consulting services in this area for large organizations such as Pirelli, James River Corporation, Dow Jones & Company, Monsanto and Mobil Chemical as well as for operations with less than 15 people.

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 and connection 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 PARTNERS, Ron Weiss of Bulkley Richardson and Michael Long of Axia Insurance (details to follow)

MARCH 7, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM


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.

JUNE 13, 2017, •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM


You may not realize it but simple, irrelevant factors can have profound consequences on your decisions and behavior, often diverting you from your original plans and desires. Tonight’s presentation by Harvard Professor Francesca Gino will help you identify and avoid these influences, so the decisions you make do stick — and you finally reach your intended goals. Dr. Gino will help you explore inconsistent decisions played out in a wide range of circumstances — from our roles as consumers and employees (what we buy, how we manage others) to the choices that we make more broadly as human beings (who we date, how we deal with friendships), to the decisions we make as business managers and employees.  We will explore how the work environment can include factors that are likely to sway our decisions in directions we did not initially consider; and what can we do to correct for the subtle influences that derail our decisions. This presentation will help you identify the common biases that affect your business decisions, including excessive optimism and overconfidence; how groupthink, egocentrism, sunk cost fallacy, status quo bias and more can impair your ability to objectively evaluate information, form sound judgment, and make effective decisions. Your increased understanding of behavioral economics and choice architecture could result in reducing high employee turnover, missed deadlines, and poor strategic decisions; and help you create a method to define problems, diagnose underlying causes, and design and test solutions. Your decision to attend this dinner forum is a great first step to many more correct choices.

Our presenter tonight is FRANCESCA GINO, professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She is also formally affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, with the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and with the Behavioral Insight Group at Harvard Kennedy School. Francesca teaches Decision Making and Negotiation in the MBA elective curriculum and in Executive Education programs at the HBS, co-chairs an HBS Executive Education program on applying behavioral economics to organizational problems, and teaches a PhD course on Behavioral Approaches to Decision Making and a PhD course on Experimental Methods. Her research focuses on judgment and decision-making, negotiation, ethics, motivation, productivity, and creativity. Her work has been published in top academic journals in both psychology and management, as well as in numerous book chapters and practitioner outlets. Her studies have been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been discussed on National Public Radio and CBS Radio. She has won numerous awards for teaching, including the HBS Faculty Award by Harvard Business School's MBA Class of 2015, and for her research, including the 2013 Cummings Scholarly Achievement Award, from the Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division. In 2015, she was chosen by Poets & Quants to be among their "40 under 40", a listing of the world's best business school professors under the age of 40. In addition to teaching and doing research, she advises firms and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, decision-making, leadership and organizational behavior.

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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