Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley


Past Events

DECEMBER 10, 2019 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM


LEARN HOW TO INTERPRET AND DECODE HUMAN BEHAVIOR FROM A WORLD-LEADING BODY LANGUAGE EXPERT It’s estimated that as much as 80% of our interaction with others is through non-verbal communication, or body language. And the vast majority of the nonverbal cues we display are driven by our subconscious mind – they are important indications of how we are feeling and what we’re thinking. Tonight’s presenter, JOE NAVARRO, has been studying non-verbal behavior for the past 45 years. Twenty-five of these were spent in the FBI catching spies. Today Joe is an internationally recognized expert, consultant, author, and gifted lecturer, in the interpretation of non-verbal behavior. You will learn more about this, also enjoying that he is entertaining, authoritative, insightful, in showing you how to recognize and decipher non-verbal communications. These skills, which can be immediately applied, will enhance your interpersonal communications, increase your confidence, engender greater trust, as well as elevate your understanding of this universal language. Joe’s clients have included medical associations, insurance groups, and law firms, as well as some of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. and abroad. He also has spoken annually at Harvard Business School for the past eight years. Discover why Fortune 500 companies and the intelligence community have him on speed dial.

JOE NAVARRO was personally approached to join the FBI while he was working as a police officer at the tender age of 23. He accepted their offer and became one of the youngest agents ever to join the renowned investigative agency. He spent the next 25 years at the FBI, working both as an agent and supervisor in the areas of counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Through his work he was able to study, refine and apply the science of non-verbal communications. His acumen in this field and his success as a spy-catcher, led Joe to begin training FBI agents and the intelligence community. Retiring from the FBI in 2003, and meeting overwhelming demand for his notable insights into human behavior, Joe has dedicated himself to speaking and consulting with major corporations worldwide. Today Joe is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on reading non-verbal communications and he is regularly interviewed on programs such as NBC’s Today Show, Fox News, ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS’ Early Show, BBC News, and for publications such as The Washington Post, South China Morning Post and Psychology Today. Described by his audiences as “dynamic,” “superb,” and “captivating,” Joe has lectured throughout the United States, South America, Europe and Asia, teaching the skills of reading non-verbal behavior, as well as perception management. A gifted educator and speaker, Joe utilizes his FBI experiences to guarantee his lectures are not only fascinating, but also singularly unique. Personally sought out by CEOs of a number of major global organizations, Joe provides the same personalized hands-on attention, which made him famous at the FBI and at Harvard Business School where he has lectured annually for the past six years. Joe has authored and co-authored several books, including: What Every Body is SayingLouder Than Words,  Advanced Interviewing Techniques (currently used by the FBI’s counterterrorism division), and Hunting Terrorists: A Look at the Psychopathology of Terror.

YIELD OF DREAMS: MAKING YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE Charlie Epstein of Epstein Financial Services will take you through a fun and interactive process for going beyond your myths of money to creating Paychecks for Life to pay for all the things you desire to do in life. EPSTEIN FINANCIAL SERVICES is a Strategic Partner of the FBCPV.

OCTOBER 23, 2019 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM



Here's just a few of what will happen at this event:

speeches will be short, but meaningful and fascinating

there will be an actual passing of a baton or torch, exact model tbd

magic music from ReBelle, among the best reggae bands this side of Senegal or Jamaica; featuring a Western Mass family business, all fabulous, including spouses Kalpana Devi and Emmanuel Manou, their son, and their daughter Naia Kete, who made it pretty far on Team Blake, on the Voice!

dance lessons to accompany ReBelle, taught by Western Mass dance extraordinaire, Anastasia Veremeyenko Christie. Learn bachata and other dances that pairs well with reggae


OCTOBER 18, 2019 •FRIDAY, 9:00 AM - 9:00 11:30 AM

Communication & Collaboration THROUGH LAUGHTER 

with Pam Victor, Founder/President, Happier Valley Comedy


According to Forbes Magazine, "Improv’s low-stakes training increases the likelihood that team members will feel comfortable communicating in a variety of work situations. 'Yes, and' is the key." Substantial communication is much more than something we only do with our ears. It engages our our eyes, mind, heart, and gut. "Communication & Collaboration THROUGH LAUGHTER" focuses on the all-important skills of paying attention acutely, listening without judgment to what is actually being said (as opposed to what we want to hear) as well as hearing what isn't being said. We'll also strengthen the muscles used to apply these deep listening skills to collaborative work in which creativity runs free as we seek to best serve the needs of the moment in order to move forward together - true collaboration and "Yes, and..." team spirit! And we do it all with active, easy-to-learn improv-training exercises that deliver powerful results in a really fun way. All exercises are completed in a circle or pairs; participants are never "on stage." This workshop is designed so everyone along the introvert-extrovert spectrum feels comfortable and successful...with lots of laughter along the way. Communication issues may be preventing your team from achieving their greatest potential. Are you ready to learn new tools and vocabulary for meaningful communication and more productive collaboration at work? The first step is saying, "Yes, and...". 

About Your Facilitator:  Pam Victor is the founder and president - or, as they call it, the Head of Happiness - of Happier Valley Comedy where she runs the THROUGH LAUGHTER professional development program and a full-curriculum comedy training program as well as producing regular shows at the first and only comedy theater in Western Massachusetts. Pam is arecipient of the 2019 NEPR Arts & Humanities Award. She also is the author of “Baj and the Word Launcher: A Space-Aged Asperger Adventure in Communication” and, along with legendary improvisers TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, co-author of “Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book.” A graduate of Smith College with a Master’s in Education from Iona College, Pam has received improv training from iO Theater (Chicago), Annoyance Theatre (Chicago), ImprovBoston, and from Second City teachers. Pam is a nice person. She likes you already. 

SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM



HOW TO NOT GO OFF-TRACK WITH ON-BOARDING so you can stay on top of this incredible but totally believable stat: 62% of your new hires have decided in their first month if they're going to stick around; 33% made up their minds in their first week. So there's no "honeymoon." Here's how to get it right, right away. Presented by ROSS GIOMBETTI of Giombetti Associates.

CYBER SECURITY IS MORE THAN VIRUS PROTECTION SOFTWARE! Today's criminals are using more sophisticated attacks, and the stakes have never been higher. This information will keep you out of trouble and help you stay ahead of the new government regulations. Hear how the California Consumer Privacy Act and the General Data Protection Regulation affects Western Mass businesses and creates legal obligations for you and your company. Presented by LAUREN OSTBERG, an attorney at Bulkley Richardson and Gelinas where she is a key member of the firm’s cybersecurity practice group that advises businesses, professionals and individuals on data protection and privacy laws. This work includes assisting organizations in formulating or revising data protection and privacy policies to comply with state, federal, and industry-specific regulations, as well as coordinating and drafting responses in the event of a breach.

YOUR EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK: IS IT A TICKING TIME BOMB? This session will alert you to traps for the unwary, regarding the complex topic of employee handbooks including: How what you don’t know can hurt you, Why not having a handbook isn’t the answer; Update on policies you must have; Best handbook practices. Presented by TIM MURPHY, a partner at Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. where he has practiced labor and employment law for the last 18 years. A graduate of local schools, Tim’s practice is focused on partnering with employers to help them navigate the increasingly complicated world of labor and employment laws so that they can make the most informed decisions for their businesses. Tim is very active in his community. He sits on boards of directors for a number of area organizations such as the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce and Community Legal Aid. He also is a member of the Finance Committee in Wilbraham where he lives. Tim has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2013. In 2015 and 2018, he was honored as the Lawyer of the Year in Springfield for Litigation – Labor and Employment by Best Lawyers in America.

JUNE 18, 2019 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM



There is no such thing as a conflict-free office. You might dream of working in a peaceful utopia, where all of your colleagues and clients are polite, considerate, and kind -- but it wouldn’t be good for your company, your clients, or you. In fact, conflict is a normal part of interacting with other people, and disagreements — when managed well — have lots of positive outcomes. In this talk, AMY GALLO, contributing editor at Harvard Business Review and author of HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, will combine management research and practical insights to help you confidently navigate conflicts using emotional intelligence skills. You’ll learn about different styles (are you a conflict avoider or a conflict seeker?), the most common sources of conflict, options for addressing a disagreement, how to prepare for and engage in a difficult conversation, and tips for developing a resolution.

also, on June 18 (short talk before dinner)

HOW INSURGENT BRANDS ARE DISRUPTING EVERYTHING including your way of doing business. Like any product, insurgent disruptors meet an unmet need, but are built, marketed, and perceived in ways that shake up the status quo, and where your product or service traditionally was safe. if you are “the way it was” in your category, the future beckons, and threatens. Tyler Leahy, creative strategist at the brand development agency, Six Point Creative, will clearly describe what all companies can learn from disruptors like Tesla, etc, to make big waves out of fewer resources. You will gain an understanding of how you need to disrupt or be disrupted, as sorry, life is change.


MAY 31, 2019 •FRIDAY, 9:00AM - 11:30AM


THE EMOTIONAL (and practical) ASPECTS OF TRANSITION, presented by Jim Young

APRIL 16, 2019 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM


POWERED BY PECHA KUCHA NIGHT (2nd annual, as it was so great last year) So much of what we have to say can be boiled down to its essence, and also since a picture says a thousand words, you have "PECHA KUCHA" (Japanese for chit-chat). We will have 9 business owners each give a talk that is built from 20 images, each showing for 20 seconds, so after 6 minutes and 40 seconds, you've heard it all. As we did last year, we will have the ultra-talented PechaKuchaCoach Andrew Watt assisting the presenters with all it takes to make your presentation a winner!!

presenters and topics include:

  • Kalpana Devi, Rebelle
  • Julia Mines, Leadership & Communication Coach
  • Timothy Ballard, Threshold Building
  • Cecile Lackie, Speaker Sisterhood
  • Susan Bellows, Empowering Women in Middle Management to Succeed
  • Karen Blanchard, InvisiBlast
  • Kenneth Danford, Northstar: Self-Directed Learning for Teens
  • Lisa Totz, LT Consulting




Every day 10,000 Baby Boomers retire in the United States.  Tremendous amounts of knowledge and insights are leaving the door.  At the same time, Millennials are hungry to excel and learn.  Whether you have retired or not, your knowledge is indispensable for the next generation.  Leadership Pioneer Valley has been matching mentors with graduates of their emerging leader program.  In this interactive workshop, explore best practices for mentors  LPV will be looking for new round of mentors next fall, will you be among them?

The workshop would include exercises for potential mentors on how to be a good mentor.  It will help them assess the skills and knowledge they might have to offer.  It will also provide framework for mentoring.  What is and isn't mentoring.

Presented by Lora Wondolowski, founding director of Leadership Pioneer Valley, that builds a network of emerging leaders to address the challenges and opportunities of the region, Leadership Pioneer Valley combines both classroom and hands-on, experiential learning at different locations throughout the Valley. The curriculum is designed to foster the skills, collaboration, and commitment needed to further a vibrant and culturally competent Pioneer Valley. Previously, Lora served as the founding Executive Director of the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters (MLEV), before that the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and National Audubon Society in DC. While at LCVEF and Audubon, she launched and organized several successful programs and training programs. She has nearly 20 years of experience with grassroots organizing and community outreach.She was one of the founders of the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls and was a volunteer and board member of Pride Zone Youth Center in Northampton,  She currently serves on the Connecticut River Conservancy, Public Health Institute of Western MA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley boards. In 2018 she received the Women's Professional Chamber's Woman of the Year Award.  She lives in Greenfield with her wife and daughters aged 12 and 9.  



EOS USER'S GROUP, PART 2: following up on our recent first meeting, we will discuss all that will make your implementation of ENTREPRENEURIAL OPERATING SYSTEM (as described in Traction, by Gino Wickman) all you need it to be. Attendance at our first meeting is not a prerequisite; in fact, we are in search of a few more visionaries and integrators, who are experienced and willing to learn and share. Contact Ira and Jessi at 413 835 0810 or / ira@fambizpv/com for more info and to register. Limit 20, 2 per company.

MARCH 12, 2019 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM


A ROYAL BANQUET OF GREAT IDEAS THAT AMAZING COMPANIES ARE WILLING TO SHARE WITH YOU Several years ago, we had a speaker (Jack Stack, father of the Great Game of Business and open book management) who said "Build a great company - because a great company can't help but make great products." But what does it take to make a company great? Tonight's panel is made up of people who have marvelous policies, magical cultures, impressive numbers of high potential employees rising through the ranks. You can hear how they did it, and adopt everything that would work for your company. We are in search of a moderator who is an expert in how to steal and implement the enviable things you see around you, in great companies.

Hear from these amazing people, who want to share their gems with you:

Elizabeth Solomon, researcher/author, Great Place to Work US, TOPIC: Trust, Pride and Camaraderie: The Building Blocks of a Great Place To Work

Kaleena Murray, Chief Culture Officer, Amplified / Telamon Insurance, TOPIC: Leading a Culture Transformation

Bill Grinnell, President, Webber & Grinnell Insurance, TOPIC: 10 musts for a good office vibe

Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Director, Spark / e-for-all, TOPIC: Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Tapping into Untapped Potential

David DelVecchio, Suite3 (fka Innovative Biz Systems) TOPIC: The only constant in IT is change, so we embrace being change agents! Sometimes you have to upset the apple cart to find a better way to put back the apples.

Yves Salomon-Fernández, Ph.D., President, Greenfield Community College, TOPIC:Millennials have taken over: implications for the future of higher education

also: DOES YOUR HIRING PROCESS STINK? Naturally, no one wants to face the fact that their hiring process could be repelling top talent. But if you’re not getting the quality of hires you seek, it’s worth taking an honest look. In this fun, tongue-in-cheek discussion, Tiffany will hone in on the key focus areas with a little humor to make this a fun, painless adventure. Presented by TIFFANY APPLETON, of JOHNSON & HILL STAFFING, a Strategic Partner of the FBCPV



EOS USER'S GROUP, PART 2: following up on our recent first meeting, we will discuss all that will make your implementation of ENTREPRENEURIAL OPERATING SYSTEM (as described in Traction, by Gino Wickman) all you need it to be. Attendance at our first meeting is not a prerequisite; in fact, we are in search of a few more visionaries and integrators, who are experienced and willing to learn and share. Contact Ira and Jessi at 413 835 0810 or / ira@fambizpv/com for more info and to register. Limit 20, 2 per company.

DECEMBER 11, 2018 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

TACTICS WITHOUT STRATEGY IS THE NOISE BEFORE DEFEAT – Sun Tzu Harvard University says strategic plans are useless... but strategic PLANNING is crucial. That dust-collecting document, high up on your shelf, was probably outdated the moment you finished it. You’re devoted to achieving all the tasks and projects in your company, and too busy to stop, but as they say “those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Tonight’s panel will feature 4 experts on strategic planning, who will reveal to you how to make strategic planning the effective tool it needs to be; why even brilliant seeming strategy so often goes awry, how you can make your everyday thinking strategic, and how to overcome the many misunderstandings that owners and managers have about strategy. The panel will be moderated not only by Ira Bryck, but include many questions from our curious and motivated audience of business owners.

Panel members are Paul Brown of Leadership DynamicsKaren Utgoff of Karen Utgoff ConsultingPaul Silva of Launch 413, and Beth Spong of Rainmakers Consulting.

(fyi, our scheduled speaker for tonight, Francesca Gino, is being rescheduled till later on, due to circumstances beyond her control)

ALSO: Top 10 Year End Tax and Financial Planning Tips for 2018by Howard Cheney, CPA, of Meyers Brothers Kalicka


OCTOBER 16, 2018 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

The Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass


Join us at an evening with SHEILA HEEN, the bestselling co-author of the classic Difficult Conversations, who will teach how to turn evaluations, advice, criticisms, and coaching into productive listening and learning.

We swim in an ocean of feedback. Bosses, colleagues, customers—but also family, friends, and in-laws—they all have “suggestions” for our performance, parenting, or appearance. We know that feedback is essential for healthy relationships and professional development—but we dread it and often dismiss it. That’s because receiving feedback sits at the junction of two conflicting human desires. We do want to learn and grow. And we also want to be accepted just as we are right now. Thanks for the Feedback is the first book to address this tension head on. It explains why getting feedback is so crucial yet so challenging, and offers a powerful framework to help us take on life’s blizzard of off-hand comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited advice with curiosity and grace. The business world spends billions of dollars and millions of hours each year teaching people how to give feedback more effectively. Stone and Heen argue that we’ve got it backwards and show us why the smart money is on educating receivers— in the workplace and in personal relationships as well. Coauthor of the international bestseller Difficult Conversations, Sheila Heen has spent the last ten years working with businesses, nonprofits, governments, and families to determine what helps us learn and what gets in our way. With humor and clarity, she blends the latest insights from neuroscience and psychology with practical, hard-headed advice. This event will make a huge impact on you and your organization's ability to turn feedback into gold.


Why is it important for people to know their leaders? Even if you’re not all ‘kumbaya’ on the inside, there is a huge upside to bringing people into your world. A paycheck will only motivate someone so much. When we’re invested in our leader, and their vision, we understand our connectedness to the overall mission – we’re a part of something! Solid relationships inspire people to go above and beyond; leading to a dedicated, action-oriented, workforce. What leader wouldn’t want to lead that? One of the best ways to help your people get to know you is by providing them with a ‘User Manual’ – a document letting them know everything they need to know about YOU. In this mini-workshop, Family Business Center strategic partner and board member ROSS GIOMBETTI, and his GIOMBETTI ASSOCIATES colleagues walk you through their User Manual process which includes reflecting upon your personality and behavior, drafting insightful commentary as to how you interact with the world, and refining your guide to ensure it contains impactful information.


Holyoke Public Library


In business, we want to be productive, creative, and feel like our time and energy are well spent so our lives are meaningful. Yet, each of us brings a constellation of experiences and history that can seek to derail us from not just attending to our to-do lists, but to the larger goals we genuinely want to accomplish and strive for. We feel overwhelmed. We procrastinate. We get stuck or stall out—if even secretly. Enter self doubt and fear. Or just plain boredom, and then we disengage. Or our employees do. 

Business and Leadership coach JULIA MINES leads you through an exploration of how to manage particularly human behaviors impacted by your mindset. Learn simple, easy hacks so you have more choice and can learn to respond rather than react to the discomfort of owning or working in a business. You’ll learn about the part of your brain, the amygdala, that can sabotage your best intentions by pitching you into fear and overreaction. How to set goals that don’t freak you out—and what to do about them when they do. And how to work with the goals of those you manage so that you don’t freak them out (which leads them to procrastinate). You’ll explore how you can become more courageous. And, what to do with your own procrastination. You’ll get to look at where you have boundaries, and where you need to plump them up.  All so that you can lead better, get moving, and feel more confident even in the times you don’t. The job of a coach is to help people not just remove mental obstacles to success but to help them accelerate their productivity, creativity, and even happiness. Learn some hacks to get there yourself.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM
     at Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass
misinterpret cues
make poor choices
are not happier when you make more money
overpay for coffee
pick the wrong investment
and in general
act and think irrationally
no matter how smart you are
Presented by Robert H. Frank, Cornell professor of management and economics

also: how to avoid various kinds of fraud, by PeoplesBank


JUNE 13, 2018 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

THE WISDOM OF OUR BOOK DISCUSSION GROUPS that have been reading and meeting since January, reading a couple of outstanding business books, and discussing periodically with each other and best selling author and UMass Isenberg SOM Professor Alan Robinson. You will hear many key lessons (and how they can be applied in a real live small or medium sized Western Mass company) from Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity by Charles Duhigg;and Leading Change by John Kotter. You will get the invaluable return on their investment of time and brain power.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW MASSACHUSETTS EQUAL PAY ACT, becoming law on July 1st, that will level a playing field where women working full time in Massachusetts make 84.3 cents for every dollar a man makes. This short talk will add clarity as to what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination and how this law will add protections to ensure greater fairness and equity in the workplace. Presented by KATHRYN CROUSS, OF BACON\WILSON, A STRATEGIC PARTNER OF FBCPC


MAY 29, 2018 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

A ROBUST EXPLORATION OF PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS, HOW THEY TIE TO COMPENSATION AND PROMOTION, SO AS NOT TO BE POPULARITY CONTESTS, BUT INSTEAD BE GEARED TO THE GOALS OF THE ORGANIZATION A panel discussion that looks at how some Western Mass companies continue to figure this all out, including, Karin Jeffers of Clinical & Support Options, Peter Wirth of Mercedes Benz of Springfield, and Howard Cheney of Meyers Brothers Kalicka. Our moderator will be Beth Yohai, of AIM HR Solutions who will lead the conversation through such topics as performance management, the impact of the upcoming Massachusetts Pay Equity Act, defining comparable work, creating a meritocracy, and much more.

also: HOW YOU GONNA KEEP EM DOWN ON THE FARM? A recent Gallup poll shows that 51% of employees are not engaged in their jobs. What does that mean in a market where employers are battling it out over a limited pool of top talent? It means trouble. What can you do to ensure your competition doesn’t lure away your best employees? TIFFANY APPLETON of JOHNSON & HILL STAFFING will explain how and why investing in your employees through training can create a win-win situation. 

EPLI STORIES: Beyond the #me2 movement and how these scenarios could affect you Four little letters – EPLI – could cover a range of very serious issues.   EPLI is Employment Practices Liability Insurance.  EPLI deals with wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and other workplace situations.  If you are paying attention to news stories, social media, or just talk around the water cooler.   These are issues and stories  that are penetrating every aspect of our lives.  Most of us are aware of discrimination, but subtle forms are hard to detect.    It is one of the fastest growing legal issues.  We will be covering many cases and how these past cases do affect you. Remember, you don’t have to be wrong to be sued. Presented by PAMELA KELLY, MELISHA ORTIZ, LYNNE LEDGER, MICHAEL LONG AND ALANA SAMBOR, OF AXIA INSURANCE SERVICES, A STRATEGIC PARTNER OF FBCPV

APRIL 24, 2018 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

PechaKucha is a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images advance automatically and in under 7 minutes you get an elegant, clear, passionate story with pictures. We hired a poet, toastmaster, former middle school debate / public speaking coach (that’s one person) and enlisted 12 brave entrepreneurs to edu-tain you with stories galore.

also: 120 IS THE NEW 60…  WELCOME TO THE ABUNDANT FUTURE: AI, HUMAN LONGEVITY, NANO-TECHNOLOGY & ROBOTICS In the next 10 years these exponential technologies are going to transform life expectancy and how we work and play. Are you prepared? Does your financial plan take into account living  actively to age 120 and beyond? How will these changes impact your myths of money and financial plans? CHARLIE EPSTEIN, of EPSTEIN FINANCIAL SERVICES and THE 401K COACH, author of Paychecks For Life and Save America Save will take us through an update and inquiry into these technologies, the abundant future that awaits usand what you need to be thinking about now with your finances and investmentsto position yourself for greater success and satisfaction.


Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, Mass

BUST OUT OF THE SAME OLD SAME OLD, REDISCOVER THE NEW AND DIFFERENT YOU USED TO HAVE After running your business forever, you've gotten good at business as usual, even dealing with the occasional unusual. But to truly go forward, you need to recapture that entrepreneurial verve that got you into this in the first place. In the first place, your new competitors are driven!!! and don't have the good old days to rely on. Secondly, one giant reason why people want to sell and retire is burnout; and it's hard to sell a burnt out business. Third, what's fun got to do with it? A LOT! This morning's session could not be run by a person more suited to showing you how to get back that entrepreneurial feeling. He, himself, is in a rediscovery mode, having just stepped down from leading Valley Venture Mentors, which he co-founded, and led a huge crowd of Western Mass entrepreneurs into their start up journeys. This type of workshop is what he now wants to do, and we got him to do it.

PAUL SILVA leads the Lean Innovation Institute ( where he speaks and trains organizations to develop new revenue streams that diversify income and increase competitive advantage. He leads the River Valley Investors ( angel investor network.  Paul leads the selection of presenters for the Northeast Angel Capital Association syndication meetings. In 2011 Paul co-founded Valley Venture Mentors, a startup accelerator recognized as one of the world’s best by the Global Accelerator Network. He is a former board member of the Angel Capital Association and former president of Click Workspace, the premier coworking facility in Western Massachusetts.


Holyoke Public Library, Holyoke, Mass

Maximize the Value of Your Business: Properly Pricing and Positioning Your Business For Sale

Attention all business owners: if you plan to retire, or think you might someday want to change gears in your life, you will eventually be faced with the task of selling or transferring ownership of your business.  The information in this workshop is invaluable to any business owner -- no matter what age you are, or what stage of its story your business is in!

The workshop will be presented by Philip Steckler of Country Business, Inc. (CBI).  CBI is the leading business brokerage and merger & acquisition firm in Northern New England.  The firm has managed the sales of over 1,200 businesses since 1976, with sale prices ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to $30 million, including the following local businesses: Quabbin Industries, New England Wetland Plants, Danco Modern, Bart’s Ice Cream and Graphic Printing.

Phil will introduce business owners to the following topics: maximizing the value of a business, properly pricing and positioning a business for sale, attracting qualified buyers, minimizing taxes, and maintaining confidentiality.  Additional topics covered will include: analyzing a business’ strengths and weaknesses, understanding the marketplace, valuing a business and properly setting the purchase price and terms, and more.

This will be an interactive workshop, and questions and discussion will be welcome.  Please share this information with your friends, colleagues and business partners.  We hope to see you there!

For more information about CBI, please visit our website at:


Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass

CREATING AND IMPLEMENTING INTERNAL CONTROLS SO YOU AREN'T A VICTIM OF FRAUD AND EMBEZZLEMENT You may have heard Tyra Dellacroce speak about the devastation caused to her family's business, Connecticut Stone, as a result of fraud and embezzlement. This certainly struck a chord with many of our members, who had lots of questions for Tyra. Even if you weren't there, you've probably heard stories of fraud and embezzlement and wondered how you can better protect your business. In this workshop, you will learn some of the background of fraud prevention techniques, and see real-life examples of how one of our members works to protect their assets from fraud. There will also be time for you to ask specific questions related to your business, and your unique circumstances, and how to keep your assets protected. ; presented by ANTHONY GABINETTI and HOWARD CHENEY of MEYERS BROTHERS KALICKA and CRAIG REED of ALL STATES MATERIALS GROUP, ASTRA ROGERS OF KEY BANK AND DELCIE BEAN OF PARAGUS IT.

DECEMBER 5, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

"MIRACLE ON THE HUDSON" SURVIVOR DAVE SANDERSON was not even supposed to be on flight 1549. One story he has to tell is how he survived. Another story is about what lessons he learned about helping get everyone else out alive. And then there's the one about how he realized he better get on with his life, foregoing his current success for what would make his life truly fulfilling. Included in this story: what Tony Robbins did to help (Dave was head of security for Tony for 15 years). This will be an exciting evening for anyone interested in staying alive, and discovering how to really stay alive, after you survived the crash. Each attending company will receive a copy of Dave's book, Moments Matter.


OCTOBER 24 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

TWO CHANGE AGENTS WALK INTO A BAR and reveal how internal and external effectiveness (aka emotional intelligence and data analysis) are two sides of the same coin. When that coin is cashed in, it allows for the design of better solutions, improved engagement and productivity in the workplace. Join us tonight as the aforementioned change agents, JULIA MINES (a leadership coach) and LISA TOTZ (an engineer and business consultant) compare, contrast and convene to demonstrate how change can happen in companies just like yours. See how their individual and combined approaches can help a business family (or any business), with help from improv geniuses KELSEY FLYNN and SCOTT BRAIDMAN.

also: Insurance 102: Let’s Play “The Insurance Feud” Being properly insured plays an essential role in protecting your financial security and future.  But how much do you really understand about your auto and home insurance coverage?  For instance, are you confident you have enough insurance to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss? In light of recent weather related events, it's estimated that two-thirds of homeowners nation-wide do not. At this session, presented by ALANA SAMBOR and MICHAEL LONG of AXIA INSURANCE SERVICES, you will learn common insurance gaps that could put you at risk for significant financial loss. But we will be presenting this information in a fun and relatable format.



Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass

FIVE REASONS YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A SALES PROCESS Sales is the top line for your business and makes everything else your business does possible. While most organizations follow standardized accounting and tax practices, Human Resource regulations, and manufacturing processes, the vast majority do not have the same standards for the one function that supports all of the others. For example • 6 of 10 SMBs do not have individual sales quotas • 8 of 10 SMBs have not performed an annual review of their sales reps in the past 3 years • 8 of 10 SMBs have not travelled or joined sales calls with their reps in over a year • 9 of 10 SMBs do not have a compensation plan that incents the behavior they are seeking from sales. At the same time, these same employers are likely to have the following frustrations about their sales operation:

  • I am the CEO, and I am the top producing sales person in the company
  • I can’t seem to find the right sales person
  • The training we put the sales team through did not help
  • We have a ‘seasoned’ sales team
  • A lot of our revenue comes from just a few clients

If any of these sound like your organization, take heart - You can have a sales operation that is not an aberration! Whether you seek stability or growth, you will take away the tools from this workshop to finally achieve consistency in your sales results. This interactive workshop will cover the importance of creating and implementing sales strategy and process, what to include in them, and how to adjust them over time to keep your sales operation running smoothly. 

Presented by JON ANDERSON OF SIDEHILL GROUP and Sidehill Xceleration, which brings over 1,000 of years of sales leadership experience to small and medium sized businesses. Jon works hands-on with local companies to build and deliver the sales strategies, function integration, systems and processes, and tactical execution that create sustainable growth.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-9:00 PM (a bit longer than usual tonight)


Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

In a two-room office over a car dealership in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, a young couple, Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, created Highlights™ a monthly magazine for children ages 6 to 12. They filled it with stories, adventures, brainteasers, and Hidden Pictures® puzzles. The magazine reflected their philosophy that children become their “best selves” by using their creativity and imagination; developing their reading, thinking, and reasoning skills; and learning to treat others with respect, kindness, and sensitivity. Since then, the Highlights brand has grown to a diverse and inclusive family of products for kids from birth to 12, including games, websites, mobile apps, and book clubs; and spans the globe, now in 40 countries and in 16 languages. It's now a 4th generation family business, and we are proud to have as tonight's presenter, KENT JOHNSON, their CEO and the great grandchild of the founders. Kent earned his undergrad degree at Amherst College, and doctorate in physics at Harvard. Before joining Highlights in 2005, he served in various roles in scientific research and development, manufacturing and operations.  Though he’d had no aspirations to join the family media brand, Johnson found himself inspired by the company’s mission to help children become their best selves and motivated by the challenge of carrying that philosophy into new markets around the world. Kent will discuss with us how his company operates as a family business, how they've viewed succession and expansion over the years, while keeping to their guiding principles; the role they are proud to have in helping children be creative, caring, curious, and confident; and what it has taken to keep their brand and product profitable, relevant and innovative over the last 70 years (ie: their first customers have grandchildren and great grandchildren).

also: SMOKE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM" by JULIE DIALESSI-LAFLEY of BACON\WILSON A look at the new marijuana laws in Massachusetts and what it means for personal use, medical use, as well as implications in the work place. New rulings by the SJC address the medical use and the workplace but leave open the questions of non medical use.

also: INTERVIEW LIKE A BOSS Why do you interview the way you do? Despite the importance of excellent interviewing skills, it's something on which managers very seldom receive training. Today, let's get you started by breaking it down to two different styles. And most important, we'll talk about how each option can help you start making better hires right away. Presented by TIFFANY APPLETON of JOHNSON & HILL STAFFING SERVICES



Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass

The media often perpetuates the myth of a superhuman entrepreneur, driving the growth and success of his business from inception to public company—all by himself.  Yet a mountain of research shows that there are, in fact, two jobs which are critical to the growth and success of entrepreneurial businesses. For every great Visionary (idea person), there needs to be a great Integrator, the person who turn the ideas into reality. This inspiring workshop is tailored to entrepreneurial Visionaries and Integrators alike, and is gleaned from the teaching of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), as popularized in Gino Wickman’s books Traction and Rocket Fuel. Taught by long-time EO Boston member turned Certified EOS Implementer Nate Wolfson, this hands-on workshop will:
• Provide real rules and tools that move you to consider your business leadership from a powerful new perspective
• Help you crystallize your thoughts on how to get more of the freedom and impact you want from your business
• Help you understand when and how to connect with your ideal Visionary/ Integrator counterpart
• Teach existing Visionary-Integrator duos how to maximize their effectiveness together
• Walk away with a playbook for how to maximize this vital relationship

A lifelong entrepreneur, NATE WOLFSON started IT services firm Thrive Networks in 2000 at the age of 23. Over the next six years, Nate and his team grew the company from zero to $10 million in revenue before selling the company to Staples. In 2008, Nate took over the 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 before selling the company. In 2015, Nate became a Certified EOS Implementer. He is currently helping more than 25 entrepreneurial leadership teams across New England get everything that they want from their business. 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. IN ADDITION TO ALL THIS, NATE PRESENTED AT AN FBCPV dinner forum in 2016, and go outstanding reviews, and Ira Bryck, center president said "I thought it was going to be very good, but didn't realize that it would be really exceptionally outstanding." When Nate asked what else he could do to help, Ira jumped at the chance to have him do one of our Friday morning workshop/ roundtables.

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


Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Even if you hire employees with all the right experience and potential, getting them on board for the specific new job you're assigning them to, whether a front line machinist or a top level thought leader, takes strategy, execution, philosophy and decreasing the risk of a failed hire. Tonight we hear from a few people who train people in Western Mass organizations, that will give you a fascinating look at how they get their workforce rowing together, hitting the ground running, and shooting straight. Our speakers will include:

  • Matthew F. Moriarty, Captain of the Holyoke Police Department, will discuss training practices of the Holyoke Police Department and how Officers are training for the new millennium..
  • Erin Pirro, of Farm Credit East (a specialized lender and consulting agency for agriculture, commercial fishing, and forestry) on her strategies for training millenials, the generation that are either lazy, entitled job-hoppers, or innovative, balanced, adaptable geniuses, depending on your prejudices.
  • Rick Roso of Lime Rock Drivers Club, in Salisbury, CT, in on how race car driving is teachable, like any sport; on the biggest errors drivers make (ie: "where you look is where you go") and what you must do both in driving and in business (ie: "keep your eyes up") plus a few things to make you a better winter driver, in general (ie: how to control what the tires are doing)
  • Susan Janus, who teaches Training Within Industry, a method originally developed by the U.S. War Department in 1940, to efficiently ramp up to produce munitions for WW2; TWI is the forerunner to Lean and Kaizen; and has now evolved to focus also on employee engagement and idea gathering.
  • Jane Pearson of Whole Foods describes how they build self-directed teams that celbrate their successes and take responsibility for their failures; appreciate effort and reward results.


All work and no play- what will it take to create a paycheck for life, so you can do all the things you desire to do some day, one day? Founding FBCPV Strategic Partner Charlie Epstein has spent 38 years working with both family business owners and their employees to assist them in crafting what he calls "desirement strategies" to mitigate taxes and create a "Paycheck for Life." In this entertaining session, he will help you to do the same.

CHARLIE EPSTEIN, The 401k Coach and Founder of Epstein Financial Services, a registered investment advisory firm, is a national speaker, and author of 2 books -Paychecks for Life and Save America, Save: The Secrets of a Successful Retirement Plan.


Holyoke Public Library Community Room, Holyoke, Mass


Tired of inside-the-box team thinking? Ready to take more risks in a supportive, positive way? This workshop gives you a roadmap for how to get your team problem-solving, brainstorming and creating in a judgement-free environment full of "Yes!" attitude and forward momentum.Let's support your team experience with the vulnerability required to bring new ideas into fruition, by redefining and disempowering failure together. In the words of scientist Edith Widder, "Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let's all go exploring."‘

About Your THROUGH LAUGHTER Facilitator: PAM VICTOR is the founder and president of Happier Valley Comedy, where she runs the Through Laughter program and a multi-level improv comedy school, as well as producing regular improv shows in Western Massachusetts. Pam is the author of “Baj and the Word Launcher: A Space-Aged Asperger Adventure in Communication” and, along with legendary improvisers TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, co-authors of “Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book.” A graduate of Smith College with a Masters in Education from Iona College, Pam has received improv training from iO Theater (Chicago), Annoyance Theatre (Chicago), ImprovBoston, and from Second City teachers. Pam is a nice person. She would probably like you. Check out how Pam makes the Happy Valley HAPPIER at 


APRIL 19, 2017 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass


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.

FRAUD PREVENTION: WHO HAS THE KEYS TO YOUR DOOR? Today’s world is more complex when it comes to addressing financial security.  Cyber Criminals are constantly inventing new techniques to commit fraud whether it is spyware, phone scams, check fraud, phishing, key logging, and the list goes on.  Businesses must remain diligent and proactive by doing all they can to protect the company’s assets.  During this session we will • Review some of the current trends that we are seeing • Discuss some practical approaches that are being taken by financial institutions to prevent threats• Share a variety of technical and operational controls that can be implemented to discourage instances of fraud.  Presented by ASTRA ROGERS Vice President of Enterprise Commercial Payments/ Cash Management of Key Bank, a strategic partner of the FBCPV.  


Holyoke Public Library (Community Room), Holyoke, Mass


There has long been an expectation that employees check their emotions at the door of the workplace. This may be spectacularly bad advice. Not only is it difficult, if not impossible to do, but stuffing our feelings may stifle innovation and productivity, not to mention increase stress and health issues. Emotions are energy in motion, and properly expressed, help us to increase awareness, move beyond failures, take effective action, innovate more, and celebrate success.This workshop will help you identify the unique ways you experience and express primary emotions, and learn to channel them toward more effective work and play!

Presented by JOE LAUR and SARA SCHLEY, who created Seed Systems, an international consulting company in 1994. Seed Systems uses a systems-in-action approach while working with individuals, teams, organizations, and networks to transform organizations and create a future we want to live in. Over nearly two decades, they have worked in business, non-profit, government and academic sectors; creating, designing, facilitating, teaching and coaching leadership programs and culture change initiatives all dedicated to creating productive and resilient enterprises. With Seed Systems as incubator for innovation, Sara and Joe were the co-creators of the SoL Sustainability Consortium in 1998, a network of companies and major corporations including Nike, Shell, Ford, WorldBank, Interface and many more, challenging each other to create best practices in the field. Sara and Joe are the co-authors of The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World and Learning for Sustainability. - See more at:

MARCH 7, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30PM

JANUARY 20, 2017 •FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM

Elms College, Faculty Dining Room, Mary Dooley College Center, Chicopee, Mass



Do you have employees who you know could be doing more and better, but don't know how to motivate them? Do you want to build a stronger organization, so you can promote from within, and not lose those who are going places?
This workshop/ roundtable will help you to
•Implement a plan to develop the potential and talent of your people
•Learn how to evolve from your current methods to what is needed
•Get a firmer understanding of the value of an employee
•See how any employee can be at their best, or stay under-utilized
•Share with other business owners and key managers what has
gone well and badly, until now
•Learn 5 steps you can get started on right away
•Calculate the return on investment of an employee, and the value of their "seat on the bus" if filled correctly and properly cared for
•How to develop YOURSELF as a leader, while we're at it!
We refer to this Friday morning series as "workshop/roundtable" because they are highly interactive among the 15-20 business owning attendees, so you get a real feel of how the ideas presented can be implemented in a variety of industries and circumstances, for a wider, greater, perspective!

This discussion-based workshop will be led by Nancy Davis, Business Development Specialist for Elms College MBA Program and Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. She has been in the career development field for over 20 years. Nancy spent five years as the Elms College Director of Career Development. Nancy has extensive experience connecting people to people, people to careers and people to information. She instills confidence in others to be successful and promote themselves to the next level. Nancy is a creator, organizer and developer of opportunities that provide professionals, students, and graduates with the knowledge, tools, experience and information to make decisions about their path and future. Prior to her employment at Elms College, Nancy was a Recruiter / Manager for a firm specializing in technical recruitment for Fortune 500 companies. Nancy received her MBA in Management from Elms College and Bachelor of Science in Business and Finance from Mount St. Mary's University. She is a MBTI Certified Practitioner and Certified Appreciative Adviser.

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.

OUR INSURANCE QUIZ SHOW, brought to you by Alana Sambor and Michael Long of Axia Insurance Services, will test how much you really understand about the tedious, yet necessary evil known as insurance. Be prepared to learn, including what you don't know you don't know. It will also involve fun and prizes.


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.

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.

AUDIT, REVIEW & COMPILATION: WHICH CPA REPORTS DO YOU NEED, AND WHY? It depends on what your lenders, investors, suppliers and customers want or need to see, and the level of comfort and assurance they require. This short talk will help you understand the differences in services, the cost of each, and what level of assurance each type of report/opinion provides. Presented by Matt Nash and Joe Vreedenburgh of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, PC, a Strategic Partner of the FBCPV.

LEARN ABOUT NEW PROPOSED REGULATIONS ON VALUATION DISCOUNTS, presented by Ronald Weiss of our strategic partner, the lawfirm Bulkley Richardson, LLP


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.

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.

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 JAY MCGUINNESS, Vice President, Relationship Manager, Business Banking for First Niagara Bank.

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


MAY 20, 2016 • FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, PC , Holyoke, Mass

FINDING AND KEEPING THE BEST YOUNG TALENT IN WESTERN MASS - part of our "third Friday morning workshop/ roundtable series- see more info here


APRIL 12, 2016 • TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30PM

DELANEY HOUSE, Holyoke, Mass

FEEDING THE FAMILY IN FAMILY BUSINESS, Suzanne Slater, Gifted Generations

I FOUND A BUYER, WHY NOT SELL IT MYSELF? -Michael Camerota, Touchstone Advisors

MARCH 18, 2016 • FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM (our 3rd Friday workshop series)

Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass


Whether you are a business owner, sales representative, marketing manager, or customer care professional, one thing is true… we are all responsible for offering premium customer experiences!

This workshop is jam-packed with need-to-know principles and growth strategies to help bridge the gap(s) among your customer centric teams. Learn how to

  • communicate your product offerings effectively to your target market(s)
  • ensure your sales team is equipped with the resources they need to close the sale, and
  • pave the way for repeat sales and customer loyalty through positive customer experiences and after sale follow-up.

In addition to learning how to deliver premium experiences, this workshop will also detail

  • ways to capture customer testimonials,
  • how to collect data to improve your performance and offerings
  • techniques to recapture upset clients.

In this interactive workshop, participates will be given a Q&A packet, complete with corresponding session slides. Participants can engage in the presentation silently by using their packet or aloud by answering the questions proposed throughout the presentation. These packets will serve as guidelines, should participants want to apply what they learned after the session.

Our presenter, STACY FALCONER, is Business Development Director at Dion Label Printing, Inc., Westfield, Mass, responsible for the overall customer experience, business model, and growth plan. She received her MBA from Isenberg at UMass Amherst and has 10+ years of sales and marketing experience, including for the City of Brockton, Mass., Faneuil Hall Marketplace and Reebok. Falconer’s expertise has driven Dion Label Printing and other companies to comprehensive marketing strategies, improved customer experiences and increased revenue. Her passion is in strategizing processes and people to ensure positive customer experiences, increase productivity, and increase profitability. Additionally, Falconer excels at problem solving and creative packaging design to increase sales and improve supply chain management for Dion customers.

MARCH 8, 2016 • TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

A look at how continuous improvement and quality programs work in companies like yours, and various industries not like yours, that you can learn from. Quality Officers and business owners from varied Western Mass organizations discuss how they've presented the process to employees; how they've overcome resistance; what training and education has been helpful; how they've benchmarked with competitors and other industries; how they got the process started; how they've prepared for certification and accreditation processes, and much more. The panelists are: Brian Chechile and Ted Snyder of Sanderson MacLeod (precision manufacture of twisted wire brushes for cosmetic and other industries), Ariane Krumholz of Clinical & Support Options (Behavioral Health organization with 500 multi-disciplinary staff, helping thousands of families throughout Western Mass), Craig Reed of All States Materials Group (vertically integrated road construction company), and Denis Gagnon of Excel Dryer (manufacturers of industry leading hand dryers).

Moderated by Alan Robinson, UMass professor and speaks and consults around the world, about continuous improvement and corporate creativity. Alan is among our most highly rated presenters through the years, and is author of several books on idea systems, including Ideas Are Free and The Idea Driven Organization.


How many people work at your company? If your answer is "about half," you will like hearing Charlie Epstein of Epstein Financial Services explain how to improve culture, profitability and productivity, while becoming happier at work, through the transformational power of engagement.

DECEMBER 9, 2015 •WEDNESDAY, 8:30 AM-1:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

please note changed location and earlier end time

LEARN TO GET THE MOST OUT OF EVERY INTERACTION, BY FINDING THE NEGOTIATOR IN YOU a half day training for FBC members and strategic partners, that will help grow your skills as a negotiator at work, at home, and in life.

(This is one of our 6 annual events, though not a dinner forum.)

Each one of us negotiates every single day of our lives -- at work, with loved ones, and in other personal interactions. Whether you're buying a TV, deciding on a vacation spot, getting your children to do their homework, or asking for a raise, your negotiating skills are continually put to the test. Did you ever think it possible to negotiate with your boss? Do you dread planning holidays with your in-laws? Do salary discussions make your stomach turn? Escape second-guessing and selling yourself short by finding the Negotiator in You!

At this special half day workshop, you will learn so much about how to navigate the conversations so you and your "opponents" can come to mutually satisfying terms, and success. JOSHUA WEISS, Ph.D., co-founder and senior fellow of the Global Negotiation Initiative of the Harvard Negotiation Project, will explain all you need to know to negotiate in business and in life. You will discover how to deal with deadlocks, with people you think aren't as trustworthy as you, or simply very different; how to separate the people from the problem, how to focus on interests, not positions, how to invent options for mutual gain, and how to insist on using objective criteria. You will leave more able to maximize your advantage and utilize several strategies and tactics, how to discuss sticky family business issues in a fair and adult way, or grievances with anyone, even if they're above or below you on the org chart, as well as recognize how and when to play hardball, and more.

A few things you’ll learn at this special training:

  • How to tell when a conversation suddenly becomes a negotiation
  • What to do when the other party seems hostile or untrustworthy
  • How to manage your emotions during a negotiation
  • How to consider the gender and generation issues
  • What to do when we’re perceived as the “weak consumer”
  • When to make or hold back the first offer
  • When the other party is a seasoned professional
  • How to maintain integrity throughout every negotiation
  • Recognizing when your opponent is using negotiation tricks
  • How to negotiate price
  • Dealing with forces outside your control
  • How to separate positions from people
  • Creating win/wins between buyers and sellers
  • How to keep family and family business discussions from getting too emotional or critical
  • When, why and how to walk away
  • Keeping it fair when there’s a power imbalance
  • How to say no without killing the relationship
  • How to tell when the other party is bluffing, manipulating or bullying
  • Managing your personal strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator

JOSHUA WEISS, aside from his role in the world famous Harvard Negotiation Project, is also managing director of Abraham's Path Initiative, an international nonprofit dedicated to establishing a cultural tourism route through the Middle East to serve as an intercultural meeting place for people of all religions and nationalities. He is the creator of a series, in conjunction with BBC, called The Negotiator in You, teaching people how to more successfully deal with conflict in all areas or work and life. Lastly, Josh is a local, residing with his wife and children in Longmeadow, Mass.

OCTOBER 20, 2015 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM



There are many ways to use power and authority, aside from the stereotypical command and control autocrat. Hear how several area business leaders found their personal style, sometimes quite different than their predecessor; how they distribute authority throughout their workforce; how the upcoming generation is gaining strength and influence; and how even if the decisions made by leaders are not democratic, they can still be based in fairness and inclusivity. Several Western Mass business leaders will each take 10 minutes to describe their methods and perspectives. By hearing numerous vantage points, you may realize how you could take charge in a healthier way, and instill your company with what it needs to grow a vibrant crop of powerful participants.

These Western Mass business leaders will each describe how they think of authority:

Be the kind of leader people will follow by their own choice, regardless of title or authority. – Jennifer Shimmel, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity

Hire people smarter than you. - Stanley Kowalski , FloDesign Sonics

We inspire people to experience sustainable outdoor adventures that build strong communities! - Karen Blom, Zoar Outdoor

Leadership starts with a passion for what you do. - Bill Grinnell, Webber & Grinnell

Be a constant mentor to your staff and offer them frequent leadership opportunities, pushing them to constantly raise their own bar. - Katie Stebbins, Asst. Secretary of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Commonwealth of Massachusetts, EOHED

My leadership style is to hold people to a high standard, clearly define my expectations, and then give them the tools, resources and autonomy they need to achieve great results. – Delcie Bean, Paragus IT

also: DIVORCE, WHEN ONE OR BOTH SPOUSES OWN BUSINESS INTERESTS, presented by ELLEN RANDLE of BULKLEY RICHARDSON LLP, a strategic partner of the UMass Family Business Center.


SEPT 16, 2015 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM



How many decisions do you make in the course of each business day? How often are they based on a gut feeling, versus measurable, relevant data? How accurate is your gut, and how well can you really tune into it? And how do you know which data is accurate, not to mention relevant? How can you be sure you're considering all the consequences? Are you reaching for solutions that worked before, not sure they're what is needed for more complex dilemmas? Are you influenced by biases you're not even aware of? This presentation could help you, by exploring the practical aspects of the latest research on Effective Decision Making and how family or closely held businesses are using it to create success.

Come learn to make better decisions, after hearing from DR. VANA NESPOR, Chief Learning Officer and Dean of Online and Adult Studies at Bay Path College and DR. TOM LOPER, Associate Provost and Dean of Bay Path's Graduate Business program.

HOW YOUR BUSINESS CAN BEST NAVIGATE THE WORKOUT PROCESS WITH YOUR BANK If your business loan falls out of compliance with the bank covenants, you may find yourself speaking to the Special Assets department about a workout. While you may hope this means the bank will help you work out your problem, it could be that the bank is trying to work your loan out of its portfolio. Last December we heard Kevin Kervick discuss how this happened to him, when Bassette Printers faced a perfect storm. Kevin has since done a lot of research on how various banks approach workout, and will be discussing it with GARY DANIS, First Vice President of FIRST NIAGARA BANK, who is their Regional Team Leader of Special Assets. What they have to say to you and to each other will help you if ever you face that terrible situation, and learn, in time, what many people learn too late.

JUNE 16, 2015 • TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


THE ART OF CONSTRUCTIVE CONFRONTATION: HOW TO ACHIEVE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY WITH LESS CONFLICT Most people assume that confrontation is unpleasant and to be avoided. But it's the conflict and anger that comes from avoiding confrontation that's what you actually fear. Constructive confrontation provides a systematic approach to have members of any team or organization honor their promises, and clearly understand the expectations of what they need to do. By actually planning to have confrontations, not in a spirit of fear, but with commitment to common goals, people will be more accountable and achieve their goals. To build an organization where this all happens well, people are coached to be able to coach, to help each individual do what they do best, that the organization needs most. All of this creates an active dialog that keeps principles above personalities, ensures greater accountability, and a company where people deal with issues sooner, decreasing conflict. You may understand WHY this is good to do, but at tonight's forum you will learn HOW to do it. We will also discuss several specific situations faced by audience members at their workplaces, and walk through the steps to you need to take in response.

Presented by JOHN HOOVER, PhD, whose work at the NYC firm Partners International is to define and design the company’s theoretical approach to and practical methodology for executive coaching and talent strategy consulting. His executive experience with The Walt Disney Company and McGraw-Hill, his M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy, and PhD in Human & Organization Development uniquely position him to invoke creativity, innovation, and systems theory when coaching key policy makers in making critical organizational decisions that unleash the full talent potential of their organizational populations. An author or co-author of more than a dozen books on leadership and psychology, including How to Work for an Idiot and Leadership When the Heat's On, John is the creator of the Contextual Coaching™ model at Partners International. He developed curriculum and taught in graduate–level certification programs based on Coaching in the Organizational Context at CUNY and Fielding Graduate University.

ALSO, THE BIG DECISION: WHEN TO START COLLECTING SOCIAL SECURITY Presented by Doug Wheat, CFP® for our strategic partner Meyers Brothers Kalicka, in conjunction with their affiliate, Family Wealth Management, a division of United Capital.


APRIL 28, 2015 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


HARNESSING THE POWER OF SYSTEMS THINKING AND MAPPING TO TRANSFORM YOUR COMPANY   There are so many moving parts in your company, so sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture. But then how do you know if those are the right parts, moving in the right way? Through systems thinking and mapping, you can gain the ability to see the interdependence of the parts, identify patterns that repeat over time, uncover beliefs that form resistance to change, and respond to feedback that helps you and your organization learn and revise, and discover where the “leverage points” are that you can use to achieve your highest goals and take effective action. This presentation will include 3 cases from FBC member companies, where our presenter, Joe Laur, helped owner/managers map and comprehend the systems in their companies, so that they (and you) have a greater grasp on the loops, patterns, and leverage points so they could take the necessary actions and achieve their desired results.

Tonight’s presenter is JOE LAUR, a founding partner of SEED Systems, an international consulting firm that works with individuals, teams and organizations through teaching and coaching to transform organizations and create a sustainable world. Joe has worked with Harley-Davidson, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Nike, Waste Management, and many more; focusing on organizational learning, personal effectiveness skills and sustainable development.

THE SPOTLIGHT IS ON the 401(k) Retirement Plan Industry: Politically, President Obama and even our local Senator, Elizabeth Warren, have been vocal about "Obama-nizing" the private 401(k) Retirement Plan System. Government Regulators have stepped up audits of corporate retirement plans, with the addition of 300 new auditors at the Department of Labor (DOL). They are doing spot audits seeking to determine if you, as a sponsor of a qualified 401(k) retirement plan are fulfilling all of your duties as a plan fiduciary - specifically acting prudently and with a duty of loyalty to your participants and their beneficiaries!

What’s a business owner to do? Fortunately, CHARLIE D. EPSTEIN of Epstein Financial Services, (founder of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley and 21 year sponsor) has the answers. His new book, Save America Save, The Secrets of a Successful 401(k) Plan, will provide you with strategies you can implement today to "bullet proof" your plan from a DOL Audit. More importantly, Charlie's book will provide you with successful strategies you can implement today to increase the tax leverage and savings for you, the owner, all while improving the retirement outcomes and success for your employees! Charlie will be sharing his 35 years of experience in the retirement industry. 401k Wire has named him one of the most Influential Individuals in the Retirement Industry and one of the Top 300 Advisors in the Country. Nationally he is known as The 401k Coach, and has trained over 3,000 financial advisors across the country for companies like Fidelity, Mass Mutual, Voya, Nationwide, Lincoln Financial, Mutual of Omaha and AXA, to name a few. His first book, Paychecks for Life, How to Turn Your 401(k) Into a Paycheck Manufacturing Company, has helped hundreds of advisors and thousands of 401(k) Plan participants create successful retirement outcomes.( Everyone attending will receive a free copy of his new book Save America Save.

MARCH 10, 2015 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM



Leaders need to be nimble, attentive, confident and creative these days in order to personally thrive while positively relating to others. Interestingly, the same is true of Improv Theater performers. In fact, the skills that make improvisers so successful are the same ones that make us non-performers successful, both personally and professionally. In this entertaining, informative and immediately applicable program we'll go behind the curtain and into the mind of improvisers and leave with an "innovation mindset" as well as ways to be more confident, spontaneous, innovative and balanced people. The entire program is informal, interactive and involving. Participation is completely voluntary. No one will be singled out to volunteer. Plus it will be fun!

We are so pleased to have a return engagement by IZZY GESELL. Izzy is an organizational alchemist who helps individuals and organizations move from commonplace to extraordinary. He 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.


Every owner will eventually exit the family business, whether by sale, an orderly succession to the next generation, or feet first! Here are five steps you can take in preparation for the inevitable. Presented by MICHAEL CAMEROTA of TOUCHSTONE ADVISORS, a strategic partner of the Family Business Center at UMass Amherst.

JANUARY 16, 2015 •FRIDAY, 8:00-10:30 AM

classroom (room 113), 100 Venture Way, Hadley, Mass.


A special workshop/ roundtable discussion, to learn more about Lean methodology.

see more:

DECEMBER 9, 2014 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


SEVERAL COMPELLING STORIES FROM WESTERN MASS BUSINESS OWNERS (LESSONS INCLUDED) Tonight we hear the experiences of a few people who created, continued or rebuilt great companies. Or whose business failed, but not without valuable lessons. Their stories might inspire us, teach us, scare us, and probably prepare us. Be prepared.

The interviewers are all Strategic Partners of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

Michael Camerota speaks with Eric Hagopian. Eric was the 3rd generation of Hoppe Technologies, a precision machine shop in Chicopee. He and his brother Doug started with their father, Gary, and then were sibling partners, carrying on a tradition of innovation and measured risk, and oversaw the growth that led to the sale of the company. Learn about the ingredients that led to their well-orchestrated exit.

Kris Houghton introduces us to Attilio Cardaropoli, who bought the Twin Hills Country Club in bankruptcy and has brought it to full membership and put on an addition, nearly tripling the size of the club. Hear what it took to create this dramatic turnaround of a failed business in a threatened industry.

Ron Weiss talks with Kevin Kervick, Kevin ran Bassette Printers, which was seriously affected by a client bankruptcy and an equipment disaster that sidelined a major asset for four months. His company ceased doing business as a result of the workout process initiated by its bank after a default on a loan covenant. They will discuss some useful takeaways from Kevin's experience.

Charlie Epstein will interview Joe Cambi. Joe grew his father's small food business in Springfield into Springfield Food Service Corporation and sold it for over one hundred million dollars; then started up several companies, including one of the largest mortgage origination companies in the U.S. You will be inspired by the energy and optimism of Joe's serial entrepreneurship.



OCTOBER 14, 2014 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


JOIN US TO CELEBRATE THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley The math is hard to deny: 2014- 1994= 20!! Come to an excellent party filled with so many interesting and enjoyable local movers and shakers, plus wonderful food and drink, plus the speeches will be relatively short and sweet!

And we're so proud to have an excellent keynote speaker, whose story will amaze and inspire you: DEWEY BOZELLA, who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit! Four times he was offered parole if he would confess, but he would not. While in prison, he earned his high school equivalency, his bachelors degree, and became the light heavyweight boxing champ of Sing Sing Prison. After his release, with the Innocence Project proving that he was framed and that evidence was supressed, his wish came true, where he fought and won a professional boxing match. He now works with teenagers, teaching them boxing and warning them about the dangers of joining gangs. You will be moved by what Dewey has to say about never giving up hope, or letting go of your dream. Rick and Ross Giombetti say "We refer to Dewey Bozella in all our leadership seminars, as the epitome of resilience and inner strength. We're totally excited to have him at the UMFBC anniversary celebration." Can't wait? See more here:


SEPTEMBER 16, 2014 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


MOST PEOPLE WHO NEED A TURNAROUND SPECIALIST DON'T REALIZE IT TILL IT'S TOO LATE As a stereotype, entrepreneurial types are optimistic, big picture people. They prefer to not wallow in financials, and live in hope more than despair, except maybe at 3 am, every so often. And the business was built, piece by piece, from the ground up, more concerned with getting the order out than cash flow; and making this week's payroll than building sustainability for ten years hence. Enter DAVID SANDS, who claims he can walk into a company, close his eyes, and hear whether your business is humming along or clunking towards a terrible breakdown. By the time he is called in, it's often almost too late: the business is in the "zone of insolvency." He wishes he'd been summoned earlier, when he could help that company restructure and live another hundred years. At this talk, David will tell you what you need to do, to turn around when it's not a hairpin turn near a steep cliff. Hear his war stories galore, answers to your questions, methods to assess where you're at, other methods to get you to where you need to be. He's been there, and will help you not end up there. If you think you and your company could not benefit mightily from what he has to tell you, good luck!


also: WHAT YOUR BANKER SEES AND HEARS WHEN MEETING WITH YOUR COMPANY When a business owner meets with a banker, she/he wants to make a good impression. Aside from shined shoes and a good handshake, what messages are you sending about your solidity, professionalism, industry knowledge, realism, understanding of risk? JIM BZDYRA, Senior VP of Commercial Lending for First Niagara Bank, will share several valuable insights about how a banker evaluates your credit worthiness from the clues you may not realize you’re sending.



JUNE 11, 2014 • WEDNESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


HOW TO BUILD AN IDEA-DRIVEN ORGANIZATION How does your business get its best ideas? If you're relying on the brainstorms of the owners while showering, or lying awake at 3am, you could be in trouble. And if you're hoping that managers will deliver grand slams, so you can ignore the singles and doubles of your front line employees, watch out. And the suggestion box? Oy vey! And even pricey consultants? Their best ideas are often no match for the properly gathered feedback from people who actually see where the problems live- in other words, YOUR people! Those of you who've had the pleasure of hearing UMass Professor Alan Robinson discussing his ground breaking work Ideas Are Free will be in even more delirium when you hear it here first- as Alan delivers you gems based on the sequel, The Idea- Driven Organization- to be published in May, 2014. Alan's new book (again, co-authored by the also excellent Dean Shroeder) describes exactly how to build and execute an idea gathering system in your small or medium sized company. The system that best fits your company will be different from those built for the large industry leaders depicted in Ideas Are Free; and here is the presentation that will show you how.

DR ALAN G ROBINSON has advised more than 100 companies in 12 countries on how to improve their creative performance, and is an award-winning author and educator. He has served on the Board of Examiners of the United States' Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. His book Corporate Creativity: How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen (co-authored with Sam Stern) was a finalist in the Financial Times/Booz Allen & Hamilton Global Best Business Book Awards, was named "Book of the Year" by the Academy of Human Resource Management, and has been translated into thirteen languages. His book Ideas Are Free, co-authored with Dean Schroeder, was published in 2004. Based on their research and consulting in more than 300 organizations in 17 countries, the book describes how the best companies go about getting large numbers of ideas from their front-line employees. The book was named Reader’s Choice by Fast Company magazine in June 2004 and one of the 30 best business books of 2004 by Soundview Executive Books, and was featured on ABC World News, CNN Headline News and several NPR programs. A syndicated small business columnist for Scripps-Howard, Paul Tulenko, wrote about Ideas Are Free, “I rate this book 5 1/2 stars, a first in this category. It's that powerful. (Only the Bible and the Constitution receive 6 stars.)”. Dr. Robinson is currently on the faculty of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A./M.A. in mathematics from the University of Cambridge in Great Britain.

THE KEY ELEMENTS OF A THRIVING ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM , according to SCOTT FOSTER, ESQ., OF BULKLEY RICHARDSON, a STRATEGIC PARTNER OF THE Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Aside from being a business and entrepreneurial lawyer, Scott is a co-founder and President of Valley Venture Mentors, which provides key support to the entrepreneurial ecosystem by uniting carefully selected startups together with high quality business mentors at structured monthly pitch and planning sessions.

MAY 23, 2014 • FRIDAY, 8:30 AM - NOON (special morning workshop)


CAN YOUR TEAM DO BETTER?  FIVE BEHAVIORS OF A COHESIVE TEAM Competitive advantage…it’s what differentiates your business in a busy marketplace.  Is your distinguishing value a unique product, sterling reputation, stellar customer service? The single most untapped competitive advantage is teamwork.  To gain this advantage, teams must: • TRUST One Another • Engage In CONFLICT Around Ideas • COMMIT to Decisions • Hold One Another ACCOUNTABLE • Focus on Achieving Collective RESULTS  Based on the powerful model introduced in Patrick Lencioni’s business best-seller, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, this highly interactive session is designed to help leaders and teams discover what it takes to build a truly cohesive and effective team.   Participants will engage in diagnostic activities, exploratory discussions and create action plans for next steps to building cohesive teams. 

INGRID BREDENBERG is a strategic coach and creativity muse.  She equips leadership teams and boards of directors with the tools and techniques to evolve their organizations to the next level.  She brings a wealth of knowledge, innovative approaches and leading-edge resources to the work of leadership and team performance.

This special morning workshop costs $50 per person, from any Western Mass business or organization; and $25 for members and strategic partners of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Please register by contacting Ira Bryck at (413) 835-0810 or


APRIL 23, 2014 • WEDNESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


SIBLINGS IN THE FAMILY BUSINESS: LOVE, HATE AND PROFITABILITY Companionship, competition, camaraderie, conflict…how can so much complexity come from under one roof? Sibling relationships can be challenging on their own, but even more so when multiplied by sharing ownership, management and leadership of a business. This interactive workshop will explore the ever-present dynamics between and among siblings, and how they relate to the world of business partnerships. Through group discussion we will shine a light on the pitfalls of siblings working together and offer specific, actionable ideas for nurturing harmony and managing the inevitable (and quite natural) conflicts that arise. This will also be quite relevant to cousins, aka the next generation of sibling partners, who often inherit (for better or for worse) the legacies of their parents’ sibling relationships.

Our presenter tonight is JEFF SAVLOV, a consultant to enterprising families, and the founding principal of Blum & Savlov, LLP, Family Business Consulting. He works with families at the intersection of family dynamics and ownership, management and leadership of shared assets. He worked in his family’s commercial printing business before a career in sales and marketing and then returned to graduate work in family and group dynamics. Jeff is a family therapist and certified psychoanalyst. Currently, he combines all these experiences practicing as a family business/wealth consultant working with multigenerational, enterprising families and their advisors to help families achieve sustainability. He assists business families to achieve clarity about their wealth and values, keep entrepreneurship alive in the family, understand how to govern themselves wisely, and develop character in the next generation, including young children. See more at (Monica Blum is Jeff's wife, so yes, he's still in a family business.)

EXPONENTIAL WISDOM FROM 33 YEARS IN THE FINANCIAL INDUSTRY presented by CHARLIE EPSTEIN OF EPSTEIN FINANCIAL PARTNERS, a strategic partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

MARCH 21, 2014 • FRIDAY, 9:00-11:30 AM (special morning workshop)



Do you want to come across more clearly, but just aren't sure what it takes to make more effective communication choices? 

If we're not consciously choosing how we express ourselves, difficult situations all too often lead down interpersonal dead ends. The ensuing confusion, frustration, anger, and discouragement can waste time and money. If you're ready to take responsibility for your communication choices, this interactive workshop is for you. Trainer and coach Carlyn Saltman (a member of the UMass Family Business Center) will walk you through three key steps to connecting your inner GPS so you'll be prepared to "choose your communication, before it chooses you!" We'll practice what it takes to make more productive communication choices so you'll leave knowing exactly what you need to do to start creating more effective, enjoyable, and even prosperous relationships. To customize this workshop to address your challenges, answer the 4 simple questions on this Survey Monkey
The survey is 100% anonymous, so please be as frank as possible, so Carlyn can help you turn your dead ends into open highways. SPECIAL INCENTIVE: Everyone who fills out the Survey Monkey is entitled to a complimentary mini session, on Skype, with Carlyn (claim this on the honor system, after you do the survey, by callingher at 413 522 0789)

CARLYN SALTMAN developed Video Mirror Feedback® to give business leaders and cultural creatives a cost-effective and convenient way to boost their presentations and their presence. She founded Present-ability Training and Coaching in 2008. Educated at Mount Holyoke College and the National Film and Television School in London, Carlyn began her career in documentaries with the sale of her first two films to the Smithsonian Institution followed by two more award-winning documentaries in West Africa.  After over 20 years as a videographer, interviewer, and program manager at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, she discovered that her interview questions helped her subjects identify and implement better choices. This is also the impact of good coaching.  With this insight, she became a communication trainer and relationship coach to help clients learn to make more confident, emotionally intelligent communication choices. She's certified in Psychosynthesis, which offers a profoundly down-to-earth perspective on who we are and why we're here.  Carlyn's trainings have helped executives, managers, salespeople, and team members at Constant Contact, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, Harwich Group, Tufts University Medical School, SIT Graduate Institute, and Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.-as well as job candidates, public speakers, and others.


MARCH 11, 2014 • TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM



A few years ago, we were honored and lucky to have, as a presenter, Jack Mitchell, of Mitchells/Richards/Marsh and Wilkes Bashford, a three-generation family business that operates men’s and women’s specialty stores in Connecticut, New York and California that are nationally renowned for their personal service touches and strong relationships. He was the author of the excellent book Hug Your Customers, clearly describing how to keep customers happy--and profits booming. Tonight we are so glad to have him back, now the author of Hug Your People, so that he can elaborate on his big secret: hiring, motivating, and keeping your biggest asset--great employees! If you liked him then, you'll love (and hug) him now!

JACK MITCHELL has been recognized as one of the top ten retail visionaries of his time by the Daily News Record, one of the most widely read retail trade publications in the country. After completing college in the mid 1960s, Jack joined the family business. Under his leadership, the Mitchells Family of 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. 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 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. Jack has become known as a passionate, enthusiastic public speaker, keynoting at over 200 events for corporations including Morgan Stanley, Conde Nast, Payless, Nike, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Luxottica and Harvard University. He addresses audiences of all sizes and reaches 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 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 Board, Greenwich Hospital Board of Trustees and is an Executive in Residence at the Columbia University School of Business.

SYNERGISTIC AND STRATEGIC VALUE: WHAT ARE THEY, AND WHY SHOULD I CARE? Can one plus one equal three? A presentation by the newest Strategic Partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, MICHAEL CAMEROTA of TOUCHSTONE ADVISORS.

DECEMBER 10, 2013 • TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM


TO SELL IS HUMAN According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in nine Americans works in sales. Every day more than fifteen million people earn their keep by persuading someone else to make a purchase. But dig deeper and a startling truth emerges:Yes, one in nine Americans works in sales. But so do the other eight. Whether we’re employees pitching colleagues on a new idea, entrepreneurs enticing funders to invest, or parents and teachers cajoling children to study, we spend our days trying to move others. Like it or not, we’re all in sales now. To Sell Is Human offers a fresh look at the art and science of selling. As he did in Drive and A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink draws on a rich trove of social science for his counterintuitive insights. He reveals the new ABCs of moving others (it's no longer "Always Be Closing"), explains why extraverts don't make the best salespeople, and shows how giving people an "off-ramp" for their actions can matter more than actually changing their minds.
Along the way, Pink describes the six successors to the elevator pitch, the three rules for understanding another's perspective, the five frames that can make your message clearer and more persuasive, and much more. This evening with Dan Pink will change how you see the world and transform what you do at work, at school, and at home.

DANIEL H. PINK is the author of five provocative books about the changing world of work -- including the long-running New York Times bestsellers, A Whole New Mind and Drive. His books have been translated into 34 languages. Pink's latest book, To Sell is Human, is a #1 New York Times business bestseller, a #1 Wall Street Journal Business bestseller, and a #1 Washington Post nonfiction bestseller.  In 2011, Harvard Business Review and Thinkers 50 named him one of the top 50 business thinkers in the world.  A graduate of Northwestern University and Yale Law School, Pink lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and their three children.

Each attendee will receive a copy of Dan's new book, To Sell is Human, newly released in softcover.


The same skills that make Improv Theater performers successful can make us
all successful, at work, in sales, and in life...and they are easily available for us to use.

We are so pleased to have a return engagement by IZZY GESELL (who did quite well with us in 1995!). Izzy is an organizational alchemist who helps individuals and organizations move from commonplace to extraordinary. He 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.


OCTOBER 24, 2013 • THURSDAY, 5:00-8:30 PM



It's so true it's a cliché, that what got you into the business you run was probably not the fascination with running a company. It was more likely your powers and abilities to build the product or deliver the service you're involved with – not the day to day governance, filled with people problems, wasted energies, group think, mission creep, and all the slings and arrows while trying to make your outrageous fortune.

Enter Holacracy, a new way of governing an organization. At this dinner forum, you will hear from Brian Robertson, the founder of this method, as he clearly shows how Holacracy can make your organization more agile and purposeful in how power is distributed and decisions are made; how tactical meetings always focus on the next concrete actions to achieve your company’s purpose; how bottlenecks are eliminated through clarifying roles and accountabilities in governance meetings; how people's tensions and perceptions of what is "off" are used as sensors, as on an instrument panel, to stay on course. The net effect is that your company will be more competitive and healthy, and able to grow and adapt in response to shifting external pressures and opportunities.

BRIAN ROBERTSON is a seasoned entrepreneur and organization builder, and a recovering CEO - a job he now helps free others from with Holacracy. Generally regarded as the primary developer of the system, Brian’s work allows leaders to release the reins of personal power and persuasion into a trustworthy and explicit governance process. Brian also serves as the drafter and steward of the Holacracy Constitution, which captures the system's unique "rules of the game" in concrete form. Beyond joyfully crafting legal documents, Brian's creative expression takes many forms – he co-founded HolacracyOne to support Holacracy’s growth, and he fills and loves a broad variety of the company’s roles. He's particularly grateful to hold no fancy titles and wield no special powers, so he can show up as just another partner doing his part to support something he cares about. His work developing Holacracy began as founder and CEO of a leading provider of agile software to emerging technology companies. He’s been interested in programming since he was six years old, and launched his first software-related business when he was twelve.

WELLNESS GAINS STRENGTH Tonight's talk, presented by Lynn Ostrowski, Director of Corporate Relations and Brand for HEALTH NEW ENGLAND, will show you how to plan wellness initiatives now to control future health care costs and keep your program compliant with the new regulations. And to explore growing trends to use biometric premium cost sharing strategies to retain healthy employees. And will clarify Affordable Care Act Wellness Regulations and MA State Wellness Tax Credit for small employers.

LYNN OSTROWSKI earned her BS in Health Fitness, and M.Ed in Health Promotion & Wellness Management from Springfield College and her Ph.D. in Health Psychology from Capella University.  She began her career with the YMCA of Greater Springfield and S.T.A.R.T. Inc. as a Fitness Specialist. Lynn’s experience includes Corporate Health & Fitness Management for major corporations including Digital Equipment Corporation, New England Telephone, Monsanto, and Milton Bradley. She also had her own award winning Cable TV Program, Young At Heart, a fitness program for the senior population.  In 1993 she accepted the Health Promotion Specialist position at HNE and was quickly promoted to Manager of Health Promotion and Disease Management. Lynn created a series of pediatric health story books branded as the HNE Whiz Kidz, several of which are National Health Award winners.  As an advocate for smoke free workplaces, she led the Smoke Free Environment initiative at HNE and assisted several companies in the region to plan and implement Smoke Free Work environments. Today Lynn is the Director of Brand & Corporate Relations at HNE. She co-authored the White Paper entitled My Mother’s Health Plan, Everything I Need to Know About Good Health I Learned From My Mother.  In 2011 Lynn was appointed the Program Coordinator for the Health Services Administration undergraduate degree at the Elms College

SEPTEMBER 24 , 2013 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM



If you’re a true child of the 60’s or 70’s, you should remember a major icon of that era: Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap. With unmistakable scents of mint, lavender or almond, it was (and is) the soap that cleans your body, teeth, car, or everything else. The product was/is instantly recognizable: with Dr. Emanuel Bronner’s urgent message to realize our transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides, in tiny type, on every inch of the bottle. The soaps are synonymous with Old-World quality and time-honored simplicity, which can be traced back to the family’s German-Jewish soapmaking tradition. Born in 1908 to a Jewish family that had been making soap since 1858, Emanuel Bronner was the third generation certified as a master-soapmaker under the guild system of the time. In 1929, he brought his formulas for high-quality liquid and bar soaps to America, starting Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps in its current form in 1948. The 4th and 5th generations of the Bronner family who run the company today continue to make to these unsurpassed soaps with care and integrity.

We are pleased to present Dr. Bronner’s grandson, MICHAEL BRONNER, who is VP of the company, running it with his brother, David, and mother, Trudy. Come hear Michael discuss the family and company history, including his grandfather’s departure from pre-Nazi Germany, navigating the brand’s cult status, their ongoing struggle to make the industry and government regulatory agencies raise the bar on standards for organic, Fair Trade, progressive and sustainable practices, and genetically modified organisms (GMO); and leading the way with improving life for their growers and suppliers, and their support of many meaningful charitable causes. You will enjoy learning how this renowned company continues to develop and thrive – it is still the top selling natural soap in the US (1000% growth over the last 12 years), long after the Age of Aquarius has ended.

LOSING AND MISUSING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: THE SEVEN DEADLY IP SINS FOR THE FAMILY BUSINESS presented by JAMES DUDA, ESQ of the lawfirm BULKLEY RICHARDSON a corporate partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

JUNE 18, 2013 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM



After 5 or so years of very difficult economic challenges, some local companies are continuing to struggle, and others are doing better, or even breaking records. But all along the spectrum, many are reporting that it's not as much fun as it used to be. Or a grind, feeling less meaningful and fulfilling that ever. This session will present 8 local business owners, each talking about how they've succeeded in creating or maintaining a work environment that where people are enjoying themselves and feeling gratified about their work. (as of April 26, we are accepting suggestions and volunteers for owners who would like to present- contact Ira Bryck at (413) 835-0810 or to discuss)

HOW TO PRESENT YOURSELF BETTER, WHETHER TO LAND THE JOB, MAKE YOUR POINT, GET THE PROMOTION, OR ACHIEVE THAT SECOND DATE It would be great if you saw the world accurately, and understood how the misunderstandings with co-workers, friends and family were THEIR doing, and you were in the clear. But instead, you (and all of us) often don’t understand our own contributions that make our interactions tense, awkward and/or worse. We often don’t get why we didn’t land that job, or get that promotion, or achieve that second date. Is it possible that if we could change our presence, we could change our world? CARLYN SALTMAN, of Video Feedback Coaching, can help you observe and reflect more keenly, to recognize your strengths and qualities, and develop your emotional and social intelligence, resulting in more productive interaction with those at work and home; and accelerate your preparation for interviews, presentations and difficult conversations. Carlyn is trained and certified as a Psychosynthesis coach, and is a lifetime member of the Relationship Coaching Institute. Also, she’s good at this. This presentation will include a discussion with 3 local business owners who Carlyn worked with for this talk, as examples to illustrate Video Mirror Feedback®, the online communication coaching method she developed.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO LOWER THE RISK OF FRAUD THROUGH INTERNAL CONTROLS You cannot afford to not know more about this important topic, which can affect any company, but moreso the unprepared. Presented by Melyssa Brown and Anthony Gabinetti of MEYERS BROTHER KALICKA, PC a corporate partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

MAY 1, 2013 •WEDNESDAY 9:00-11:00 AM


Working with family can be tremendously rewarding, adding great competitive advantage; or continuously irritating, reducing prosperity, satisfaction, and any desire to show up for work. For the lucky few, doing it right comes easy- but for most, family business success takes structure, conscientiousness, right priorities and intentions. This session will explore how to best govern, communicate, decide, and strategize when you're working with the ones you love.

Ira Bryck is Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, which provides a non-commercial, interactive learning community for business families in Western New England. Ira is also the author of 3 plays about family business, a family business advice column, and blog about (you guessed it!) family business, and life.

APRIL 24 , 2013 •WEDNESDAY 5:00-9:00 PM (note changed start time)


Tonight's main presenter is 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.

HOW TO IMPROVE THE ODDS THAT YOUR INTERVIEWS WILL YIELD BETTER EMPLOYEES How many times have you been shocked to find that the person you interviewed and hired is not the person who showed up to do the job? RICK AND ROSS GIOMBETTI, OF GIOMBETTI ASSOCIATES will help you with the skills needed to more accurately see who is sitting in the interview chair. With their particular slant on "behavioral interviewing" you can better forecast how a candidate will respond in a given position and situation. At this presentation, an audience member (unknown to Rick and Ross) will be called up to be interviewed for a mock position; and you will see how the process looks and feels. Then they will give the selected interviewee feedback on what traits they revealed in their responses. Come prepared to never do it the old way again.

APRIL 19 , 2013 •FRIDAY 1:00 - 5:00 PM


Special afternoon workshop about sharing power and making decisions, organized by Bredenberg Associates, and sponsored by the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

WHAT IS HOLACRACY? Holacracy is a real-world-tested social technology for agile and purposeful organization. It radically changes how an organization is structured, how decisions are made, and how power is distributed. Some key benefits to adopting Holacracy are: •Highly effective, efficient tactical meetings to sync up and keep visibility into the current reality of the organization • Dynamic and systematic governance process that transforms work and unleashes bottlenecks with clearly defined authority and expectations • A comprehensive process for organizing people around the purpose of an organization that reduces politics in the face of more useful paths to action  • Organizations can adapt and scale as fast as necessary to stay competitive, healthy, and growing along with shifting external pressures and opportunities

This thorough and experiential introduction to Holacracy is a fast-paced, concise taste in a single session. This event fulfills the requirement needed to attend a Practitioner Certification Training, the next step in the learning path.  Learn more here:

Who is this workshop for? LEADERS: Business, community, non-profit, education, healthcare who are seeking ways to make their organizations more nimble and sustainable BOARDS OF DIRECTORS: Deepen understanding of governance practices and organizational models EDUCATORS & INNOVATORS: Introduction to leading edge systems thinking  CONSULTANTS & COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS: Experience evolutionary organizational practices

In this training, participants will:
  • Experience a transformative governance process that creates crystal clear roles and accountabilities even while dynamically evolving as-needed
  • Interactively explore Holacracy's self-organizing structure and double-linking paradigm, and learn how it scales across organizations small and large 
  • Experience Holacracy's lightning-quick, action-focused Tactical Meetings  
  • Connect the dots to see Holacracy's end-to-end approach to move from aim to action, and how it grounds an abstract purpose in concrete next-actions


MARCH 19, 2013 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM


HOW YOUR BRAND VEERED OFF COURSE WHEN YOU WEREN'T LOOKING... IT'S IN THAT DREADED STAGE: ADOLESCENCE Like humans, brands are affected and shaped by experiences.  Except that their evolution occurs in the eyes of those who experience them.  This is the tricky part about marketing.  When you first launch, you know your intent and the meaning of your brand. You created it.And that’s the brand’s starting point, your customers’ first impression. Like human relationships though, first impressions give way to a fuller, truer picture over time as experience with the brand grows.  And this truer picture is in the eye of the beholder – your customer.  Beholders can also include your employees, your referral sources, your vendors…anyone who has meaningful contact with your brand. The way your customers talk about your product or service, the way they use it, and the ways that it becomes a part of their lives – all of this folds into their image of your brand.  The most successful companies tap their brand evolution and mobilize their marketing around it to grow their business. Brand evolution is the reason that Federal Express became FedEx, that Zappos branched out beyond shoes, and that Dunkin’ Donuts credibly sells way more coffee than donuts.  These companies stayed in tune with their customers and followed their brands’ evolution to increasing sales and profits. So how do you figure out your brand’s image? And how do you get it to the next stage? That’s for Evelyn Starr to know, and you to find out, by coming to hear Evelyn Starr. Also!! There will be several "case studies" of the branding strategies of member companies of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. If you're interested in being one of those, let us know (

Tonight's main presenter is EVELYN STARR, a marketing expert with 20 years of experience. Evelyn uses her keen powers of observation and insight to assess underperforming marketing efforts and course-correct them to increase sales for her clients.  She specializes in working with Brands in Adolescence, brands that have stalled after their initial success. Before founding E. Starr Associates in 1999, Evelyn worked for some of New England’s most recognized brands including Dunkin’ Donuts, Veryfine Products and The First Years.  As leader of the Care & Safety category at The First Years, she launched one of the company’s most successful products to date, the Hands-Free Gate, which won The National Parenting Seal of Approval in 2002 and is still on the market today. Evelyn also helped launch signature business-building products such as Dunkin’ Coolattas and Bagels. Evelyn earned an MBA in Marketing from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and graduated with honors from Vassar College with a BA in Economics and French.  Living in the Metrowest Boston area, her passions include travel, reading, writing, yoga, tea, dark chocolate and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in both her husband and her two children.

WHAT YOU DEFINITELY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE IMPENDING IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT presented by Phil Boyle of Pierson & Smith, a division of FIRST NIAGARA RISK MANAGEMENT. Phil will give an overview of the new Healthcare reform; its effect on your company (whether small or large), an update on Exchanges and the state Connector system, and an explanation of new fees and taxes.

PHIL BOYLE is a Healthcare Reform Specialist regarded as an authority on state and federal legislation regarding healthcare reform with the ability to explain complex issues in easy-to-understand terms. An active member on several National and State Boards, he is frequently invited to speak to lawmakers, national and local organizations to interpret the Healthcare Reform Act and provide insight into the changes to national healthcare and employee benefits. A licensed Health and Life Insurance Broker, Phil serves as Vice President of Business Development at Pierson & Smith, a division of First Niagara Risk Management in West Springfield, MA and Manchester, Ct.

FEBRUARY 7, 2013 •THURSDAY 8:30AM-11:00AM


LEAN THINKING: RESULTS, NOT THEORY A special FREE workshop for all interested business owners, presidents, general and key managers from Western Mass companies. Whether you want to reduce waste and inefficiency on your factory floor or in your office, this workshop will help you. Come learn to identify common profit robbing wastes that often go unnoticed until too late; enact problem identification/analysis methods to prioritize efforts; implement corrective action options and techniques that are practical, not theoretical; and realize how to build the key “must have” company attitude and commitment for success; and avoid the common reasons for failure. The workshop will be led by Dave Lyman, who has many years of experience improving processes and efficiencies in companies far and wide, including several well known Western Mass businesses. (register by contacting Ira Bryck at (413) 835-0810 or -- limited to first 30 registrants, up to 3 per company)

Faciliated by DAVE LYMAN, who has since facilitated projects in more than 85 companies throughout the U.S. and Canada ranging in size from 5 to 2000 employees. He specializes in Lean Manufacturing and Lean Office initiatives. Prior and present most notable clients include U.S. Government Printing Office in Washington D.C., Bowtech in Eugene, Oregon, Savage Arms in Westfield, Ma., Sanderson MacLeod in Palmer, Ma. and Atlantic Fasteners in West Springfield, Mass. He has held a variety of management positions in his 20 years working for Smith & Wesson.

JANUARY 8, 2013 •TUESDAY 5:30-8:30 PM



Every company, no matter the industry, size, or age, has one thing in common: it began with the hopeful, determined story the founder told her/himself and shared with the world.

That story keeps the business relevant and energized, but can often be obscured by the daily grind. So on Tuesday, January 8th, Western Mass business owners will gather to recount their still unfolding business stories-challenges that were overcome, valuable lessons, and milestones that have personal significance. This is another in a series of workshop offerings by the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley held in Room 113 of the 100 Venture Way offices in Hadley, MA.

Leading the workshop is author and business coach Karen Ribeiro. To stimulate reflection Ribeiro uses an innovative set of exercises from her Inner Fortune journaling system. She has written a memoir, Thirsty: Journaling to Survive, Thrive and Feel Alive, has contributed stories to two anthologies, writes grants and is a regular blogger on

When business owners take the opportunity to pull the pieces of their story together, what results is a renewed passion and clarity about mission and vision. And with renewed clarity comes new opportunities, new sales and a greater satisfaction with day-to-day operations.

Ira Bryck, director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, says of this workshop: "Owner/managers of small and medium sized companies often don't find the time to make the necessary investment in staying inspired, clear-minded, and in touch with why they got into the business in the first place. This workshop will not only refresh you, but will refuel you. You'll find where your "get up and go" got up and went. This will be an excellent use of a cold January Tuesday night."

DECEMBER 11, 2012 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM


RECOGNIZING AND AVOIDING THE ERRORS THAT MOST COMPANIES MAKE WHILE STRATEGIZING AND COMPETING There is no question that every company needs to compete to succeed, and have a strategy to steer you in the right direction. But most companies make ongoing major and minor miscalculations and judgement errors in how they plan and execute, leading to inefficiency and failure. Consider these issues, for instance: in striving to be the best, are you going down the same road as all your competitors, hoping to win at the same race as everyone else? Are you incorrectly defining what business you're in, or what is the geographic scope of the company? Do you really even have a strategy, one that is rigorous and sustainable? Are you incentivizing your employees to do the right things, to achieve your strategy? Are you following the flawed perspectives of advisors and experts? Even if that's not you and your company (ha!), you'll find this presentation useful in the big picture and daily detail. Based on the work of Harvard professor Michael Porter, the leading authority on company strategy and the competitiveness of nations and regions, tonight's presenter, Steven Floyd, will describe several prevalent errors, and how you can navigate around them. Professor Floyd will contribute many of his own observations and insights, and lead you in an important discussion to improve your odds of not falling prey.

STEVEN FLOYD is an endowed Professor at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. Prior to coming to Isenberg he held positions as an endowed professor at the University of Virginia, a Chaired Professor and Director at the Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and the Robert A. Cizik Endowed Chair of Strategy, Technology and Manufacturing at the University of Connecticut. His research focuses on strategic decision making processes, corporate entrepreneurship and the management of strategic change. Professor Floyd's work has been published in the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of International Business Studies, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Organization Studies, and Journal of Organization Behavior among others. He is the co-author of three books, Strategic Management: Logic and Action, Building Strategy from the Middle: Reconceptualizing Strategy Process and The Strategic Middle Manager.

CHARLIE EPSTEIN, AMERICA'S 401K COACH, CAN HELP YOU CREATE PAYCHECKS FOR LIFE, HELPING YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES DIG AMERICA OUT OF DEBT You own a company, but even aside from that, everybody needs to think of themselves as an entrepreneur that runs their own Paycheck Manufacturing Company. This is the mindset that the "future you" will thank you for every day, and that future you is closer than he/she may appear!! In a little over 30 minutes, Charlie Epstein will increase your financial literacy about why and how to make and keep some vitally important and totally do-able promises to yourself. This is also a book signing event, for Charlie's outstandingly helpful new book.

NOVEMBER 2, 2012 •FRIDAY 8:30AM-12 NOON (rescheduled to this date, due to storm)


THE RARE FIND: SPOTTING EXCEPTIONAL TALENT BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE How can we sort out the mysteries of talent? Anyone trying to build a great organization faces the same basic challenge, whether we work for a big company, a startup, a Hollywood studio, a hospital, or the U.S. military. We all wonder how to tell really outstanding prospects from ones who look great on paper but then fail on the job. Or, equally important, how to spot the ones who don’t look so good on paper but might still deliver extraordinary performance.

Tonight’s presentation by George Anders, author of The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out will pull together America’s best new ideas about how to get talent right. He will guide us through a field that has become needlessly bewildering in recent years. Technology has made recruiting in all fields vastly more sophisticated. Gut instincts have yielded to an endless stream of manuals and seminars. Yet the results are just as spotty as they were in the age of the rotary phone. Better methods are within reach. This presentation will reveal how the U.S. Army finds soldiers with the character to be in Special Forces, without asking them to fire a single bullet. How, at an elite basketball tournament in South Carolina, the best coaches and scouts watch the game in a radically different way from what the casual fan might see.  It will introduces a trio of bookish researchers who are applying remarkable new ideas to process of hiring Fortune 500 CEOs.   
Drawing on the best advice of these and other talent masters, you will hear powerful ideas that you can apply to your own hiring efforts.  For instance:

  • Don’t ignore “the jagged résumé” -- people whose background appears to teeter on the edge between success and failure. Such people can do spectacular work in the right settings, where their strengths are invaluable and their flaws don’t matter.
  • Look extra hard for “talent that whispers” -- the obscure, out-of-the-way candidates that most scouting systems overlook.
  • Be careful with “talent that shouts” -- the spectacular but brash candidates whose positive qualities might not outweigh future problems with loyalty, motivation, and team spirit.

Our presenter tonight is GEORGE ANDERS a New York Times-bestselling author and a journalist with three decades of experience writing for national publications. He started his career at The Wall Street Journal, where he became a top feature writer specializing in in-depth profiles. He was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for national reporting. He also has served as West Coast bureau chief for Fast Company magazine and as a founding member of the Bloomberg View board of editors. His work has appeared in leading publications worldwide, including The New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Guardian and the Harvard Business Review.


NOVEMBER 2, 2012 •FRIDAY 2:00-5:00PM (rescheduled to this date, due to storm)


HOW TO IDENTIFY, ATTRACT AND KEEP THE BEST TALENT- discussed from several key perpectives

Join us for a special program that will wildly improve your odds of finding, attracting and retaining the talented people your company requires. Experts from 3 perspectives will describe this vital business skill, as follows:

Rick and Ross Giombetti, of Giombetti Associates, will discuss how today's top talent is looking for more than just a job, a paycheck or a title.  They're looking for an experience.  They're looking to make a difference and an impact.  Listen and learn from the pros on how to leverage their talent, create the right culture and let them lead your organization.

Charlie Epstein, of Epstein Financial Group, and author of Paychecks for Life, will discuss Incentive Programs to Maintain Highly Productive Key Employee/Partners how to keep your key employees tied to the long-term financial success of your business and create a vested interest in sticking around, including: Deferred Compensation Plans- that let you be selective in who you benefit; Phantom Stock Plans - that let you motivate key employees to grow your business, without giving it away; Key-Employee Bonus Arrangements - that allow you to provide selective bonuses that defer taxes, while creating long-term incentives; and Super-charging existing 401(k)/Profit Share Plans - yes we will even discuss how to "dust-off" your existing retirement programs and "supercharge" them to increase employee motivation and satisfaction.

George Anders, author of The Rare Find: How Great Talent Stands Out, will turn the spotlight on the ways that LinkedIn, Facebook and other social-media sites are changing the ways that we find and evaluate fresh talent. He will show how such tools widen our search horizons and let us take stock of securely employed people who aren't looking to switch jobs -- but who might be willing to move if we can present a winning new prospect for them. He also will talk about social media's limitations and pitfalls for talent recruiting. His remarks will draw on a recent cover story that he wrote for Forbes magazine, profiling LinkedIn.


OCTOBER 11, 2012 •THURSDAY 10:30AM-11:15AM


KEEPING THE VISION ALIVE WHILE YOU'RE BUSY MAKING THE DONUTS Your company may be efficient and hardworking, but if you don't know where you're going, you may never arrive. Forgetting your raison d'être is easy, especially in a family business, with all hands on deck, and no time for "meaningful" conversations. IRA BRYCK, director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, will help you find that balance. more info here



HOW TO GET TO YES WHEN THE ROAD IS PAVED WITH NO What is life, and what is talent in business, if not the ability to get what you want and need? But what is your daily life in business, if not the universe (including customers, suppliers, employees, partners, family in business) seemingly moving the goal posts, golden rings, and paychecks out of reach? Tonight you will learn so much about how to navigate the conversations so you and your "opponents" to come to mutually satisfying terms, and success. JOSHUA WEISS, Ph.D., co-founder and senior fellow of the Global Negotiation Initiative of the Harvard Negotiation Project, will explain all you need to know to negotiate in business and in life. You will discover how to deal with deadlocks, with people you think aren't as trustworthy as you, or simply very different; how to separate the people from the problem, how to focus on interests, not positions, how to invent options for mutual gain, and how to insist on using objective criteria. You will leave more able to maximize your advantage and utilize several strategies and tactics, how to discuss sticky family business issues in a fair and adult way, or grievances with anyone, even if they're above or below you on the org chart, as well as recognize how and when to play hardball, and more. We will have several attendees up on stage, in role plays, making it all clear, not to mention, entertaining.

JOSHUA WEISS, aside from his role in the world famous Harvard Negotiation Project, is also managing director of Abraham's Path Initiative, an international nonprofit dedicated to establishing a cultural tourism route through the Middle East to serve as an intercultural meeting place for people of all religions and nationalities. He is also about to unveil a series, in conjunction with BBC, called The Negotiator in You, teaching people how to more successfully deal with conflict in all areas or work and life. The first several companies to register for tonight's event will get a copy of the CD about negotiation in the workplace. Lastly, Josh is a local, residing with his wife and children in Longmeadow, Mass.

HOW I ESCAPED MY DOLDRUMS, FOUND MY VALUE, AND, OH YEAH, AM BEATING CANCER -- ROSS & RICK GIOMBETTI (of Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley Corporate Partner, GIOMBETTI ASSOCIATES) interview TIM BOWER, visiting us from IGS Energy in Ohio. Tim tells his compelling story of how coming to understand himself led to his astounding triple victory.


JUNE 20, 2012 •WEDNESDAY 5:00PM-8:30PM

Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass


Of all the various confounding issues facing families in business, none tops how much to pay everyone. Should siblings make the same amount, even if they have wildly different impacts on the bottom line? Should the president make the same as what the salary survey said presidents (of larger companies than yours) make? How can/should you fix the situation, if certain family members are totally overpaid, compared to non-family doing the same job? Are owners who don’t work in the company justified in complaining that their co-owners who work in the family business are raking in way more? How can we even find the right info to begin to have a sane discussion about all this? Tonight’s program will be a info-packed, yet easy to understand, lesson on how to create or revise the way your company handles compensation, incentive plans, and commission strategies. Our presenter, ROBERT J. WILKENING, has spent the last 23 years helping companies design compensation systems, as well as programs for stock-options, participation-rights and phantom-stock. His company, Wilkening & Company has its offices in Park Ridge, Illinois. It has conducted assignments in a variety of industries including: manufacturing, distribution, retail services, software publishing, construction, consumer products, health care, food products, building supplies and financial services. Much of Wilkening & Company's work is conducted with mid-sized private and/or family-owned companies. Prior to establishing his current firm, Bob was the Midwest Practice Director, Sales and Marketing Consulting for Hay Management Consultants' Chicago office, where he advised largely-publically traded clients in matters of sales-force effectiveness and compensation. In addition, he provided expertise to clients in the areas of executive compensation, organizational effectiveness and marketing. Mr. Wilkening consulted with eight of the largest airlines and railroads in the world while at Hay.

There will also be a 20 minute presentation on an important topic by our Corporate Partner, First Niagara Financial Group.

and a quick update on what's happening at UMass Amherst, relevant to the business community, by BILL MCCLURE, director of .

THE NEXT MORNING (June 21, in the classroom in Hadley) Bob will meet with a smaller group of FBC members (step right up, and register at to have a more customized discussion of your specific compensation challenges.


APRIL 18, 2012 •WEDNESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM


TALES OF THE LARGEST HOUSE IN AMERICA, AND THE FAMILY THAT BUILT IT A country's legacy is built on it's entrepreneurial families, and the Vanderbilt family is chief among them. "Commodore" Cornelius Vanderbilt borrowed $100 from his mother to start a ferry service between Staten Island and Manhattan, ended up building an empire of trains, shipping, Vanderbilt University, and begot 13 branches of a family that went on to succeed in countless other ways. Tonight's presenter is DINI CECIL PICKERING his descendant, and the great-granddaughter of George Washington Vanderbilt, who built Biltmore, America's largest home. Dini is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors as well as the Director of the Family Office of Biltmore Estate, now a successful resort that keeps branding, innovating, and developing as a family business. There will be stories and lessons that apply to you as a family business, a family, and a business. No stone goes unturned at Biltmore, while staying as green and serene as the day it was designed by landscape architect Frederic Law Olmstead and architect Richard Morris Hunt. They do family councils, family meetings, boards of directors, in a way that is instructive and admirable, but they've also learned some things the old fashioned way- through experience.

PAYMENT REFORM IN HEALTHCARE AND HOW THAT WILL AFFECT WESTERN MASS presented by Brian Kivel, of our Corporate Partner, Health New England.


MARCH 22 , 2012 •THURSDAY 9:00-11:00 AM

Springfield office of Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP (1500 Main Street (26th Floor Conference & Training Center), Springfield, Mass)

HUMAN RESOURCE RELATED ISSUES YOU MAY NOT BE THINKING ABOUT- BUT SHOULD BE The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley invites you to participate in a workshop that will greatly benefit your HR department. Come learn about key employment laws for smaller employers (and receive a complimentary small business compliance guide, provided by AIM); helpful HR tools for small organizations; and bring your questions and issues for discussion. Presented by LORI BOURGOIN, director of the Employer's Resource Group at Associated Industries of Massachusetts;   and MARY JO KENNEDY, Esq., an attorney specializing in employment law, and coordinator of the Employment Law Practice Group for the law firm Bulkley Richardson. contact FBC to register, at (413) 835-0810 or (free for FBC members/partners; $20 otherwise; limit 2 per company)


MARCH 13 , 2012 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

HOW BAD MANNERS MIGHT BE HURTING YOUR COMPANY AND WHAT YOU CAN AND MUST DO ABOUT IT Since the days of Emily Post, society has undergone a wholesale relaxation of etiquette, to the point where so many of us are confused about what is proper, including, of course, at work. Adding to the confusion is the globalization of business, the breakdown of public versus private space, generational differences, difficult co-workers (including bosses), behavior on social media, confusion over what is professional or not, office bullying, romance, teamwork, meetings, not to mention what is outdated, and what is still true, about good old fashioned civility. Tonight's talk will be an eye opener that will give you and your family members and managers lots of important perspective on this often subtle (but grotesque, if done wrong) topic. Ignore this topic at your company's peril: studies have shown that 50% of employees decrease their work effort after experiencing ongoing rude behavior; and 12% of employees actually leave jobs because of uncivil acts committed against them; and that corporate America spends $300 billion each year due to job stress and incivility. We cannot produce Emily Post to present to you, but we are proud to present her great grandson, PETER POST. Peter is a director of The Emily Post Institute, a family business based in Burlington, Vermont; and author of five etiquette books, including The Etiquette Advantage in Business: Personal Skills for Professional Success, a completely revised and updated look at the world of business etiquette. As the creator and primary presenter of Emily Post Business Etiquette programs, Peter leads business seminars for companies both in the United States and abroad. Peter has also written the New York Times bestseller Essential Manners for Men, Essential Manners for Couples, and A Wedding Like No Other (co-written with Peggy Post). His newest book is Playing Through: A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf (Collins Living, August 2008). Since 2004, Peter has authored The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly question and answer business etiquette advice column, "Etiquette at Work." Peter conducts hundreds of media interviews annually on topics ranging from CEO ethics to dealing with coworkers with body odor; from dinner party etiquette to confronting "the dark side of email." There will be a free book on business etiquette, written by Peter Post, for each company represented at tonight's forum.

Also: our corporate partner, the law firm Bulkley Richardson, clues you in on some of the big bullets that would miss you, if you'd only talked with your attorney first; as well as making you smarter about why, when and how your corporation or LLC should take formal votes. Presented by George Adams is an associate in the firm’s Business/Finance Department.


DECEMBER 6 , 2011 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass.

SECRETS OF SOME OF OUR REGIONS' GREATEST HUMAN RESOURCE DIRECTORS There are certain people in any organization who must know all the "need to know" stuff. Your HR director better be at the head of that line, or you're in trouble. And companies that have great HR directors, the bosses and owners of those companies sleep better, and brag about how well that base is covered. Tonight we'll hear from 4 HR directors from Western Mass about how to perform a great search, keep harassment and hostility at bay, maintain healthy communication, discuss salary and perks wisely, encourage improved performance, organize training, and so much more, and so much better.

THE CREDIT CRISIS ILLUMINATOR: how to get beyond the global credit crisis and on track financially! presented by Charles Epstein of Epstein Financial Services, a corporate partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

OCTOBER 26 , 2011 •WEDNESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House , Holyoke , Mass.

SIBLING PARTNERSHIPS CONSIDER THE FUTURE The topic of family business is more complex than many people assume, including the stages of family participation, on top of the usual business stages of entrepreneurial, managerial, professional, etc. Most family businesses are started by the Controlling Owner, who often, if successful, begets a Sibling Partnership in the next generation, who in turn produces a Cousin Consortium. There's so much to discuss in all of this, but as this is just a blurb, we point out that many post WWII Controlling Owners have, years ago, launched Sibling Partnerships, who are now aging baby boomers, considering whether to continue their companies into the cousin generation. In tonight's presentation we will hear from several siblings in business, weighing the pros and cons of their options. No matter who you are in your family business, it will be instrumental to hear what tonight's panelists have to say.

FINDING AND USING YOUR AUTHENTIC VOICE TO KEEP YOUR CUSTOMERS CLOSE How do you make yourself heard above the din – connecting with clients and customers so that they buy more, more often and tell their friends? Here’s what the answer isn’t: a cooler web site, a larger newspaper ad, or a deeper discount on your next promotion. You’ve already tried that and it isn’t working. The answer, instead, is leveraging a natural advantage: your authentic voice. You use it every day and, in person, it’s a big part of the reason your best clients love you and keep coming back. This session is about taking this same tool and using it in a bigger, more consistent way across your entire business. In this session, you’ll learn: what “authentic voice” means and why it matters; why stories from your own experience are more important than product features, benefits and price; how to communicate – on your web site, with social media, in your marketing materials – with emotion, consistency and natural language; why everything you learned in school about how to write is wrong; how to get past your fear of communicating authentically. This interactive session is filled with examples, do’s and don’ts and plenty of practical advice.

An award-winning humorist, entrepreneur and former corporate marketer, Michael Katz translates his unique view of everyday life into useful, authentic and practical business advice. As Founder and Chief Penguin of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., Michael Katz is a recognized expert in the area of professional services marketing. Since launching Blue Penguin in 2000, Michael has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week Online, Bloomberg TV, The Boston Globe, and other national and local media. He is the author of three books, and has published over 250 issues of his “Solo Professional E-Newsletter,” a biweekly with 6,500 passionate subscribers in over 40 countries around the world. Michael has an MBA from Boston University and a BA in Psychology from McGill University in Montreal. He also has a second degree black belt in karate (Kempo), a first degree black belt in parenting (three children), and is a past winner of the New England Press Association award for “Best Humor Columnist.”


OCTOBER 21, 2011, FRIDAY 8:45 a.m. – Noon

Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Special morning event, free to all (up to the limit of the room); includes a mid morning breakfast

Presented by Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley  & Mass Small Business Development Center

Do you:
· Have a marketing plan that you execute on every day?  
· Know how to market your business using today’s online marketing tools?
· Want to create a business that stands the test of time?

Join Alyssa Dver of No Time Marketing and Corissa St. Laurent of Constant Contact as they present the strategies and steps required to market your business in today’s world. Everything you need to know about marketing your for-profit or not-for-profit business will be revealed during this action-packed program. You’ll learn how to create an effective and exciting marketing plan and how to put that plan into action through the use of today’s online tools. Give yourself the gift of learning and walk away inspired to grow your business to the next level!

For more information and to register for this FREE program, please visit:



Beechwood Hotel, Worcester, Mass


Co-produced by the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, the Center for Family Business at Northeastern University, and the Worcester Business Journal

HOW WE SURVIVED OUR FAMILY BUSINESS TRANSITION WITHOUT DERAILING Understanding how others in family businesses have orchestrated the changing of the guard will help you consider what style of leadership will best serve your company; how to work together with various personality types among your relatives and managers; and how to marshal the talent your company needs in its next stage. Moderator: Frank Hoy, the Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in WPI's Department of Management, internationally respected authority on entrepreneurship.

HOW TO HAVE A SOLID LIQUIDITY EVENT You can’t take it with you, so you need to decide how and why you’re going to leave it. Whether you sell to outsiders, or to the next generation, evaluation is not just a dollar figure- it’s thinking through whether the company should stay in your family; and whether your family should stay in your company (sounds simple? Think again!) Moderator: Greg McCann, author of When Your Parents Sign the Paychecks who understands what it takes to structure successful deals, and how they can go wrong.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR GROWING FAMILY BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL, COMMUNICATIVE AND PROFITABLE Your family business’ odds for success depend on your skill at negotiating differences, determining what it takes to grow from a single leader to team of siblings and cousins, and create policies and structures that control the chaos. Moderator: Jane Hilburt Davis, author of Consulting to Family Business, has helped many family companies grow the “family-ness” factor that is most evident in high-functioning family companies.

SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 • TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

Pages Loft at the Clarion, Northampton, Mass

WE HAVE ALL THESE GREAT IDEAS, BUT HOW DO WE IMPLEMENT THEM? If you could snap your fingers and your great ideas would be set in motion, why would you not start snapping now? Maybe because there's bigger obstacles to overcome: resistance to change, not understanding the cost of how it's now done, not having thought through the benefits to a new way, not seeing the investment in change as having a worthwhile return. This session will be overbrimming with the know-how and ability to make it happen. Several business owners in attendance will get up on stage and get specific and precise instructions on how to implement exactly what they want implemented. Presented by Ann Latham , a talented consultant from Western Mass

How To Get Everything Done On Time How full is your inbox? Many people at Gravity Switch get over 100 emails a day but we often leave the office with an empty email inbox. Jason Mark will share a collection of tips that you can easily apply to your work environment to more efficiently handle the "noise" in your day, so you can focus what you're supposed to be focusing on. Don't worry- he'll keep it short since he knows you're busy.

Also: our Corporate Partner, HAMPDEN BANK, is glad to bring back to the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley the economist who has clarified the situation for us a few times before: When Will Happy Times Be Here Again, Already? presented by Gil Ehmke, Owner, President and Portfolio Manager for Bank Street Investment Advisors, LLC. Gil Ehmke has over 25 years of “hands-on” experience in the banking industry with over 20 years of investment management experience. His diverse career responsibilities have entailed managing virtually all financial functions of a financial institution. These responsibilities included investment management, asset/liability management and reporting, secondary mortgage marketing, investment accounting, corporate accounting, financial reporting and merger and acquisition analysis and integration. During his career, Mr. Ehmke has held various executive level positions with a number of northeastern banks including: Senior Vice President and Treasurer at Northeast Federal Corp, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at SIS Bancorp, Inc. and Senior Vice President and Director of Finance at First International Bank. Mr. Ehmke formed Bank Street Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor, in 2001 to provide comprehensive, professional investment advisory services to small and medium-sized community banks. Mr. Ehmke was also an adjunct finance professor at Central Connecticut State University where he taught an advanced course in security analysis.


JUNE 14, 2011 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House , Holyoke , Mass.

OVERCOME THE LEADING CAUSE OF FAMILY BUSINESS DEATH AND DESTRUCTION If you hear enough stories of family businesses that are no more, the leading cause of death is clearly poor communication. Tonight’s session will not only make you so much more aware of why discussions go downhill, but how to instantly make your skills much, much better; and see- Live On Stage!! your colleagues from other family businesses actually having their favorite fights, and getting coached by talented experts on how to do it better. This is reality TV without the stupidity!! PLUS, if you’re so inclined, and a bit brave, YOU could be one of those who get their relationship polished and repaired, right there and then! Our presenters, Karen Fogliatti and Jerry Koch Gonzalez, are the resident experts and trainers from Western Massachusetts in the art and science of Nonviolent Communication- a process developed by Marshall Rosenberg, and used not only in daily interactions, but in conflict zones, law enforcement programs, and schools around the world. This process is not aimed only at actual violence, but at the everyday communications that are full of negative judgment and manipulation, and lacking in empathy and understanding. Karen and Jerry will capably teach us how to use language that identifies shared needs and increases goodwill; and avoid language that contributes to resentment or lowers self-esteem. These skills will improve your relationships not only with your family members but with your supplies and customers as well. Work more effectively and enjoy it!

WILL NEXUS HELP YOUR HAIR ACT AS BEAUTIFULLY AS IT LOOKS? WRONG NEXUS!! This one will make you pull out your hair, because it gives states the ability to require your business to file and pay taxes in their state. States are REALLY stepping up their efforts to identify out of state companies doing business in their state. Penalties for not filing can be shocking, and could lead to a bad hair day, for sure! Presented by Kris Houghton of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, PC.

APRIL 12, 2011 •TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

The Blue Heron Restaurant, Sunderland , Mass.

STEWARDSHIP AND SUSTAINABILITY ARE NOT JUST WORDS- KEVIN HANCOCK EXPLAINS HOW THEY ARE AT THE ROOT OF HIS 6TH GENERATION COMPANY'S SUCCESS We are pleased to have you be able to listen to Kevin Hancock, President and CEO of Hancock Lumber, headquartered in Casco, Maine. The family business was born as a small logging operation in 1848, and is today a land company, a sawmill division and a retail business. Running the business with his brother, Matt, they have been honored with numerous environmental awards for their practices in selling development rights to timberland, creating easements for preservation, and working with environmental groups to ensure use of unfragmented forest. All of their land is open to the public for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and recreation. Kevin will discuss the strategy of choosing the green path, along with being a profitable local, independent Maine company in an age of global giants. He will also discuss the ways in which his family has managed for 163 years to maintain an entrepreneurial and responsible family business. As he says: “One of the great joys of my work is to come to work every day and feel like and know that I am a teammate with my Dad, my grandfather or those generations that I have not even met. If you look at things that drive me and motivate me or make me feel lucky to be able to do what I do that is probably the most significant.”

WHAT CAN / MUST YOU DO IF AN EMPLOYEE IS CREATING A HOSTILE WORKPLACE? and HOW TO AVOID HIRING OR FIRING IN VIOLATION OF DISCRIMINATION AND OTHER LAWS? Nobody looks forward to the those ugly, sticky situations that can happen in any company-but prevention is key, and recognizing you have a problem is another key. A third key is knowing what to do, and who to call, when you clearly are in a legal jam. These important topics will be addressed by Hamilton ("Chip") Doherty, who is of counsel to the lawfirm Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP, a Corporate Sponsor of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

THE PENDING RETIREMENT REVOLUTION Congress and the Department of Labor (DOL) have been busy pushing for Legislative changes to the 401k industry. Most went into effect Jan 1 2011. Charles D. Epstein, known nationally as the 401k Coach will update you on what you and your current 401k provider should be doing to meet the DOL's new disclosure requirements. These requirements set the new standard for fee transparency for all service providers for plan fiduciary's and plan participants. The impact: greater disclosure and reduced cost for retirement plans and participants.

APRIL 2, 2011 •SATURDAY 8:15 PM

Memorial Hall Theater, Shelburne Falls, Mass

COME SEE ONE OF IRA BRYCK'S FAVORITE FAMILY BUSINESS MOVIES: AVALON directed by Barry Levinson, 1990, 126 minutes, showing as part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival WHY: You’ll laugh, you’ll cry; you’ll learn so much about family business from this soulful story of an immigrant family in Baltimore WHEN: Saturday, April 2nd 8:15pm WHERE: Memorial Hall, Shelburne Falls HOW: Tickets available at the door, $6 adults; $4 kids under 12 pre-purchased Pothole Pictures season tickets will be honored See more at

MARCH 11, 2011 • FRIDAY 8:30-11:30 AM

Mass Ventures Building, Hadley, Mass.


Third in a series of our new quarterly think tank with action steps galore! Each event will feature an extremely interactive workshop, led by a selected expert on a hard hitting topic. You will go home with lots of theory, but also, how to apply it specifically for your company. Topics will be selected by the group, and might include how to mentor, assess prospects, have difficult conversations, negotiate better, change course, govern better, and much, much, more. Cost: $250 per person for all for 4 sessions per calendar year (non FBC members= $350) Trial run for one session is $90- will be applied to series if you join (with trial session counting as #1)

TODAY’S TOPIC: GIVING AND EXTRACTING EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK Great feedback is THE fastest way for people to improve their skills and effectiveness. Unfortunately, great feedback is rare. The result is countless missed opportunities for learning coupled with frustrated tiptoeing around issues that could easily be resolved if people knew how to give and receive feedback. Here is your opportunity to learn the principles and techniques of giving effective feedback. Feedback is often worthless or downright destructive. Most people have had such bad experiences, both giving and receiving feedback, that they shy away from using this valuable tool. Don't let your organization suffer from this predicament any longer. In this workshop, Ann Latham provides valuable insights and specific techniques for both sides of the feedback dynamic. You will learn: * How to set the stage for effective feedback * The specific steps of providing both positive and constructive feedback * Techniques for intercepting poor feedback before it raises your hackles * Tips for extracting useful feedback even from misguided, poorly stated, and ill-timed advice The more people in your organization with these critical skills, the more effective, efficient, and agile you will be. Presentation by Ann Latham a strategist, performance improvement expert, board approved master facilitator, and president of Uncommon Clarity, Inc., a firm that helps clients achieve superior results faster and with greater confidence.

MARCH 8, 2011 •TUESDAY 5:00- 8:30 PM

Summit View Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

HOW A NEW ENGLAND TRADITION STAYS CUTTING EDGE Tonight we are proud to give the microphone to Jim Kaloyanides, President & Chief Operating Officer of the Malden, Mass based New England Coffee Company, who will share with us a very useful tale of his family’s business. Jim proudly declares that much about his company is not cutting edge at all, but, in fact, antiquated. But the story, from when the hand roasted coffee was delivered by horse and buggy, till now, will inspire you to make use of what traditions and what innovations are your own key to success. Jim will discuss: how the company strives to create value for all stakeholders; and opportunities for future generations; maintain a caring family atmosphere; and grow evermore socially and environmentally responsible; and care about customers urgently; and collaborate to compete against their Goliaths; and have the difficult conversations about how to get to Generation Four. Jim’s talk will be chock full of good sense, legacy, challenge; as well as openness to your questions, comments and perspectives.



Loomis Village, South Hadley, Mass

HOW AND WHY TO LEVERAGE YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS Join us for a special lunch for members, partners & friends of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley at Loomis Village, in South Hadley. ASIDE FROM A SATISFYING MEAL YOU’LL LEARN SOME REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF • How to LEVERAGE your existing relationships • CLARIFY what you do and how you describe it • Use your real, authentic voice in everything you write, say and do • Use email newsletters to • ESTABLISH YOURSELF as an expert • STAY ON TOP of mind with clients and prospects • APPEAR TRUSTWORTHY and likeable. YOU’LL ENJOY LEARNING FROM MICHAEL KATZ • Expert in the development of electronic newsletters, to significantly increase sales by build on your existing relationships • New England Press Association award “Best Humor Columnist” • Author of 3 books, and 200 issues of his "E-Newsletter on E-Newsletters," a biweekly with 7,000 subscribers in 40 countries (see more at CONTACT IRA BRYCK AT 413 545 1537 OR TO REGISTER ($20 PER PERSON)

directions to Loomis Village note: come down the hill, and park in the main parking lot in front of the building. If you don't find a spot, you can park along the road. After coming through the main entrance, the receptionist will direct you to the main dining room which is on the 2nd floor.

DECEMBER 15 , 2010 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00-8:30PM

Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass.

SEVERAL ENJOYABLY PROVOCATIVE DISCUSSIONS ON COMPELLING TOPICS, LED BY FABULOUS FACILITATORS Since 1994, we have proudly showcased the wisdom of our membership, which all told, comprises over 8000 years of experience. Tonight you will hear many stories with morals, take home value, warnings, inspiration and encouragement. There will be no professors, authors or heroes- just us! Just us, plus outstanding facilitators and topics, so that we can have some frank talk, some brutal honesty, some picking of your brain, and your picking theirs. Topics may include, but not be limited to: "How I Stick to My Guns and My Guiding Principles, Come Hell or High Water" and "How We Train New Employees in Our Company Way, But Also, to Fit Into Our Corporate Culture" and "How We Discuss Varying Levels of Comfort When Taking Various Types of Risks." Facilitators include Ingrid Bredenberg, Peter Zimmer, Angela Lussier, and Amy Scott - all talented in getting you talking, and growing your understanding.

TOP TEN TAX TIPS BEFORE YEAR-END Come learn about the new tax legislation, including increased deductions and credits; as well as sunset provisions that will result in significant changes for 2011. This important information will be up to date, reflecting anything tax-wise you need to know on December 15th. Presented by KRISTINE DRZAL HOUGHTON, CPA, MST, Tax Partner at Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., a corporate partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2010 7:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.



A half-day workshop for the Cape and Plymouth region's family businesses. Each of the four sessions will be a facilitated panel discussion with experts sharing their knowledge and practical advice on these important topics. Co-produced by Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, Northeastern University Center for Family Business, and Cap & Plymouth Business Magazine

Session 1 Seeking Counsel: The Relatively Pain Free Method to Get the Outside, Objective Advice That Every Family Business Needs Moderated by Michael Burnell, President of Bucephalus Management Advisors, a consulting firm located in North Hampton, NH. The firm provides advice to a wide range of clients specializing in the fields of M&A activities, turnaround assistance and corporate governance. Currently Burnell serves on nine family and private boards and one public board.

Session 2 Family/Business Balance: How Much Does Family Business Success Depend on a Happy Family, Versus a Professional Business? Moderated by Blair Trippe, a senior consultant at Continuity Family Business Consulting where she helps businesses and families benefit through wealth creation, personal and professional growth and family harmony. She is a specialist in managing conflict when continuing relationships matter.

Session 3 Exit Strategy : Whether You Want to Sell ASAP, or Run Your Company Happily Ever After, How to Create Strategy that Adds Value To Your Most Precious Asset Moderated by Scott Foster, a member of the Business/Finance Department at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas LLP. His practice is focused on general corporate, business and finance matters including mergers and acquisitions and other commercial transactions. Register at

OCTOBER 26 , 2010 •TUESDAY, 5:00-8:30PM

Courtyard by Marriott, Hadley, Mass.

SECRETS YOU MUST KNOW TO SUCCESSFULLY HIRE AND KEEP NON FAMILY MANAGERS PRODUCTIVE AND HAPPY IN YOUR COMPANY (AND THEIR SECRETS OF HOW TO GET FAMILY MEMBERS TO RESPECT THEM AND USE THEM PROPERLY) Maybe your family magically begets all the talent your company needs from your own gene pool. But if you’re like most growing businesses, eventually you need to reach beyond yer kin. This session will gear you up for that challenge: you’ll hear from family business owners and HR experts about what has worked and not worked for them in hiring non-family. How do you conduct a proper search, and compare family to non family candidates? How do you figure their pay, compared to family that does similar work? How does family report to them? How do you empower them to effect change, where change is needed, but resisted, by family? How can you tell when there’s not a good fit, versus just push-back from entitled relatives? We’ll also hear from the non-family manager, on how to keep good boundaries, and not get sucked in to the family drama; and how to advocate for a culture of professionalism and meritocracy. There will be good theory in these stories, but they’ll be tales from the trenches, from businesses just like yours; so you can clearly see how you can follow up.

TO ACCEPT GOOD ADVICE IS BUT TO INCREASE ONE'S OWN ABILITY (Goethe) The good advice tonight is from FBC Corporate Partners Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas LLP; and Hampden Bank.



THE FIRST EVER CENTRAL MASS FAMILY BUSINESS SUMMIT: HOW TO GET THE VERY BEST OUT OF YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS (co-produced by the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, the Center for Family Business at Northeastern University, and the Worcester Business Journal)

SEEKING COUNCIL: The Relatively Pain Free Method to Get the Outside, Objective Advice that Every Family Business Needs Like dieting, like happiness, like longevity, it’s hard to tell, when looking at family businesses, which “best practices” are really causal, and which are coincidental. But a whole lot of researchers and experts agree a lot of successful family businesses owe much to (a) ongoing strategic planning, (b) regular family meetings and (c) objective, outside advice (i.e.: a board). But privately owned companies – accent on “private”- usually push back on the transparency and discipline required to form a board. There’s a second best practice that is much less threatening, user-friendlier, and often is a gateway mechanism to building a functional board. This session will explore how and why to enlist those already on board: your expert advisors, to serve as a sort of board with training wheels. A panel of an accountant, attorney, banker, financial planner that are very familiar with family business issues, with excellent moderation (tba) to extract for you exactly how to do it, and why.

FAMILY/BUSINESS BALANCE: How Much Does Family Business Success Depend on a Happy Family, Versus a Professional Business? There’s a lot of talk in family business circles about the need to professionalize. Is it more important to be a professional company, or a happy family? Can you succeed if you’re not both, in some magic balance? How much do families full of love, trust, passion and talent need strong governance? Can a stressed out, less functional family subsist on business structure alone? Hear from a selection of siblings, parents, children, and in-laws who’ve worked through some of these issues and have the battle scars to show their hard earned progress; with excellent moderation (tba) who will make it pretty clear how to improve your particular situation. They will discuss how they've gotten over some classic humps, how they manage what hat they're wearing, how and when it's right to pull rank, look the other way, ask "how high," or tell each other where to go!

EXIT STRATEGY: Whether You Want to Sell ASAP, or Run Your Company Happily Ever After, How to Create a Strategy that Adds Value To Your Most Precious Asset If you want to sell your company, you need to be concerned about all that adds to, or detracts from, it’s curb appeal and sales-worthiness. The most attractive company is as fabulous in ongoing operations as it is on the auction block. What are those critical elements that best create, or reduce value? How can you transform your company into a more impressive version of itself? What is the proper perspective in seeing your company as marketable, even if you’re its long-term owner? What discussion does your family need to have to see the business both as your baby, and a valuable asset?


Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass


We've had many outstanding presenters since our 1994 inception, but few that have Ira Bryck, FBC director, more excited than today’s: Dr. Joy Browne, radio psychologist, who has entertained and enlightened him, as well as national audiences, for years. As Dr. Joy has a weekday radio show to produce, we are having our first ever family business Sunday brunch. You think you have problems? None so big that Dr. Joy’s common sense, humor, wisdom and perspective cannot lend a giant hand.

Dr. Joy’s nationally syndicated daily radio show can be heard on the WOR Radio Network weekdays from 12-3pm Eastern time, and is the longest running program of its kind. A licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Joy is beloved by her listeners for providing advice that is compassionate, practical and substantive. With a quick wit and an ability to cut to the heart of the issue, Dr. Joy guides her millions of loyal fans through the trials and travails of their daily lives, always asking them, "What’s the question?" She dishes out advice on everything from marriage and workplace issues to Broadway’s hits and misses, and weekend movies worth seeing. Dr. Joy has won numerous awards for her work including the American Psychological Associations President’s Award and the Talkers Magazine award for Best Female Talk Show Host (two years in a row). She was also listed as #10 on the list of the 25 Greatest Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time, and has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Talk Show Hosts nine times. Dr. Joy has also been nominated for News/Talk National Personality of the Year as well as Syndicated Talk Show of the Year by Radio and Records Magazine, and can frequently be seen on television as a guest on shows such as CBS’ The Early Show, Oprah Winfrey and Larry King Live. Dr. Joy is also an accomplished author. Her books include: It’s A Jungle Out There Jane, Dating for Dummies, The Nine Fantasies That Will Ruin Your Life, Dating Disasters and, Getting Unstuck. In addition to her professional pursuits, Dr. Joy is an active volunteer. She was on the board of directors of the Herbert G. Birch Summer Project, helping to run a camp for children and families living with HIV and AIDS, and also worked extensively with the Salvation Army to provide counseling after the World Trade Center disaster. She is on the Advisory Council of the Mayor’s Commission Against Domestic Violence, and is President of the Dr. Joy to the World Foundation, which is currently involved in researching male sexual abuse. Before finding her way to the airwaves, Dr. Joy was a teacher, private practice therapist and social service director for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, in addition to her work as an engineer on the space program and her time as an archeologist in the south of France. She holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University as well as a B.A. from Rice University, and also did Post Doctoral work at Tufts Medical School. Joy is the mother of one daughter, and keeps herself inspired by dancing and practicing yoga and Pilates (when she is not hot air ballooning, that is). You will hear a lot of reality and truth at this session, and will be asked to pledge “what is discussed in the Edna Williams Grand Ballroom stays in the Edna Williams Grand Ballroom.”


JUNE 15 , 2010 • TUESDAY 8:00 - 11:00 AM

Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

My Marketing's Not Working – WHY?

Some companies hire expensive consultants to analyze and prophesize why they aren’t getting value from their marketing spend. Others simply cut marketing and then wonder why the sales team is spending so much time building a pipeline. Both rescue attempts are costly and usually not corrective. This session will provide a concrete checklist to diagnose and correct the marketing problems at your company. You will leave with answers to why things are not working, how to fix them, and most importantly, how to keep them on track forever. More than a tune up, this session aims to overhaul your marketing approach and breathe a whole new life into your company’s ability to generate quality leads and close sales quickly and profitably. Bring the whole fam damily, plus your marketing people, so you can: Learn why and what is strategic marketing and how it makes all the difference in every business decision you make; Find out the 30 key questions you need to answer BEFORE you invest time or money on anything! ; Get a simple process for developing a quick and useful marketing plan for your business; Gain the ability to evaluate marketing people and proposed programs; Learn how to keep yourself, your marketing and your business fresh and relevant; Discuss how to validate pricing to ensure that companies are making the most money while remaining competitive ; Uncover specific ways to acquire qualified leads (push) and foster them into closed sales (pull) ; Explain how to productively track and retain leads; Define effective positioning, messaging, PR and integrate into a solid marketing plan ; and Provide a process for ensuring that marketing plans get executed and stay on track.

Tonight you will unlearn what is not working for you, and have Alyssa Dver learn ya. Known as “Ms. Marketing” by her clients and fellow employees, Alyssa has worked as a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) within or as a consultant to numerous companies, ranging from large multinationals to small startups based all over the world. Now, as the Chief Executive for Mint Green Marketing, Dver’s areas of expertise include: corporate social responsibility, PR, and product management. She has in-depth industry experience in high tech, banking and child safety. Dver’s previous book, Software Product Management Essentials is a standard with both new and experienced product managers and marketers. She continues to teach product management through seminars and webinars, and through an ongoing column in Software Magazine. Dver writes frequent articles which have been published in Forbes, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Promo Magazine, MarketingProfs, Pragmatic Marketer, and dozens more. A highly rated speaker, Dver has presented to organizations including: The World Diversity Leadership Summit at the United Nations, The Women’s Congress, The American Marketing Association, American Banking Association, and the American Strategic Management Institute, to name just a few. A serial entrepreneur, Dver founded The Center to Prevent Lost Children and Wander Wear. She is also the executive producer and host of Mom Matters WebTV. For her professional and personal accomplishments, she has been interviewed by NPR, Voice of America, The Boston Globe, Ladies Who Launch, MassWIT, Moms on the Move, and more. In 2007, BusinessWeek recognized her as one of eight female entrepreneurs to watch. Ms. Dver is a graduate of The Wharton School and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of East London.

TO ACCEPT GOOD ADVICE IS BUT TO INCREASE ONE'S OWN ABILITY (Goethe) The good advice tonight is from FBC Corporate Partner Health New England.

JUNE 11 , 2010 • FRIDAY 8:30-11:30 AM

Mass Ventures Building, Hadley, Mass.


Second in a series of our new quarterly think tank with action steps galore! Each event will include two topics; each topic will begin with a 15-minute talk by a selected expert, then a 60-minute discussion, moderated by that expert, helping you customize the info for your company. Topics will be selected by the group, and might include how to mentor, assess prospects, have difficult conversations, negotiate better, change course, govern better, and much, much, more. Cost: $250 per person for all for 4 sessions per calendar year (non FBC members= $350)

the two topics for today is:

How Can I Be a Better Mentor to My Employees? As a boss and business owner, you have an obligation to your employees and yourself to be a skilled coach/mentor. To build a quality workplace, you need to be able to assist those in your charge to overcome obstacles that are often self-imposed and unperceived, in order to break through to dramatic new levels of effectiveness, accomplishment, and personal satisfaction. Kerry Secrest is a certified leadership coach, inspiring individuals and organizations to improve performance, goal-attainment and personal fulfillment. She is also a trained mediator, qualified administrator of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and founder of Watershed Coaching. Her training as a competitive gymnast taught her that a large part of success is getting back up after a fall. She believes that life is an adventure and has organized her own unguided trips rafting north of the Arctic Circle and backpacking in Siberia.

HOW CAN I GET MORE FLUENT IN BALANCE SHEETS AND P&L’s? (not to mention, understand my accountant) If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you secretly know that you don’t know all you need to know about these cryptic cornerstones of your business, not to mention understanding your accountant, or why your banker’s not happy. This is the place where you can ask why profits and cash flow are not the same… why owners’ equity is not the value of what you own… and the many other fuzzy aspects of GAAP that you can’t quite get. And though the attendees will have different levels of financial literacy, we will take great pains to make it as clear as possible to all. Presented by Howard Cheney, CPA, Partner in Charge of Auditing and Accounting at FBC partner, Meyers Brothers Kalicka PC



MAY 11 , 2010 • TUESDAY 5:00-9:00 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass (new this new location)


Many celebrities think a perk of their fame is a pulpit from where they can tell you how to feel, vote or buy. In the case of John Ratzenberger, best known as Cliff on Cheers and as the only actor to voice a character in every Pixar film, he has something to say that we can ignore at our peril. As host of the Travel Channel TV series Made in America and author of We've Got it Made in America: A Common Man's Salute to an Uncommon Country, and co-founder of the Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs Foundation, John is dedicated to raising awareness of skilled trades and engineering disciplines among young people. Among the many ways he is achieving this mission is through the creation of summer camps across America, where middle and high school students learn computer aided design, rapid prototyping, metal finishing processes, and hear from leaders of industry. His efforts are helping to inspire and grow the next generation of manufacturers, welders, plumbers, carpenters and more, addressing the urgent need to engage young people in career preparation for well-paid, fulfilling jobs that require hands-on skills. John explains why he founded an organization whose mission is to nurture the tinkering spirit. "From Franklin to Edison to Carver to Ford, all great inventors have shared one thing in common: as children, they had all been inveterate tinkerers. They fiddled with things, took them apart, put them back together, wondered how everything fit together — and tried to make something new out of what they'd learned by doing. We owe our collective greatness, in large measure, to the greatness of individuals whose curiosities and fascinations compelled them to imagine and then build what had never been imagined and built. And they were capable of that, thanks to the seeds planted by their own hands as young tinkerers”. The implication of a tinkerer shortage is reported in a Stanford University study, asserting that future engineers who can't think in new ways about old objects are doomed to think in old ways about new objects. Come hear how you can help in this effort to strengthen this important aspect of who we are as a nation. JOHN RATZENBERGER was a house framer in London when he began his career in the performing arts. He had minor roles in movies including Superman, Superman II, The Empire Strikes Back and Gandhi. His career changed directions forever when he was called to read for the part of Norm Peterson, but after the audition, he could tell they weren't going to give him the part. Sensing an opportunity, he asked if they had written a bar know-it-all, which the producers decided was a great idea. Cliff became known for his outlandish stories of plausible half-truths, irrelevant trivia, and ignorant misinformation, and was known for being an overall pretentious blowhard. In real life, John developed packaging alternatives made from biodegradable and non-toxic recycled paper as a safe alternative to Styrofoam "peanuts" and plastic bubble wrap. His current role with Nuts, Bolts and Thingamajigs is, in his words, a role of a lifetime.


A peek inside the mental machinations of the modern, and timeless, inventor. Presented by Jay Styker, inventor, tinkerer, musician, educator. Jay is instrumental in the birth of the new Museum of Our Industrial Heritage, Preserving the Industrial History of Franklin County, Massachusetts.

APRIL 30, 2010 • FRIDAY 8:30-11:30 AM

Mass Ventures Building, Hadley, Mass.


This is the first of our new quarterly think tank with action steps galore! Each event will include two topics; each topic will begin with a 15-minute talk by a selected expert, then a 60-minute discussion, moderated by that expert, helping you customize the info for your company. Topics will be selected by the group, and might include how to mentor, assess prospects, have difficult conversations, negotiate better, change course, govern better, and much, much, more. Cost: $250 per person for all for 4 sessions per calendar year (non FBC members= $350)

We are “priming the pump" (for after this, the group's members pick the topics) with these important topics for our April 30thsession:

Sales blocking and tackling How to keep you and your sales team on task, on message, and motivated to stay in front of new prospects while you cultivate your customer base for more referrals and more business more often. A concise, robust presentation by Sheldon Snodgrass, excellent local sales trainer, and founder of His recently published chapter on salesmanship helped propel the book Guerilla Marketing on the Front Lines to an Amazon business best seller. Lest he be too consumed with work, his two young daughters and roles as a ski instructor and white water rafting guide keep him focused on matters of the heart.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN STRESSFUL TIMES How, what and when do you communicate when the news isn’t good? How do you keep people engaged when they are afraid? What is most important for the leader to do and say when things are in transition and uncertainty reigns? Learn three powerful strategies for maintaining your cool while building peoples’ trust and confidence during turbulent times. Ingrid Bredenberg, M.A. is a strategic coach who brings fresh approaches and innovative solutions to workplace dilemmas. She works with leaders and teams, helping them work together better with strategic planning, effective communications and cutting-edge tools.

FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 9am-Noon @ UMass Continuing & Professional Education classroom, 100 Venture Way, Hadley, Mass


An invitation to calling and contribution in a world hungry for your gifts WHAT ARE THE ODDS that if you work in your family business, your job focuses on what you are most passionate about? Maybe it’s your calling, but maybe you’re there because it was there, the money’s good, it’s better than the alternative, maybe? Or maybe it’s been very, very good to you; but something else is gnawing at you—after all, adults (in the U.S., anyway) change careers six times. Family business members, with relatively super-stick-to-it-ive-ness, drag that average down; and just maybe, it’s time for a change. Or, at least, to budget more time for what you love. We’re living longer, and in your 2nd adulthood, who else could you be? This workshop will give you the time and space to consider: Is my life and livelihood working for me? Are the trade offs I make – to do what I do - worth it? What kind of permission might I ned to give myself to examine my needs and desires in this way? In this presentation/discussion format, each participant remains in charge of whether their reflections are public or private. Our presenter, Martha Johnson , has had a long life of doing what she loves as a Peace Corps volunteer, public school teacher, National Park Ranger, founding principal of her own management consulting and training practice (now in the hands of the next generation) and leader coach. Now retired, she and her new book of the same name, hold out the possibility that doing more of what we love is good for us and those others with whom we share the planet. (see more at ) Things can happen when you clarify, so take a risk: invest 3 hours and $25. This session is open to anyone and everyone wondering how to effectively focus on what they love in choosing their work. You’ll also ge a copy of Martha’s new book Why Not Do What You Love?


On either of these two evenings, you’re invited to come and enjoy a humorous and touching film, plus panel and audience discussion, as part of the Pioneer Valley Jewish Film and Arts Festival. This new Israeli made film explores a family owned insurance business, run by two brothers and a friend, that is more than lacking in much it needs to succeed, but full of other stuff that keeps it going. This documentary is made by the owner’s son, who simultaneously tries to cure what ails them. Their dilemma presents a lot of meat for an excellent discussion; facilitated by Ira Bryck of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Open to the public, for more info, see



MARCH 9, 2010 • TUESDAY 5:00-8:30 PM

Summit View Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

Setting Goals Are Easy; Reaching Them Is Hard (How To Get Where You Want To Be)

You gotta be in it to win it, but how many of us want to grab the golden ring, without any plan to get on the carousel? Do you know where you want to be in 5 years, but don’t think about what you need to do today to get there? Or vaguely sense life, business, love, et al, would be much better if only everything would change, but you don’t do anything different? This session will feature several business owners discussing where they want to be at in a few years, and how they're actually making their way there. Or how they’ve already arrived; describing the long, strange, but productive trip it’s been. You will learn about the essential tools to make change happen; the roadblocks you must navigate around, the attitudes, perspectives and habits that help real, live people like you. Speaking of you, there will be an opportunity for you to commit to significant changes you want to make, and get some feedback from our learning community on how to plan it and do it.

UMass Professor Robert Hopley of the Isenberg School of Management will moderate this panel. Aside from following his passion, as coach of the Amherst College Rugby, he was head of worldwide printer manufacturing at Digital Equipment, when printers were $2.1B of $13.2B total sales, received a major USAID grant to work with Pskov Technical College in Russia, and a UNIDO grant to work with small food processor businesses in Jamaica; He has consulted to over 150 business plans in the last five years; and supervised over 50 major Masters student consulting projects with Greek businesses over last five years (the average project equaled 2000 person hours) He is also a visiting professor in entrepreneurship and field/consulting project director for the Athens Laboratory of Business Management. Robert is past Director of the UMass chapter of the Small Business Institute.

TO ACCEPT GOOD ADVICE IS BUT TO INCREASE ONE'S OWN ABILITY (Goethe) The good advice tonight is from FBC Corporate Partners Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP and Hampden Bank. Be a fly on the wall, watching the negotiation between a law firm, contracted to negotiate with a bank, on behalf of the family business they represent. Sparks might fly, ideas may be exchanged, credit may be extended, and you will be educated.


Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

Your Website: Hot or Not?

Of course you have a website, but why? What does it accomplish? Does it represent you well, match your company’s look and feel? Does it sell for you? Distinguish you? Help your staff? Does it work on the “back end”? Does it navigate elegantly, not to mention sensibly? Does it say 2009, or 1993? You’ll learn more than you thought you needed to know from three techies with taste:Jason Mark (of Gravity Switch) , Dave Flaherty (of Ashton Services)  and Tina Stevens (of Stevens 470), who will not only explain from to, but will take a hard look at SOME of your very own websites, live, on stage, to tactfully critique, also to compellingly suggest what needs changing NOW!

PLUS Our Corporate Partner, HAMPDEN BANK, offers you When the Heck Will We Really Be Done With the Worst Recession Since the Great Depression?presented by Gil Ehmke, Owner, President and Portfolio Manager for Bank Street Investment Advisors, LLC. Gil Ehmke has over 25 years of “hands-on” experience in the banking industry with over 20 years of investment management experience. His diverse career responsibilities have entailed managing virtually all financial functions of a financial institution. These responsibilities included investment management, asset/liability management and reporting, secondary mortgage marketing, investment accounting, corporate accounting, financial reporting and merger and acquisition analysis and integration. During his career, Mr. Ehmke has held various executive level positions with a number of northeastern banks including: Senior Vice President and Treasurer at Northeast Federal Corp, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at SIS Bancorp, Inc. and Senior Vice President and Director of Finance at First International Bank. Mr. Ehmke formed Bank Street Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor, in 2001 to provide comprehensive, professional investment advisory services to small and medium-sized community banks. Mr. Ehmke was also an adjunct finance professor at Central Connecticut State University where he taught an advanced course in security analysis.

November 20 , 2009 • Friday 8:30AM-1:30PM
Mass Ventures Building, Hadley, Mass

First Ever Family Business Center Spouses (in business) Summit

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? - Groucho Marx

if you work with your spouse, here's a way to find answers, relief, ideas, and a path forward


  • Outstanding chance to have robust discussion with other spouses working together, and compare notes on how they do it.
  • Fascinating, solid content about how couples can communicate most effectively, not to mention balance work and family relationships, based on research and real life.
  • Ask your burning questions to an intimate group, that is chock full of the wisdom that comes with experience; and get great feedback and a reality check.
  • Learn by teaching, and improve yourself by helping others. You're wiser than you realize!
  • You may have done some work on your marriage, but couples that work together are a unique breed; come see others of your kind, all gathered together for the common good.
  • A great deal at $100 per couple ($130 if you're not members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley); includes a delicious breakfast and lunch catered by the Loose Goose (a spousal business!)


  • How best to structure authority, titles, compensation for spouses in business
  • How others separate business and family roles
  • Strategies others use that could work for you (vacation separately? don't report to each other?)
  • What to do if your spouse doesn't have an "official" job, but is still influential, strategic, advisory
  • What to do if one of you loves or hates the business more than the other
  • What to do if there are also siblings or in-laws in the business
  • What if you have conflict about risk, change, growth, systems, hierarchy, authority, bossiness, turning off PDAs, kids at work, retirement, working with your ex, banning spouses, doing what you do badly, etc

Whether you consider yourself happily married or feeling some pain; or whether your company is large or small, new or old, you are welcome!

Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays. -Henny Youngman

October 21 , 2009 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

15th Anniversary Celebration of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Come celebrate our 15 years of providing a smart and generous community of learners from the regions family and closely held businesses. Aside from a gathering of many who have participated, supported and benefited, all eating outstanding food, we will also have great entertainment: Bill Herz, Corporate Magician, who the Wall Street Journal calls a "Modern Merlin" (see: ) and also the outstanding local band Primate Fiasco (see: ). Whether you’re currently a member, or were one, or want to be one, please join us for a stupendous amount of fun.

September 15 , 2009 • Tuesday5:00-8:30pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton , Mass.

Are You Trapped in the Family Business?

Even if there are days where it all feels so right, you may occasionally, or often, wonder how you ended up in your family business. What ever happened to Plan A? or Finding Myself? or Now that I have my gold watch, what's next? Dr. Michael Klein, founder of MK Insights LLC, will review concepts related to "prisoners" of family businesses - how to determine if you are one and need to get out, or if you just need to make a few adjustments; how to assess and make use of your natural talents in the business (and delegate your weaknesses) and, how to decide if, when, and how to move on to something else when you have done everything you can do (or wanted to do). Dr. Klein will also discuss how other family members can effectively assess and help their parents, siblings, and children in making these determinations and decisions. Dr. Michael Klein holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and is the President of MK Insights, a firm that focuses exclusively on business owners and professionals to increase their understanding and application of personality strengths, values, emotional and social style, sales attributes, and leadership qualities. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology. Before starting MK Insights, he was a Director of Field Training & Development at MassMutual, where he created and worked on selection and development practices for sales professionals and sales managers. He has presented to, and consulted for, thousands of physicians, corporate executives, business owners, sales professionals, managers, and a variety of professionals in transition. Prior to graduate study, Michael worked in the entertainment industry, including stints at the Late Show with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live .

What if You're Not a Born Leader ?

Alexander the Great had it easy- he was probably born with the ability to reach the ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea. But how can most people- struggling to inspire the troops, keep the bottom line green, and stay on good terms with their sibling partners- be all that they can't be? Family Business Center partners Ross & Rick Giombetti will interview a couple of humble, honest, aware business leaders, to demonstrate for us how the boss next door gets it done..

June 23, 2009 • Tuesday 8:00AM-11:30AM (please note: this is a breakfast forum)
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

Family Business Research: Does It Matter? How Can It Help You? Do We Need to Change?

Studies of the best performing and most communicative family companies have important relevance to you in figuring out the right way for your company to govern itself and address your issues. This talk will decipher the work of academia to help you figure out how to get it right.


· will a board of advisors or directors will really make us better?
· aren't we too small to need all this "governance"?
· could we already doing it good enough, though not so formally?
· does being family help or hurt? if hurt, how can we turn that around?
· how do we lead different than the last generation?
· is strategic planning worth the time and effort?
· we survived 4 generations, aren't we bulletproof!
· how to turn our control freak father into a low-key mentor
· my sister can't be president, can she?
· who should get a vote and make decisions?
· how should I act as an owner, different than a worker or relative?
· what are the best ways family businesses "pass the torch" ?
· how can we make our business reflect our values?

Presented by JOSEPH ASTRACHAN, Wachovia Eminent Scholar Chair of Family Business and executive director of the Family Business program at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA; as well as past editor of Family Business Review, a scholarly publication of the Family Firm Institute. His research presentations, consultations and publications concentrate on family businesses, succession, and strategy. He is author and co-author of several books, including: Family Business Sourcebook II; Making Sibling Teams Work; Building Family Business Policies; Conflict and Communication in Family Business and Mechanisms to Assure Family Business Cohesion: Guidelines for Family Business Leaders and Their Families. As a sought after speaker and authority, he has been quoted extensively in nearly all major print media and in U.S. Congressional reports. Astrachan is the recipient of several awards for his research and contributions to the family business field. Raised in a family business (pharmaceuticals), Astrachan earned his B.A., M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. degrees at Yale University.

What is Your Business Worth?

From the buyer's perspective, only what I'm willing to pay. Sure, tell me about your income stream, or your valuable equipment, but still, until you discover that magic "fair market value" that will compel the buyer and seller to shake hands, no deal. A 20 minute deal enhancer by Kevin Hines of MEYERS BROTHERS KALICKA.

May 20, 2009 •Wednesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass.

Our Story is Our Fingerprint: Family Business Tales to Make You Laugh, Cry and Understand Why

There are some 20 million family businesses in the USA alone, and each one has a unique story. Listen to three or four family business owners, selected for tonight’s edu-tainment.  Each will share their personal stories: their heroes and dark nights of the soul; epiphanies and paradigm shifts; as well as their redemption and reinvention.  They will be professionally coached to make their stories polished (but not airbrushed), bringing out the most poignant and touching moments. You will learn from the mistakes and victories of others, as well as how to fashion your family business’ history into an epic tale, to fascinate your great grandchildren on some future snowy night.

The storytelling business families are yet to be selected, but our storytelling coach is Amherst, Massachusetts-based JAYNE PEARL, author of Kids and Money: Giving Them the Savvy to Succeed Financially (Bloomberg Press) and one of the founding editors of Family Business magazine. She has written about family business for 20 years, and has written and ghost-written many books, articles, newsletters and web content. She authored the article Taking a Peek at, and Preserving the Past: How and Why to Capture Your Family Business History for Related Matters’ Fall 2008 issue.


April 14, 2009 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

It's OK to Struggle With Sustainability!

Kermit the Frog summed it up best: ““It Ain’t Easy Being Green.” But DEAN CYCON, founder of Orange, Mass. coffee importer and distributor Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company, says that the struggle, often of a small business trying to save the planet, their values, plus a few bucks, is totally worthwhile. He should know- as a purveyor of outstanding brew, he has succeeded in preserving natural resources, maintained 100% Fair Trade status (only purchasing beans from villages and importers that are committed to working towards better economic opportunity, improved health and nutrition in the villages); and has excelled in being 100% organic, and at recycling, solar energy use, and supporting human rights. His travels to third world countries have been educational expeditions, where he has learned and taught about giving back to coffee growing populations globally. His work has earned him recognition, including the recent awarding of the Williams College Bicentennial Medal, recognizing his commitment to using business as a vehicle for progressive social change. His book, Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee, has been awarded the Gold Medal at the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards. He is also a 2008 inductee into the 2008 Western Mass Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame. Dean’s presentation to the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley will be chock full of practical methods to get greener in your business practices (and more green on the bottom line), and filled to the brim with notions of using your business to help people Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. (fyi: Dean is donating his fee for this talk to a new development project that will plant trees in Ethiopia)

The Most Important Legal Aspects of Family Business Transition

As the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail." That's when lawyers are needed to clean up your mess, instead of helping you succeed. This presentation, by RON WEISS, of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP will educate you about the need to think about: how and when to involve the next generation in governance and management, estate planning for sale and non-sale scenarios after the death of the controlling owner, designing an inside sale, providing for family not in the business, providing for adequate liquidity and possible fallbacks if you don't have it, and growing assets outside of the older generation's estate. If you don't learn a few things from these 20 minutes, you should have been a lawyer.

March 11, 2009 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30 PM
The Delaney House , Holyoke, Mass.

What Kind of Company Would You Run If You Could Produce Money?

 Of course you’re in business to make money, but not as much as Crane & Company is- they’ve been making the paper for US currency since 1879! (plus, Paul Revere engraved banknotes for the Colony of Massachusetts Bay on Crane paper to help finance the American Revolution;and they also make the paper for the currencies of Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and India) Now in its seventh generation, with roots extended to before the American Revolution, they continue their unmatched reputation for quality, innovation and integrity. Their expertise in nonwovens leads them to create paperlike materials used in products as diverse as the Dodge Viper and orbiting satellites, beyond the wildest 1801 dreams of founder Zenas Crane.

The company continues to be owned and managed by members of the Crane family, overseeing every final touch that goes into creating all of its diversifed products. We are pleased to have as tonight’s presenter CHARLES KITTREDGE, great-great-great-grandson of the founder, and current CEO of Crane & Company. Charlie will share his perspectives on what has allowed his family business to thrive for so long, balancing a family tradition with professionalism; and a global reach by a company that still operates alongside the Housatonic River, where Zenas Crane found an ideal location for his paper mill; and a long legacy as a steward of the environment, creating their first wastewater treatment facility in the 1950s to keep the Housatonic River running clear and clean. Come hear Charlie and learn what makes Crane & Company a great company to benchmark. We end this blurb with this quote from Inc Magazine's October 2008 profile of him and Crane:"As CEO, I want to make sure the business is as healthy as possible and positioned to last another 100 years. That means everything from investing in technology and being innovators going forward to investing in the work force and keeping it excited about working here. I think we're different than a lot of other companies, and I want to keep that culture intact while at the same time instilling the need to continually reinvent ourselves."

How to Prepare for a Hard Conversation (and other Things We do in Our Women's Roundtable)

For those of you who are curious about what we do at our Women’s Roundtable, we are opening our process for all to see at the March 11th FBC Dinner Forum.

We talk about many things at our Round Table each month (all completely confidential) but one of the topics that frequently come up is how to prepare for difficult conversations. These conversations are typically with employees, family members or spouses. Using a combination of our strategic question format, coaching and role playing, we have tackled many situations that people in family business frequently face (but with great reluctance).

One of our members will volunteer to use a real-life situation in order to demonstrate our process and our facilitator, Deborah Kruger, will take her through the various components of preparing for the upcoming conversation.

Take a peek into our process as we cover the following:

  • What is my objective for this conversation?
  • What makes me nervous about having this conversation?
  • What do I need to remember in order to have a more successful dialogue?
  • What is the best way to convey my concerns?
  • How do I think the person will respond?
  • What should I do if things go off track?
  • What other things can I do to prepare myself?

Though not everyone in our group has used this process, we have all benefited from listening because all of us have faced similar conversations in the past or anticipate having them in the future. We hope you will find this demonstration useful as well.

State and Federal Health Insurance Changes: What They Mean for Business

Recent changes in health insurance in Massachusetts have reduced the numbers of the uninsured, but put strains on the health care system and state budget. Similar changes are now being considered in Washington. JIM KESSLER, Health New England’s Vice President and General Counsel, will discuss the results in Massachusetts to date and some of the proposals at the national level. He will also comment on how these changes affect Massachusetts businesses.

December 9, 2008 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

Breaking Roberts' Rules: The New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build Consensus, and Get Results

If you’re ever in the position of getting people to agree, or at least discuss how they will ever decide, since they so vehemently disagree, you probably envy those with great parliamentary procedural skills, with powers to persuade the majority, and achieve great results. Tonight’s presenter, LAWRENCE SUSSKIND, contends even that masters of Roberts Rules of Order will not arrive at a workable solution without truly reaching consensus, since the “victory” leaves so many people with their issues unresolved. Whether in your family business or any other organization you’re involved with, there is an alternative method to resolve disputes and conflicts, move forward with less tyranny, more solutions, less blame, more understanding, less sabotage, more adherence. Your ideas about how to get groups of people to work together will be challenged and enhanced, and your reputation as a problem solver will make you a much more popular and effective boss, and much less bossy.

Lawrence E. Susskind is Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT and President of the Consensus Building Institute. He is one of the country's most experienced public and environmental dispute mediators. He has served as court-appointed special master and as a mediator for neighborhood, municipal, state, and national agencies and organizations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East. He is the head of the Environmental Policy Group at MIT and has served as senior mediator in dozens of complex land use and resource management disputes in the U.S., including those concerning the siting of controversial facilities, the setting of environmental and health standards, battles over claims of environmental injustice and decisions about long-term growth management. Professor Susskind is also President of the Consensus Building Institute, a not-for-profit organization that provides mediation and dispute system design services to public and private clients worldwide. CBI facilitated the Policy Dialogue on Trade and the Environment that brought senior GATT/WTO officials together with international leaders of environmental organizations. CBI staff have mediated numerous public disputes dealing with various issues. CBI also initiated the Workable Peace Program to teach public school teachers how to teach conflict management skills to high school students. In 2005, Professor Susskind won the ACSP Distinguished Educator Award, which is presented in appreciation of service and contribution to the field of planning. Professor Susskind is the author or co-author of numerous books, including Breaking Robert's Rules; and has twice been awarded Best Book in the Dispute Resolution field by the Center for Public Research, for The Consensus Building Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Reaching Agreement (with Sarah McKearnan and Jennifer Thomas-Larmer) in 2000, and for Dealing With An Angry Public: The Mutual Gains Approach to Resolving Disputes.

PLUS Some Good Old Fashioned Holiday Socializing! Mix it up in the company of companies!! Featuring the “acoustic parlor music” of the Blueberry Hill Boys (including FL Roberts’ own Seth Roberts; from bluegrass to newgrass to jazz to the 60's.); and other holiday enjoyments.


November 20, 2008 • Thursday 12 Noon- 6:00PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

He's Not Heavy... He's My (Bossy) Brother!

Since the feedback from our first ever Sibling Summit was so positive:

Well thought out ... friendly interaction ... felt comfortable ... handled with discretion & care ... came away with more insight ... thoroughly enjoyed ... relevant, constructive, professional discussion ... everyone involved ... everyone really open to sharing ... truly impressed ... level of openness & exchange of ideas unexpected and refreshing ... candor & vulnerability ... would certainly attend again ... highly recommend ... unlike any I've ever attended ... hopefully there will be more like this ... if you are just 'thinking' about going to a special event like this, JUST DO IT!

We proudly announce our new, improved SIBLING SUMMIT, PHASE 2

Learn from others in business with siblings and/or cousins • Examine how to best discuss varying levels of risk tolerance, passion, satisfaction among your sibs • Hear how other sibling teams manage thorny discussions and make difficult decisions • Explore the various ways that siblings/cousins in business balance the roles of owner / manager / family with maximum clarity (hopefully) • Brainstorm how to most professionally, but also lovingly, establish policies about compensation, rank, contribution, responsibility and authority• Consider how others are strategizing retirement (sooner? never? all at once? all over the board?); and how to make that work, money-wise •  Evaluate questions like: Should we sell? Should we grow? Should we close? Should we go ESOP? Do we have enough insurance? Are we each getting the right advice? Are we discussing this the right way? • Challenge some assumptions that may not be working as hoped, about leadership, privilege, lifestyle, communication, etc. etc. etc. 

Register now for this important event, which will:  • Let you get in a half day of work, and get you home for the evening • Include an afternoon snack and early evening hor d’ouerves that will satisfy you but not kill dinner with your family • Raise your awareness atop the beautiful summit at Log Cabin, for the first 40 registrants who are siblings/cousins in business, and members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley • Be a mixture of useful formats, ranging from panel discussions, tapping into the collective brainpower of the group, getting the specialized perspectives of expert advisors; to informal “strategic schmoozing” – the best of both small groups and wisdom of the crowd (a small, focused crowd) • Be confidential, as everyone who participates will be asked to commit to not revealing any personal matters they heard at this session • COST: FBC MEMBERS = $60 per person (3+ siblings from same company $50 each)…Non-members = $80 per person (3+ siblings from same company $65 each)  Contact Ira Bryck to register at (413) 545-1537 or Contact Ira Bryck to register at (413) 545-1537 or

Key words: - risk - passion - satisfaction - discord - balance - owner - spouses - compensation - dad - rank - contribution - mom - responsibility -authority - retirement - love - death  OH, BROTHER!

October 14, 2008 • Tuesday 5:00-9:30 PM (please note special length program)
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass.

You Can And Should Shape Your Own Future; Because If You Don't, Someone Else Surely Will

says tonight’s presenter, renowned futurist, Joel Barker. This special length (2.5 hour) presentation will be a chance to hear the Latest Hits of the man who brought the concept of paradigm shifts to the corporate world. Dr. Barker will weave together his current thinking on what it takes to “Find the Future Faster.” You will be enthralled and improved by learning: • how the creation of new wealth in the world is driven dominantly by diversity. Simply put, without differences, you cannot have innovation; and without innovation you cannot enlarge the total amount of wealth in the world. This may be a reason to stop getting all your employees “on the same page.” • Darwin may have gotten it right about survival depending on small adaptations, but if you want achieve the biggest breakthroughs and monopolies, go to the extremes (Apple went to the edge to revolutionize the music industry, leaving Sony behind); • how to create extreme partnerships to transform your company and product • how your senior leaders can continuously explore trends, innovations and paradigm shifts • how to better anticipate and deal with the effects of change, learning an efficient and powerful method of exploring the implications and unintended consequences of your strategies and initiatives. We cannot promise you will learn how to look into the future by coming to this event, but there may not be a better way to learn to do so.

JOEL BARKER began his work in 1975 after spending a year on fellowship, meeting and working with visionary thinkers in both North America and Europe. He discovered that the concept of paradigms, which at that time was sequestered within the scientific discussion, could explain revolutionary change in all areas of human endeavor. By 1985, he had built the case and corporations and nations were seeking his advice. In 1980, in addition to his work on paradigms, he began to focus on a second crucial component for organizations and individuals: the importance of vision. In 1986, he released his first videotape, Discovering the Future: The Business of Paradigms. By 1988, it was the best selling business video in history. In 2001, he updated this film to include contemporary examples and a shortened version. It has been translated into 16 languages and continues to influence people all over the world. In 1990, he released his second video, The Power of Vision. This became his second best seller and has also been translated into more than a dozen languages. His book on paradigms, Future Edge, published in 1992, was listed as one of the most influential business books of that year by the prestigious Library Journal. It has been used for more than a decade. Joel Barker has worked with organizations, both for profit and not for profit, all over the world as well as with nations, including Singapore, Venezuela, Canada, Mexico and Peru. His honors include an honorary Doctorate in Visionary Leadership from St. Mary's University and the Excellence in Education Award given to him by the international education association, Pi Lambda Theta for his part in supporting educational innovation. Formerly director of the Futures Studies Department of the Science Museum of Minnesota from 1974 to 1978, he has spoken to more than 1 million people around the world, and his films have been seen by more than 250 million people around the world.

A Non-Taxing Primer of the Tax Policy Implications of Who Wins In November

Though you may vote for the better debater, or the one who  agrees with you on hunting, we can all agree that tax policies may have an enormous impact on the economy.  It's pretty difficult to assess the harm or benefit a particular candidate will have on your wallet. This talk will compare what becomes of ordinary income tax brackets, dividends, capital gains, estate tax brackets, estate tax unified  credit, alternative minimum tax, deductions, credits, corporate tax  rates, etc, if the elephants win, or the donkeys do. You will also learn what is not known at present, and where the platforms are close enough so that a particular change is likely no matter who wins, and which  changes depend on a particular party or filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Presented by our corporate partner, the law firm BULKLEY, RICHARDSON AND GELINAS, LLP.


September 16, 2008 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass.

Boundary Issues in Love and Work

Boundary Intelligence is a basic human capacity that exists in everyone. This innovative presentation explains how cultivating this ability improves relationships by resolving the paradox of two essential emotional needs - the desire for intimacy and the desire for personal autonomy and independence. Boundary issues are inevitable in every relationship; learning how to negotiate them without sacrificing the self on the altar of togetherness is the focus of Jane Adams’ most recent work, and in this program she offers techniques and tools that enable audiences to regulate their personal and professional relationships to get more of what they want and less of what they don’t in all their dealings with other people – families, partners, friends and colleagues. Program highlights include: • Boundary Basics: What they are and why you need them • Boundary Intelligence and how to use it in your relationships • Who’s In and who’s out and how to tell the difference • All in the family – Where faulty boundaries come from and how to fix them • What’s your Boundary Style and why does it matter? • In and out of bounds at the office • Do your boundaries fit your job? • Boundary crossings in balancing work and life

JANE ADAMS is a dynamic, exciting and empathetic speaker whose presentations illuminate contemporary trends in life styles and choices, provide tools and strategies to increase personal satisfaction and professional achievement, and motivate audiences to take control of their lives, expand their horizons, and fulfill their goal. Jane is a skilled coach and life boundaries consultant whose expertise, advice and assistance can improve your relationships with your grown children, parents and other family members, friends and colleagues and help you balance your needs with those of others and your personal and professional obligations and commitments. She is a social psychologist grounded in life stage theory and research whose experience in issues affecting adjustment to midlife is particularly relevant to baby boomers and their families; and a best-selling writer whose books on how people cope with the problems and rewards of balancing personal and professional obligations, maintain family bonds when distance and difference tug at the ties that bind, and develop emotionally and psychologically throughout their lives have helped thousands of readers adjust to change and create happier, more productive lives and relationships. She is the author of eight nonfiction books and three novels, Jane Adams’ work has been selected by major book clubs, translated in several foreign languages, and adapted for television. Her essays, columns, and articles have been published in newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Psychology Today, Glamour, More, Woman’s Day, the Nation, New Choices, AARP The Magazine, and on many popular on-line sites. Among Jane Adams' books are: "Boundary issues: Using Boundary Intelligence to Get the Intimacy You Need and the Independence You Want in Life, Love and Work." (John Wiley & Sons) and "When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go Of Their Problems Loving Them Anyway and Getting On With Our Lives." (Free Press).

What It Takes to Be a Good Follower

It is sometimes said that the one indispensable thing a leader cannot do without is...followers! But that word has such a negative connotation, of being conformist, a drone, compliant. But there are qualities of a great follower, and you want great followers, who may also be known by  other names: key employee, vice president, brother, co-owner. This presentation by Rick Giombetti and Paul Alves of GIOMBETTI ASSOCIATES will discuss how to recognize someone who can take your lead, pick up the ball and run, understand your vision and make it real, who can demonstrate great leadership in their followership. And how you, as a leader, can develop your people to be those greater followers.


June 17, 2008 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

With A Name Like Smuckers? What Were We Thinking?! How To Creatively Yet Practically Brand Your Product Or Service

Since the earliest days of branding, when you’d burn your mark into livestock, businesses have been concerned with being correctly identified with what they produce and distribute. An error might be funny to others (Mexico’s translation of “it takes a tough man to make a tender chicken” was not complimentary to Frank Perdue’s romantic life; and we’re glad Canon photocopiers didn’t go with the slogan “Quit calling them Xeroxes” or Apple didn’t use “Hey, we thought of it first.”) But seriously, folks, tonight’s presentation will give you food for thought about just how to brand your own special sauce, whatever it is. Three experts: JOHN BIDWELL of the strategic branding firm Bidwell ID, DARBY O’BRIEN of Darby O’Brien Advertising, and UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management professor MARC WEINBERGER will discuss what works and what doesn’t; how to position yourself in the marketplace; what your branding says about you, your vision, your product or service; how that brand needs to look, sound, and feel right in various media, now and over time. The whole shebang will make you smarter in thinking through what slogans, icons, designs accurately tell your story with finesse and pizzazz.

Baby, You Can Drive My (Company) Car

As you contentedly cruise down the highway in your company car, happy in the knowledge that you’re getting deductions, depreciation, and a sweet ride, consider: are you driving a luxury auto, subject to special rules? (even if you don’t feel luxuriated?); are there types of cars that escape that classification?; are you really allowed to use the car personally, with no tax consequence?; could there be a benefit to driving your own car, instead?; what records do you really need to keep, to not have your deductions disallowed?  Sorry to ruin the fun, but you need to know! Presented by JENNIFER REYNOLDS, CPA, JD, Tax Manager in the accounting firm MEYERS BROTHERS KALICKA, PC a Corporate Partner of the Family Business Center.


May 28, 2008 • Wednesday 1:30-6:00 PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass



This highly interactive half-day session will help you: • Learn from others in business with siblings and/or cousins • Examine how to best discuss varying levels of risk tolerance, passion, satisfaction among your sibs • Hear how other sibling teams manage thorny discussions and make difficult decisions • Explore the various ways that siblings/cousins in business balance the roles of owner / manager / family with maximum clarity (hopefully) • Brainstorm how to most professionally, but also lovingly, establish policies about compensation, rank, contribution, responsibility and authority• Consider how others are strategizing retirement (sooner? never? all at once? all over the board?); and how to make that work, money-wise •  Evaluate questions like: Should we sell? Should we grow? Should we close? Should we go ESOP? Do we have enough insurance? Are we each getting the right advice? Are we discussing this the right way? • Challenge some assumptions that may not be working as hoped, about leadership, privilege, lifestyle, communication, etc. etc. etc.  Register now for this important event, which will:  • Let you get in a half day of work, and get you home for the evening • Include an afternoon snack and early evening hor d’ouerves that will satisfy you but not kill dinner with your family • Raise your awareness atop the beautiful summit at Log Cabin, for the first 40 registrants who are siblings/cousins in business, and members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley • Be a mixture of useful formats, ranging from panel discussions, tapping into the collective brainpower of the group, getting the specialized perspectives of expert advisors; to informal “strategic schmoozing” – the best of both small groups and wisdom of the crowd (a small, focused crowd) • Be confidential, as everyone who participates will be asked to commit to not revealing any personal matters they heard at this session • Cost $40 per person, payable in advance, upon registration, for members of FBC  • If there is room, registration will be opened later to non-members for $80 per person Contact Ira Bryck to register at (413) 545-1537 or


May 14, 2008 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Are Your Command And Control Leadership Heroics Creating Weak Employees?

"When the leader makes all important decisions, the members easily become interested observers and not committed partners, even when the leader makes decisions with which they agree" claims tonight’s presenter, Allan Cohen. Would it not be better to put responsibility where the knowledge is? (hint: at every level.) In companies where all employees share leadership and responsibility, the buck stops everywhere, not just at the biggest desk. Productivity and performance become everyone’s responsibility, and there is much less buck passing and follow-the-leader. Dr. Cohen sees this transformation to shared leadership – whether in a family business with multiple generations, or a large multinational- as an outgrowth of what we all want unlocked in us, and not working against human nature. The presentation will provide actionable advice and guidance, showing you how to create a dynamic, supercharged organizational culture of shared responsibility; and unveil the mind-traps that keep organizations locked into outmoded concepts of leadership. You will see how “Post-Heroic” Leadership is “Not Your Father’s Leadership.” Dr. Cohen will also reveal to you his secret of life, summed up in 6 words, to make people more responsive and less likely to strike you as an insufferable jerk.

ALLAN COHEN holds Babson College’s Edward A. Madden Distinguished Professorship in Global Leadership, and recently completed seven years as vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty. A consultant on organizational change for companies such as GE, he helped found the Indian Institute of Management. At the University of New Hampshire, he was the J.R. Carter Professor of Management. Dr. Cohen is coauthor of Managing for Excellence, the award-winning Alternative Work Arrangements; Integrating Individual and Organizational Needs; Power Up: Transforming Organizations Through Shared Leadership; and Influence without Authority (also being translated into Japanese).

PLUS our Corporate Partner, HAMPDEN BANK, offers you AN ECONOMIC UPDATE: WHERE ARE WE HEADING? presented by GIL EHMKE, Owner And Portfolio Manager for Bank Street Investment Advisors, LLC. Gil Ehmke has over 25 years of “hands-on” experience in the banking industry with over 20 years of investment management experience. His diverse career responsibilities have entailed managing virtually all financial functions of a financial institution. These responsibilities included investment management, asset/liability management and reporting, secondary mortgage marketing, investment accounting, corporate accounting, financial reporting and merger and acquisition analysis and integration. During his career, Mr. Ehmke has held various executive level positions with a number of northeastern banks including: Senior Vice President and Treasurer at Northeast Federal Corp, Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at SIS Bancorp, Inc. and Senior Vice President and Director of Finance at First International Bank. Mr. Ehmke formed Bank Street Investment Advisors, LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisor, in 2001 to provide comprehensive, professional investment advisory services to small and medium-sized community banks. Mr. Ehmke was also an adjunct finance professor at Central Connecticut State University where he taught an advanced course in security analysis.


April 16, 2008 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30 PM
The Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Don't Run Your Business With Your Heart, Or Make Family Decisions With Your Head

advises tonight’s speaker, Howdy Holmes, President of Chelsea Milling Company, in Chelsea, Michigan, the manufacturer of "JIFFY" baking mix. His grandmother founded the company, but the family has milled flour for eight generations, causing Howdy’s father to comment, "It just goes to show you what idiots we are. We're too dumb to get out of the business." But Howdy didn’t start in the business, preferring a 20 year career competing in motor sports, including the Indianapolis 500 , where he finished in the top ten 26 times, and was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 1979, and Formula Atlantic champion in 1978. In 1987, he returned to the family business as fourth-generation president and CEO. Howdy will share his unique vantage point on entrepreneurship and competition, and how he led a transformation of the then 100 year old family business. The need for modernization was clear, but difficult to execute. He sought to become a professionally managed company to secure Jiffy's place atop the home baking mix industry, but still retain the innocence and values of a small-town, family business. Between the benefits of their long tradition, recognizable blue and white box, great value (still costs less than a candy bar), they have succeeded: Jiffy owns 57 percent of the nation's muffin mix business, selling almost four times more units than General Mills', five times more than Martha White, 13 times more than Pillsbury and over 23 times more than Duncan Hines; impressive, considering that aside from a simple website, they do no advertising. Jiffy also has earned the loyalty of its workers, who enjoy good pay and benefits, and not one layoff in the company's long history. Holmes explains his personnel policy this way: "C'mon, just treat 'em right." Come enjoy Howdy’s homespun philosophy that has brought Chelsea Milling generations of success: "We have an innovative combination of aw-shucks family business and professional management, much of it developed internally. This serves us very well and we are able to remain nimble and highly competitive in our market niche."

PLUS "Do You Know That You Don't Know What You Don't Know?"
Charlie Epstein, CLU, ChFC, of Epstein Financial Services explains why you should be very afraid!

March 11, 2008 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30 PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting Hourse, Holyoke, Mass

Is Your Family Business Run By Rulers Or Governors? (and why does it matter?)

Families in business struggle to manage and sustain a very complex situation, made even more convoluted because the more you rely on leadership (ruling) the harder it is to create functional structures through which you can “govern,” and vice versa. Clearly, both are needed, but how can families anticipate and handle the contradictions and dilemmas that these two integrating mechanisms create? FURTHERMORE, planning for your family business continuity requires that families articulate what they want for the future. While it may seem easy to state what you want, it can be quite difficult for a business family to share a vision, not to mention express it with clarity. We are fortunate to have a return visit (last in 1997) by noted family business thought-leader Ivan Lansberg who will share what he has learned after many years of experimenting with different ways of getting families to think about the future. In preparation for this session, we will be collecting your pressing questions (email them to so that Ivan can make his talk as relevant to your specific situations as possible. Though his work, Ivan has gained an understanding of what it takes for a family business to evolve from an entrepreneurial venture through the various stages of family ownership.

IVAN LANSBERG is an organizational psychologist in New Haven, Connecticut, and a cofounder and senior partner of the family consulting firm Lansberg, Gersick and Associates. Dr. Lansberg was a member of the organizational psychology faculty at the Yale School of Organization and Management, and a research fellow at Yale’s Institute for Social and Policy Studies. He has worked extensively with multi-generational family businesses in the United States and abroad, including some of the world’s oldest family businesses, and serves on several family business boards of directors. Ivan is the co-author of two of the authoritative works about family business, Generation to Generation: Life Cycles of the Family Business and Succeeding Generations: Realizing the Dream of Families in Business (Harvard Business School Press).

Massachusetts Healthcare Reform – What You Need To Know In 2008

As the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform Law enters it's second year, we'll help you understand what's new, what's changing, and what's staying the same. Probably the most significant new requirement for 2008 is that all plans must meet minimum creditable coverage requirements. We'll explain what that means in addition to providing a refresher on other obligations under the law - for employers, insurers, and individuals. Presented by RENEE WROTH. Director of Service Operations for our newest Corporate Partner, HEALTH NEW ENGLAND.

December 11, 2007 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30PM
The Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

The Starbucks Experience: Lessons in Leadership to Spark You and Your Business to Unimaginable Success

What once was a service economy has now transformed into an "experiential revolution." Learn strategies for achieving the UCE (ultimate customer experience) by combining employee (internal customer) empowerment with a strategic view of operational precision. Borrowing from his Wall Street Journal best selling book, The Starbucks Experience, Dr. Michelli shares 5 principles that will help you generate employee retention, empowerment and enviable customer loyalty. When a focus on transactions and customer satisfaction just won't do—explore a world where "everything matters" and companies are "beloved." Starbucks took an extremely ordinary product and revolutionized the way people perceive and experience it. Just as Starbucks went from one small shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market, to approximately 11,000 stores internationally (growing at a rate of six new stores a day), so too can we all maximize our "ordinariness" for positive impact, organizationally and in our communities. Examine how cutting edge encourage leadership and front line workers to make a consistently extraordinary difference—on and off the job.

JOSEPH A. MICHELLI, Ph.D., is an internationally sought-after speaker, organizational psychologist, and business consultant who has been described as “catching what is right in the world and playfully sparking people and businesses to grow toward the extraordinary.” In addition to writing best selling books about enduring business principles, he hosts an award-winning daily radio program in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Michelli transfers his knowledge of exceptional business practices through keynote presentations that explore ways to develop joyful and productive workplaces. His insights encourage leaders and frontline workers to grow and invest passionately in all aspects of their life. Dr. Michelli's third book entitled, When Fish Fly was co-authored with the owner of the "World Famous" Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. When Fish Fly was released last year by Hyperion and in audiobook format by Random House. His new book The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary was released worldwide by McGraw-Hill on November 1, 2006. Dr. Michelli believes his greatest accomplishment is his ability to learn from the laughter and humor of his children, Andrew and Fiona.

Should We Grow Our Business by Acquisition?

A panel discussion of our Corporate Partners will shed a lot of light on a situation which many of you might relate to. We will discuss the case of a company that is considering growing by buying competitors. How should they pay for it? Who of that company's employees should they keep? What if some of the family business members don't want to take the risk? What if, instead of buying, we should be selling ourselves to a bigger company? Though no two snowflakes or family businesses are alike, you will recognize yourself enough to help yourself from this multi-faceted session.

October 23, 2007 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting Hourse, Holyoke, Mass

Your Eyelids are Getting Heavy, You Can't See the Money Sitting Right There: Harnessing the Awesome Power of Your Subconscious to Achieve Those Goals you Forgot You Set.

In our attention deficit plagued society, it’s no wonder you have trouble getting and staying focused. Too often we set goals for ourselves, and before we know it, we’re back to our old habits, and the reward for a job well done is nowhere to be found, and we can’t even summon the motivation to look for it. This event will demonstrate the awesome power of your subconscious mind. With actual volunteers from the audience, Tony guides you through a series of visualization techniques that must be seen to be believed. And even though you will not soon forget how fabulously entertained you were, even more dazzling is the effectiveness of the tools you will be given that can be used continuously to improve many aspects of your life. Learn how to set goals, reinforce them over the long haul, stay enthused and motivated, and best of all, focused and productive.

Tonight’s presenter is ANTHONY GALIE, a Psychotherapist with a B.A. Degree In Psychology from Rutgers University, and also attended Florida Atlantic University for his Masters degree. In addition to his own practice as a psychotherapist, he is a published author in leading technical journals, and a columnist for key trade and industry publications. He has also been a guest lecturer for colleges and universities, and a consultant to such organizations as the American Cancer Society. As a lecturer on the "The Subconscious Aspects of Business", Anthony Galie has regularly appeared before major industrial, manufacturing and business associations, medical groups, and major corporations throughout the United States. His clients include Prudential Insurance, Fedex, Walmart, Sprint, State Farm, and the National Association of Homebuilders, to name a few. His program is geared to defy logic -- because that is what stands in most people’s way. It deals with the subconscious - how to use it to develop positive outlooks, how to train it to improve concentration, and how to get it to achieve results. His presentations are the perfect blend of education and entertainment and are sure to have you spellbound and talking about what you experienced for weeks afterward. In the last 27 years, Anthony has trained thousands of business people to get and stay focused on their goals with simple, practical, hands-on techniques that work.

What The Founders Found When They Retired

Hear some perspectives from company founders who succeeded at what is described as the hardest part of family business: letting go. What do they do when they need to make their opinion known? How do they mind their own business, when that’s the right thing? How do they keep themselves vital and interested? What is their advice to others who are contemplating handing over the reins? Whether you’re months or decades away from this life stage, it’s good stuff to pay attention to. Featuring Bob Grenier, founder of the Grenier’s Photography (now Grynn & Barrett Studios), and Carlo Buendo, founder of Reminder Publications.

September 20, 2007 • Thursday 5:00-8:30PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

How The Upcoming Generation Can Overcome Its 8 Biggest Challenges and Take Ownership For Their Future

What is it you wish you knew then, that you know now, about the opportunity to join your family business that you should probably be talking about with your teenagers now? Or if you or other young adult children (say 25-40 years old) in the family business didn’t have the proper discussion, is it too late? There is still much that can be achieved through some self-analysis and self-improvement, building credibility, determining your career path, building a life plan, clarifying your values, determining your marketability, and keeping yourself open to the risks and benefits of objective feedback. No matter your age, there is work to be done to make sure your inner child in the family business is both behaving him/herself, but keeping hope alive! This session would be a great one to invite your teens, or college age kids to hear, whether or not you’ve ever had “the family business talk.” This session will deliver concrete benefits of self assessment and blazing a path forward, as well as helping you think through some enormous life decisions, no matter your age or experience.

GREG McCANN will help tonight’s audience figure out what it is they want, and then help your frame the steps to take to achieve it. Greg works with family businesses in the areas of succession, communication, conflict resolution, gender issues and development of the next generation. He is founder and architect of Stetson University’s Family Business Center, where he developed the nation’s first major in family business. McCann partners with expert advisors and businesses to improve communication, client relations, and professionalism. He is a tenured full professor of business at Stetson (in Florida), as well as an attorney and CPA, and is certified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs type Indicator. He is author of the new book When Your Parents Signs The Paychecks.

June 19, 2007 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting Hourse, Holyoke, Mass

Seven Irrefutable Rules of Business Growth

"Every business owner needs to be a trendspotter," says Steven S. Little. "The most successful, growth-oriented entrepreneurs I know are voracious gatherers of information. By combining their own internal trend data, their external scanning efforts, and understanding of potentially disruptive weak signals, they are prepared to take their forecasting to the next level." Author and Senior Consultant for Inc. magazine, Steven S. Little is one of the nation's most sought-after speakers on the subject of small business growth and the future of opportunity. He urges owners to reject the unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky positivism that he sees as harmful to small business, and exchange it for real-world, practical solutions. Owners must step back and look at the big picture if they want their businesses to grow, Little argues, since opportunities and answers are not just inside a company, but all around. Training oneself to be attuned to "weak signals" (i.e. new ideas, new styles, new products) is the best way to ensure the future growth of any enterprise and The Future of Opportunity: A 20/20 Vision of Your Success how to identify the most impactful macro-changes taking place in our world today, and dovetailing them with the specific developments within your industry or organization, Steve illuminates the future of opportunity and success for your group over the next 3 to 15 years. No crystal ball or tea leaves here…just factual, down-to-earth information your group will find interesting, entertaining and actionable.

STEVEN S. LITTLE is a much sought after speaker, consultant and writer on the subject of business growth and the future of opportunity. As a Senior Consultant for Inc. Magazine since 1998, he now speaks to thousands of owners and managers of growing businesses each year. His style has been described as “real-world,” “highly credible” and “uniquely engaging.” Mr. Little was President of three fast growth companies, two of which (FAME, Inc. and Erb Industries, Inc. achieved profitable growth rates of over 500% during Mr. Little's tenure). As President of The Queensboro Shirt Company, Little helped to build one of the country's most successful sites for Internet commerce. Steve and family live in sunny Wilmington, NC and historic Merida, Mexico. Steve’s new book “The Seven Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth” was published by Wiley in March, 2005 and is already on its third printing.

BROTHER (AND SISTER), DO YOU KNOW YOUR NUMBER? CHARLES EPSTEIN of EPSTEIN FINANCIAL SERVICES will help you think about how to build a successful retirement plan for your family members and employees.

MAY 16, 2007 •Wednesday 5:00-8:30PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Is Birth Order Ruining Your Succession Plan?

Owing to biological evolution, conflict is built into family life. On average, siblings share only half of their genes, so they are inclined to keep for themselves twice as much of any scarce resource as they give to a brother or sister. Because parental investment is a scarce resource, offspring typically manifest sibling rivalry. Fortunately, biological evolution has also predisposed family members to cooperate with one another. Close relatives tend to behave cooperatively because they share many of the same genes and thus represent genetic insurance policies for one another. In addition, unrelated individuals tend to cooperate when there are clear benefits to doing so—a process that biologists call reciprocal altruism. To what extent do these Darwinian principles, which are well documented for animal species, apply to human beings? In particular, what can family members do to maximize cooperation, rather than competition and conflict, within the family system? This presentation explores these and other important questions in terms of recent studies about family dynamics, including new research on the kinds of problems that most threaten the survival and continuation of family businesses.

FRANK J. SULLOWAY is a Visiting Scholar in the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychology. He has a Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard University (1978) and is a former MacArthur Fellow. His book Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (1979) provides a radical reanalysis of the origins and validity of psychoanalysis and received the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society. In addition, Dr. Sulloway has written about the nature of scientific creativity, and, on this general topic, he has published extensively on the life and theories of Charles Darwin. For the last two decades, Dr. Sulloway has also employed evolutionary theory to understand how family dynamics affect personality development, including that of creative geniuses. He has a particular interest in the influence that birth order exerts on personality and behavior. In this connection, he is the author of Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives (1996). Dr. Sulloway's researches on birth order and family dynamics have been featured on a variety of national television shows including "Nightline," the "Today Show," "Dateline NBC," the "Charlie Rose Show," and the Discovery Channel. Dr. Sulloway has been the recipient of fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, New Jersey), the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science (University of California, Berkeley), the National Science Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford, California). In addition, Dr. Sulloway is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement (1997). He lives in Berkeley, California.

CASH FLOW IS KING hear this educational, non-commercial presentation from HAMPDEN BANK.

April 10, 2007 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30PM
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting Hourse, Holyoke, Mass

And They Sold Their Family Business and Lived Happily Ever After

You may often feel married to your family business, but when did you ever say “till death do us part?” If you are succeeding and building value in your company, one obvious way out is to sell, and get on to the next chapter. But selling a business is a complex process, and is not something many business owners are at all familiar with or skilled at. This session will educate you on the selling process, including how to maximize the value of your business, attracting buyers, tax considerations (“it’s not what you sell it for, it’s what you get to keep”), financing transactions, and succession (transition) to the next owners. Types of buyers including high net worth individuals, equity groups and corporations seeking acquisitions will be discussed. Two knowledgeable business brokers, PHILIP STECKER of Country Business, Inc. and MICHAEL CAMEROTA of I.C.E. Business will cover both the basics and your specific questions, and will be joined for additional Q&A by RONALD WEISS of the law firm Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas and DAVID KALICKA of the accounting firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka, PC, to ensure you leave smarter about selling your company than when you came in.

MEET YOUR NEEDS AND MEET OTHERS TOO in a unique and interactive socializing time. Come on time to get maximum usefulness and enjoyment from this lightly structured "strategic schmoozing" opportunity. Bring extra business cards- you'll probably be making some great new connections.

March 8, 2007 • Thursday 5:00-8:30PM
Chez Josef, Agawam, Mass

A Dozen FBC Members Describe the 14 Ways in Which Toyota Bacame the Most Waste-free, Value-added, Problem-solving Company on Earth

For several years the members of the FBC roundtable known as “CEO Circle” have gotten to know each other well, and have experimented with various formats to explore ideas and share their smarts. Now they are all reading a great book together, The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles From The World's Greatest Manufacturer, and are excited by the prospect of sharing it with everyone smart enough to show up on March 8th. Hear from a group of down-to-Earth business owners about how these principles helped Toyota, and may apply to their Western Mass businesses. Take home great information about how you can, in your own business, speed up business processes, improve quality, cut costs, reduce defects, and so on. If terms like Heijunka, Jidoka, Jishuken and Kanban are Greek to you, you may want to explore this fascinating topic with a great line-up of presenters. BONUS: UMass School of Management Professor ALAN ROBINSON, author of Ideas Are Free and expert on The Toyota Way and all thinks Lean, Quality and Continuous Improvement, will give the opening talk on The Toyota Way, and answer audience questions after the members of CEO Circle explain the 14 principles!

EXPERT ADVICE FROM ONE OF OUR CORPORATE PARTNERS on a topic of vital importance for your continued success. You will benefit from the educational, non-commercial presentations from BULKLEY, RICHARDSON & GELINAS

December 12, 2006 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Would Washington Have Won the Civil War? Would Lincoln Have Won the Revolution? The Leadership Lessons of Two American Superheroes

Two fantastic leaders, each in his own way rescued America. George Washington rescued it from colonial bondage, Abraham Lincoln from national dissolution. Other than a large measure of kindness and great physical strength these two men had nothing important in common, yet they both achieved the same end, earning our eternal gratitude, their faces adorning the heights of Mount Rushmore. Washington was a creative logistical leader, a political and military magistrate, who, faced with obstacles of incredible proportion and tenure, put in his way by his Congress, his generals, and his fellow citizens, defeated the vastly superior British expeditionary force by sheer tenacity, and this despite his mediocre strategic abilities. Lincoln was a creative strategist, a political and military wizard, who, despite the long continued blunders of a train of ill-chosen generals, the weakness of the Congress, and the intrigues of many of his fellow citizens, beat the Confederates by sheer foresight, and all this despite his mediocre logistical abilities. These men were probably equally intelligent, but in entirely different ways. Washington was a superb quartermaster, brilliant in logistical monitoring and conservation; Lincoln a superb systemist, brilliant in strategic coordination and engineering. They were diametric opposites in both attitude and action. (this unimprovable passage quoted from “Please Understand Me II” by David Keirsey) What a fascinating opportunity for both of them to compare notes, and for us to interview them on their thoughts about leadership, their perspectives on modern theories of leadership, why there aren’t more leaders deserving of Mount Rushmore these days, and what they think it takes to be all that you can be.

FBC director IRA BRYCK will lead a spectacular exploration of Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, that will not only thrill history buffs in the room, but inspire you with ways in which the traits of a Washington or Lincoln may be the things to emulate in running your family business. Ira is honored and thrilled to share the stage with: a man who is hailed by historians and politicians as the definitive dramatic portrayer of George Washington, WILLIAM ARTHUR SOMMERFIELD, who fascinates audiences with the insights, warmth, and humor of our first President. Sommerfield strips away the marble image of the ideal man and replaces it with a portrayal of George Washington, the intensely human being-a man of humor, anger, sorrow, failure, sacrifice, and love. He is the only man ever to interpret Washington at the general's home, Mount Vernon in Virginia, Every detail, from costume to powdered hair and dress sword, is historically accurate; he even captures the flourish of Washington's signature.He has continued to captivate audiences on NBC's Eyewitness to History, the DC Bicentennial Celebration, the National Bill of Rights Tour, Good Morning America, the Today Show, and A&E's The Crossing. As artistic director and chief writer of the American Historical Theatre in Philadelphia, Sommerfield re-creates history, bringing a piece of the past to life. A native of central Illinois, JIM GETTY resides in historic Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He holds a Master of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, has taught choral music in Illinois and Ohio, and was director of Choral Activities at the University of Maine. Getty has spent years researching Abraham Lincoln and his contemporaries, and has developed several first person presentations as the 16th President. His performances have met with wide acclaim before audiences throughout the country, including the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Bush Inaugural Gala, Corcoran Gallery, National Archives - Chicago Branch, and the Reagan Presidential Library. Getty’s voice is that of Abraham Lincoln in two A&E programs, and he is greatly involved in leadership programs for the corporate world.

Best Practices of the Better Half: A Look at the Data to See What Kind of Leader is Mama

There sure are a wealth of articles trying to make the case that females might make better leaders. What could account for this, if it’s at all true? Our corporate partner, GIOMBETTI ASSOCIATES is taking a hard look into their database of comprehensive profiles of 1200 executives , extracting all the females, to look for concrete explanations. The answers may surprise you, and may inspire you to get in touch with your feminine side.

October 18, 2006 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30PM
Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

Big Changes in Store: How We Decide That Something Must Be Done, And Go About Mking It Happen

The membership/audience of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is the source of what we claim is our main product: Wisdom, Experience, Honesty and Frankness. There are many stories to illustrate this, and tonight you will hear four of them. Presentations by four of our business-owning members (Whalley Computer, Bottaro Skolnick Interiors, Moss Nutrition, and Design Works/ Wild Apple Design) will illustrate (a) an innovative growth strategy, or introduction of a new product or service they are undertaking (b) how and why they are doing it - what is the potential gain, what is the cost of doing nothing? (c) how they diagnosed the problem, prescribed a solution, decided to do it, did the research, garnered the resources, dealt with resistance, etc. You will get a great look inside the decision making process of other local companies, to see what you may adopt for yourselves (or avoid), and they will get the benefit of your friendly interrogation, where you get to throw a few thoughtful darts at their plan, to help make it sharper.

Health Care- The Budget Buster!

Most employers cite rising health care premiums as one of their top budget concerns – usually alongside workman’s compensation and energy costs. Our corporate sponsor, The AXiA Group, has partnered with MillBrook Benefits and Insurance Services to assist their clients in navigating the complex issues of providing employee benefits.This evening’s presentation will review some of the trends in health insurance and suggestions on how to preserve benefits for employees while minimizing the impact of rate increases. We will also review ways that consumers can help control their health care expenditures. Important information will also be presented on the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law and the key provisions that will impact employers. The implementation of this legislation is being watched by governing bodies in other states as a possible model for their reform bills.

September 20, 2006 • Wednesday, 5:00-8:30PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

On Trilobites, Troglodytes, Armored Knights, and Owner's Rights: Can Missing Links Recognize Themselves?

Driven by the pressure of change in technology, markets, industries, culture, society, and general attitudes toward work and business, successful owner-managed family companies have been evolving, often unknowingly, toward a very different species. It’s not quite algae to hummingbird in scope, but a profound transformation, nevertheless. Some key structural “evolutions” that will be discussed: (1) From feudalism toward federalism (i.e., working on a more egalitarian basis with key publics, particularly knowledge-worker key employees) (2) From secrecy toward transparency (driven by the above) (3) From plutocracy toward meritocracy (a natural result of 2) (4) From stockholder toward stakeholder (i.e., widening the concept of who actually is an “investor” to include non-involved family, spouses, key employees) (5) From business transition toward opportunity transition (i.e., with such rapid change in the offing, what’s worth preserving is less the specific business/products than the opportunities and options they have produced) (6) From prognostication toward expectation (i.e., discarding the concept of strategic planning in favor of establishing financial return expectations, analyzing the current business’ ability to meet them, then positioning to close the gap between the two) (7) From CEO to The Plan (this one’s really subtle and difficult to deal with, but refers to the increasing numbers of co-presidencies, offices of the president, etc., resulting from siblings resisting the classic management hierarchies—and how, with a board, the Operating Plan can become “the boss”)

We are glad to welcome back a wonderful presenter, DON JONOVIC of Family Business Management Services, Cleveland, OH.. Don created this new presentation after Ira Bryck challenged him with “I’d only bring you in again if you can come up with something totally provocative.” He did. Dr. Jonovic is a professional advisor to owners of family and closely held businesses, working with businesses in most phases of industry and agriculture as consultant, educator, author and corporate director since 1973. His columns on business ownership and management are read annually by millions. His approach to business ownership issues and solutions comes from a breadth of experience that is rare among specialists in his field. In his own words: "These are challenges with no definitive answers, only a state of the art we adjust as experience teaches us."

Beware and Prepare for the Oncoming Boomer Brain-drain by Focussing On What, Not Who

Say “succession” to a business family and they think of passing a torch to the next generation. But there is a looming threat, needing a different succession strategy; for your baby boomer employees, who’ve worked hard to build their dreams in and out of your company. Every hour of the day 330 boomers turn 60 in America, and when they go, they take a lot of institutional brainpower with them. The family business wisdom that succession is “a process, not an event,” applies here, too. To build the organization you want in the future, you must begin now, looking at future needs, defining future ideal candidates, learning to find them, motivate them, and train them. This session will be a look at this pressing issue, and how to prevent the draining of vital information as your current generation of employees departs, instead transmitting it to your up and comers.

Prepare yourself by hearing from “COACH RAVI” KULKARNI, Engineer and Business/Executive Coach with over 30 years of experience building businesses in Asia and the United States. Ravi specializes in “bottom-line” coaching and helping businesses achieve growth in a technologically changing and ethnically diverse market. Ravi’s approach involves helping organizations create clarity and focus, strategize, plan action and organize self-sustaining management processes

Special Event of the Division of Business Excellence of the Affiliated Chambers of Greater Springfield

Cost: $15, payable to Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, includes continental breakfast
Register: @ (413) 787-1555 or

Thursday, September 21, 8:00-10:30am
Best Western Hotel & Conference Center, Springfield, Mass

A Customized Conversation About Your Family Business Situation That Will Leave You Informed, Provoked, Diagnosed, and Prescribed

It's a wonder our economy and society functions as well as it does, with 80-90% of U.S. companies being family owned, and 99% of families suffering from all the usual dysfunctions. If you're in that lucky 1% of high functioning families, and know how to balance innovation, structure, conflict, strategy, etc., you have a tremendous competitive advantage. But if, like most, your family business could stand to be more professional, your governance structures don't govern or structure as well as they might, your communication could be a tad more efficient, appreciative and businesslike, you may benefit from this very practical and individualized session. This event will be a mixture of useful content and even more useful interaction, with two presenter/discussion leaders, who are aiming to help the audience think more clearly about some confounding matters:

DONALD JONOVIC of Family Business Management Services, Cleveland, OH. He has worked with businesses in most phases of American industry and agriculture as a consultant, educator, author and corporate director since 1973. His columns on business ownership and management are read annually by millions of readers. His approach to business ownership issues and solutions comes from a breadth of experience that is rare among specialists in his field. In his own words: "These are challenges with no definitive answers, only a state of the art we adjust as experience teaches us." Sample feedback from Don Jonovic's last visit to the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley: "Dr. Jonovic is a man totally in charge of his subject and presentation"; "down to earth" , "thought provoking", "clear, accurate and professional ", "touched on sensitive issues in a humorous way." and IRA BRYCK, Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley at the UMass Amherst Continuing Education. The center provides a non-commercial, interactive learning community for business families in Western New England abd beyond. Ira and the center also produce the family business newsletter Related Matters, website and advice column, Dear Ira: Fresh Air and Cold Water for the Perplexed Business Family, and as consultant and mediator, helps business owning families deal with their relationship struggles, and help the business be both professional and high in family-ness. Ira is the author of three plays about life in family business, presented as “edu-tainment” to forums of business families. His third play, A Tough Nut to Crack, is based on his 17 years in his family's 4th generation childrenswear business on Long Island, where he served simultaneously in every role from president to tailor.

June 28, 2006 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30PM
Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

Read The Minds of 120 Business Owners, See Their Innermost Thoughts and Secrets in Full Color Graphs and Charts

Through the ultra-modern magic of PRS (Personal Response System)/ InterWrite technology, find out the deepest secrets, common and uncommon beliefs and hopes, best and worst practices, salaries, horrible experiences, and what have you, without betraying a confidence, revealing yourself, or acting like a rude jackass in public. How does this work? Everybody gets a handheld transmitter, and responds privately to questions or prompts. The responses are collected, and the summarized, anonymous results are displayed as on the screen for all to see. At UMassAmherst, and campuses worldwide this technology increases the interactivity in large lecture halls, providing quick student responses to questions posed by faculty. But at the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, you can have the guilty pleasure, not to mention pick 120 brains, to reveal all, while revealing nothing publicly. The questions will be both pre-planned and impromptu. Ira Bryck is now accepting suggestions for what you’d like to know about the 100+ people in the room. What percentage of the audience wants to fire a family member? How much do you make? Do you think your family is overpaid? Have you ever done anything to sabotage a competitor?

Financial Reporting, Enron and You: How a Major Public Company Fraud is Affecting Financial Reporting at the Local Level

Financial reporting requirements meant for publicly traded companies are "trickling down" to privately held businesses resulting in more complexity. The program will take a look at some recent examples, the effect of those changes and the reporting options available to the small business owner. Presented by Howard Cheney, Partner and Co Director of Accounting and Auditing at MEYERS BROTHERS KALICKA, PC.

May 23, 2006 • Tuesday 5:00-8:30PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

An Evening with Laurie Puhn, Author of "Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life"

This evening’s presenter, Laurie Puhn, says “We spend a lot of time walking around the supermarket aisle figuring out the carbs and the fat and what we are putting into our mouths, and spend so little time figuring out what comes out of our mouths and the effect our words have on others." But it is easier said then done: how can we find the right words at the right time to convince others to give us what we want? Laurie will offer creative yet practical rules for activating one’s innate power of persuasion to help people quickly and easily reduce conflict and get what they want in their personal and professional lives. Instant Persuasion is an amazing tool that has the power to transform friendships and marriages, and in the workplace, mastering these skills can mean all the difference in trying to be less "boss" and more "leader.” Managers, administrators and executives cannot presume that their job titles give them authority. Instead, they must use their power of persuasion to win people over and earn the trust, confidence and respect of the people within and across their organization. Recognizing and using the right words that connect, motivate and inspire people enhances performance and productivity. You will come out of this forum with improved abilities, whether apologizing, complaining, criticizing, disagreeing, delivering a compliment, or asking for a favor. Laurie will give you many specific ways to move from Blunders to Wonders, with tips on how to: Punch with a Smile, Earn Your Favors, Complain with Impact, Disagree Without Being Disagreeable, Beware of Uncomplimentary Compliments, Avoid Superficial Offers and dozens more. Everyone who attends this session will get a copy of Laurie’s new book “Instant Persuasion: How to Change Your Words to Change Your Life”

LAURIE PUHN has a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she served on the Board of the Harvard Mediation Program. She is a dynamic speaker on personal and professional development, and is regularly on radio, TV and in print, including NBC, CNN, NECN, AP’s “Between the Lines,” Bill Thompson’s Eye on Books, The New York Times, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, Women’s World and The Young Lawyer. Through the Laurie Puhn Institute, she has provided thousands of people nationwide in the academic, legal, medical, business and sales-focused communities with professional and personal development training. Her memorable programs educate and entertain audiences through interactive techniques and real-life stories that parallel our own life experiences. Audiences learn new communication skills they can immediately incorporate into every day conversations at work and in their life. (FYI: more at

HONEST ANSWERS TO YOUR BANKING QUESTIONS, PRESENTED BY MICHAEL GRANDFIELD, V.P. AT HAMPDEN BANK Very simply, give us your questions about any aspect of banking, and we will have them answered as clearly and honestly as possible. So far we have: How do I find the best deal for processing credit card transactions? Is it advisable to establish multiple banking relationships (or with other credit providers) before reaching some unanticipated lending limit? We still need a couple more- submit yours to Ira Bryck (

April 19, 2006 • Wednesday, 5:00-8:30pm
Chez Josef, Agawam, Mass

The Only Thing Not Designed by Anybody is Nature

noted Ted Koppel on a Nightline special about Ideo, the most innovative industrial design firm in the world. Ideo designs over 90 new products a year, including the first computer mouse, the Palm V, Prada's ultrahip Manhattan store. stand-up toothpaste tubes that don't get icky, etc.. What they are superb at is fostering an environment for innovation - not just about innovative products, but processes that meet needs now unsatisfied. So whether you’re pondering how to create that great new item, or simply how to reinvent yourself and your processes, this talk will help you develop the most fabulous and practical combination of form and function. The Ideo “secret” involves teams composed of your people, your customers, plus social scientists, designers, architects, and engineers all taking a deep, empathic look at the experience of how you currently, and how you need to, deliver your product or service. ANAND VENGURLEKAR, from Ideo’s Boston office, will reveal the Ideo method and show how it can produce not only great product, but help small and medium companies design effective processes that reduce waste, improve innovation, deliver something great, and are way cool. You will leave being able to think like Ideo about your particular company.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY PERSONAL HERO (OR MENTOR, OR FAVORITE BUSINESS PHILOSOPHER) What are the most visionary but down to Earth, theoretical yet practical take-aways from your biggest heroes, who might be your mother, Superman, your first boss, Warren Buffet or Frederich Nietzsche. We will hear from several of you, and maybe what has stuck with you will stick with us. (Ira Bryck is now looking for a few 4 minute speakers.)

March 8, 2006 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30pm
Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

Several Habits of Highly Successful Successors

With life expectancy now approaching the mid-eighties, statistics reveal that the real challenge for family businesses is not ownership transition at death, but rather management succession before the senior generation retires. For successful transitions, the successors must take the initiative and assume a pro-active role in transition planning. In this seminar, Dean Fowler will use case examples to describe the habits of these pro-active successors based on his twenty years of leading round-table peer groups for successors in family businesses. IF THE BATON HAS ALREADY BEEN PASSED IN YOUR CASE, and you and/or your siblings / cousins are running the place; you will find many gems herein, as well.

DEAN R. FOWLER, Ph.D, CMC, has been selected by the Family Firm Institute as a Family Business Advisor with Fellow Status. His recent book- Love, Power & Money: Family Business Between Generations - has won worldwide acclaim as one of the best books published on integrated family business planning and development. He is one of the world’s leading family business advisors with expertise in the impact of emotional dynamics on business strategy and generational transitions.

May I See Your License, Please?

Most small businesses are party to multiple licensing agreements and don't really think about them. Did you read the software licensing agreements on the shrink-wrap of disks or online when downloading software? Do you understand what you have agreed to when you use trademarks of wholesalers and retailers in your marketing or advertising? Have you disregarded the needed licensing agreement when using someone else's intellectual property without permission? You may think these are not the most threatening storms on your horizon, yet it's another type of creature that could bite you when you can least afford it. Presented by Jim Duda of FBC sponsor BULKLEY, RICHARDSON AND GELINAS LLP.

December 8, 2005 5:00-8:30pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Secrets of Success & Lessons Learned From Centuries of Leadership

One huge benefit of surrounding yourself with good people is that it sometimes rubs off- otherwise it would be so depressing to think you’re surrounded by people to whom you’ll never measure up. So let’s get to the bottom line and see what’s the best you can glean from our thousands of years of collective experience. Taking a break from our steady supply of brilliant technicians, philosophers, teachers and entrepreneurs from across the nation,this presentation will be one gem after another from closer to home. Members and sponsors of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley will take turns contributing their brilliant nuggets - sometimes lessons learned the hard way, other times flashes of insight. Think you have some incredible – or very simple- observation, rule of life, adage, or word to the wise? Here’s your chance to make it useful to others. Contact Ira Bryck to get your contribution into the line-up.

Straight From the Gut: Darby O'Brien Predicts What Future Trends Will Affect Your Business

Not everything worth considering comes from a database-… sometimes it takes a keen eye and a strong gut feeling to spot that speed bump on the event horizon or opportunity lurking or even hiding in plain sight. Darby O’Brien, of Darby O’Brien Advertising is that trend spotter. What he has to say will not just fascinate, not just inform, but will forewarn and forearm.

Authority: It's Not Just For Authoritarians

A look at the use of authority, and the assumptions made by many executives that may be based on widespread misconceptions. Get over imitating your parents, whether Ozzy Nelson or General Patton, and discover the way you need to do it. Presented by RICK GIOMBETTI AND PAUL ALVES of GIOMBETTI ASSOCIATES, sponsors of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

October 25, 2005 • Tuesday, 5:00-8:30pm
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results

Tonight’s featured speaker, Jack Mitchell, owner of Mitchells and Richards of Westport and Greenwich CT, says: “When I'm bored at home, rather than reading a book, I often punch the button on my computer and put in parameters to pull up our top one hundred or top one thousand customers, men and women, and I study them like I was studying vocabulary words for the SAT's. The names go into one of the attic rooms of my brain and lodge there. As I once knew all stats on Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, I now try to know all the stats on my top thousand customers. Because that's the game: knowing the customer.” You will benefit greatly from hearing Jack outline a series of principles that can be adopted by any company to gain a larger share of current customer business and to attract new customers.

In 1969, JACK MITCHELL joined the family business founded by his parents, Ed and Norma. In 1995 Mitchells of Westport acquired Richards of Greenwich, the leading men’s clothing store in Greenwich, Connecticut. Jack’s responsibilities are fundamentally strategic, keeping the family together and synergistic and maintaining strong positive relationships with customers, clients and vendors, and spending Saturdays and busy times on the selling floor. Under his leadership, Mitchells and Richards are committed to providing exceptional customer service and high quality merchandise in an exciting, friendly and visually dynamic atmosphere. Richards received the honor of store of the year for 2000 in the annual Retail Design Awards competition held by the National Association of Store Fixtures Manufacturers. In 2001, MR Magazine, the magazine of Menswear retailing, named Mitchells/Richards Retailer of the Year. In 2003 Harvard Business School profiled the Mitchell family business and Jack was honored to attend the Executive Management course when the paper was presented. Jack’s first book, “Hug Your Customers, The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results” is in its 6th printing, with 86,000 copies in print, and enjoyed the recognition of being on BusinessWeek’s and The Wall Street Journal’s best seller lists. It is published in United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Columbia, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Russia and Estonia. He has shared his passion with audiences including MassMutual, Midas, Prudential Realty, Hewlett Packard, Conde Nast Magazines, Fairchild Publications, Young Presidents Organization, and has appeared on NBC Today Show, and Kudlow & Cramer. Jack resides in Wilton, Connecticut with Linda, his wife who is the Women’s Merchant for Mitchells/Richards. Together they raised four sons, Russell, Bob, Todd and Andrew, who hold senior positions within the Mitchell family business.

Insurance Stuff: In The Aftermath of "Katrina" What You May Or May Not Know About Insurance (What You May Not Know Could Affect You)

This presentation about asset protection will cover the strange things that could happen to you and how to prevent them . You will learn about strategies that you can use protect yourself and what you have worked to hard to obtain in life. Presented by MICHAEL LONG of FBC sponsor AXiA Insurance Services Inc.

September 20, 2005 • Tuesday, 5:00-8:30PM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Nobody Moved Your Cheese: How To Ignore The Experts and Trust Your Gut

We are proud to present, and you are lucky to hear, Ross Shafer, champion of workplace accountability and responsibility. Ross brilliantly skewers the advice of so called "success experts" of our culture, daring to expose just how irrelevant much of their preaching is to your life. Challenging some of our most revered cultural icons, Ross will shock and empower you with his message, including such topics as Nobody Moved Your Cheese!, Anthony Robbins Hasn't Done a Damn Thing, Sweat the Small Stuff...Or Die!, Goal Setting Is Stupid, Stop Taking Credit for Your Phenomenal Success, Throw Out Your Business Plan, Good Customer Service Can Bankrupt You. ROSS SHAFER’s comedy writing career includes 6 Emmys, but began with ad copy for desperate carpet companies. “3 Rooms for $399” was his writing peak. Investing his earnings in “the next big thing,” he was co-owner of America's Only Stereo and Pet Shop. Business failures aside, his jokes still managed to get laughs. In fact, he won the 1983 Showtime Comedy Laugh Off…and virtually overnight (six grueling years) major nightclubs and corporations were duped into hiring Ross to open shows for Dionne Warwick, Eddie Rabbitt, Crystal Gayle, Neil Sedaka, and other famous people with good voices. In the summer of 1984, a Seattle television station (KING-TV) had the notion to produce a weekly comedy/talk show called, “Almost Live with Ross Shafer” and launched a search for a comedian with that name. In the four years Ross was at the helm , the show collected almost 40 Emmy Awards; six going to Ross for his work as Host, Actor, and Writer. His other achievements include appearing regularly on Dick Clark's “TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes,” changing the Official Washington State Song to “Louie, Louie,” hosting the USA network game show, “Love Me, Love me Not,” a recurring role on “21 Jump Street,” replacing Joan Rivers as the host of a late night talk show, co-hosting a nightly ABC entertainment magazine with Matt Lauer, writing the comedy cookbook, “Cook Like A Stud”…38 recipes men can prepare in the garage using their own tools,” and a run as host of ABC-TV's “Match Game.” All along, Ross has continued to perform for corporate audiences worldwide. Two new careers came from his corporate exposure. He found that many top company executives are plagued with stage fright. So, Ross is frequently asked to work one-on-one as an executive Public Speaking Coach. Secondly, he has taken a special interest in the decay of Customer Service in this country. With as much traveling as he has done, he found that good customer service was as rare as a five-legged chicken. So, rather than complain about it, he has written and produced a dozen funny HR Training Films, distributed globally. What about comedy? Besides his speaking schedule, Ross is a comedy and game show consultant for the USA network, Bravo, Comedy Central, Broadway Video, and TNN.

Bad Enough My Marriage Is Ending; Can't I Now Just Mind My Own Business?

Sorry to say, half of all marriages still end before "till death do us part." But that's not the end of your troubles if you haven't done your homework to protect your business with a prenuptial agreement. You could be off the couch and into the street, if you don't know what could happen to your business in a divorce. This presentation will give you a needed education about prenuptial agreements and defensive buy-sell agreement provisions for divorces and other involuntary transfers. All the information we hope you never need-- but you never know. Presented by ELLEN RANDLE, a partner in the law firm of BULKLEY, RICHARDSON AND GELINAS, LLP. Ellen practices with BR&G's Domestic Relations and Litigation/ADR Departments. She has successfully negotiated myriad prenuptial agreements, divorce settlement agreements, and agreements resolving various contested issues arising after divorce.

Golden Handcuffs: How To Compensate and Retain Key Family & Non Family Employees

Learn about financial strategies, such as Deferred Compensation plans, Phantom Stock Plans and Non qualified Bonus plans that you can use to retain, compensate and motivate key employees on a discriminatory basis. Presented by CHARLES EPSTEIN of EPSTEIN FINANCIAL SERVICES.

June 28, 2005 • Tuesday, 5:00-8:30pm
The Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

An Evening With Jason Jennings, Author of Think Big, Act Small and It's Not The Big That Eat The Small, It's the Fast That Eat The Slow

We are proud to present as tonight’s speaker JASON JENNINGS author of It's Not the Big That Eat the Small, It's the Fast That Eat the Slow. As an author, researcher and speaker, Mr. Jennings teaches companies how to increase their productivity for use as a competitive tool. Along with his research team of recent Princeton and Stanford grads, Jennings describes the relative handful of organizations that seem to defy reality with their unbelievably impressive profits, productivity and employee loyalty, often accomplished more with common sense and truth telling than by adding employees or other overhead costs By examining the tested and successful programs from the ten great examples (out of 4000 companies he studied), Jennings will describe how you can achieve similar results as companies that have increased sales 300 percent without increasing head count, become 10 times more efficient, and keep track of every penny. The profiled companies, which range from finance, manufacturing, and industry, all share one secret: they operate at peak productivity. Jennings studied their methods and operations and will lay out their secrets to success in clear, easy-to-follow steps.

Jason Jennings was the youngest radio station group owner in the world and his unique and legendary programming, sales and management strategies are credited with revolutionizing many parts of the broadcasting industry. Later, he founded Jennings- McGlothlin & Company, a consulting firm that, within three years, became the largest media consultancy in the world. More than 300,000 businesses worldwide have purchased his best selling videos on leadership, sales, management, and customer satisfaction. When not traveling the world on research and adventure travel Jennings consults companies around the world and does more than 60 keynote speeches annually for companies like Verizon, GlaxoSmithKline, Invesco, Sun America, Lexmark, Ford, Wells Fargo and AOL Time Warner. He and his family live in the small picturesque bayside village of Tiburon, California.


May 25, 2005 • Wednesday, 5:00-8:30pm
The Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

How To Sell, Market, and Advertise Like Nobody's Business (Except Your Own)

You've built the perfect mousetrap, but where, oh where, are those path beaters? Did you really think the world was just waiting for you to put your product on the market, and they'd line up to show you the money? At best, your proud and excited message is lost in the din of hundreds of millions of other claims and promises. How will they ever discover that your product or service is the one that will make them better, sexier, faster, richer, cheaper, happier? Tonight's team of experts will get you thinking and get you going towards much more strategic and productive selling, advertising, and marketing. That team is: DARBY O'BRIEN, president of Darby O'Brien Advertising, South Hadley. The 21-year-old business publishes the trend-spotting quarterly The Gut, which is mailed to thousands of subscribers around the country. The Gut has correctly predicted the comeback of the summer camp, the rise of the retro-preppie look, the return of the suit, and the popularity of Latin music, among other trends; AMY ZUCKERMAN, who works with companies as small as sole proprietors and as large as FORTUNE magazine to help with business development and marketing, media placement, target outreach/door opening, and leads development, and boosting image and brand awareness. Amy founded Hidden Tech, a group of 800 members ranging from software developers to film producers and others who use technology to drive their small, often-homed based companies; and SHELDON SNODGRASS, owner of the Steady Sales Group, coaches businesses infour profit boosting arenas: Sales Diagnostics: Uncovering impediments, from strategy to execution. Sales Planning: Turning sales goals into actual results. Guerrilla Sales & Marketing: Executing quick-start, low-cost campaigns Sales Training: Finding, qualifying, and closing prospects. This dynamic treo will not only give you their best stuff, but put one family business on stage and perform a sales/ marketing/ advertising makeover, right before your very eyes.

YOUR BANKING QUESTIONS, ANSWERED BY GLENN WELCH, Senior Vice President, Business Banking at Hampden Bank, who wanted to know what you wanted to know. As a result, there was a small storm of great questions. This presentation will be his best answers, to help you make better banking decisions. Questions might include: How does the bank determine what is an acceptable level of debt (leverage) for a small business? Having read "it's not your banker's job to make your rich" and knowing that financial institutions are driven to make a profit, where can people turn for impartial, informed banking and investing advice? How do banks determine fees for corporate customers, and what is thebest way to moderate those fees? It seems like there are a lot of new shenanigans going on with hidden interest, shortened payment cycles and punitive charges. Is there any safe way to have credit cards? Come and hear real answers to real questions.

April 20, 2005 • Wednesday, 5:00-8:30pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

How To Get, Grow and Keep Customers: Making CRM Work For You

Large companies have been using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for years to leverage information and create internal synergy. They coordinate their calendars, manage their tasks, stay on top of their contacts and handle e-mail with enterprise-wide CRM. It's also how they predict future sales - by managing prospects in the pipeline. An efficient CRM system can be critical for business success—no matter what its size. Your company can stay in touch with customers efficiently, keep on top of critical tasks, manage information overload, retrieve data effectively, and control business ebbs and flows. At this interactive session, you'll learn how businesses have experienced dramatic increases in revenue with CRM. The session will address the following questions: what is CRM? What's in it for my company? Are we ready for CRM? How do we get started? and What are realistic expectations for CRM? You'll receive: actionable information for implementing CRM in your organization, valuable lessons learned from the CRM battlefield and a blueprint for increasing your sales revenue without adding staff.

Presented by WILL RYAN, a seasoned sales and technology consultant with over 40 years' business experience. He has a proven track record developing sales organizations and the systems that support them. Ryan's understanding of sales, marketing and technology spans many industries including manufacturing, banking, insurance, real estate, health care and software development. In 1992, Ryan established The Systems Sales Support Company to help clients increase sales and build customer relationships through the effective use of computer technology. Ryan's prior experience includes senior executive positions as both a vendor and a purchaser of large-scale hardware and software technology. Ryan held sales, sales management and marketing positions with major vendors: IBM, ITT and Amdahl. He also served as a senior systems executive at American Express and CBS. Ryan's consulting work with Systems Sales Support has included CRM execution from initial concept to final implementation. Ryan's business career began with IBM where he held a variety of technical, sales, management and management development positions with the company over 17 years. After IBM, Ryan held Vice President of Systems positions at both American Express and CBS, where he established effective management structures and delivered quality systems on time and within budget. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University where he majored in Economics. He also earned an MBA from the University of Rhode Island.

Out With The Old, In With The New: How To Accomplish Difficult (Even Painful) Change, Despite Stubbornness, Vested Interests, and Fear

Darwin said "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." He was not specifically observing family businesses, but had he been, he may have observed that tradition and legacy are double-edged swords. The very survival of many companies rests on their ability to overcome resistance to change, especially if “the way it’s always been done” seems good enough to those at the very top, or “the way it could be” threatens those in the ranks, or throughout. Many times the best shot is to bring in an outsider who can serve as the “change agent” or “change catalyst.” This panel discussion will feature four such catalysts, who have nudged companies along their evolutionary path. This discussion, moderated by FBC director Ira Bryck, will feature the wisdom and experience of: PAUL LIPKE of Sustainable Step New England, who helps businesses to thrive in a changing marketplace by identifying and implementing solutions benefiting your bottom line, your staff, community and our shared environment. Paul will discuss how to bring in new allies and stronger forces for those times when change is needed, and you feel as if there are land mines everywhere. INGRID BREDENBERG of Human Resource Innovations, who has worked with leaders and teams since 1988, helping them work together better using leading edge approaches and tools. Serving as a strategic coach and creativity catalyst, Ingrid helps teams recognize their pain, critical issues, envision new possibilities, and chart a course that engages all stakeholders in developing communities of accountability and trust. PETER ZIMMER is a family business consultant from Enfield, CT. His experience tells him that businesses often like the idea of change better than the process of it. He will help you take a look at what you currently do well in your business and compare that to the repetitive problems that hold you back. LAURIE BREITNER of Breitner and Associates, who, since 1991, has helped organizations work more effectively and successfully, enjoy harmony and energy and manage significant change. Laurie will wrap up our discussion by offering six key steps to managing organizational change. This session will hopefully inspire and/or instruct you how to sprout new wings, climb higher, or hunt and gather better, faster and cheaper.

Thursday, April 7, 2005 7:00 - 9:00 AM
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 1 Atwood Drive, Northampton, MA

Business Advisors: The Role They Can Play In Your Organization's Success

Decisions, decisions, decisions. A CEO’s success hinges on his or her ability to make the right ones, day in and day out. Smart CEOs don’t go it alone. They look to a network of trusted advisors to help them sort through their options.

  • How do you assemble a network of advisors?
  • Should you have a structured, formal advisory board, or rely on informal relationships?
  • Whom should you select as your advisors?
  • How should you compensate your business advisors?

Does your business need an advisory board, as well as a board of directors?

In this fast-paced breakfast session, we’ll offer some answers to these questions. We’ll also help you maximize the value you receive from your business advisors.

We’ll begin the program drawing participants into a discussion of how they currently use advisors. A seasoned entrepreneur will then talk about advisory challenges he’s faced, why he turned to an advisory board, and how it benefited his company. Finally, we’ll consider alternative models for leveraging advisors and the resources available to those interested in establishing an advisor network.

This program is targeted at owners and executives of small- and mid-sized organizations, including family-controlled firms and not-for-profits.

About Our Speakers

Tom Sherwin, the president of the New England Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, is founder and president of CEO Resources Inc, a management consulting firm that serves the CEOs of companies with annual sales between $5 million and $50 million. Tom’s firm specializes in CEO driven Board of Director Development, CEO Coaching, Strategic Planning and Succession Management. He is the creator and moderator of the Smaller Business Association of New England’s highly successful CEO Roundtable Series and sits on the Board of Enefco, Inc.

Paul Baudisch is a co-founder of two start ups. His most-recent launch was an e-mail marketing company that was acquired by a large interactive agency. The venture was self-funded and profitable, success which Paul attributes in part to his network of business advisors. He is now helping to lead the growth of Creative With Direction, Inc., a direct-response marketing services agency. Paul has also been an executive with Bolt, Beranek and Newman and Interactive Data, while it was a unit of the Chase Manhattan Bank. Paul is a member of the Operating Committee of the National Association of Corporate Directors.

March 10, 2005 • Thursday, 5:00-8:30pm
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

How Can You "Be All That You Can Be" When You're "Still Crazy After All These Years"?

According to the American Psychological Association, Albert Ellis is the second-most influential psychotherapist of the last century (Carl Rogers was first; they both beat out Freud and Erickson). Now 90 years old, he still lectures most days at his namesake Institute in Manhattan. His therapeutic theory and practice -Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy- helps people live more happily and rationally by questioning their own self-defeating beliefs and attitudes that are the actual sources of negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, guilt, and anger. You might recognize in yourself the beliefs, for instance, that your self respect is tied to winning approval from others; or that your poorly chosen behaviors make you a totally rotten person; or that you should be thoroughly competent, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects, rather than accepting yourself as a quite imperfect creature, with human limitations and fallibilities. There are many ways you can upset yourself as well as sabotage your relationships and goals. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy addresses them all.

This presentation, by Psychologist, DR. MICHAEL BRODER, Executive Director of the Albert Ellis Institute, will describe a way out of these common quandaries, with a special focus on the special issues of family business, where family dynamics meet business practices. Dr. Broder is author of Positive Attitude Training: The Power Of Cognitive Behavior Psychology, Self Actualization: Achieving Your Full Potential, How to Develop Self-confidence and a Positive Self-image Permanently and Forever, and Can Your Relationship Be Saved? How to Know Whether to Stay or Go. His presentation will give you ways that you can replace your self-defeating thoughts, feelings and actions with new and more effective ones, to achieve success and optimally enjoy life.

What You Don't Know Can Hurt You: An Interactive Dialogue About Buy Sell Agreements and Beyond

There are so many good reasons to avoid the discussion about and implementation of a solid buy sell agreement: you don't believe that business owner relationships fail at a higher rate than do marriages; even thinking about being a partner with your deceased brother's wife gives you such a violent headache that you can't talk about it long enough to plan to avoid it; you'd rather slog through with that so-and-so than give him the satisfaction of leaving; you dislike discussions involving death and conflict more than you fear death and conflict; or you dislike lawyers and insurance salesmen so much that you will run any risk to avoid dealing with them. FBC sponsors CHARLES EPSTEIN of Epstein Financial Services and RON WEISS of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP will try to make it painless for you.

Thursday, January 20, 2005; 8:30am-11:30am
STCC Scibelli Enterprise Center

Why Salespeople Fail…And What You Can Do About It!

IF YOUR COMPANY BROKE ALL SALES RECORDS LAST YEAR or if your sales force is the best money can buy and can't be improved, CONGRATULATIONS! THIS EVENT IS NOT FOR YOU. BUT...IF YOUR SALES TEAM IS SAYING: We can't get in front of enough qualified prospects We don't close enough of the prospects we do get to see We wind up chasing too many "think-it-overs" We can't effectively get through the gatekeeper to get an appointment We do too many quotes that don't turn into business We waste time chasing prospects who can't or won't buy We don't get enough referrals. You might register and improve your odds of success.

December 8, 2004 • Wednesday, 5:00-8:30pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

How To Select Employees Who Perform 600% Better Than Average (Or Improve The Ones You Have)

What hiring choices would a business owner make if s/he could predict the dollar value of a potential employee's contribution? Say you're hiring a new sales account representative. Given a choice between one who'll bring in ten times the cost of his or her salary and benefits or one who will earn 88 times his or her cost, which one would you want to hire? The best employees may perform 600% better than average, according to tonight’s presenter, Lyle Spencer,Jr., Ph.D.. Dr. Spencer has good news for managers: it is possible both to predict and-perhaps even more importantly-to train for extreme success. Research and teaching in 55 countries has demonstrated how to increase Achievement Motivation, and create a climate that rewards innovation. This session will tell you how to achieve staggering increases in your workforce’s interpersonal understanding, collaborativeness, ability to develop and empower others, concern for order and quality, initiative and innovation, analytic and conceptual thinking, self-confidence, flexibility, accurate self-assessment, and more! Whether or not you are personally high in Achievement Motivation, it will be impossible to not be motivated by this important presentation.

DR. LYLE M. SPENCER, JR., President of Spencer Research & Technology, is an author and independent consultant on competency development, reengineering human resources, and HR return-on-investment analysis. Dr. Spencer developed Hay/McBer's competency assessment methodology with Harvard Prof. David McClelland, and methods for calculating the costs and benefits of human resource programs. His current research concerns reengineering human resources and the development of expert system Integrated Human Resources Management Information Systems. As HayGroup Vice President, Research & Technology, and President and CEO of McBer and Company, a HayGroup subsidiary, Dr. Spencer developed HayGroup's worldwide Hay/McBer practice, training four hundred consultants in HayGroup offices in twenty-four countries. In twenty-five years with McBer, Dr. Spencer conducted organizational diagnosis, training, and development programs for industry leaders such as AT&T, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, and Merck Pharmaceutical. Dr. Spencer has managed major leadership and organizational development contracts with the U.S. Army and Navy, AID, OPM, and United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO) and Labor (ILO) Organizations. He has taught at the business schools of the University of Chicago and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Spencer 's books and software include Reengineering Human Resources (Wiley, 1995), Competence at Work (Wiley, 1993), and Calculating Human Resource Costs and Benefits (Wiley, 1986). He has published more than fifty chapters and papers in such references as the American Management Association's Handbooks of Selection, Human Resources Management and Development, Compensation, Business Strategy and Change Management; Training; and Human Resource Planning.

How We Were Able To Move From Point 'A' To Point 'B', Once We Discovered Where Point 'A' Was

It has been said that everyone wants to be different, but nobody wants to change. But to complicate matters, how can we change, when we don't know enough about ourselves to begin with? This session will be a panel of several owners and managers who have been through the Performance Dynamics assessment developed by Giombetti Associates; and with the increased self awareness provided by that process, have been able to make an important impact on themselves. Moderated by Rick Giombetti and Paul Alves, sponsors of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Panelists include Jeb Balise, Owner and President of Balise Motors, and his CFO Steve Mitus; Tyler Young, Owner and President of W.F. Young, and his COO/GM Adam Raczkowski; and Ken Fontaine, President of Amgraph, and his sister Michelle Fontaine, head of Continuous Systemic Improvement. This presentation will be an instructive and captivating look at how people improve their behaviors, leadership and ability to grow.

October 21, 2004 • Thursday, 5:00-9:00pm
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF THE Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley!!

A perfect occasion to enjoy the company of our companies, and bask in the glow of ten years of Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley success. Come stuff yourself with a wonderful buffet feast, and hear what the Family Business Center has meant to our members. You will benefit, as always, from great conversations with a great variety of movers and shakers from Western Massachusetts.

It will also be an evening with great entertainment: We are proud to celebrate our ten years of success by presenting cultural icon FLOYD VIVINO, AKA "Uncle Floyd." Floyd began his career in show business as a child performer, dancing at the 1964 World's Fair in New York and at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. In high school he found the sound of laughter more fulfilling than applause, finding employment in circuses, nightclubs, amusement parks, and as a comedian in some remaining few burlesque shows. His varied experiences in the performing arts finally led him to television, where he began the Uncle Floyd Show in New Jersey in 1974. The show developed a following in the New York-New Jersey area in the 1970's, and on New Jersey Cablevision for 25 years. In the late 80's Floyd started his own Italian radio program. The Italian-American Serenade broadcast on WRTN-FM out of New Rochelle, NY. Vivino claims to have the largest private collection of Italian records outside of Italy, some 250,000. He has acted or performed in Good Morning Vietnam, Mr. Wonderful, Law and Order, Loving, Bill Boggs' Comedy Tonight, USA-TV's Up All Night, and the Dr. Demento Show. Performing live however, has always remained his first love. He has played many Catskill and Pocono resorts, including Caesars, Fernwood, and Nevele; and opened for Melba Moore, Jerry Vale, Pat Cooper, Al Martino, Pete Seeger, Julius LaRosa, Tom Chapin, and many others. Currently living in New Jersey, Floyd appears live about 300 nights a year in clubs and on-stage. It is also worth noting that Uncle Floyd holds a Guinness certified world record for playing the piano continuously for 24 hours, 15 minutes.

September 22, 2004 • Wednesday 5:00-8:30pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Competitive Intelligence: Playing To Win Isn't Just For The Big Boys (And Girls)

While most Fortune 1000 companies have at least some formalized competitive intelligence function in place, few small and mid-tier companies have embraced this valuable tool to support their business objectives. Many companies claim they know their markets and customers, and keep an eye on their competitors. But, unless they rigorously monitor and analyze industry trends, emerging technologies, and existing and new competitors, they may miss important early warning signals about the future developments and unexpected competitor activities. Using proven (and legal) collection and analysis techniques Competitive Intelligence can help answer important questions like:

  • Who is winning in our market and why?
  • What do we know about our competitors' strengths and weaknesses?
  • Will our strategy transform the nature of competition?
  • What might our competitors do next?

CI can also help answer the critical question, "What if…?" The future-oriented perspective of competitive analysis enables Executives to evaluate their current and future investments, manage risks, provide new ideas on business operations, and improve their reaction time to industry developments.

FRED WERGELES is the founder and Principal of Fred Wergeles & Associates LLC, a consulting practice that specializes in Strategic Planning and Competitive Intelligence process improvement. He has over 20 years experience managing intelligence collection and analysis in support of strategic decision making. Fred has developed innovative methods and tools to quickly and effectively improve Strategic Planning, Product Development and Market Assessment capabilities for clients in both large and small firms, and in a variety of industries. Fred is an 18-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency analyzing worldwide science and technology developments and managing collection and analysis programs. He also had tours of duty in The White House Situation Room and the Pentagon. Fred is the Connecticut Chapter Coordinator of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Hartford Barney School of Management where he teaches a graduate-level course in Competitive Intelligence. Fred is the Executive Director of the Simsbury Education Enhancement Foundation, a member of the World Affairs Council, and the President of the Simsbury Youth Hockey Association.


KEYS TO CONTROL PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COSTS A short educational talk by FBC sponsor Axia Insurance Services.

How We Found Our Niche: A Panel Of Business Owners Tell Their Tales

If you own your own business, it helps if you have talent and interest in whatever product or service you offer. But that’s not the key to success, since many of your competitors are scrambling for the same piece of pie with the same implements. So what is your unique advantage, your genius, your "je ne sais quoi", your niche? What have you discovered about your ability to deliver that special something, even beyond Better! Faster! Cheaper!? These panelists are not bragging, but they are explaining how they discovered their company's Sweet Spot, and how you can, too! (thanks to David Topor, of Topor Dodge, for this topic)

June 15, 2004 • Tuesday 5-8:30pm
Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, MA

Behind Every Great Woman Is Nothing Compared To What Lies Ahead

You've come a long way, baby! But some days it seems you're on the road to nowhere!! Even if you've figured out how to stand your ground without being called a shrew, finally earning more than 76 cents for each dollar made by men, and your CEO status in family businesses is predicted to triple in the years ahead (now 9.5% of family businesses are headed by women, expected to soon be 34%), there is no end of frustration in getting to where you want to be. We will hear some very honest and frank discussion from a panel of women in business, which will be instructive to you, no matter what your genetic predisposition.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Linda Peters, Program Director for the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation's Entrepreneurship Initiatives, uniting colleges and universities throughout Western Massachusetts for the purpose of promoting entrepreneurship as a respected profession. Dr. Peters teaches in the on-line MBA program at UMass as well as conducts research related to entrepreneurship and the concept of virtuality (virtual organizations, virtual teams, and virtual employees). Linda earned her MBA from Western New England College during her fifteen years as a Junior Partner and National Director of Property Management at Aspen Square Management, a national real estate investment firm based out of West Springfield, Massachusetts; and a Ph.D in Management from UMass, with an emphasis in Organization Studies.

And Now A Message From UMass Chancellor John V. Lombardi

The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is proud to present JOHN V. LOMBARDI, Chancellor and Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also serves as co-editor of The Center, a research enterprise focused on the competitive national context for major research universities. Dr. Lombardi served as dean of international programs and dean of arts and sciences at Indiana University, provost at The Johns Hopkins University, and president of the University of Florida. He is a specialist in Latin America with a special interest in Venezuelan history and the author of a variety of books and articles, one of which is coauthored with his wife, Cathryn. He received his Ph.D. and MA from Columbia University and his bachelor's degree from Pomona College.

BANKING...A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE An educational, non-commercial presentation from one of our sponsors, DAVID HOBERT,

Sovereign Bank's Senior Vice President for Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.

May 18, 2004 • Tuesday 5-8:30pm
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

Get Your Customers To Say Wow

From its humble beginnings as a small dairy store founded in 1969 with seven employees, Stew Leonard's has grown to become - according to Ripley's Believe It or Not- the World's Largest Dairy Store, with grocery stores in Norwalk and Danbury, CT and Yonkers, NY (and a fourth store planned for 2004). Weekly shoppers number 250,000 - coming from as far as 50 miles away- creating a sales volume of nearly $300 million. Born out of Stew Sr.'s father's dairy farm/milk delivery business founded in the 1920's, Stew Leonard's dream was to build a retail dairy store where children could watch milk being bottled, while mothers did their shopping in a farmer's market atmosphere. In December 1969, Stew Leonard's opened its doors - a 17,000 square foot store carrying just eight items, but after 30 store additions now also carries meat, fish, produce, bakery, cheese and wine. Unlike traditional grocery stores that sell an average 30,000 items, each Stew Leonard's store carries only 2,000 items, chosen specifically for their freshness, quality and value.

Tonight we will hear from STEW LEONARD, JR., President and CEO since 1991, after a lifetime of cleaning out day old cream cans, stocking shelves, making ice cream and working the cash register. He will describe how the success of this family-owned business is largely due to their passionate approach to customer service: "Rule #1 - The Customer is Always Right"; Rule #2 - If the Customer is Ever Wrong, Re-Read Rule #1." This principle is so essential to the foundation of the company that it is etched in a three-ton granite rock at each store's entrance. In order to create happy customers, Stew Leonard's is also recognized for their management philosophy: "Take good care of your people and they in turn will take good care of your customers." It is this philosophy that has helped earn Stew Leonard's a No. 22 debut ranking on FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in America" list for 2002. Stew Leonard's was dubbed the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores" by the New York Times, because of its own milk processing plant, costumed characters, scheduled entertainment, petting zoo and animatronics throughout the stores. The company has received worldwide acclaim for excellence in customer service and quality and is featured in two of management expert Tom Peter's books: A Passion for Excellence and Thriving on Chaos. In 1992, Stew Leonard's earned an entry into The Guinness Book of World Records for having "the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States." Stew Leonard, Jr.'s management style is built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.: Satisfy the customer; work together as a Team; strive for Excellence at everything you do; and get the customer to say WOW.

Stew Jr. will also discuss the history, implications, and lessons learned from the tax fraud conviction that landed Stew Sr. in federal prison for five years (he is now happily back at work).

How To Create Simplicity, Focus and Balance In Your Financial Life

Like busy entrepreneurs today you're probably finding it harder and harder to keep up with the complexities of your financial life. You've accumulated a lot of "financial stuff" and have fallen into what we call The Fragmented Financial Trap. This session will show you how to achieve greater financial peace of mind and an evolutionary system called The Family CFO Process, which provides solutions for achieving financial independence with reduced financial anxiety. Don't believe it's possible? Be prepared to participate in an engaging session with CHARLIE EPSTEIN, CLU ChFC. Charlie is a registered investment advisor and certified family business specialist with 24 years experience working with busy entrepreneurs. He is also one of the founder sponsors of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley.

April 13, 2004 • Tuesday, 5:00-8:30 pm
Log Cabin Meeting and Banquet House, Holyoke, MA

Ideas Are Free (And Closer And More Plentiful Than You Imagine!)

  • A worker in one of Europe's largest wireless communication companies stumbled across an error in his company's billing software that was costing some $30 million per year in lost revenues. He pointed out a simple way to fix it.
  • A secretary at Grapevine Canyon Ranch realized that, when potential customers searched on the internet for guest ranches in the Southwestern United States, the major search engines were returning her company's website well down the list. She proposed a simple change that made it appear at the top.
  • A prison guard at the Massachusetts Dept. of Correction sent in an idea to use digital cameras instead of film cameras to process new inmates. Across the Department's sixteen correctional facilities, his suggestion saved $56,000 per year.

Front-line employees see a great many problems and opportunities that their managers don't. Because they are the ones doing the day-to-day work, they are in the best positions to come up with many kinds of ideas - from simple ones on how to save time, effort, and money, to entirely new ways of doing business. Yet most people work in organizations that are far more effective at suppressing their ideas than promoting them. Every day, all over the world, front-line employees watch helplessly as their organizations waste incredible sums of money, needlessly disappoint and lose customers, and miss opportunity after opportunity that to them are all too apparent. Companies that recognize the huge potential in the front-line ideas, and know how to tap it, gain significant competitive advantage, and become much more pleasant places to work. It is increasingly harder to attain performance excellence without the ability to listen to, and act on employee ideas. For front-line employees, management's responsiveness to their ideas gives them a real chance to address many of the problems and opportunities they see on a daily basis, and to have a personal impact on the performance of their organizations. Managers soon realize that front-line ideas can have a huge impact on the performance of their units, and free them from time-consuming "fire-fighting". They can then focus on what they should be focusing on. There is a lot to know about how to manage ideas. Oddly enough, much of it is counterintuitive. Today, there is a huge gap between the state of the practice and the state of the art. The average company in the United States gets one idea from every employee every two years, of which more than half are not used. At the same time, current best practice companies average fifty, or even a hundred ideas per person per year, and implement over ninety percent of them. This talk will show you how they do it.

Tonight's keynote presenter is ALAN G. ROBINSON, whose 1998 book Corporate Creativity: How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen, co-authored with Sam Stern, was a main selection of the Executive Program Book Club, an Business and Investment Editor's Pick, a finalist in the Financial Times/Booz Allen & Hamilton Global Best Business Book Awards, and was named "Book of the Year" by the Academy of Human Resource Management. It has been translated into twelve foreign languages. Alan has been a consultant to more than a hundred companies in eleven countries. His recent clients have included Lucent Technologies, Heineken, the Federal Reserve Bank, Bose, Standard and Poors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Blue Shield, Hardigg Industries, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (the largest financial services organization in the world), Lunt Silversmiths, Interbrew (the second largest brewer in the world), Fanuc (the Japanese robotics company), DCM (one of the largest conglomerates in India), Bemis, Leninetz (one of the largest companies in Russia), the Japan Industrial Training Association (responsible for the national training program required for millions of middle and upper managers in the country), Alcan, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He has served on the Board of Examiners of the United States' Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In the course of his research on managing ideas he has worked in several hundred companies in countries including the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Denmark, China, India, Poland, Brazil, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Jamaica, United Arab Emirates, France, Belgium and Russia. He is a frequent public speaker, who has given hundreds of executive seminars around the world, including twice at the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Dr. Robinson is on the faculty of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A./M.A. in mathematics from Cambridge University.


Energize your staff, break up outdated assumptions, evaluate ideas, and uncover key customer needs. It can help clarify succession issues, improve relations with family members, non-family managers and --dare we say it-- your teenage children. You'll learn when, why and how to ask strategic questions, how to increase their impact, map strategies for answering them, and take part in a powerful process called the Search for Insight™. The confidential Search for Insight™ will channel thousands of years of combined business experience to help a Family Business Center colleague solve a current business challenge.

You can't afford to miss this session! Paul Lipke is Director of Programs and Training for the non-profit Sustainable Step New England (SSNE) based here in the Valley, and has gotten rave evaluations from our group. He's known nationally for his pioneering work with strategic questioning, and with making learning fast and fun. Paul guarantees you'll come away with new insights about your business. Paul co-founded SSNE to help organizations flourish while addressing the world's unprecedented social, environmental and economic challenges. He's an expert at analyzing the multitude of problems you face to help you generate innovative, smarter approaches that deliver measurable benefits for your organization and your community. Think you've got a great business challenge for Paul and the Family Business Center community to help you solve? Want to be the focus of the Search for Insight™? Give Ira a call. He'll explain how it works.

March 9, 2004 • Tuesday, 5:00-8:30 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, MA

End Your Workplace Wars By Using Conflict As An Opportunity For Growth & Change

Every business in the world has its share of conflict among employees, or between divisions, or with customers, suppliers, and governments. Who needs to add family conflict? Most of us try to avoid conflict, most of the time. It's uncomfortable, and the financial as well as emotional costs can be enormous. In fact, almost all the reasons one frequently hears for not bringing family members into firms center on the fear of conflict. However, conflict is part of life. Stepping around it doesn't make it go away. The more we avoid conflict in business relationships, the more destructive it becomes. Business owners need to become so comfortable with their skills for addressing interpersonal problems productively, that they actually welcome the opportunity conflict offers for change. With a good conflict-resolving system, family business relationships become assets rather than liabilities, because they provide additional motivation for shared problem-solving. Conflict well resolved is the life blood of growth and adaptation to change, in organizations of all kinds. The family business, however, has unique features that make conflict resolution more challenging:

Tonight's presenter, KEN KAYE, will show you • how to bring together all involved in a conflict into a constructive, focused discussion • practical tools to clear up misunderstandings and gain perspective • how to get conflicted parties to take responsibility and make commitments to change behaviors • improve communication even when others do their worst to obstruct it • build mutual trust even when people have acted dishonestly, incompetently or with bad intentions • how to build conflict resolution into your organization's culture • what to do when one or more parties feel the conflicts are unresolveable and • how to end chronic conflict without destroying the family.

Ken Kaye earned his bachelor's and doctoral degrees from Harvard University) and was a Knox Fellow at the University of Cambridge, England. Later he trained in family therapy at the Family Institute of Chicago, where he served as clinic team leader and continues as a faculty member. Kaye has published dozens of articles and books for professional advisors as well as family business members about resolving the disputes, rifts, and intergenerational tensions that threaten to hobble their enterprises including Workplace Wars and How to End Them: Turning Personal Conflicts into Productive Teamwork. As a researcher, Dr. Kaye authored The Mental and Social Life of Babies: How Parents Create Persons. For parents, he has published Family Rules: Raising Responsible Children (without slapping, yelling or nagging), as well as articles for Psychology Today, Redbook, The Sciences, Family Business, Corporate Board, Nation's Business, and many other magazines. A faculty member at Northwestern University's Institute of Psychiatry, Dr. Kaye participates regularly in the Dispute Resolution group at the university's Kellogg School of Management. A member of the Family Firm Institute since its founding, he received that organization's Contribution to the Field award, helped organize several of its programs and founded the annual conference of leading psychologists who specialize in family business problems. An instrument-rated commercial pilot, Ken's work reflects diverse experiences including acting, sailing, mountain climbing and environmental conservation.

How To Collect From Delinquent Customers (Including Those You Suspect Are On The Verge Of Bankruptcy)

MARK CRESS will make you better prepared to deal with this inevitable, bothersome eventuality. Mark is a partner with the law firm of Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP, and his practice is concentrated in the areas of corporate finance, creditors' rights, bankruptcy and other insolvency related matters. He has substantial experience in advising small and large businesses on how to minimize and effectively deal with issues related to collections from delinquent customers. He regularly represents both creditors and debtors in the context of matters related to collection of accounts receivable both pre and post-bankruptcy.

March 10, 2004 •Wednesday, 8:00-11:00 am
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Special Breakfast Presentation For Business Consultants and Expert Advisors

Building Trust & Increasing Coordination Across Consulting Disciplines: A Discussion / Workshop For Frustrated Expert Advisors

A unique and valuable opportunity for business consultants and expert advisors to increase their skills and understanding in working with business clients, especially when so much good work can be hindered by the non-coordination with other experts also working with the same company. This will be in part hearing from family business author and advisor Ken Kaye (see bio, above) and part super - roundtable moderated by him, but also hearing the collective wisdom of a large circle of very capab e consultants, who are helping and being helped. $30 includes continental breakfast. Open to all interested business consultants, mental health professionals, expert advisors from banking, law, finance, HR, etc.

January 9, 2004 • Friday, 8:30am-12:00 noon
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

The Delicate China Situation

(co-produced with NTMA- the National Tooling and Machining Association)

If you're a manufacturer of any sort of product, whether it ends up in a bigger machine or on the shelves of WalMart, you know that your very existence is threatened by Chinese factories that pay their workers next to nothing. You can be better / faster / cheaper all day long, but until you can attract free labor, you better sit down and think things through with the group of people we're presenting to you at this event. Manufacturers JEFF GLAZE, ERIC HAGOPIAN and MICHAEL SCHAEFER have all been going through it; visiting China, setting up operations there, or trying to side step that scenario. You will also meet FRED TEDESCO, owner of Pa-Ted Spring Company in Bristol, Connecticut, co-founder of MAD IN USA, a coalition of individuals, companies and associations dedicated to the preservation of American manufacturing. (If you're in a service industry, come, too. Call for technical support, you may reach a call center in India!).

December 11, 2003 • Thursday, 5:00-9:00 pm
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, Northampton, MA

Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman, author of Primal Leadership, and this evening's presenter, says "Great leaders move us by creating a resonance with others. Mayor Guiliani did not win widespread acclaim because he broadcast the financial impact of the September 11th disaster. He spoke to our hearts and our need to believe in each other and he struck a resonant chord in many all over the world. Each person's emotional intelligence feeds this resonance like banging on a drum louder and louder and setting off vibrations in other drums nearby. Neural circuitry drives the actions known as emotional intelligence and their link to outstanding performance, but people can develop these competencies. Leaders can use these steps and their own emotional intelligence to create this resonance in teams and organizational cultures. The effect is that others get excited and do things they had not thought possible previously; and can lead others in discovering how people can use their collective talent to build effective and meaningful teams, organizations, and families. "

Tonight we are thrilled to present DANIEL GOLEMAN, author of the New York Times best sellers Emotional Intelligence and Working With Emotional Intelligence, and the book he co-authored with the Dalai Lama, Destructive Emotions. His article What Makes a Leader?, is most requested reprint in the history of the Harvard Business Review . Dr. Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for The New York Times for 12 years and was a recipient of the American Psychological Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. His other books include Mind Body Medicine, The Creative Spirit and Vital Lies, Simple Truths.

Plus a short educational talk: CHECK FRAUD...YOU COULD SHARE THE LOSS presented by one of our corporate sponsors, Tip Simons, VP, Global Solutions Group, Sovereign Bank

AND A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY to better know our community of business owners who benefit from the thousands of years of wisdom and experience that is the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley!

November 18, 2003 • Tuesday, 8:00am - 12:00 noon
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

"Knowledge Based Breakfast"

How Your Company Can Rise To The Next Level; And Not Fall Through The Cracks

  1. Are you the kind of company that is satisfied with all that you have achieved; spending hours each day resting on your laurels?
  2. Do you believe that you must succeed to survive, so the fact that you are surviving means you must be a success?
  3. Are you on a continuous mission to be all you can be, always striving for that proverbial "next level"?

If you only relate to #3, you're in the right group, and that group will be meeting for some very practical investigation. This event will feature the combined wisdom and experience of the six corporate partners of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, representing the worlds of law, accounting, banking, finance, sales and marketing, and effective leadership. You will hear their perspective on what are the identifying traits of the business that is going places. And how they can tell when a company is going nowhere.

They will engage in strategic conversations with three brave business owners who have every intention of getting from Here to There, exploring their thinking, what they may have not considered, what hurdles need to be leaped, what alligators need to be slain. Whether you are one of those brave volunteers (contact Ira Bryck if interested) or an audience member, you will come away much more aware and prepared.

October 22, 2003 • Wednesday, 5:00-9:00 pm at the
Log Cabin Banquet House, Holyoke, MA

Beating the Odds, and Hiring Right the First Time

If you've ever hired the wrong person for the wrong job, you are not alone. Mis-hits happen more than great matches. More often than not, the mismatch is costly both in dollars and disarray. And even bringing in Mr. or Ms. Right into your family business can shake up the apple cart, if they are not family, are giving or taking orders, or expect to get paid what they should get paid when family members are under or over paid. Add to this: will the hire have the authority to do their job, have opportunities to persuade and advance, and inspire you to bring in even more non family professionals for continued growth and professionalization? And how can you grow, within your company, the ability to identify and attract talent, creating a self-perpetuating great place to work?

Our presenter, HARVEY WIGDER specializes in a variety of organizational and human resource issues. His focus is on finding executives and managing compensation in privately held and family businesses. Before starting his consulting career, Mr.. Wigder was Vice President for Human Resources at Cahners Publishing Company in Boston. Prior positions included Vice President of Management Development for American Express International Banking Corporation, Director of Personnel for Colonial Penn Insurance Company and Manager of Organizational Development for Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr..Wigder earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. Mr.Wigder has been consulting to family businesses for the last eighteen years. He is Principal of CCR Executive Search & Consulting LLC. He is also a columnist for the MetroWest Daily News, active in many professional organizations and a popular speaker on management issues in privately held businesses.

Hire Right, But Also Duly Diligent A legal perspective on employment issues, more particularly on the pre-employment due diligence necessary to make a good hire. A presentation by the lawfirm of Bulkley Richardson & Gelinas, covering the legal steps to take as you are hiring someone, and the legal steps to take when it just doesn't work out. The presentation will explain several vital components of employment law as well as protecting trade secrets and other confidential information.

China: An Opportunity Or Aberation?

Jeff Glaze, owner of FBC member company Decorated Products is threatened- like many U.S. manufacturers- by imports, mainly from China. In response to this, Jeff has spent the last 6 months investigating this situation including 3 weeks in China this summer. Listen to his comments regarding the China situation, before you make your next move in this direction.

September 16, 2003 ‚Tuesday, 5:00-9:00 pm at the
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

An Evening With Six Sigma Black Belt Rob Lindner, Rated by Rick Giombetti as "Best of the Best"

Members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley have heard from Giombetti Associates that high performance people are powered by very specific personality traits. According to Rick Giombetti, among the general population, approximately 16% fall into the "high performance" category, 16% fall in the "low performing" category, and the remaining 68% fall into the "average performing" category in general. Four key personality traits power and drive high performance people: energy, dominance, discipline, and competitiveness. People who score high in these traits are the best of the best, having strong personalities and the internal motivational drive, intensity, aggressiveness, proactivity, and burning passion that comes from within. They can deliver results and get the job done.

Tonight we will have an opportunity to hear from such an individual, Rob Lindner. Rob, a Six Sigma Black Belt (a management philosophy of achieving less than 3.4 defects or mistakes per million opportunities) is Vice President of Quality and Continuous Improvement with American Household Products (which includes Sunbeam, Oster, and Coleman brands) in Boca Raton, Florida. In his work with Giombetti Associates, he has impressed Rick Giombetti as a stellar example of high performance qualities. Hear from Rob Lindner about his management style, his experience with Sunbeam after the departure of "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap, and his perspective on professional self- improvement. This two hour session will be half a presentation by Mr. Lindner, and half a conversation between Rob and Rick Giombetti on the qualities of the high performance people.

How You Can Achieve Principled Profits By "Putting People First"

When the business pages are full of stories about corporate corruption, is there a place for the honest, ethical business? SHEL HOROWITZ says not only can honest business people succeed, they can prosper. In fact, businesses that combine honesty, integrity, and quality with a long-term strategy will do very well. You won't see their executives on the front pages, being led away in handcuffs - but you WILL see a very healthy bottom line. These are companies that understand the very best thing they can do for their business is to make customers, employees, suppliers, and even competitors feel like partners. The author of the new book, Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First, Horowitz demonstrates that: • Market share is irrelevant • the world is abundant and there's room for everyone to succeed • You can actively profit from your competitors' success • Honesty, integrity, and quality are far more important than quick profits • the Golden Rule actually WORKS in business • As you create value for others, you build value in your own business • The most important sales skill isn't even about selling.

June 24, 2003 • Tuesday, 5-9 pm
The Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

Sustaining The Family Business: An Insiders Guide To Managing Across The Generations

Business owning families make the effort, take the risks, and have the smarts to succeed. Yet there is still a low rate of success when it comes to succession to the next generation. We are pleased to have you meet and hear from MARSHALL PAISNER, founder / Chairman of ScrubaDub Autowash Centers, Inc, and author of Sustaining the Family Business, which has received outstanding reviews and a five star rating by You and your family will benefit from hearing from the man chronicled by the Wall Street Journal in an article entitled "Retiring Entrepreneur chose to Leave Legacy Instead of Inheritance".

Mr. Paisner, both student and teacher on the topic of family business succession, conducted a multitude of interviews, to reveal five cultural patterns that all family businesses had in common that made it through 3 generations.

He will show you exactly how to create a "family business plan", an essential element in long term planning, as well as : • How to develop a business culture to withstand "offers too good to refuse" • How to bring children into the business • Why you have to change your management style for the next generation • How to pass stock onto your family • How to plan for estate taxes • How to deal with family conflict

Mr. Paisner founded ScrubaDub in 1968. It currently is a chain of 10 units washing over one million cars a year, managed by his two sons, Bob and Dan. The company has a national reputation for its innovation in the car wash industry. He is past president of both the New England and International Car Wash Associations. He also was one of the founding advisors at Northeastern University's Center for Family Business. ScrubaDub was the first national winner of the Inc. and MCI Positive Performance Award in recognition of superior customer focus in 1994, the Blue Chip Initiative Award for the State of Massachusetts in 1998, and just recently won 1st place In the Cisco Growing with Technology Award. The success of ScrubaDub as a "multi-generational" business has been described in Inc. Magazine, CNBC and CNN.

Secrets Of Success You Can Use To Boost Your Sales This Year

Two sales coaches with Momentum give savvy advice every business owner can use. Hear from KEN FURST and SCOTT FARLAND on: • How to get more revenue-generating time from your sales staff. • What a business owner can and should expect from the sales department and each sales person. • Scott's famous Fifty Point Day--; and how you can use it to set standards for daily achievement. • Hear from these down-to-earth, experienced sales gurus who coach CEOs, sales managers and sales reps. Quiz the experts. Bring your thorniest questions

May 21, 2003 • Wednesday, 5:00-9:00 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, MA

The 9 Relationship Principles That Power Your Career & Business

How many times have you heard "business is business" or "don't take it personally"? How can this be so, if business success is so dependent on human relationships? At best, these relationships build trust and loyalty; at worst, companies suffer and fail from the destructive climate of office politics, low morale, and betrayal. Whether you are trying to lead so others will follow, recruit or retain the best and the brightest, or build a cohesive and effective team, unless you and your people succeed in relationships with colleagues, customers, suppliers, even competitors, you will not achieve your goals, be they financial success, personal satisfaction, or the sustainability of your company or career.

You will come to understand how to successfully invest in your business relationships from tonight's presenter, Ronna Lichtenberg, President of Clear Peak Communications, in NYC. Ronna is a nationally recognized business author and lecturer, who helps individuals develop business relationships that support their career goals, and is frequently seen on major morning television shows, in national print, as contributing editor for "O" (Oprah magazine), covering work and career issues. Her first two books, It's Not Business, It's Personal, and Work Would Be Great If It Weren't for the People, were widely recognized for their insightful analysis of how to handle critical business issues. She is currently working on a third book, about influence and persuasion skills. Prior to founding Clear Peak in 1996, Ronna was a Senior VP of Marketing with Prudential Securities, Inc., where she developed new markets products, and was named the first woman in the firm's history to its top management group, the Operating Council. She also directed the firm's communications during a $200 million dollar product crisis, personally defending the company in a Mike Wallace 60 Minutes interview. Ronna also served as Assistant Director of Social Research for the American Council of Life Insurance and analyzed social trends for John Naisbitt, author of the bestseller, Megatrends. Ms. Lichtenberg also leads a seminar series, Investing in Me, Inc., an entrepreneurial business model for planning and managing one's own careers; and Toot Your Own Horn seminars to help women learn how to sell themselves and their ideas

Keeping What's Yours Till the Bitter End

A Primer on Elder Care Planning You worked hard and took plenty of risks to build a nest egg to provide you with comfort, control and dignity. You can't take it with you, but it shouldn't get taken away before you're finished with it, either! Unfortunately, the busy-ness of life, denial of death and dying, and misunderstanding of what planning is required leaves many people paying many thousands per month out of pocket, rather than transferring assets into trust and being eligible for Medicaid, saving your family from a huge hole in the bucket. This presentation will cover the basics of Elder Law, and how to think about you and your family's rights and obligations so you are not caught with too little, too late. Presented by William Bloom, a Westborough attorney who will forewarn and forearm you on this pressing issue.

The 412i, Revealed!!

Imagine establishing a retirement plan that would create a $70,000 to $300,000 ANNUAL DEDUCTION for you the owner, provide that the majority of that contribution (70-90%)would go to you, and provide you with a guaranteed income at retirement (unlike your current 401k plan's account balance, which is currently down anywhere from 10-50%). Sound like a fantasy? Charlie Epstein, CLU,ChFC, Certified Family Business Specialist, principal of Epstein Financial Services and partner of Benefits Consulting Group (a local retirement plan administrator), will reveal the benefits of establishing a 412i retirement plan for your company. This entertaining discusion will open your eyes up to the pitfalls of your current 401k retirement plan and the tremendous benefits to redesigning your plan to a cross-tested 412i/401k plan. Congress enacted new pension regulations in 2000 that now reverses the reverse discrimination of your average 401lk plan, making it possible for you -the owner- to receive the lion's share of your plan's annual retirement contribution. Don't miss this session...or you could miss out on huge deductions in 2003 and a significantly larger retirement for you and your family members.

April 15, 2003 • Tuesday, 5:00-9:00 pm
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, Northampton, Mass

The Good, The Bad, and the Difference - Applying Your Ethical Standards to Those Perplexing Real Life Scenarios

Ever feel shady that family members get paid more than your most talented non family managers? Having mixed feelings about reading your brother's email (the one where he lies to your father about your poor performance)? Guilty about making those highly profitable mechanisms that end up in those pesky land mines? Undecided on how to feel about getting paid for 40 hours, though you finish the work in 20 and head out for 18 holes? What obligation to we have to behave well in a world that certainly is not looking out for us? What justification do we have to not create a workplace that respects privacy, civility, freedom, even if our employees are willing to do without? This presentation- part fascinating look at the role of ethics in modern life and the workplace- part opportunity for you to ask about your particular vexations- will shed light on the ways in which a more ethical approach to the decisions we make, and to our daily behavior, can make a big difference in how we feel about ourselves tomorrow.

Randy Cohen writes the weekly column "the Ethicist" for the New York Times Magazine, which appears under the title "Everyday Ethics" in newspapers nationwide. His latest book is The Good, the Bad, and the Difference: How to Tell Right from Wrong in Everyday Situations (Doubleday). He is also the author of Diary of a Flying Man, a collection of short stories, and Modest Proposals, a collection of letters. He has also won four Emmy awards, three as a writer for Late Night with David Letterman. Cohen was the original head writer on The Rosie O'Donnell Show and is a frequent guest on Good Morning America; and his work has appeared in Slate magazine, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and other publications. He lives in New York City.

Living Life on the Flip of a Coin

Will You Have Enough to Retire? (For Pre-Retirees With Less Than Ten Years Until Retirement) To talk about planning for the future and retirement planning at times like this may seem inappropriate or appropriate, depending upon your circumstances. These are extraordinary times. We've come out of a record-breaking bull market right into what may be a record-breaking bear market, precipitated by an unprecedented drop in technology stocks, the tragedies of September 11th, the Mideast geopolitical upheaval and massive corporate accounting fraud. If you have not taken any precautions in your own planning, the consequences can be devastating: for your spending budget, your retirement planning and the long-term growth of your invested capital.

Some questions you should be asking yourself:

  • When can I retire?
  • How much can I spend per year?
  • Can I reduce my investment risk and still meet my goals?
  • Will I maintain the purchasing power of my principal?

Please join us to learn how you can develop a viable plan based on reasonable projections of what you will need to retire, how much money you can safely withdraw each month, when to tap into taxable or tax-deferred assets, and how to quantify the probability of achieving your financial goals under changing, and sometimes extreme, capital-market conditions. This program will help you plan for retirement and reduce the anxiety associated with transitioning from receiving a weekly paycheck to living on unearned income.

Presented by Richard M. Chase, CPA/PFS, founder and President of Meyers Brothers Financial Advisors, Inc. A Certified Public Accountant with over 23 years of professional experience, Richard has specialized in tax, financial and investment planning for the past 18 years. In 1990, Richard became one of the first CPAs in Massachusetts to earn the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation, an accreditation held by less than 1% of all CPAs throughout the United States.

March 4, 2003 • Tuesday, 5:00-9:00 pm
Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, MA

Defining Corporate Culture for Competitive Advantage

When Leonard Gentine Sr. founded Sargento in 1953, he also laid the foundation for a strong and defined corporate culture. They have many outstanding achievements to be proud of, including many innovations in the cheese and snack industries. Yet, if you ask their stakeholders what is special about the company, you are likely to receive a response that is a reflection of their culture rather than a definition of its products or processes.

At Sargento, people believe that their past successes and future vision are closely linked with their key principles and values; an intangible strength that attracts talented employees and keeps them there. Their culture breeds enthusiasm and creates a unique loyalty. That is why they have invested considerable time in defining their culture, and why they ask every employee to help them maintain and enhance their corporate priorities and spirit, which can be summed up in three words: People, Pride, and Progress.

Hear this important story and lesson from Barbara Gannon, Vice President of Corporate & Marketing Communications for Sargento Foods Inc., a $450 million, family-owned international marketer of value-added cheese and related products. She has 20 years experience in communication for the food industry and is currently responsible for corporate public relations, public policy, charitable contributions, consumer affairs and nurturing the company's corporate culture, which Sargento believes gives the company a competitive advantage.

A NEW FIRST: Picking the Multidisciplinary Brain There's so much talk about the need for objective advice for the family business, yet a shockingly low percentage of business owning families make use of outside boards. A second best solution is the use of the team of your expert advisors, who in many cases have the collective wisdom to give you direction, but never sit together to discuss your favorite topic: your company! See how that works when we put our corporate partners on a panel, focusing on various family business dilemmas, both fictional and from brave audience volunteers. If you have any interest in having your specific problem diagnosed and solved by this insightful panel, contact Ira Bryck at (413) 545-1537 or via email to . It can be presented in disguise or in the rough, but you will get suggestions and perspectives that will open your eyes.

Thursday, January 9th, 9a.m.-12 noon
UMass Division of Continuing Education classroom. 358 N. Pleasant St., Amherst

What Kind of Leader Are You? is it the type of leadership your company needs?

Special Free Workshop for members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

first come, first served, limit 30 total, 2 per company

This workshop explores participants' leadership behavior and helps them understand what their strengths and weaknesses are, giving them insights about their personal development paths as leaders. It then takes a different perspective on leadership strategy by sharing a technique for diagnosing specific leadership contexts and selecting the strategy which is most likely to help the performer achieve higher levels of success. The workshop uses an assessment instrument and a series of brief, contemporary cases, and each participant leaves with a personal leadership profile and practice in diagnosing employee needs and selecting appropriate leadership strategies and tactics. Participants receive copies of the Leadership Strategies Type Instrument (LSTi) and instructional booklet, and participate in both individual and small-group activities to explore the concepts and translate them into practice.

Alex Hiam is the developer of assessment and learning tools used in trainings at hundreds of organizations, as well as the author of books on leadership such as Motivational Management (American Management Association), Making Horses Drink (Entrepreneur Press), and Motivating & Rewarding Employees: New and Better Ways to Inspire Your People (Adams). He is also the developer of the Leadership Strategies Type Instrument, which participants will work with in this course. Educated at Harvard and U.C. Berkeley, Hiam runs a training and publishing firm and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader.

December 5, 2002 • Thursday, 5:00-9:00 pm
Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, (formerly Inn at Northampton)

Can A Good Company Become A Great Company

And If So, How? asked Jim Collins, author of the two cornerstone business best sellers, Good to Great and Built to Last. He examined 1435 companies (every company that ever appeared in the Fortune 500), looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time, and settled on eleven. What did those few companies have in common?: that they succeeded wildly without a high profile CEO, without management fads, even without a fine tuned business strategy. What they did have was vision, and an atmosphere in which bright people were focused on success and unafraid to "try a lot of stuff and keep what works." They also were led by "Level 5 Leaders": the opposite of the charismatic, even narcissistic CEO stereotype that love to write autobiographies. This session will be a look at the practical perspectives distilled from Jim Collins' work. Prepare to be surprised, for to quote Jim Collins, it will "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people."

This session will be presented by UMass School of Management professor Alan Robinson, co-author of Corporate Creativity: How Innovation and Improvement Actually Happen. He delivered a highly acclaimed talk to the Family Business Center in 1997, and is thrilled to turn you on to the thinking of Jim Collins, who he respects as an important and practical thinker in business theory. Alan has used Built to Last to train managers at numerous companies including Lucent Technologies. He was appointed in 1992 to the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. In collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI) he also led a program for 24 U.S. companies to attain ISO 9000 registration. Listed in The International Who's Who in Quality, Alan has worked both service and manufacturing companies in Western Massachusetts, as well as Bose, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Volkswagon of Mexico, Labatt's, Fanuc, and Toyota.

What the Banker Wishes the Next Generation Would Do, Think and Say

If you own your own company, isn't it a relief to not have to impress others all the time? Except for customers, employees, competitors, partners, who's going to judge you? How about your banker, the judge who can really leave you hanging if you are not making the right impression? This is a lot of pressure, especially for the next generation: maybe wet behind the ears, maybe trying to hard to be a lot like mom or dad, maybe trying too hard to be not mom and dad. In any event, this presentation, by one of our corporate partners, Sovereign Bank, will give you a better perspective on exactly what qualities, attitudes, intentions make a banker more relaxed, feeling a bit more confident in the ability of the company to succeed into the next generation.

Does a Leader Have to Have a Certain Personality?

When you think leader, what qualities spring to mind? Courageous? Invulnerable? Driven? Egomaniacal? You may be surprised to learn that leadership is not about being a certain way…and yet, not everybody is a leader. Are you one? Are you covering up your best leadership aspects by doing impressions of what you think others expect? Our corporate partner, Giombetti Associates, will help you sort through the concepts, and figure out how you can be the best leader you can be.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002 ‚5-9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

"A Tough Nut to Crack"

We are proud to present, as 'edu-tainment' , a new one act play, "A Tough Nut to Crack", based on a true story about a father and son and the company they keep. The play's author is Ira Bryck, director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley; he spent 17 adult years (and started taking cash at five years old) for his family's 90 year old, 4th generation childrenswear retail business on Long Island, NY. This is Ira's third play about family business, following "Perils of Pauline's Family Business" and "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home" which were performed around the US over 30 times, as well as Spain, the Canary Islands, and several Western Mass community TV stations. Ira's last play, "Wait Till Your Father Gets Home", won "Best Dramatic Production" in a competition run by the Alliance for Community Media (Northeast U.S Community TV Stations ). Ira's last plays earned evaluation scores such as " Exceeded Expectations" and reviews such as "delightful and insightful. Tough Nut to Crack has already earned praise such as "compelling reflections" "raw honesty" "alive and realistic" and that the play can illicit "sympathy, growth and healing". The evening will benefit you by:giving you a "fly on the wall" view of a business family facing many classic issues examine your thoughts and feelings about your family's reactions to this real life drama help break the ice on important discussion you may have about your own situation 2003--What Will It Be?It's up to you--and the vision you have. Get real planning tools from the marketing gurus at Momentum. Hear a manufacturer and retailer tell how they plan the work and work the plan! Presented by Karen Wilson and Ken Furst of Momentum Group, a full-service marketing and advertising firm known nationally for its special expertise on market planning for growth and high-visibility print and broadcast services for some of the area's leadership brands. Everything You Need to Know About 412i A very HOT and Timely Planning concept you should know about before year end. Charles Epstein, of Epstein Financial Services / MassMutual Life Insurance Co., will explain why this defined benefit plan is ideal for small and medium business. Epstein Financial Services assists clients in a wide range of financial and estate planning, with a focus on the success and continuity of family owned companies.

Tuesday, October 1, 2002 8:30-11:00 am
The Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Buying Out Parents or Partners: The Real Deal

The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley Presents a Special VITAL INFORMATION & BREAKFAST FORUM Whether you're the parent, child, sibling, cousin, or non-family manager who wants to buy in, buy out, increase your stake, or get your name off the note, come to this informative session full of great information from 3 of our sponsors representing law, accounting, financial planning and insurance (Ronald Weiss, Esq., Kris Houghton CPA, and Charles Epstein, CLU, ChFC) Who Will Brainstorm, Illuminate, Ruminate on General Principle and Your Particular Situation So that You Can Plant Your Seeds, or Reap What You Have Sown COME AND GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED, AND YOUR ANSWERS QUESTIONED! Is your retirement security based on the next generation not taking risks with your nest egg? Are you making decisions based on tax savings, rather than growing the company? Are you asking the wrong questions, praying for the right answers? Are you doing what you think you should do, rather than what you want to do? IF YOUR ANSWER TO TWO OR MORE OF THESE QUESTIONS IS "YIKES!" THEN YOU NEED TO COME!

Sept. 10, 2002 Tuesday, 5-9:00 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

The Rights Of Passage: A Guide for Leadership Assessment and Succession

The succession of leadership remains one of the greatest challenges for families in business together.How is such a decision to be made? Do the needs of the business match the skill sets of emerging leaders?What does leadership consist of and how is it acquired? And what about the senior generation family members?How are their needs to be met? Paul Karofsky, Executive Director of Northeastern University's Center for Family Business and principal of Transition Consulting Group, Inc., will facilitate dialogue as answers to these questions and more will be explored in this intensive and highly interactive workshop.Attendance is a must for current and potential family business leaders and their advisors. Paul Karofsky spent 22 years, mostly as third generation CEO, in his family's distribution business. He sold the company in 1988 and earned his Ed.M. from Harvard University, focusing on the psychosocial lives of families and intergenerational relationships.He is Executive Director of Northeastern University's Center for Family Business, and a guest lecturer at the University's College of Business Administration. Formerly the case study editor of Nation's Business, Paul is a Forty-Niner and former member of the Young Presidents' Organization.He is also a member of the Family Firm Institute Case Series board, interview editor of Family Business Review, and a peer reviewer for Harvard University Press.He is the principal of Transition Consulting Group, Inc. and serves as a resource internationally to families, businesses and educational institutions. Intellectual Property: The Real Estate of the Mind Someone once said ‚"Ideas are like children; there are none so wonderful as your own." But who is to say that because someone else thought of it first, you can‚ think of it second, and still have rights to it?!Jim Duda, heads the Intellectual Property Practice Group at the law firm of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP, in Springfield, Massachusetts, will give you a good basic understanding of intellectual property topics as they apply to small to medium sized businesses that are not high tech, covering trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and patents. The Gaps In GAAP: How Traditional Financial Reporting Fails The Family Business This workshop will cover the basic tenets of accounting and unveil how family and closely held enterprises suffer the consequences of off-balance sheet debt and unrecorded assets while adhering to Generally Accepted Accounting Practices. In light of current events, it is crucial to understand what accountants do when they perform an Audit vs. Review vs. Compilation, and what errors could escape detection in each level of service. Presented by Rudy D‚ÄôAgostino of the accounting firm Meyers Brothers P.C.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002 5:00-9:00 pm
Union Station, Northampton, Mass

In Endurance We Conquer (& other practical tips to assure your survival in business & life)

There are many lessons of leadership that can be learned from real life acts of bravery and, well, leadership. This presentation will explore the life threatening, daring, superhuman exploits of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who took off with a crew of 27 on his ship Endurance, in hopes of being the first person to walk across the South Pole.

The story of Shackleton's death defying exploits and the lessons that can be applied by business leaders will be presented (with supporting clips from the documentary) by Susanne Simpson, producer, director, and writer at WGBH Boston, who has more than fifteen years of experience making documentary films and television programs. As the Executive Producer of NOVA Large Format Films since 1990, Ms. Simpson is a recognized leader in the IMAX film industry for both her creative and executive achievements. Her latest production, Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, has been called "…the best Imax film ever… by the New York press. She has been nominated for two Oscars for her work, which includes Freud Under Analysis, Can the Vatican Save the Sistine Chapel?, and Special Effects (about Star Wars and Independence Day) You won't have to personally deal with any ice flows, but you will have to endure an evening replete with 3 course buffet dinner and 100 business owners.

That Which Doesn't Not Kill Me Postpones the Inevitable

The Great American Dream of owning your own business is available to all, but relatively few of us take advantage. So risky! I could lose everything! Those of us who do take the plunge have lived to tell the tale; but some of the tales they tell could end up killing their business. This session will explore several fatal errors made by many business owners, using a unique high tech presentation called "Business Killers." Through a series of dramatic vignettes, the audience will see how business owners get themselves tangled up in all sorts of danger and mayhem. Three of our sponsors: Charles Epstein of Epstein Financial Services, Ronald Weiss of Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, and Dave Hobert of Sovereign Bank will explain it all to you.

Age Really Matters: Marketing to Shared Experiences

Can a 33-year-old Gen-Xer find true happiness with a Trailing-Edge Boomer aged 36? Why does Grandma re-re-use her teabags, when she has $80,000 in her checking account? Why is the core audience of the Rolling Stones over 50? Answers to questions like these will be the focus of this talk, exploring how individuals are bound together by a coming of age and the external events experienced between the ages of 17 and 23. The 'Defining Moments' of each generation- and the values, preferences and attitudes that develop in response- remain virtually unchanged for a lifetime, determining how we feel about important things like sex, music, and money. The talk will help you to understand your target markets, as well as your families and friends. You will be able to tell a Gen Y from the Greatest Generation, and everything in between

Our presenter is Charles D. Schewe, Professor of Marketing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as well as principal in Lifestage Matrix Marketing, a marketing research and consulting firm located in Amherst. Over the last twenty years, Dr. Schewe has focused on understanding the marketing management implications of our aging population and assisted numerous manufacturers and retailers targeting the 50+ population . He is the co- author (with Geoff Meredith) of the new book Defining Markets - Defining Moments (Wiley, 2002).

Wednesday, May 22, 2002 5:00-9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

What Did You Expect!?! Managing Your Employees Assumptions and Transforming Attitudes

What Makes a Good Company Great? It's the People. Committed, productive employees are key to organizational success and a healthy bottom line. The challenge, then, is retaining and developing satisfied, committed employees. The session will demonstrate how you can help your employees understand and manage their work expectations. Why? Because people who have clearly defined, well-communicated expectations have better attitudes and enjoy greater job satisfaction than people whose expectations go unspoken or unrealized. And companies that employ satisfied, successful people reap the rewards of increased productivity and reduced turnover. In this session you will learn a practical model for identifying and communicating expectations. This approach to conflict can reduce discord and enhance both personal and professional relationships.

We are pleased to welcome back a very well regarded presenter from a couple of years ago: Ingrid Bredenberg, president of Human Resource Innovations. A performance development specialist, group facilitator and "executive coach," Ingrid has been helping boards of directors, corporations, hospitals, educational institutions and non-profit organizations achieve high performance results for over fifteen years. She received her masters degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven.

"I Want to Do Business With YOU!"

If it's true what they say: that the sale - and the cast-in-stone first impression - is formed within seconds of your close encounters, then how many sales have been sabotaged by the boring and automatic way you describe yourself and that doohickey you peddle?! By harnessing the purpose and passion that powered the first "AHA!" that conceived your company, you can turn any booth show or Arrive at Five into an exciting relationship and business building extravaganza!!

Sasha ZeBryk will help you beyond the ineffective business relationship killers and show you how to Design Your Verbal Business Card. She will show us how to develop an impressive self-introduction that starts a conversation; how to stand out in your field; and how to be remembered, recalled and referred. Sasha was named Business Woman of the Year (2000) by the Women's Business Owner's Association; she is President of SashaSpeaks Seminars, based in Agawam; and practices what she preaches: discovering and doing what you love.

Thinking Outside the Box on Your Big Box Competitor

What industry is it that's not threatened by the huge category killing hyper-mart on the edge of town? Can't think of one? My point, exactly. But what to do?!? Your can't depend on the loyalty of customers; or the kindness of strangers! Should you change gears, and do something else (only to fight that industry's Widget Depot). Do what you do best? But how much can you make selling doilies? Should you start an awareness campaign? Political action committee? Put on blinders? Hear the thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, brainstorms, strategies of people from various trades who have faced this huge problem. Who knows, you may hear something that will save your company!!

April 9, 2002 Tuesday 5:00-9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

Lead With Your Strengths (NOT with your Weaknesses) You don't have to be particularly depressed or pessimistic to fall victim to a widespread tendency to focus on your weak points, and desperately attempt to improve yourself. As a result, the stage- fraught continue to get in front of audiences, the introverted torture themselves with jobs requiring great social skills, the entrepreneur - great at start ups- grinds away at daily management responsibilities, and so on. Would they be well advised to take the advice of W.C. Fields?: "If at first you don't succeed, try again…then quit; there is no point making a fool of yourself." Based upon the research findings of Gallup Organization's interviews with over 2 million individuals, and their accompanying book on the topic, Now, Discover Your Strengths, Giombetti Associates will examine the issues surrounding identifying one's own talents, and learning to develop them into strengths. Which of the 34 types &endash; among them: Achiever, Arranger, Command, Deliberative, Fairness, Futuristic, And Maximizer- are you?and what should you do about it?

Giombetti Associates, a corporate partner of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, is a human resource consulting company providing companies with pre-employment assessment, leadership training, recruitment, team building, and conflict management.

What's Authority, Responsibility, and Accountability Got to Do With It? Like it or not, your small business will never grow if you can't go beyond your control issues and distribute responsibility. To do this, you need to give authority to allow people to do their jobs. But if they exercise authority in a command and control manner, they won't get good results. And how will you recognize good results without accountability?; but does this mean punishing your managers? As obvious as it seems, many don't realize that employees are people too, and respond better to the carrot than the stick. These are the issues facing the effective leader, and stifling the ineffective leader. Presented in our very popular format of the Problem Solving Blitz, Lyne Kendall, Senior Business/ Financial Consultant for the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, will complement her content by bringing up a couple of brave audience members to discuss how they have dealt with the issues of sharing power, relinquishing the command and control, and building a more responsible and accountable management team.

"If Ben's Name Were Jack, Would You Still Want Him?"

How to Identify, Manage, and Retain the Renaissance Souls Your Business Needs in Today's Changing Times If Ben Franklin were alive today and bouncing around between writing the Declaration of Independence, experimenting with electricity, printing almanacs, and designing post offices, he'd probably be labeled a "Jack of all Trades" and certainly wouldn't win any prizes for company loyalty. But any business that didn't grab him and keep him would miss a lot. This lively presentation will identify the three characteristics of such multi-faceted Renaissance employees who thrive on change. It will show how family businesses especially may miss out on the Ben Franklins of the world, and offer concrete, specific interviewing strategies, management approaches, and reward systems for bringing out the best in the "dilettantes" in your organization (even if that "dilettante" is you!)

Margaret Lobenstine, M.A. assists individuals and small businesses struggling with the tough challenges of life/work transitions through her consulting company, Alternative Approaches. She also runs the LIFEWORKS!, GOALWORKS!, and Self-Mentoring courses for the Town of Amherst, and has been on the staff of the Shallcross Creativity Institute. Ms. Lobenstine has worked for the U.S. Postal Service, the Corporation for Public Management, the Commonwealth Literacy Corps, and the state university system assisting with change management and is a nationally known consultant for the innkeeping industry, helping innkeepers face the challenge of balancing life and work.

March 5, 2002 • Tuesday 5:00-9:00 pm
Clarion Hotel & Conference Center (formerly Inn at Northampton)

Negotiating Disputes So Everyone Wins

Maybe Mohammad Ali said it best "There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people." And in a country with 22 million companies and 1 million attorneys, you can bet there's much adversarial blood being spilled. Good negotiating is a must not only when it gets nasty: it is a crucial life skill to get the best deal on equipment, discuss your salary and perks, mediate between your employees, and maintain good relations with suppliers when you see the situation differently. There is no aspect of life that cannot be improved from greater awareness of the dynamics of dispute resolution and honed negotiation skills. This session will give you a leg up in • Reaching a Durable Agreement • Understanding the "Dance" of Positional Bargaining • Empowering Yourself • Dealing With the Tough Negotiator • Protecting Yourself from Dirty Tricks • Using the Collaborative Process to Lead and Manage, and more.

Your ability to "Get to Yes" will be enhanced by Robert O'Donnell, Director and Senior Instructor of the Woodstock (VT) Institute for Negotiation. A "recovering attorney," Robert teaches negotiation and dispute resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif., and University of Vermont;; and has trained over 7,500 people in negotiation skills from the worlds of business and government in 22 states, as well as Central America, the former Soviet Union, Northern Ireland, and Africa; and in companies including Pitney Bowes, IBM, United States Postal Service, US Army Corps of Engineers and the Peace Corps. You will enjoy Bob O'Donnell's relaxed and open manner of teaching; and come away with increased powers to move from disputes to deals.

What Every Business Owner Should Be Asking Themselves About Marketing And Sales

What's more dangerous than not knowing? Not knowing what you don't know. And how can a business owner know everything? This session will show you what you should be asking your sales and marketing group, so that they can create a more reliable sales and marketing process. Presented by our newest sponsor, Momentum Group/Strategic Market Planning Institute.

Several Ways to Buy Out Your Parents If You're Not Rolling in Dough

This session will explore various creative solutions so that when you're told "One Day This Will All Be Yours," you'll actually be able to make it happen. Presented by our accounting sponsor, Meyers Brothers PC.

February 7, 2002 •Thursday 8:00-10:30 am
Delaney House, Holyoke, MA

A SPECIAL BREAKFAST WORKSHOP aimed at building customer & staff loyalty and long term success

How Might You Strengthen Your Company with an Updated Mission and Fresh Perspectives?

Don't look now, but the data is in. The world is changing fundamentally &endash;and FAST. How will your company thrive? Is it fulfilling a meaningful and sustainable mission? Could your mission (or perhaps even the lack of it!) be prompting some people to withhold their best ideas, their heart, that extra bit of effort? Do some staff members demonstrate high expectations and low work ethic? How can you earn and unleash the amazing human capacity to exceed expectations and win in the marketplace? We'll look at the big picture, decide if we need to re-invigorate our missions, and even consider whether a whole new, powerful change in direction might be in order for our organizations.

Then, unfreeze your thinking even further! Head back to the office with fresh energy and perspective by learning about and practicing Strategic Questioning. Overcome your business challenges by getting past minutiae, old failures and negativity. Use that big picture perspective to ask Strategic Questions in a Problem Solving Blitz. Hundreds of years of positive business savvy --the collective wisdom of dozens of your peers--; will be brought to bear on the real world challenges of those participants brave enough to bare their business souls in the "hot seat."

Back by popular acclaim from the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley community, the session will be facilitated by Paul Lipke of Room to Maneuver. Paul serves business not so much as a consultant (telling people what to do) but as a resource. He helps people: 1) figure out what global trends will mean for their situation, and 2) helps them uncover the kernels of wisdom they and their stakeholders hold deep inside. Then he helps them unleash and increase their collective capacity to act on that knowledge and wisdom.

Paul is also a founding board member and Senior Facilitator/Trainer for Sustainable Step New England, a non profit whose mission is to build understanding of global trends and increase the use of strategies for sustainability (social, environmental and economic stewardship) as a means to competitive advantage for business, government and community. Paul has assisted Clairol, Relief Resources, Harvard University, CT DEP, Franklin County CDC, UMass Amherst and many other organizations and individuals.

This session is not part of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley dinner forum series, and is offered to all interested business owners and key managers at the following rates: Members of Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, Social Venture Network of Pioneer Valley or Sustainable Step New England @ $25 per person; Members of any Western Mass. Chamber of Commerce @ $35 per person; Owners and/or managers of any Western Mass company @ $40 per person. Fee includes handouts, worksheets and continental breakfast.

November 15, 2001 • Thursday, 5:00-9:00 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Analyzing and Understanding the Marketplace

"Build a Better Mousetrap, and They'll Beat a Path to Your Door." But who are these trailblazers who are responding to your presence in the marketplace? To succeed in any business, you must first ask the essential question: "Who are my customers?"

Lyne Kendall, Senior Business/ Financial Consultant for the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center will lead you in an essential discussion of Market Research, Demographics, Target Marketing, Sales Forecasting, and Developing a Marketing Strategy Plan. The session will equip you to accomplish an "Entrepreneur Spirit" Project - and rest assured, Lyne will motivate and expect you to do it!

Expert Advice on Exactly What You Need to Know Our corporate partners offer you another opportunity to get answers to your questions on a range of legal, accounting, financial, managerial and banking issues facing your business. Tonight's concurrent topics are:

  • Minimizing the Consequences of a Wrongful Termination (Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas)
  • Expand or "Hunker Down"? That is the Question! (Sovereign Bank)
  • What's Planning Worth Now? Everything! (Epstein Financial Services)

PLUS: TAPPING INTO THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF COLLECTIVE WISDOM THROUGH A FAMILY BUSINESS CENTER MIND MELD Building on our October forum's "Problem Solving Blitz", we will provide an opportunity for some brave and troubled entrepreneurs to present a challenge and get "blitzed" with a wealth of re-framed, out of the box, un-stuck, innovative yet practical suggestions to consider and implement.

October 2, 2001 oTuesday, 5:00—9:00 pm
Tekoa Country Club, Westfield, Mass

Unfreeze Your Thinking Process Through Strategic Questioning

Did you ever notice how hard it is to break through all your old assumptions about business, change, people, even yourself? How the old baggage seems impossible to dispose of? How people's views of your ideas are so full of doubt, blame, and negativity? Enter Strategic Questioning. Through this process, you and your colleagues can break up the underlying assumptions that turn every new thing into the "Same Old Same Old." Learn to re-invigorate the way that you explore ideas, by revealing uncertainties (allowing you to discover what is more real and likely); discover the feelings, fears, and complications that keep you stuck (allowing you to get unstuck); and ask questions in the right way (allowing you to use questions as a learning tool, rather than a blunt weapon).

Part 2: If You're Not Part of the Problem, You're Part of the Solution

Do you get a kind of thrill hearing about other people's problems? Ever think that their problems seem easier to solve than your own? Then you'll love this, where you get to participate in a Problem Solving Blitz. Cross examine some brave but troubled business owners, sitting in the hot seat; discover just what is threatening them; and give them the benefit of many hundreds of years of business experience; the collective wisdom of some 100 participants. That'll give them something to think about- and act upon! Learn how this method of problem solving can be put to use in your own business.

Both parts of this forum will be facilitated by Paul Lipke, founder and proprietor of Room to Maneuver, where he serves business not so much as a consultant (telling people what to do) but as a resource (helping clients to understand what they and their co-workers already know deep inside and to build their capacity to act on it). Paul is a founding board member of Sustainable Step New England, a non profit whose mission is to increase the use of strategies for sustainability (social, environmental and economic stewardship) as a means to competitive advantage for business and community. Paul's clients and repeat workshop participants include Northeast Utilities, Clairol, Relief Resources, Harvard, and UMass.

Expanding Your Business Information Networks

You have your family. You have the Internet. Somewhere in between these intimate and vast networks are the MassBedrock Specialized Reference Services. MassBedrock ( provides business and economic development information for Massachusetts through its digital library, continuing education programs, and speakers bureau. In this brief guided tour, Project Manager Christine Turner will show how you can tap into the MassBedrock network of business information resources. The MassBedrock digital library is a comprehensive catalog of over 550 freely accessible, cataloged Web sites and a specialized search engine covering over 125,000 Web pages. It includes state and federal agency information, demographic data, company and industry profiles, business news, guides, and directories for people doing business in Massachusetts. If you feel overwhelmed by your Internet search results, or you're just looking for a high-quality site that provides the connections you need from one place, come learn about this source of knowledge for business.

Christine came to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in August, 1999 to lead the development of the Business and Economic Development Statewide Specialized Reference Services, soon to be known as "MassBedrock." She has been a librarian for nearly 10 years, working previously as a researcher for a Boston-based management consulting firm, as a reference and distance learning librarian for the School of Management at Lesley College, and as an advisor to a start-up business and a non-profit organization. Christine also holds a masters degree in management.

September 5, 2001 Wednesday, 5:00--9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

The Great Game of Business

Imagine everyone in your organization from top to bottom communicating, involving each other in the decision making process and offering common sense suggestions on how their department or job could be more profitable. After all, employees are usually the ones closest to the customers, the products or the services. So why not get everyone involved, educated and motivated about your company?

Jack Stack, President and CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Company, introduces you to the concepts and philosophy of his company's revolutionary system of open book management. In this presentation, Stack shows what it really takes to build a business of businesspeople by harnessing the most powerful management tool a company has. You hear a lot about equity-sharing, stock options, and employee stock ownership, but only Jack Stack will give you the inside story from someone who's actually done it. This presentation is packed solid with lessons, tips, caveats, and stories from real-life, hands-on experience. If you hear just one presentation about equity, this should be it- from the guy who started it all by creating a culture inside the company where everyone thinks and acts like owners.

June 20, 2001 Wednesday, 5:00--9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

The Power of Positive Criticism & Using Emotional Intelligence to Create a Healthier Workplace

The ability to give and take criticism in a positive fashion is essential to business (not to mention personal) success. Day-to-day tasks such as performance appraisals, team participation, customer service, quality control, and managing conflict all depend on giving and taking criticism well- not an easy thing to do! Highly complex and difficult to handle emotionally, criticism can be a destructive, and even dangerous force. Used poorly, it can break careers and damage companies-but used wisely, it can help them flourish.

Dr. Hendrie Weisinger, a Westport, Ct. licensed psychologist and leading authority in the areas of emotional intelligence and anger management, has led hundreds of criticism seminars for Fortune 500 companies, school systems, government agencies and professional associations, and teaches in executive education and MBA programs across the country. He will show you how to transform criticism from a negative, relationship-damaging encounter to a constructive, motivating, beneficial experience for everyone involved.

Developing the Skills to Strengthen and Expand Your Business

In our quest to help you "treat your business like a business," we will be regularly offering presentations to improve your skills in such areas as market analysis, budgeting, money management, financing, managing growth, understanding and using financial statements. Topics will be chosen according to the needs of the membership, and taught by Lyne Kendall, Senior Business/ Financial Consultant for the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, who has been a vital contributor to the thinking of many local entrepreneurs, and understands what business owners need to understand. The winner for this evening's topic: Managing the Future Growth of Your Business.

May 23, 2001 Wednesday, 5:00--9:00 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Panel Discussion: How We Managed to Pass the Baton Without Blowing the Race

There are many reasons why family businesses fail to make the transition to the next generation, and fail so badly (2/3 fail from Generation 1 to Generation 2; only 15% survive to Generation 3). Among the reasons are that all businesses, family or not, fail after an average of 24 years. But in many cases, it's the improper passing of power and authority from parent to child; the lack of founder's vision, entrepreneurship, and moxie in the successor; the lack of straight talk about finances, what the future holds for the retiring leader, and so on. Hear some frank and useable wisdom from those who have been there. Parents and children who have completed transition (or are deep in the throes of it) will let you in on their secrets, giving you tools, hope, red flags, and fair warning!

Cultivate Your Culture

Paul DiGrigoli is every bit the entrepreneur and coach. As owner of DiGrigoli Salons & DiGrigoli Academy of Easthampton and West Springfield, he walks the talk that you will hear in this energizing session. Wisdom and enthusiasm combine to create the business philosophy that he espouses and practices. Paul will make it clear why, as an entrepreneur, you must change your habits as you set your goals; undertake a process to achieve success both individually and as a servant of your organization; and continuously ask yourself the hard questions, in order to get the right answers. If you do not currently know Paul DiGrigoli, you owe it to yourself and your people to make his acquaintance. Here's your chance.

April 12, 2001 Thursday, 5:00—9:00 pm,
Chez Josef, Agawam, Mass

Bulletproof Marketing and Selling

How much time do you spend trying to sell to that company that never seems to buy? Who never seems to understand why your product has superior value?; benefits that can solve their business problems?!? Mike O'Horo of Sales Results Inc will show you how to master the Art of the Sale by a better methods of scaling sales barriers, understanding your customer, as well as understanding why &endash; if you are still coming in for the killer close- you are killing the sale. Mike will help you comprehend and implement the Bulletproof Marketing and Selling Solution- making your life on the road, in the booth, or on the sales floor more effective and effortless.

A Smorgasbord of Vital Information Repeating the widely acclaimed format from last fall, we will meet in breakout sessions to hear from our Expert Advisors/Corporate Partners on a range of legal, accounting, financial, managerial and banking issues facing your business. You will have the opportunity to hear two of the following 1/2 hour presentations:

  • Estate Planning : Why Families Should Plan, With or Without the Death Tax (Meyers Brothers)
  • The Importance of Cash Flow (Sovereign Bank)
  • Enhancements You Can Make to Maximize the Value of Retirement Plans for You & Your Employees (Epstein Financial Services/MassMutual)
  • Leaders as Coaches: Are You a Good Cop or Bad Cop ? (Giombetti Associates)
  • How and Why to Discuss the Easy-to-Avoid Topic of Buy/Sell Agreements (Bulkley, Richardson, & Gelinas)

Tuesday, March 6, 2001 5:00—9:00 pm
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, Mass

Achieving Your True Potential by Greater Awareness of Your Personality, it's Hold on You, and It's Impact on Others

Ever wonder why you sometimes feel stuck in unproductive relationships, or just not achieving the results you want with your family, friends, business associates? Do people sometimes seem so annoying full of pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth? Are you allergic to these people? Are they allergic to you? Discover the usefulness of a tool called Enneagrams, a model of personality styles and their relationship to varied habits, outlooks, and behavior patterns. Enneagrams are based on ancient systems of human growth, but developed over time by teachers ranging from the philosopher/teacher Gurdjieff to Helen Palmer, the pre-eminent expert in the field of Enneagram studies. You will find this session enlightening and practical from both personal as well as professional perspectives.

Mary Ann Wampler and Theresa Gale, students of Helen Palmer, are partners in Transform, Inc. of Manassas, Va., an organizational development firm specializing in increasing personal accountability, modern-day leadership, and constructive collaboration. They will assist you in getting a much clearer look into why you act and think the way you do, and what you can do to make the most of it.

December 12, 2000 Tuesday, 5:00--9:00 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

What the Military Does Right that Private Business Can Do Better

You may not have call to attack a hill in your line of work, but after this session, you will be able to figure out how (you never know what you'll need to succeed). By learning the deliberate decision making process employed by the military, you will gain skills in processing information in such a way that you can turn assumptions into facts; deal with the inevitable surprises once you "hit the ground"; understand your enemy; and master the managerial communication needed to ensure your people understand the plan. Presented by Major John Smolenski and Major Edmund Lizotte of the Army National Guard Recruiting Command, who believes that with the right deliberation, you will never lose the war.

You Can't Manage Time, So You Need to Manage Yourself

Do you find you let the most important tasks bewilder you, choosing instead to spend your days knocking off "C Priorities"? Do you not see the forest for the trees, always finding that long term projects are still looming too near the deadline, done as urgently and shoddily as a Junior High School report?

This workshop, presented by Time/Design, time management trainers and creators of the planning tools of the same name, will enable you to stop procrastinating on your most high-impact goals, and seal the cracks that throw you into panic mode and your schedule out the window!

Presented by Dr. Valerie Young, Director of Training for Time/Design. Dr. Young is an internationally-known seminar leader and public speaker, who has conducted seminars at such diverse organizations as IBM, Pizza Hut, QVC, Abbott Laboratories, Fleet Credit Card, the US Navy and numerous others.

Expert Advice from our Expert Advisors One of our Corporate Partners, Meyers Brothers, presents Peter Riggins of their Benefits Consulting division. Peter will present tidbits on pending legislation in the pension/IRA/401(k) arena as well as present a couple ideas which business owners may want to consider to allow them greater benefits from their pension plans.

November 15, 2000 Wednesday, 5:00--9:00 pm
Chez Josef, Agawam, Mass

What's My Business Really Worth?

What you've always wanted to know, but never dared to ask. And there are several reasons to ask, but several answers, all correct. We are dealing here with what you can sell the thing for- whether to a consolidator, a competitor, a middle manager turned entrepreneur -wannabe, or your brother in law. And since selling a business is something you don't do often, you need to do it right the first time.

This talk will focus on business valuation—the factors which contribute to value will be discussed and an example of a valuation will be used. You will gain an understanding of the valuation process, and this will assist you in maximizing the value of your business. For many owners, a family business is their most valuable financial asset. Maximizing the value of a business is often necessary in enabling owners to meet their goals. And, understanding value is essential for personal and estate planning.

The talk will be presented by Philip H Steckler, a principal of CBI, Inc. CBI is the largest privately held business brokerage company in New England. The company has managed the sale of over 850 businesses since 1976, and provided business valuations for thousands more. Sales managed by the company are in the manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, service, retail and hospitality fields. Sales prices have ranged from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $25 million.

Phil will initially review methods of valuation, provide a sample of selling prices compared to performance, and finally utilize an example, providing a step by step approach. Attendees will gain a much better understanding of the process and will be in a better position to use the material to analyze their own business.

A Smorgasbord of Vital Information This part of the evening will be an opportunity to have some of your particular questions answered on a range of legal, accounting, financial, managerial and banking issues facing your business. Topics will include:

  • Should Your S-Corp Convert To A Massachusetts Business Trust To Save Mass. Income Taxes? (The Pros And Cons Of Different Business Entity Structures (Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas)
  • What You Want Your Financial Statements To Say Depends On Who Is Looking (Meyers Brothers)
  • How To Decide On Important Policies Where There Is A Difference Of Opinion (Giombetti Associates)
  • How To Communicate With Your Banker, Make A Good Impression, Introduce The Next Generation, And Get Them To Make The Right Decisions On Your Loans (Sovereign Bank)
  • Strategies & Success Stories For Achieving Financial Freedom From Working In The Family Business (Epstein Financial Services)

October 17, 2000 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

Running a Tighter Ship: Navigating the Waters of Job Descriptions, Performance Appraisals and Compensation

It's pretty clear that in order to succeed at work, you have to know what your job is, know if you're doing it right (and doing it well), and get paid accordingly. So why, especially in family businesses, are there jobs created for people rather than people hired for jobs, who figure they're doing well enough to not get fired, and get paid according to need instead of what the job is actually worth? This session will show how to set up well functioning and professional systems; as well as how to rein in situations that have gotten out of control. Presentation by Jane Giacobbe Miller, Professor in the UMass Isenberg School of Management and President of the Massachusetts Society of Professors, who last year gave the well-received presentation on Learning Some Ways to Make Meetings Slightly Less Awful.

An Ensemble, not a Solo Act: Best Practices of Progressive Family Business Leaders

Leadership transitions in family businesses often span many years -even decades (or at least feel that way). And as leaders, you have the additional responsibilities of orchestrating and carefully attending to family member needs and concerns as well as long term ownership interests. All too often, founders, senior owner/managers, and would-be next generation leaders either co-exist - under utilizing their talent -- or relentlessly bump up against each other in unproductive power struggles. This complex and bewildering challenge requires a commitment to develop and improve leadership skills. This session will help get you beyond the generation gap and the power struggles , and to redefine and update your approach to leadership in the 21st century.

Co- presented by Robert Arnold and Kacie LaChapelle of Family Business Dynamics. Robert is also a Dale Carnegie Senior Performance Consultant. who has delivered over 2,000 programs in individual development, relationship enhancement, and professional effectiveness;. Kacie has assisted and written cases for the Harvard Business School's Families in Business Program, and has consulted to companies large and small to improve the success rate of multigenerational transition.

Top Ten Tips for Taming Taxes

Charles Epstein CLU, ChFC, of MassMutual and Epstein Financial Services, will give an Expert Update on this issue of never-ending relevance.

September 12, 2000 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 pm
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, Mass

What is Standing Between You and Success?

Have you ever felt like the success you crave, that you feel capable of, is eluding you? That you cannot seem to even give yourself permission to succeed? Possibly you are, like many others, suffering from Success Anorexia! Common symptoms include: finding it easy to start projects, but hard to finish them; feeling guilty whenever you say "no" to someone; working at a job far below your level of talent or ability.

Noah St. John has identified why so many people stop themselves from achieving their goals. As the founder of The Success Clinic of America and author of Permission to Succeed: Unlocking The Mystery of Success Anorexia, Noah will help you help yourself to stop going through life with one foot on the brake and one on the gas. Come to this forum and discover how to overcome your self-defeating behaviors, and begin getting what you really want in life.

Our Company's Future: Should it be Driven by TEAMS or LEADERSHIP DIRECTED WORK GROUPS?

What company has not experienced the increased productivity and heightened morale that results from a well managed team? But haven't we also noticed the downside: ego clashes, scapegoating, and unmanageable conflict? Are leaders in organizations sub-optimized while working on a team? Would your teams have less waste and negativity with leaders at the wheel? Rick Giombetti and Paul Alves of Giombetti Associates will examine the issue.

June 20, 2000 Tuesday, 5:00--9:00 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Preventing Poor Performance With Proper Prior Planning

It's cliché, but true: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! In a family business, there's an even greater tendency towards delaying or avoiding strategic discussions, especially on topics that might create changes in management and ownership. This session will assist business owning families to deal frankly with the topics that are often hiding away, due to the privacy and secrecy of the owners. We will approach the transition /succession process using the tools of strategic planning, showing how to ask the right questions, in order to arrive at the right answers. The prominent family business issues will be raised: the viability and future of the business; the transition of power and leadership; future ownership and control of the company; consequences of estate planning decisions. Even if you've created a "strictly business" strategic plan, odds are, it does not deal effectively with the financial, emotional, and operational needs of the family members and key non family employees in your company.

Presented by Mzamo Mangaliso, Professor of Business Policy and Strategy in UMass' Isenberg School of Management.. In 1999 he received the University of Massachusetts' Distinguished Teacher Award as well as the Isenberg School's Outstanding Teacher Award. Says Professor Mangaliso: "We live in turbulent, cutting edge times, where past assumptions cannot be assumed to be valid," he notes. "A successful educational experience is one where participants leave the encounter with more questions than answers."

15 Low Cost, High Impact Ideas to Improve Your Bottom Line Through Excellent Service

Providing outstanding customer service is a lot like eating a well-balanced diet: it's a challenge to do consistently. Kathy Caulton will share a potluck of ideas that are practical and can be applied beginning today at little to no cost. Dealing with cranky customers, providing added value and using your phone to make money are just a few of the topics covered. Handouts will include a bibliography of the best customer service books and tapes as well as 25 key questions to ask yourself and your staff to evaluate your current level of service and take you to the next level.

Presented by Kathy Caulton, president of Caulton Roberts Associates. Kathy is the author and publisher of the "Customer Service Excellence Tear-off-by-the-day Calendar" which has been used by over 100 of the current Fortune 500. Kathy grew up in a family-owned business and is now training her young daughter in the rudiments of customer service.

May 17, 2000 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 pm
Log Cabin, Holyoke, Mass

Am I a President?…a Coach? …Powerful? … But With Empathy? Unraveling the Confusions of Modern Leadership in a Family Business

You've been preparing yourself for the opportunity to lead your family business for years, observing what the best bosses- including your father or mother- do as president. But now, as the moment is at hand, you realize there are new sorts of challenges they never had to face: workers expecting you to be more supportive, less demanding…wanting more control over their work life, less taking orders from way higher ups. And then there are those other employees: sisters, brothers, cousins- who won't stand for being "bossed," and even though you're the "chosen one," want to feel heard and respected. This session will be a practical guide for the perplexed, dealing with hands-on skills you need to be a boss that trusts and empowers juggle the hats of superior and equal listen so employees will talk and talk so employees will listen preside over your company with respect from family members who will not put up with your dominating like dad used to. You will learn to be a boss who can listen well, deal with emotion, achieve win/win, act as mentor and coach, and raise the bar for all.

Presented by facilitator/catalyst Jan Morton, who founded Self-Us-Team Collaborative in 1991 as an Organizational Development, Small Business Consulting and Personal Coaching practice, committed to helping companies grow by helping people grow. Jan specializes in improving interactions between coworkers, enabling them to increase productivity and effectiveness. She has worked for two decades with both corporate and non-profit sectors, using her talents and tools as a mediator, personnel consultant, and Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner. Clients include: Spalding, Ben & Jerry's, Baystate Medical Center, Rowe Conference Center, and hundreds of successful small businesses in Western MA..

Better it Happen to Someone Else

A young woman manager in a Swiss family firm finds that her role as a managing director becomes bitterly unpleasant once her older brother decides to leave an engineering career and join the family business. That is what the father, who was head of the business, had been waiting for. He begins to belittle and ridicule the daughter. The board of directors also favors a male successor. The daughter writes a letter of resignation just before taking a trip abroad. While she is overseas, both parents write letters asking her to reconsider. As they say in Yiddish, "it's easier to learn to barber on someone else's head." This is the benefit of discussing fictional or disguised scenarios of other people struggling with some very familiar family business problems. We will diagnose (and role play) the case with the assistance of a panel of our corporate partners, representing various areas of expertise, as well as hearing from a roomful of family business experts- our members and guests.

The discussion will be led by Janine Roberts, Professor in the UMass School of Education. Janine's area of expertise is Family Systems, and is particularly renowned for discovering interesting insights lingering in the heads of audience members. Come prepared to think and discuss (and to have read the Harvard Business School case, which will be supplied to you when you register for the evening).

April 12, 2000 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 pm
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, Mass

Motivating & Rewarding Employees: New and Better Ways to Inspire Your People

Giving someone a jar of candy with their name on it is not what true motivation is al about. It's about making sure employees know what they're doing, why they're doing it that way, and then giving them some control. It's about giving employees appropriate challenges. And it's about creating a positive, informative feedback network that lets employees judge for themselves how well they're doing.

Presented by Alexander Hiam, managing partner of Alexander Hiam & Associates, where he serves as a corporate trainer, consultant, public speaker, and communications specialist for clients such as Texas Instruments, Bausch & Lomb, Spalding Sports Worldwide, and Whirlpool. An experienced marketing manager and designer, he also has taught marketing and advertising at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Hiam holds a degree from Harvard College and a business degree in marketing and strategic planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He's written more than a dozen books, including the popular The Portable MBA in Marketing , The Vest-Pocket Marketer, Marketing for Dummies and his new book by the same title as this presentation . also:

Gimme-Proofing Your Kids

Jayne Pearl, Amherst-based author of Kids and Money: Giving Them the Savvy to Succeed Financially, discusses how to raise children with positive values, knowledge and confidence about money. Just giving them an allowance and forcing them to save and donate a prescribed amount doesn't prepare your children to manage money wisely or become smart consumers.

Pearl, a former reporter for Forbes magazine, editor of Tom [In Search of Excellence] Peters' newsletter, co-launcher and senior editor of Family Business magazine, , regular commentator on PRI's Marketplace,e, shows you how to prepare your kids for the complex world--whether they become future owners of your business or launch their own careers.

March 8, 2000 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 pm
Chez Josef, Agawam, Mass

Spend an Evening With Dr. Tom Davidow, Renowned Family Business Psychologist Come and benefit from this incredible opportunity to confer and commune with Dr. Tom Davidow, widely regarded as one of the world's foremost pundits/advisors to business owning families. Be brave- pose your questions and voice your concerns; take advantage of his exchanges with an audience of your colleagues from many of your neighbor family companies. Dr. Davidow knows that business issues spill out into the relationships of the people involved, and the feelings and thoughts of those people affect how the business operates. His experience and skill will be very useful to assist the evening's participants to make sense of what often feels very bewildering and troubling.

Tom, not only a psychotherapist but a veteran of his own family's business, is co-founder and principal consultant of Genus Resources, Inc., one of the United States' pre-eminent family business consulting firms. He has worked with family companies in numerous industries and in every stage of business growth, not to mention struggling with every conceivable family business tangle. While this session is not group therapy, who knows? You might walk out clearer &endash;and feeling more normal- than when you came in.

Your High Hopes Dashed, Your Job Search Failed, the New Manager is Horrible - What Next?

Well, you could call him into your office on Friday afternoon, with security ready to escort him out after your Dear John talk; or you could try one more time, to see if you couldn't make the best of a bad situation. After all, where are you going to find anyone better, given the 4% unemployment level? On the other hand, Freud said your personality is set by the time you're five years old- people don't change that much! Or do they? Giombetti Associates, a personnel management firm based in Western Massachusetts but with a wide ranging clientele, will discuss how to diagnose and repair this very expensive dilemma . The session will examine how to take a closer look at the redeeming, salvageable aspects of a deficient manager; to ask the right questions, find the strengths, and discover the person you were sure you had hired.

December 14, 1999 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton

The Hows and Whys of Creating an Employee Handbook

How can your employees and managers run your company successfully when they don't know what the rules are? And especially these days, when there are so many complex employment issues, ranging from personal time, 360o performance reviews, paternity leave, diversity, harassment, professional conduct, substance abuse, working with family bringing your pets to work, family perks, the unmotivated worker, and how to get a raise? A panel of experts: ranging from those who have elegant, living documents that guide the behavior and performance of the staff, to those who help create those documents, to those who specialize in certain issues that are key components of the modern handbook, will tell you all you always wanted to know, and why you need to know it. Panel will be moderated by Erwin Millimet, a retired attorney who specialized in and taught about many corporate issues covered in the typical employee handbook. ALSO

Marketing Without Megabucks: How to Spend Fewer Marketing Dollars and Achieve Greater Results Than You Ever Thought Possible

Shel Horowitz, known to many of you as the Family Business Center's reporter-in-residence, started his own company with an initial marketing investment of $12, and--eighteen years later--still relies largely on marketing methods that cost little or nothing. He'll discuss, among other things: How to turn the press--trade or general--into your own FREE publicity bureau How to market effectively online, even without a website--for FREE How to get your own clients and customers to do your marketing for you Why most businesses WASTE most of their marketing dollars--and how you can do it differently Why small family companies have a built-in marketing advantage--and how to make the most of it.

Shel is the author of Marketing Without Megabucks: How To Sell Anything on a Shoestring, and The Penny-Pinching Hedonist: How to Live Like Royalty with a Peasant's Pocketbook. He is founder and principal of Accurate Writing & More, as well as webmaster of, providing affordable marketing strategy and materials for small businesses, nonprofits, and craftspeople.

November 16, 1999 Tuesday, 5:00—9 p.m.
Chez Josef Agawam, Mass

Building Stronger, Healthier Partnerships in Family Businesses

Business schools don't teach people how to be good business partners. This is unfortunate because knowing the best strategies for keeping business partners happy will have a significant, positive effect on your company's bottom line. Dr. David Gage learned a lot about the ingredients of successful partnerships by mediating disputes among partners and family business owners and by interviewing partners for his upcoming book entitled "Tying Fortunes and Futures: Partners in Business." He will share the war stories as well as the interviews with founders of companies like Compaq, DEC, Manpower, Scully Brothers Capital, and Ben & Jerry's. He will also describe the tool he developed for conflict prevention and for making partnerships as strong and healthy as they possibly can be.

This process, called a Partnership Charter, was featured in a recent issue of "Family Business" magazine. Dr. David Gage is the founder of Business Mediation Associates, a multi-disciplinary team of mediators in Washington, DC with professionals from psychology, business, finance and law...also...

Knowing When to Call On a Consultant (and how to use them to realize your goals and visions)

In the search for success, business owners and managers will try many different strategies, At some point, most will at least consider the possibility of hiring an outside consultant to analyze current business operations and recommend measures to achieve improvement. Bringing on a consultant is often a difficult decision for many business owners for a variety of reasons. Some stubbornly cling to the belief that they can solve their problems themselves; others have doubts that an outsider could possibly know or understand their particular company enough to help implement effective change; and still others look at it from a dollars and cents standpoint.

This session will be led by Anne Weiss, a consultant with TLD consulting, a consulting firm located in Longmeadow, Mass. Anne will demonstrate how a skilled consultant can coach a company, and help turn their visions into reality. By careful listening, asking the proper questions, and by developing new thinking and instituting practical structures, a business can achieve previously unachievable goals. We will also interview a family business that has undergone major changes as a result of a consultant-driven paradigm shift.

October 13, 1999 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Capitalism Rediscovered: Strategic Compensation for Family Businesses

We are pleased to offer you a return visit from one of the most highly regarded speakers to ever grace the stage of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley (many people actually report acting on his advice!) Don Jonovic will be discussing the reason why many people bother coming to work: Compensation. On first glance at the typical family business income statement, it seems employees (via payroll, taxes, and benefits) are one of the most significant expenses.

This seminar takes a deeper look at these costs from the perspective that employees, particularly key employees, are an investment, perhaps one of the most important "capital" investments a business makes. The program deals, in depth, with the purpose, design, implementation, and potential problems of management compensation systems focused on achievement of strategic goals. Workshop Topics: The 4 Myths that Destroy the "Strategic" Value of Compensation Myth 1:" They Don't Notice": The Impacts of Family, Organization and Leadership Building a Governance Structure that Empowers Myth 2: "We're Capitalists": The "Fantasy" of Profit Taking the Cure for Perk Addiction Myth 3: "Employees Are an Expense" Myth 4: "Money Motivates': Is Pay a Motivator-or a Pointer? also... A Strategic Philosophy of Compensation: Designing "Strategic" Compensation Systems; Tying Compensation to Shareholder Value; Paying for What We Want vs. What We Get; The Role of Accounting (and Accountants); Creating the Driver: An Investment Strategy; The Essential Compensation Components; Base Salary: At- or Above Market?; Bonus: Performance-Based-or Discretionary; Growth Participation: A Piece of the Action?; Incentive Design; The Tactical "Capped" Bonus The Strategic "Uncapped" Incentive; "Equity" Compensation Design; Valuation Issues; Stock Options; Phantom Stock; Income Deferral Programs..

Don Jonovic of Family Business Management Services, Cleveland, OH, is a professional advisor to owners of family and closely-held businesses. He has worked with businesses in most phases of American industry and agriculture as a consultant, educator, author and corporate director since 1973. His columns on business ownership and management are read annually by millions of readers. His approach to business ownership issues and solutions comes from a breadth of experience that is rare among specialists in his field.

Sample feedback from Don Jonovic's last visit to the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley: "Dr. Jonovic is a man totally in charge of his subject and presentation"; "down to earth" , "thought provoking", "clear, accurate and professional ", "touched on sensitive issues in a humorous way"

Also… How do you retain the best of the best? Your top talent is in demand, not only by you, but by your every competitor. So what are you doing to make certain they feel properly cared for, part of the team, family or not? Charles Epstein is in the trenches, working with entrepreneurs struggling to accomplish their business objectives. He sees that while business owners recognize that people are their most vital resource, there is often a lack of planning (what a surprise!) in the development of programs dealing with compensation, retirement, and stock ownership. While there is no end of technical expertise required (and available) this talk will deal with the grander issues, and be delivered in English.

Charles D. Epstein, CLU, ChFC assist his clients in a wide range of financial, estate planning, and compensation matters as principal of Family Wealth Advisors and as a career agent for the MassMutual Life Insurance Company. As one of a select few who have earned the insurance designation Certified Family Business Specialist, Charlie serves the business owning family by providing important information dealing with tax concepts and issues utilizing the tax code system as it relates to the free enterprise economic environment. Charlie was recently quoted in an article on Employee Compensation in Business Week.

October 13, 1999 Wednesday, Noon-2 p.m.
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Special Luncheon For Professional Service Providers:

Why Won't They Listen?

Recognizing Advisor/Business Owner Relationship Barriers…and Cutting Through Them Business owners and successful family owned companies represent the greatest growth market for professional services in North America. But this isn't because of the explosive growth in the number of successful entrepreneurial businesses. The fact is, , private companies, who represent the vast majority of our corporations, have been under-advised for decades—mostly because of chronic misunderstanding and dysfunctional communication between advisors and business owner clients. During this luncheon discussion Dr. Jonovic will define the more common dysfunctions, and suggest effective ways to "cure" them.

Discussion Topics:

  • Presumed Innocence Why professionals frequently get no respect, are presumed naïve about business, and are seldom invited into the trenches.
  • Whose Side Are You On? The potential for conflict of interest inherent in working with a multi-owner family business, and defining "The Client."
  • When in Byzantium—The peculiar and unique nature of power politics in the family business, special stresses and stressors, and strategies for surviving the blind-siders.
  • And About Your Fees…How much professionals get paid is a far less sensitive issue with business owner clients than how they get paid; managing the negative impact of hourly fees and insurance commissions.
  • Concentrating Fire Power The tactical and strategic beauty of the "Advisory Board" as a functional cure for all of the above, how, and why it works.

This is a valuable opportunity for all attorneys, accountants, bankers, psychologists, management consultants, insurance agents, financial consultants, mediators: all who want to hone their skills in serving family companies. Dr. Jonovic, recognized as an expert and founder in the field of family business consulting, is author of The Ultimate Legacy: How Owners of Family and Closely Held Businesses Can Achieve Their Real Purpose. $40 per person (or 3 from the same firm for $100) buys lunch and participation in this useful session.

September 14, 1999 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton

You Talkin' To Me ?: A Workshop In "Whole Listening"

In business, in family, in life, effective communication depends not only on our ability to express ourselves clearly, but also to listen in a manner that increases understanding. Truly hearing someone requires that we go beneath the masks we each wear and the roles we play; eliminating the agendas we harbor and decreasing our tensions of disagreement. Achieving this level of rapport is both a science and art, and demands listening with more than our ears and intellect. It requires that we hear with a clarity that can deepen and expand our comprehension - not only of others, but of ourselves.

Combining theory and technique from the worlds of theater and the healing arts, this workshop is geared toward learning to hear the real message both within and beneath the words being spoken. Listening then becomes less a passive activity, and more a focused, active, generous event. You will be pleased and surprised to find that if you are listened to more effectively, you will be able to express yourself more honestly and accurately. And if you are able to speak with more integrity and openness,, you will be able to influence the listener to hear you more fully. Whether you are discussing a business transaction, a sensitive issue with relatives, or a performance evaluation of your employees, wouldn't it be a good thing to be less defensive, more compassionate and, in general, a great communicator? Then come and hear.

Deborah Lubar, M.A. is a performer and writer, well known in the Pioneer Valley for her one-woman shows (most recently, You Do What You Do, A Story's A Story, and Eve's Version). She is currently writing a book: Acts of Courage: Performance, Healing and Heart. Ms. Lubar has taught across the country, and was a tenured professor at Smith College until 1994, when she left to pursue her own work more fully.

June 15, 1999 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Delaney House, Grand Salon South

Superleadership: Leading Others to Lead Themselves

Hear about commonly used approaches to leadership and how you, as a business leader, can modify your thinking about leadership. The concept of SuperLeadership suggests that you can create teams of individuals, each of whom is a strong self-leader. Charles Manz holds the permanent appointment as the first Nirenberg Professor of Business Leadership at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass. He has written many journal articles and several books, including "For Team Members Only," "Company of Heroes," "Business Without Bosses," and, of course, "SuperLeadership," which won the Stybel Peabody Prize for the best publication of the year in 1990. His most recent books include Teamwork and Group Dynamics, Mastering Self-Leadership, and his intriguing book, The Leadership Wisdom of Jesus, which focuses on a few basic concepts drawn from Jesus's teachings such as valuing forgiveness over judgment; understanding the power of humility and compassion; recognizing the value of each individual; and practicing moral and ethical leadership. Manz argues in the book that business leaders and companies that practice these concepts perform better than others over the long haul. also You Call That Leadership?!? Among the countless studies, opinions, and philosophies about great leaders, there is no consensus about one perfect way to lead. And how could there be? Leadership styles are as individual as fingerprints, based largely on the behavioral strengths of the leader and communication needs of those being led. The dynamically changing workplace demands that leaders have a large repertoire of communication, thinking and facilitation skills...and the flexibility to apply them effectively. "Know thyself" is fundamental to being a capable leader. This fun and highly-experiential session will help you to take a big step on the road to self-discovery, and identify your natural strengths, and potential liabilities. Using a self-awareness tool you will learn ways to: value & utilize peoples' different styles to create effective teamwork use the "Platinum Rule of Communication" to build rapport identify strategies to coach and develop your people Guiding us in this process is Ingrid Bredenberg, president of Human Resource Innovations. A performance development specialist, group facilitator and "executive coach," Ingrid has been helping boards of directors, corporations, hospitals, educational institutions and non-profit organizations achieve high performance results for over fifteen years. She received her masters degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven.

May 26, 1999 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Log Cabin Holyoke, MA

If You're In Business With Your Spouse, are you exempt from the trials and tribulations that affect multigenerational or sibling businesses, or is it just "Same Disease, Different Symptoms"?

How can you keep your "co-preneur" relationship healthy, even romantic, when you're both married to the business? Two sessions this evening will help improve your lot in life. I Now Pronounce You... Business Partners Hear from a panel of 3 couples in business who will speak about how they fix what ails them and give some hints and lessons they've learned in the field. Do they set any boundaries for themselves, to separate their marriage from their business relationship? How do they deal with the "Mars/Venus" gender issues? How do their areas of authority in the business affect the balance of power at home? Maureen Perry Jenkins, director of UMass Center for the Family, will moderate the panel and discuss the compelling issues of combining work and home life.

Dr. Perry-Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at UMass Amherst. Her specific interest is the relationships between spouses work experiences, marriage and individual mental health. She is currently directing a five year project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, examining how both the transition to parenthood and the return of mothers to paid employment within six months of the birth of a first child affect the psychological well-being and marital relationships of working-class women and men. Also Partners In Boardroom And Bedroom: Successful Communicational Strategies Surely there must be some best practices- some continuous quality improvement- to keep a marriage joyous, respectful, romantic and fresh. Central to that enterprise is rich communication--but how can we really negotiate and connect, be it around the office desk or the kitchen table? How are you knocked off course by gender issues, personal and public authority, financial clout, past history and present tensions? How to keep the conversation alive with your spouse, so that both the business and the marriage are well served? This session will feature Michele Bograd, Ph.D. a psychologist, consultant, and private practitioner in Arlington, Mass. Dr. Bograd is a skilled and lively nationally recognized presenter who has authored numerous publications and edited several books on gender and the uses and abuses of power in couples.

April 13, 1999 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, MA

Fragmented Industries: Implications and Antidotes for Family Businesses

The operating environment confronting family businesses and other small to medium-sized closely-held entrepreneurial firms is becoming increasingly hostile. These firms typically operate in fragmented industries that have become targets of consolidation plays that attempt to execute market dominating business strategies. As a result these firms are facing more risk and less return. Their independence and prosperity have been placed in jeopardy and without appropriate responses or adaptation many will not survive. In this session we describe the threats faced by family businesses in a world that seeks better use of technology and capital and wrests demand from smaller, fragmented, less efficient market participants; we analyze their impact on the business and the family; and, we formulate responses for owners faced with hold or sell choices. Richard N. Dino and Dirk R. Dreux, IV of the University of Connecticut, and Richard Narva of Genus Resources will captivate you with this pressing and inescapable topic . Richard Dino serves as Associate Dean in the School of Business at the University of Connecticut, and directs the MBA program and the Family Business Center. Dirk Dreux IV recently left the corporate world, where he last served as regional president of a major bank, to rejoin the world of academia at UConn. Richard L. Narva, Esq., is co-founder and principal consultant of Genus Resources, Inc., one of the United States' preeminent firms consulting to family owned businesses. Prior to co-founding Genus Resources with his partner, Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D., Mr. Narva practiced corporate law with emphasis on corporate mergers and acquisitions and corporate and real estate financing. All have been frequently cited as experts in the field of family - owned and closely-held businesses.

Fully-Funded Dreams: Your Ticket to the Consolidation Buyout Boom

The choice is not only to sell or not to sell. Hear how to launch a pre-emptive strike! Abundant capital is available today to fully fund strategic acquisitions and management buyouts. Hear a veteran deal maker tell us how it's done. Larry Nathan is a principal of Acquisition Funding Partners, a merchant banking firm devoted to the buyout of small and mid-sized businesses in the Northeast. Afterwards, a panel of all the evening's presenters will compare and contrast their points of view, and discuss your particular concerns and scenarios.

March 2, 1999 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Log Cabin Holyoke, MA

The View From "On High"

A frank and revealing look at what life has been like for four panelists, all members of the "successor generation," who are, as of late, in various stages of running their family business. What was it like for them to first sit on "the throne"? Did parents step aside graciously, or did they require some major hints (or nudges)? How is the rest of the clan accepting the new power distribution? What are the former leaders doing for kicks? Now that they've got the baton, what are they going to do with it? as well as What Your Advisors Want You To Know That They Know, and What They Want You To Know They Need To Know Following up on a recent presentation about getting more bang for the buck from your professional advisors, we present this important discussion on the question: What should you expect-even demand.- from your attorney, accountant, financial planner, and management consultant? They see many businesses in their practice, and deal with a plethora of issues that certainly have a good chance of landing in your lap one day. So why not use their body of knowledge to help you to handle these problems proactively, before you find yourself in very, very deep? Should you, as was suggested at one forum last fall, use this group as an advisory board, separate from your legally required board of directors, and share with them information that has never seen the light of day, never even been leaked to other members of your business family? Can it be true that the services and wisdom you derive from them are just the tip of the iceberg? Unknown quantities of value could and should be added to these primal business relationships! Come and learn how to choose and use, so you won't lose!!!

December 9, 1998 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Delaney House, Holyoke, MA

The Seven Toolboxes Of Creativity

"You cannot solve today's problems with yesterday's level of thinking...You cannot solve tomorrow's problems with today's level of thinking." (adapted from Einstein ) This session will enable you to inject fun and energy into the process of solving tough problems, and understand new ways of approaching problems so that breakthrough solutions can be created. Past attendees have credited this program with creating room in their brains to grow and creativity to flourish (your results may differ). Isn't it helpful to have the right tool for the job? The person who sang "If I Had A Hammer" would be quite distressed if, after all that, they actually needed a wrench. The increased complexity of today's workplace demands an openness to new "outside the box" thinking-. New sorts of problems require unconventional approaches to solutions. This evening's participants will be introduced to seven useful tools for expanding your options (and get to practice several of them). You will return to your job, and maybe even your home, with enhanced abilities to look at dilemmas and challenges in a new light. Bring your toughest business problem with you. These techniques are nothing if not relevant, so make it relevant!!

Presented by Michael Brassard, Director of Product Development at GOAL QPC, a non-profit organization whose mission is to research, evaluate and disseminate management methodologies and systems that enhance people's efforts to transform their organizations, communities , and lives. Michael has worked with more than 1000 organizations including Northwestern Mutual Life, Proctor and Gamble, the Department of Defense, Dow Chemical, Milliken and Company, and McDonald's Corporation.

November 17, 1998 Tuesday, 5:00 p.m.—9:00 p.m.
Yankee Pedlar, Holyoke, MA

Why You Should Always Be Ready to Sell Your Company (And How To Get Ready)

WOW! 1998 will be the fourth year in a row with a record amount (over 1 trillion) of mergers and acquisitions, Businesses inevitably change hands, but planning for it is often postponed indefinitely. If you are considering selling the business, you are facing buyers that know the ropes, while you may be facing many new issues. Even if you're thinking the business is not for sale, wouldn't it be good if the business was fit for sale? How better to increase the value of business than to make it fiscally fit and attractive in the marketplace? Colin Gabriel, author of How to Sell Your Business will discuss the lessons learned by the many businesspeople interviewed for his book, and give practical advice to prepare for what could be the most important negotiations in your life. Colin has participated in mergers and acquisitions for 25 years, as an officer of a $2 billion public corporation, and as an independent broker. He has played a role in transactions of Honeywell, Singer, United Technologies and other companies in the US, England, Germany, Ireland, and Japan. also...Learning Some Ways to Make Meetings Slightly Less Awful How much longer do we have to sit here, listening to this one's drivel, that one's boasting, the other one's bossing? This session will provide some practical advice on how to make your meetings more tolerable, productive, and efficient. Upgrade your skills in making a presentation that is clear, concise, and compelling. Consider the goals of the meeting and learn how to plan and present an agenda. Discover how to involve all who are relevant, but not waste the time of those who have better things to do. Finally, learn if there's any truth to the old sage advice "a meeting without eating is cheating." Presentation by Jane Giacobbe, Professor in the UMass Isenberg School of Management.

October 15, 1998 Thursday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Hotel Northampton, Northampton, MA

Recognizing And Responding To Red Flags In A Growing Business

A discussion about the various banking, legal, and accounting issues a growing company needs to consider. Join with a panel of expert advisors to discuss the Hot Points of leveraging, cash flow, looking good to your lenders, and other financing issues. What are the sources of loans today? What is the profile of a good lender? How can you improve the management of your cash flow? Should you give "back end" on a deal? Are you amply leveraged? What are the special considerations if you are in rapid growth mode. This presentation will give the business owner a relevant education on many financial hot points, and deal with the particular concerns of the audience.

Panelists include Dale Janes, Division Executive BankBoston; Paul Kelliher, Market Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Ron Weiss, Esq. Bulkley Richardson and Gelinas; Tripp Peake, President, Mass Ventures, and will be moderated by Jim Theroux, UMass Professor of Entrepreneurship. also: Six Secrets of Successful Sales Strategies for Family-Owned Businesses Sure, some people are born salespeople. For others it's a lot more challenging. Susan Bellows, a marketing and time management consultant and director of the Sandler Sales Institute, specializes in helping people who are not born salespeople to sell with more confidence and to get improved results.

Sept 15, 1998 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, MA

Win The Fight Against Anarchy, Prevent Procrastination, And Break The Log Jams In Your Company

Don Jonovic of Family Business Management Services, Cleveland, OH, will assist you in assuring your ultimate legacy. You will leave knowing how to create a successful process for discussion and decision as owners- and keep it going year to year, generation to generation. Donald J. Jonovic, Ph.D., is a professional advisor to owners of family and closely-held businesses. He has worked with businesses in most phases of American industry and agriculture as a consultant, educator, author and corporate director since 1973. His columns on business ownership and management are read annually by millions of readers. His approach to business ownership issues and solutions comes from a breadth of experience that is rare among specialists in his field. In his own words: "These are challenges with no definitive answers, only a state of the art we adjust as experience teaches us."

He will focus on these issues:

  • Who are we? How to define the causes—and cures—of stress and disagreement in family businesses--and employ them creatively to build successful partnership.
  • Why are we here? How to build an owners' "investment strategy" that drives success--and defines the REAL purpose of the family business.
  • Winning the fight against anarchy. How to create a successful process for discussion and decision as owners—and keep it going year to year, generation to generation.
  • Cracking the hermetic seal. How to work with the best professional advisors--effectively and economically.
  • Preventing procrastination. How to break the log-jams delaying effective estate planning--and accomplish a lot more than simply saving estate taxes.
  • Avoiding the semi-retirement scam. How to create and manage a retirement that actually beats working"--and actually beats work.
  • Compensating strategically. How to use compensation to point managers at building owner value--and, in the process, be sure we're paying for what we want instead of settling for what we get.

Don Jonovic will assist you in exploring and exploding the biggest myths of succeeding in surviving and thriving in your family business.

ALSO: SPECIAL LUNCH & SEMINAR for accountants, attorneys, bankers, financial planners, mediators, psychologists, and all others looking to increase their skill as advisors to business owning families.

Sept 15, 1998 Tuesday, 12:00 Noon—2:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, MA

Family Business White Water and Logjams: The Professional's Role as Guide

Have you ever wondered, after a meeting that should have gone better, why the client was not quite responding as expected: not quite as a family, not quite as a business?

If you are the attorney, banker, financial advisor, accountant, or any other type of business consultant, who would like to understand more about the unique considerations involved in working with the ubiquitous yet mysterious entity known as the family business- this is the lunch for you!

As a wise soul once observed: "there are no two snowflakes exactly alike, yet you can talk about snowflakes." Same with family businesses. Many a family company sees themselves as having challenges and quandaries specific to their family, and yet it is possible to discuss and describe effective strategies for counseling and advising the business on both their "hard" (technical) and "soft" (psycho-social) issues.

This session is a valuable opportunity to hear from Don Jonovic, one of the nation's recognized "experts" of family business consulting, as well as participate in a multi-disciplinary discussion with professionals from the various fields that are approaching your client from contrasting angles.

Attendance entitles accountants to two hours of Continuing Professional Education credit

Sandwich buffet and presentation is $40 per person ($100 for three members of the same firm). Sponsoring organizations of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley may send up to five partners and associates to this session at no charge. Registration is required (see following page for fax-back form). Please arrive promptly.

Any questions, and to register, call Ira Bryck, director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, at 413-545-1537.

June 17, 1998 Wednesday, 5:30—9:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, MA


We are proud and pleased to present our newest interactive family business dramatization (this time a musical!). If you enjoyed Peril's of Pauline's Family Business, you'll love our new production, featuring all the family business action and drama you know so well, but RELAX- it's happening to someone else!! If you believe that "there's not much adult in the child, but there's plenty of child in the adult," you will be riveted and enlightened by the trials and tribulations of the virtual family operating Schwartz and Weiss Tools. See all that they must contend with in a family business dramatization that will make you think, feel, and... think again. This interactive musical is chock full of all the stress, communication, death, love, wrath, and wisdom you've come to expect from life inside a family business. Can Jake and Sol learn to respect each other and communicate at the same time they are trying to manufacture and ship goods and make a few bucks? Can Izzy ever relax and watch with pride? Can Sarah follow her dream? Will Josie make sense of it all??? Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley has made it's mark with this type of living case study:...our last production has now been performed 20 times nationally, with record high evaluations was credited by many to have added perspective, increased discussion, improved behavior, and raised consciousness. It was also the highest rated of any event in our 4 year history (and earned the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley the Most Innovative Program Award from the International Family Business Program Association). This is one to not miss, and we encourage you to bring friends and family. This is a Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley Production.

COMMENTS FROM OUR LAST PLAY "A great way to discuss family business problems" "Excellent! This group is outstanding." "Since my family saw this play, we have been more well-behaved and loving with each other." "Enjoyed presentation immensely- very realistic of problems presented." "Extremely thought provoking." "Entertaining, enlightening, useful, opened my eyes!!" "I was so blown away. Absolutely super!"

May 12, 1998 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Delaney House , Grand Salon

80,000 Managers Can't Be Wrong and...Examining Your Corporate Culture

Much more than opinion polling, the Gallup Organization has been consulting to the best run international companies for over 25 years. In this session, Marcus Buckingham shares his expertise on how to select and develop talent within your family owned business. Hear the results of Gallup's study of the world's best managers. Over the last twenty years Gallup has interviewed over 80,000 great managers. We were searching for what, if anything, they had in common. We found that, despite their differing styles, races, sexes and ages, they did share a few, revolutionary insights. Learn from Gallup's work on measuring the strength of a company's culture. After interviewing over a million employees, the Gallup Organization has discovered that the strength of a company's culture can be simplified down to 12 uniquely powerful questions. These 12 questions can tell managers what they should be doing to build the kind of workplace which attracts, retains and focuses talented employees. Marcus Buckingham is a senior consultant with Gallup, Inc. He gained his Masters degree in Social Psychology from Cambridge University, authoring a thesis on entrepreneurs and entrepreneruship. At Gallup, he serves as an International Management Consultant, working closely with some of the USA's and Europe's most respected companies (Disney Development Company, Marriott, Federal Express, Seagrams, and the Army Corps of Engineers.), helping them to find and focus the most talented employees. He is co-author of Gallup's book on great workplaces and great managers to be published by Simon & Schuster in the spring of 1999. Marcus Buckingham is a senior vice president of the Gallup organization.

also The Millennium Challenge: Are You Ready? (R U Y2K OK?) BankBoston is meeting the millennium challenge. Hear about the steps they've taken to combat this dilemma in this case study presentation. Steven McManus, the Communications Manager for BankBoston's Millennium Project Team, will outline the impact of the year 2000 on the information systems of BankBoston, the business enterprise initiative, the costs incurred, as well as the management and business procedures developed to raise awareness and create solutions. He will also focus on the organization of the project team, experiences gained from certification projects, vendor management methodology, communications plans and risk assessment. The talk will help you think about your Y2K needs, as well. Stephen is working to achieve the bank's goal of uninterrupted customer service into and beyond the year 2000. The external awareness campaign targets everyone that the bank conducts business with and has included appearances on ABC News, CNBC, Good Morning America, and in Newsweek.

April 7, 1998 Tuesday, 5:00--9:00 p.m.
Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA

Build High Performance Companies With High Performance People

As any organization grows, it needs to ensure that its most important resource- human beings -are productive, motivated, responsible, and high performance. Since hiring errors are the most expensive kind your company can make, one would hope that excellence can be developed and employees, both family and non family, can be improved, adjusted, and unstuck from their fixed patterns and ineffectiveness. Can people grow and change? or do you have to go hunting for new blood? Giombetti Associates (Rick Giombetti, Paul Alves, and Rich Frigon) will discuss how to Build High Performance Companies With High Performance People. You will discover ( and prosper from) what they found while assessing forty-two hand-selected high performance executives, and what personal ingredients drive those executives to high levels of achievement in successful organizations.


How To Attract, Compensate, And Retain Key Non-Family Employees In The Family Business

You know what kind of person you want, but why do they want you? The money is good, but maybe it's better elsewhere. You expect loyalty, but how do you encourage it? It's great if they enjoy their work, but how can you make their job too good to quit? Our MassMutual Sponsor, the Business Success Group, is represented by Charlie Epstein and Ray Gianantoni who will show you the financial aspect of How To Attract, Compensate, And Retain Key Non-Family Employees In The Family Business. They will explore qualified and non-qualified (legally discriminatory) compensation plans for non-family members. During this presentation they will offer concrete examples of how to design programs so that they are cost attractive to the perspective employee and cost effective to you.

March 10, 1998 Tuesday, 5:0—9:00 p.m.
Yankee Pedlar , Holyoke, MA

From Controversy To Communication: Thriving On Conflict In The Family Business

Being in a family business can be both joyful and agonizing. How is it that the people we care for the most become the recipients of the very worst we have to offer? We usually have the best of intentions when we talk to a family members about a challenging business issue. So how is it that our good intentions are misunderstood?

Conflict is inevitable in every organization and magnified in family business. As instinctive as breathing, our family communication patterns are hard to break. When emotional reactions overpower sound business discussion , the company suffers.

We can let our family communication patterns control us, or we can identify the pattern and make strategic changes to turn it into a valuable business tool. When managed constructively, family business communication encourages productive relationships, stimulates creative problem solving, and increases innovation.

Family businesses that thrive in today's competitive environment will have the extraordinary skills it takes to transform conflict into cooperation. This program teaches you practical skills and strategies for managing conflict, building teamwork, and negotiating consensus. You will learn how to tackle such issues as: Should family members be compensated on the basis of their productivity or their family status and seniority? Which family members should have a say in major management decision? Who decides what? How should time and priorities be divided between business and family?

You will practice skills for moving your family business team to consensus even on difficult, controversial issues. If you have ever struggled to reach agreement with your parent, uncle, child, sibling, or successor, this seminar is a necessity. Maximize your take-home value by attending as a team, and bring key non-family managers with you.

Peter and Susan Glaser are a dynamic international consulting team who have spent more than 15 years researching strategies from conflict to cooperation. They have developed a proven method for teaching communication and problem solving skills that work in even the most challenging environments. They both hold doctorates in communication from Pennsylvania State University. Drs. Glasers have published three books and more than 40 research articles and have presented programs to Family Business conferences throughout the United States.

February 26, 1998 Thursday, 7:30—9:00 AM
Springfield Marriott Springfield, Mass

Special Breakfast Event! Open to All (Members Free; $40 Others)

Applying The Principles Of Real-World Marketing For Fun and Profit

Marketing is the most important thing that you do in business today. even if your job title doesn't have the word marketing in it. This is true because marketing, in all its varied forms, is concerned with attracting customers, getting them to buy, and making sure that they are happy enough with their purchase that they come back for more.

What could be more important? Ever try to run a business without customers?

This session, our first in a series of breakfast meetings for members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley (though other businesspeople can attend this session for $40 per person) will be as interactive and audience driven as we always try to be. A diverse group of businesses will be represented, and each particular business has its own problems and solutions. In the true spirit of benchmarking, look to your colleagues from a wide range of industries to see how their perspective, how their understanding of this topic, can help you think about the following issues:

  • How can we solve problems in our business with improved marketing strategies?
  • How can we attract and retain customers more effectively?
  • How do we grow our business through better marketing and advertising?
  • How can we transform our customer service department into a more effective tool to build market share?
  • How can we, through enhanced marketing, infuse our company with creativity ?

Presented by Alexander Hiam, managing partner of Alexander Hiam & Associates, where he serves as a corporate trainer, consultant, public speaker, and communications specialist for clients such as Texas Instruments, Bausch & Lomb, Spalding Sports Worldwide, and Whirlpool. An experienced marketing manager and designer, he also has taught marketing and advertising at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Hiam holds a degree from Harvard College and a business degree in marketing and strategic planning from the University of California, Berkeley. He's written more than a dozen books, including the popular The Portable MBA in Marketing , The Vest-Pocket Marketer, and Marketing for Dummies.

December 11, 1997 Thursday, 5:00—8:30 p.m.
Delaney House, Holyoke, MA

Building Trust As a Key To Success in Your Family Business

Why do some family owned businesses triumph through the many challenges and transitions they confront in succession, growth and business management? Recent research reveals that trust in family businesses is at the heart of the matter, playing a critical role in: Effective Leadership, Business Performance, Quality of Life, Retention of Employees and, Ultimately, Survival of the business and continued family ownership.

In this interactive session you will learn more about the role trust plays in pertinent aspects of your family business. This program agenda includes:

  • Comparing your own family constellation and organization with The Graham Family and The Washington Post ...a brand new video case study.
  • Discussing important components of trust as it influences your own business and family processes and transitions.

This rare opportunity to spend an informative evening and interact informally with Harvard Business School Professor Louis B. (By) Barnes, who has written and supervised a large body of well known family business case studies around the world, several with Dr., Kacie Lachapelle. By Barnes holds the John D. Black Professorship at Harvard Business School. He teaches in the Owner, President, Manager Program (approximately 40% of whose participants are family business owners from around the world) and has developed a family business MBA course. Dr. Barnes consults with family companies globally.

Kacie LaChapelle, Ph.D. , is a licensed family therapist and family business consultant based in East Longmeadow, MA. She is the facilitator of The Perils of Pauline's Family Business, interactive presentation (created and produced by the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley)( delivered for various family business centers and conferences. She also writes Harvard Business School case studies. The presenters are co-authoring an article on Trust in Family Business.

November 11, 1997 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, MA

Fathers and Sons, Mothers and Daughters: Taking it Personally

A father tells his sons they are his business partners with an equal vote, and then turns around and makes crucial decisions without them. This session will deal with the many situations of dealing with same-gendered parents and children in business, and discusses what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and relationships. Edward Monte will explore the dynamics and particular issues of this common but challenging alliance, and delves into the problems that block the business from being efficiently run, or from taking good business advice from consultants they hire. Edward Monte, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist specializing in individual, couple, sex, and family therapy. In practice for over twenty years, Dr. Monte is currently the director of the Couple and Family Therapy Program, Department of Psychiatry, Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, PA.

There will also be a talk by Bill Carroll, co-owner of the recently sold Riverside Amusement Park,. Bill will share his thoughts about entering a family business, trust within the family, the importance of buy-sells and other agreements, and the decision to sell a business that was a longstanding legacy.

October 8 , 1997 Wednesday, 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA

Corporate Creativity: How To Get Your Employees To Propose Lots Of Good Ideas (and How The Best Companies In The World Do It)

Most creative acts in companies are not planned for, and often come from where they are least expected. For the majority of them, it is impossible to predict what each will be, who will be involved in it, and where and how it will happen. But while companies cannot know where specific creative acts will come from or what they will accomplish, they can definitely take actions to increase the frequency with which these events occur, and the impact they will have. This talk will introduce you to what leading companies all over the world are doing to promote all kinds of creativity—from the world class continuous improvement systems that capture hundreds of ideas from each employee to the active systems for innovation that result in astonishingly high percentages of revenue from new products. Corporate creativity is necessary to survive, and is the key to success.

This session will be presented by Alan G. Robinson, Professor at the UMass School of Management. Dr. Robinson has published extensively on continuous improvement, productivity and quality improvement and total quality management. A two-time winner in the national Shingo Prizes for Excellence in Manufacturing, he was appointed in 1992 to the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. In collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI) he also led a program for 24 U.S. companies to attain ISO 9000 registration. Listed in The International Who's Who in Quality, Dr. Robinson maintains an active consulting schedule in kaizen in eight countries, including Japan.

September 30, 1997 Tuesday, 8:00—10:00 a.m.
Inn at Northampton, Northampton, MA

Benchmarking Boston Market: Learning from their success, and having the lesson custom designed for your business, your industry, and your customer

A Special "Value Added" Breakfast forum, featuring Steve Elmont, executive vice president of Boston Chicken, and Alan Robinson, UMass professor of management (see Oct 8th, below), in a session about growth, creativity, customer satisfaction, replicating your success; in an interactive format that will leave you with a custom-fitting formula for your company's future excellence. How can your business replicate a winning formula to grow beyond the capacities of the people at the top? Produced jointly with SPACE (Springfield Area Council for Excellence). Added feature of this program: meet the leaders (and your key employees) of tomorrow. Meet and greet, and eat with, a group of UMass management students, who will be sitting with you, the business owner, in a perfect setting for cooperative learning and networking. A nominal fee of $25 per member of SPACE or the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley buys breakfast and a great learning and networking experience.

September 9, 1997 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Springfield Sheraton Monarch Place

Creating Change in a Family Business (and Other Myths)

One question continues to perplex and intrigue almost every family business owner:" What creates a long-term course correction for my family and my business, not just a quick fix?" Many have become skeptical of the management theory du jour, or the top ten lists or looking for a silver bullet as a remedy for all that ails the family business. Families are looking for something more lasting and fundamental as they grow their business from generation to generation.

This program is about creating collaborative strategies for change in the environment of a growing business. We will explore change as a long-term, far-reaching, systemic process, rather than a series of independent, seemingly random remedies.

John Messervey is an organizational consultant who works exclusively with family-owned and closely-held businesses. In addition to consulting on family business issues, John frequently conducts family retreats and facilitates relationship building among family members. He is President of the National Family Business Council, a private research and consulting group located in Lake Forest , Illinois. Mr. Messervey lectures to a variety of groups including YPO, Menninger Management Institute, Hallmark, and Inc Magazine "Growing the Company" conferences. Among his many distinctions, John consulted the Von Trapp (Sound of Music) family after the death of Maria Von Trapp.

September 9, 1997 Tuesday, 12:30—2:30 p.m.
Cranwell Resort and Golf Club, Lenox MA

Attention Berkshire County!!

Dr. Messervey will also lead an AFTERNOON SESSION OF Creating Change In A Family Business (And Other Myths) For Berkshire area family business owners, service providers (attorneys, bankers, accountants, insurance and financial planners). Business owners-feel free to invite your advisors to this important meeting. Expert advisors, invite your family business clients to hear from an expert on making effective use of your professional service providers. $25 registration, per person, payable to Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, gets you take home value, non-commercial networking opportunities, and a quality lunch (several Berkshire area service providers will be bringing-as their guest- family business members who are their clients.

June 24, 1997 Tuesday, 4:00—9:00 p.m.
The Inn at Northampton, Northampton, Mass

Learning the Ropes- Seven Steps to Empowerment and Respect

in Your Family Business One of the key challenges to ensuring the health and continuation of a family business is introducing the next generation of family members. Establishing healthy relationships between incoming family workers and non-family staff and management is vital to the foundation of your company's future.

Adult children often report that power and control are not being delivered to them in a timely way, but they don't feel good about being seen as "entitled" to it, and cannot imagine demanding or taking it.

The road to earning power it is windy and unmarked. It feels odd to suddenly be managing people who remember you when you were toddling around the office or factory. Family members are unclear about how to build confidence, gain power and respect, and structure the business in such a way that the path to the top is understood by all involved.

This session will deal with the practical steps of training, empowering, and launching the next generation, as well as confronting the deep well of feelings and conflicts that make the process difficult to manage and discuss.

The practical aspects of this session include an upgrading of your understanding and skills about: setting goals, identifying and gaining necessary skills, training and experiences in order to progress in your company, evaluating peers and bosses, cross training, developing leadership, how to implement 360 degree performance evaluations among family members, how to discuss power, putting "success" back in successor.

Today's presenter is Bonnie Brown, Ph.D. who is President of Transition Dynamics, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in family business transition. She is a Fellow of the Institute for Family Enterprise in Montreal, the Oregon Estate Planning Council, and former director of the Institute for Family Business at Baylor University and Oregon State Family Business Program Dr. Brown is the co-author of Succession Survival Kit, Preparing…just in case, and the What Next? checklists. She writes for Nation's Business and was interviewed on a recent PBS special on family business succession. Dr. Brown works primarily on planning, communication and relationship management for the family management, and owners of family businesses. She helps families design leadership development programs and governance systems, including family councils, family and non-family management teams, Boards of Directors and Advisory Councils.

Some Thoughts off the Top of Jim Coghlin's Shiny Head Our May 20th dinner speaker will be Jim Coughlin, Chief Quality Officer, President, and CEO of the Coghlin Companies of Westboro, MA, who will discuss his family business' 53 year old history, balancing family and business, the benefits of peer counseling, his newfound love of mentoring others in business, and how the Coghlin Companies strives to do it "right the first time every time.".

June 24, 1997 Tuesday, 12:30—2:30 p.m.
The Inn at Northampton, Northampton, Mass

Bonnie Brown Helps Professionals Put on Their Family Business Thinking Caps

A SPECIAL PRESENTATION, FEATURING BONNIE BROWN (see above), FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE PROVIDERS with a family business practice. Not limited to sponsors of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, it is a valuable opportunity for accountants, attorneys, bankers, and financial planners to hear from an expert advisor to family businesses. A small fee ($20 per person) subsidizes the cost of a light lunch and speaker. Come prepared to learn, discuss, and think about the challenges faced by your family business clients. You will leave the room with an enlarged perspective and a bigger brain.

July 10-12 1997 Thursday-Saturday.
Inn at Northampton

International Family Business Program Association, 4th Annual Conference

The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is hosting a conference of some 150 participants from around the globe, at the fourth annual conference of the International Family Business Program Association. The theme of this event is Innovation and Creativity In Family Business Programming.

Held at the The Inn at Northampton, IFBPA will offer a learning environment to directors of university family business programs and researchers in the field.

The 3 day event is packed with fascinating presenters on the following topics:Emotional Intelligence In The Workplace ; Cross Cultural Predictors of Competency and Success In Family Business (Hay McBer); a panel of foremost experts called A Bunch Of Gurus Sittin' Around Talkin'; The Infrastructure of a Successful Family Business; How to Build a Varsity Management Team (Gallup Organization ; The Perils of Pauline's Family Business (an interactive family business dramatization by Ira Bryck, director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, members of Valley Playback Theatre, Kacie LaChapelle, and Michael Camerota

As a benefit of ongoing participation in the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, member companies are allowed and encouraged to attend whichever sessions are of interest to them. Contact Ira Bryck for more information.

May 20 , 1997 Tuesday, 4:00—9:00 p.m.
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Conflict: New Ways of Dealing With Old Problems

Whether internal or external, conflict is part of life. Conflict situations emerge when the concerns of two or more people become incompatible, i.e.., your son becomes president and fires your best salesperson because of personal differences. What's the right way to handle this? Is there any right way to handle this?

Giombetti Associates a western Massachusetts management consulting firm, will assess each participant's conflict-handling tendencies along a spectrum of five behaviors: Competing, Compromising, Collaborating, Avoiding and Accommodating. These behaviors will be measured with a short, ten-minute pen and paper exercise.

In family businesses conflict can be either overt and accelerated or subdued and hidden. Each individual, influenced by his/her own innate tendencies, handles conflict differently. Awareness of one's own style opens the door for change and better conflict management.

This Giombetti presentation will assess everyone's conflict management style, then discuss new ways to deal with old problems. This will be an interactive session. Audience participation will be encouraged.

The Ups and Downs of the Lynn Ladder Company

Alan Kline tells all—suffering a death in the family; bringing in non family key people; installing an outside board of directors—that has happened to him and his company just in one year. He has learned much, and is glad to share.

How to Reward Tom Without Rewarding Peter: Compensating Key Non Family Members in a Family Business

Charles D. Epstein, CLU, ChFC, Certified Family Business Specialist and Raymond J. Gianantoni, FLMI from the Mass Mutual/Business Success Group will conduct a workshop on "Methods For Attracting and Retaining Key Non-Family Members Into Family Businesses". The concepts include Phantom Stock compensation, Rabbi and Secular Trusts, and other techniques that you will find helpful in your business.

When you leave this workshop you will have concept as to how large corporations address these issues and what you, as a family business owner, can do to compete in the marketplace.

April 9, 1997 Wednesday, 4:00—9:00 p.m.
Storrowtown Tavern W.Springfield,Mass

Succession as Structural Change: Working With Sibling and Cousin Teams

Research suggests that about two thirds of the family businesses in the U.S. that are currently owned and managed by a single entrepreneur may become sibling partnerships in the next gen-eration. In addition, a significant percentage of companies currently structured as sibling part-nerships report that they expect to be owned and managed by groups of cousins. Succession is often stereotypically viewed as the transition from one individual leader to another, rather than as a structural transition which confronts firms with the need for fundamental changes in the ways governance and management decisions are made. The move towards sibling partnerships or cousin systems requires a more collective form of leadership and decision making, concepts which are unfamiliar to many U.S. entrepreneurs.

Ivan Lansberg is an organizational psychologist in New Haven, Conn., specializing in family en-terprise and family philanthropy. Ivan was a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Organization and Management, and taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He was one of the founders of the Family Firm Institute, and founding editor of the Family Business Review. His latest book, Generation to Generation: Lifecycles of the Family Business, is hot off the press from Harvard Business School . Ivan's work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Family Business magazine. His broad consulting experience includes work with family businesses in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Latin America, and he also participates on the boards of directors of a number of family companies.

FROM NOON-2PM on April 9th, members of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley are invited to attend an informal luncheon/ discussion with Ivan Lansberg. The discussion will deal with the challenges of a family business transitioning from an owner/manager to shared leadership by siblings and/or cousins, and will deal with the particular situations of the discussion participants. Lunch will be served in the Vermont Room of Storrowtown Tavern. To accomodate the maximum amount of companies, we will allow 2 attendees per member business, first come, first served , up to the room limit of 40 people. Call Ira Bryck to reserve your place.

March 6, 1997 Thursday, 5:00-9:00 p.m.
Hotel Northampton, Northampton, Mass

Secrets of Attracting and Retaining Key Non-Family Employees

We begin our 1997 series with this important topic: a panel discussion, consisting of business owners, human resource directors, and executive search experts with proven records in successfully acquiring any company's most important asset- capable and motivated key people. The session will explore how a family owned company should search for key personnel who fit into the company culture, and how to present your company as one that values and rewards performance and professionalism within and outside of the family membership. Moderated by Richard Stebbins, Regional President, BankBoston / BayBank

Awakening The Sleeping Giant Within You

This inspiring presentation helps executives to define and analyze the elements of unusual success and motivation. It focuses on the behaviors that have made individuals from all walks of life, successful for the past 2000 years. There really isn't anything new under the sun. Most executives know what they have to do to be more effective, productive, and successful. The problem is that they simply don't do the necessary behaviors.

This presentation examines how you became the person that you are. This understanding allows you to identify the tools required to make the changes necessary to become the person that you want to be. It is through these changes that you will awaken the sleeping giant within and achieve the unusual success and abundance you were intended to enjoy. You will leave this presentation with greater appreciation for your limitless potential. You will be empowered to take back control of your life and your future.

Paul Brown is the President and CEO of Leadership Dynamics, Inc., a company specializing in helping individuals and organizations to reduce the gap between their potential and performance through the identification and implementation of desired change. The company offers a variety of high impact results, producing programs oriented to executives, managers, and supervisors. Their process is successfully marketed in 60 countries and has positively changed the lives of over 350,000 participants and 60,000 companies. Clients speaking 17 different languages have enjoyed measurable results for 30 years.

Sources of Credit and Equity for your Business

Money doesn't grow on trees, so how can you get the capital to fund growth in your company, assist in changes of ownership, buy your competitor, or just take some of your chips off the table, and yet maintain voting and board control? Mark DeBlois, Managing Director, BancBoston Capital (Equity and Mezzanine Investors), will discuss the possibilities.

December 10, 1996 Tuesday, 5:00—9:00 p.m
Chez Joseph, Agawam, Mass

Valley Playback Theatre Presents: Perils of Pauline's Family Business

Pauline's family business is afflicted with all the usual challenges: her business, Pauline's Pralines, has outgrown her management style; some adult children are more equal/interested/ equipped than others; family business members differ on their business visions; she'd like to retire, but how can she, and what would she do?; what if in-laws are more capable than "blood"?; and so on. Witness three family meetings/Thanksgiving dinners over a three generation span, and understand how, even with the best of intentions, family businesses create and even encourage many of their greatest dilemma's. As a participant in this unique psycho dramatic event, you will build your diagnosing and problem-solving skills by assisting Pauline and family with their planning and communication issues. Performing the roles of Pauline and family will be the members of Valley Playback Theatre, a unique form of theatrical improvisa-tion based on the enactment of personal stories. In a safe and encouraging environment, audi-ence members are invited to share feelings, conflicts, and life experiences, and then watch them spontaneously acted out. The evening will include a short session of this type of theatre experience.

November 7, 1996 Thursday, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Yankee Pedlar, Holyoke, Mass

Panel Discussion: Employee Stock Ownership Plans—Are They Right for You?

For a variety of reasons the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, is the topic of much discussion among family owners and managers. An ESOP is an ERISA-Qualified Retirement Plan which is permitted to invest primarily in the employer/family business stock, thus enabling the employees to share in the proprietary pride and the rewards of ownership. This employee capitalism participation has been shown to enhance creativity, quality, efficiency, and profitability of many ESOP enterprises.

Tax advantages allow family members and other shareholders to sell their stock in the business to the ESOP on a tax-deferred basis, thus leveling the playing field with the traditional "tax-free" stock exchange or merger with a public company alternative for achieving financial independence from the family company.

Additional tax advantages allow the company to repay principal and interest on a loan, taken out on behalf of the ESOP to buy the selling shareholder's stock, with fully deductible contributions to the ESOP, thus greatly reducing the cost of such financing.

Our discussion group will focus on an analysis of when an ESOP is feasible for a family owned company, how it is established, how it is financed, and what it can do for shareholders and employees of the company.

J.Nicholas Filler, Esq., a partner at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas in Springfield, MA, will moderate a panel discussion involving three family businesses that will explain the benefits of ESOPs. This topic has been frequently requested by forum participants, who want to explore funding options for their company's growth or transition.

Attorney Filler has over twenty years of experience in the representation of family-owned business. He has been involved in the formation, financing and operation of several ESOP's in Western Massachusetts in recent years and is a member of the ESOP Association. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Boston University School of Law, and resides with his family in Conway, Massachusetts

Cutting Edge Accounting Systems For Small Businesses

The second offering this evening will be a presentation by another of our sponsors, Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P.. As well as being a world-wide provider of Accounting and Professional Services, Coopers & Lybrand is a leading provider of Information Technology Consulting Services.

Topics to be discussed include Recent Trends in Accounting System Technology, Considerations in Selecting an Accounting System, Implementation Approach and Strategies for Success. and Getting the Most from your Current Accounting System.

The objective of the forum is to provide attendees with relevant information which will assist them in evaluating alternatives and selecting and implementing automated accounting systems in a small business environment.

Coopers & Lybrand will be represented by Michael Leary, C.P.A., Manager, and James Troiano, Senior Associate, both of the Computer Assurance Services Practice. Michael and James specialize in the area of Accounting System Selection and Implementation, as well as other computer related consultative services.

October 10, 1996 Thursday, 4:00—9:00 p.m.
The Depot, Northampton, Mass

Leadership Skills in the Family Business Leaders of family owned businesses must face a set of challenges that go beyond those encoun-tered by their non-family owned business counterparts. How can one be an effective and equi-table leader to "friends and family" and non-family employees alike. One approach to leadership that can be very helpful for suggesting effective leadership actions in these complex situations is the Situational Leadership framework. Developed by Ken Blanchard, author of the One Minute Manager and Paul Hersey, this approach enhances leadership effectiveness by reducing over-leadership and underleadership, two of the most demotivating behaviors that a leader can use, and tries to fit the leaders behavior to the situation.

In this interactive workshop, you will:

  • Assess your own leadership style;
  • Participate in a leadership simulation that will test your ability to lead under pressure;
  • Analyze a video case study about a leadership crisis that will be applied to your own organization;
  • Apply Situational Leadership concepts to problems specific to family business.

Participants will receive leadership self-assessment materials prior to the workshop to be completed before they arrive on October 10th. Oh, yes, lest we forget--;bring your sneakers. There will be a bit of moving around. The workshop will be facilitated by Bob Marx., Associate Professor at the UMass School of Management. Bob is known to many in the region as an engaging presenter who will stimulate your thinking and introduce you to new ideas that you will be able to apply effectively back at work.

September 12, 1996 Thursday, 5:00—9:00 p.m.
Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

Discussing The Undiscussables: Assuring Healthy Communication In The Family Business

Family business members often complain (and not only experts, but your customers and employees agree) that the problems in the business—and in the family—stem from problems in communication. But who in your family business is expert in preventing or resolving these destructive patterns? This hands-on session is your opportunity for an in-depth look at how to ensure thorough, healthy communication in the family business. Leslie Dashew will discuss how to upgrade your interactions, and tackle the communication blocks in your family business, with improved strategies for open and frank discussion, assuring good communication among indi-viduals and confronting your family business' most difficult and relevant issues.

The program will be a practical, interactive," how to" and "why not" dialogue on the following topics:

  • How do you get the right people talking about the future?
  • How do we discuss money, perks and ownership--;without hurting anyone's feelings?
  • The problems with triangles in communication.
  • How exactly do you conduct a family meeting?
  • What is a family council or forum and how do you make them successful?
  • How do you move from avoidance of discussion to open dialogue?
  • How do you discuss problems without having World War III?
  • When should you bring up problems such as alcohol, drugs or poor performance?

Leslie Dashew is well known for her ability to get communication going in any setting in which she is found. As a family business consultant, she helps families plan for the future, address problems in the family and/or management team, and create workable on-going processes to up-grade communication over time in the family and business. She often speaks to family business forums, professional and trade associations and groups such as YPO. Leslie helps train profes-sionals and assures their communication in interdisciplinary teams, as well. She recently pub-lished a book for advisors entitled Working With Family Businesses: A Guide for Professionals (with David Bork, Dennis Jaffe, Sam Lane, and Quentin Heisler). Leslie is an entertaining and enlightening speaker. This would be an ideal session to bring several family members.

March 12, 1996 Tuesday, 4:00—9:00 PM
Willits-Hallowell Center, Mt. Holyoke College, S.Hadley

Perpetuating the Family Business—The Ultimate Management Challenge

Learn the five keys of successful continuity in your family business and discover how to grow and maintain a healthy business and a healthy family by building a family commitment and vision. Learn to manage to succeed at the business management, organizational, personal, and financial challenges facing you. Explore the governance structures that can improve management and com-munication in your company. This session will also outline the lessons learned from successful families in business, and leave your family business members with a greater commitment and vision imparted from one of the most respected family business experts around. Dr. Ward will customize his presentation to the expressed needs of our member companies. Topics include: Leadership Development; 360 degree performance evaluations; the structural change needed when companies transition from owner managed to sibling teams or cousin syndicates; managing growth in your business.

John Ward, Ph.D., is Ralph Marotta Professor of Private Enterprise at Loyola University in Chicago, where he teaches strategic management and business leadership at the Graduate School of Business. He is an active researcher, speaker, and consultant on the topics of family business succession, outside boards of directors, and strategic planning. A regular visiting lecturer at two European business schools, Dr. Ward is author of the leading text on family business, Keeping the Family Business Healthy (Jossey-Bass, 1987); his most recent book is Creating Effective Boards for Private Enterprise (Jossey-Bass, 1991). Dr. Ward also co-authors (with Craig Aronoff) the most widely read monthly family business column in the country in Nation's Business.

Dr. Ward will also present a session from 1-3PM for a group of faculty from the Five College area on the topic of family business.

April 24, 1996 Wednesday, 5:00—9:00 PM
Storrowtown Tavern, West Springfield

Individual Personality Styles: Their Impact on Leadership Effectiveness and Interpersonal Relationships in a Family Business

Studies done on why managers &leaders fail in performing their assignments consistently tell us that it is not because they lack job knowledge, nor do they they lack intelligence. In the majority of cases, the reason is in personality char-acteristics and/or conflicts between personal and organizational values. This seminar will focus on the critical role of personality in job performance and interpersonal skills. You will gain an understanding of how to delegate, communicate, control time, make decisions, and lead others. Learn to motivate people in ways that are meaningful, rather than directing efforts towards the almost impossible task of trying to change people's behavior. Leo F. McManus has been consulting for the past 25 years, working with business, government, and the military, specializing in programs in behavioral science for management. Mr. McManus travels extensively, lecturing on the topics of The Human Side of Planning, Styles of Management, and Personal and Corporate Values. He is the author of the personality assessment instrument, Self Perception (published in 1972), which is now used for management development, assessment, and counseling. He is a li-censed psychologist in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

May 15 Wednesday, 2—4 PM and 5:00 - 9:00 PM
Hotel Northampton, Northampton, MA

Bridging the Gender/Generation Gap in Business

This session is composed of two workshops designed to offer solutions in an interactive and entertaining form. The Family Business Show brings laughter and surprises as male and female members of the Family Business Center form four teams and challenge each other's skills at communicating. With these new insights everyone goes home a winner. The second workshop, Finding Power in Your Family Business , looks at multiple roles: father and daughter; mother and family; and sister and brother. Following three video vignettes, junior and senior generations of our membership then compare what they see as issues most closely related to their own. Dr. Cindy Iannarelli is an internationally recognized expert who speaks from experience. With an MBA and Ph.D. in business, she became the first director of the largest entrepreneurship program in the world. Through her active involvement in her own family business and hundreds of professional speaking engagements over the last decade, Dr. Iannarelli "practices what she preaches" and motivates others to do the same.

Dr. Iannarelli will also conduct a special session from 2-4 PM for female members of the Family Business Center , entitled Mothers, Wives, Sisters, Spouses: The Multiple Roles Women Play in Family Business. She will lead a discussion about the multiple roles women play throughout various times as the family business develops. She will share the findings from her research of over 100 brothers and sisters growing up in family businesses. You will gain an understanding about the affect early socialization has on the role and management styles you use today. There will be plenty of time for your individual questions. Leave with new ideas you can put right to use in each of your roles. Dr. Iannarelli speaks from experience as she also plays all of these roles in her own family's business.

June 13, 1996 Thursday, 5:00—8:00 p.m.
The Inn At Northampton, Northampton, MA

Getting Things Done By Breaking All the Rules

Robert Nakosteen, UMass School of Management Associate Professor and MBA program director, states:"Many times in a business, especially when it has been running for a time (especially successfully), many things are done because they always have been—always will be—because it is 'God's Rule,' or for a myriad of other reasons. These 'rules' hinder progress as a company, and sometime threaten its very existence. While this is thought to affect larger compa-nies more than smaller companies, it might hit family businesses most of all, where some issues are so well 'understood' by all, that they never get on the table. My talk will be an urgent questioning of these rules. "This forum will provide new ways of thinking that will enableyou to re-generate your business.

Special Added Feature!

Creating An Outside Board Of Advisors Or Directors

Many of our members have asked to hear more about establishing an outside board of directors or advisors for your company. All the experts agree, this is an excellent strategy to hear the impartial wisdom of business savvy non-family members, who are looking out for the best interests of your family business without the entanglements of family status or long held assumptions about the way things have always been done. Hear from businesspeople who have successfully used outside boards, and from a nationally reknowned expert on their use.

March 3, 1995 (Friday) 8:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.
UMass Campus Center

Six Questions You Must Answer to Succeed in the Family Business

Presented by Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D., and Richard L. Narva, Esq., founders of Genus Resources, Inc., Needham, MA., a pre-eminent consulting firm specializing in family business issues. Based on their pioneering consulting work with over 130 family businesses, Dr. Davidow and Mr. Narva have identified six basic questions that their clients pose over and over again as the crucial issues confronting them as owners and managers of family businesses. This presentation is filled with true stories which are moving, humorous, and will go to the heart of the family businesses participating in the seminar. Dr. Davidow is a therapist who was third generation of a family owned clothing business. Mr. Narva practiced corporate law and was President of Morton Shoe Company, founded by his grandfather. After lunch we will hear from local talent Izzy Gesell. Former businessman, teacher, and founder of Wide Angle Humor, he helps individuals and organizations reap the benefits of an active sense of humor. His topic is Stay Lighthearted: The Role of Humor in Family and Business. It will be a session with great insight , learning, and entertainment.

April 8, 1995 (Friday) 5—8 pm
Delaney House, Holyoke, MA

Siblings In Family Businesses

Panel discussion of three pairs of siblings in Family Businesses. Hannoush Jewelers, Techni Products, and Palmer Paving reveals the secrets of co-existence, and talk about how to separate your filial bonds from your organizational ties.

May 12, 1995 (Friday) 8:30 a.m.—2:30 p.m.
Yankee Pedlar, Holyoke, MA

Dr. Nancy Upton, Director of Baylor University's John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship will speak on the topic Strategies to Manage Complex Family Relationships. Nancy was raised in a family business which is now operated by two of her siblings. She also spent 10 years in business, eight of them in the tourism industry in Hawaii, Spain, Portugal and England. She serves on a number of family business boards including a family owned bank. She is co-author of Entrepreneurship: Creativity and Growth, and is presently completing a text on family business. After lunch will be a program determined by the needs of the membership. Possible topics might include Mediation, Preserving the Family Wealth, Estate Planning, Employee Stock Ownership, Buy - Sell Agreements, or another relevant topic chosen by a consensus of the member businesses.

July 13 , 1995 Thursday, 8 a.m.—2:30 p.m.
Hotel Northampton

Establishing the Corporate Culture in the Family Business: Reconciling Family Values With Family Business

Nicholas J. D'Agostino, Jr., Chairman and CEO, D'Agostinos Supermarkets, a Manhattan-based supermarket chain with 25 stores and annual revenues in excess of $220 million, helps you examine your business culture to determine if it is an anchor dragging you down or a steam engine driving you forward. Mr. D'Agostino is widely reported to be among the most captivating and in-formative family business speakers, bringing wisdom gained from his own family business ex-periences.

Lunch speaker will be Michael Fritz, President of Rugg Lumber of Greenfield, MA, a 153-year old, fifth-generation family business. Mr. Fritz will discuss how, at Rugg Lumber, We Are Stewards, Not Owners, of Our Family Business.

Genograms: A Useful Tool For The Family Business

In working with an organization, one would utilize an organizational chart to consider the relationship of all business functions. In the same sense, a genogram offers a representation of family relationships, a context for understanding patterns or trends in family behavior, and, like a family tree, provides a means of understanding important cultural issues in a family business. Monica McGoldrick, ACSW, Ph.D., is the director of the Family Institute of New Jersey. Dr. Mc-Goldrick's book, You Can Go Home Again, is to be released in the spring of 1995. She also is the editor of the book Ethnicity in Family Therapy (2nd ed.), and the recipient of the Joseph Vago Cross-Cultural Award for co-writing the article, Ethnicity, Families, and Family Business: Impli-cations for Practitioners.

September 14, 1995 Thursday, 4:00—8:30 p.m.
Springfield Marriot

Creating a Legacy, Not a Tragedy: Leadership and Management Development in a Family-Owned Business

How can you ensure that your business will survive into the next generation without destroying the family… and vice versa? Only one in three family businesses survives the transition from one generation to the next. In today's strongly competitive environment, that puts your family business at special risk. Steven Swartz of the Family Business Group of Minneapolis, MN, leads an interactive, non-technical workshop on succession planning. As an organizational consultant, he helps family-owned and closely held businesses plan for an organized succession. Mr. Swartz is past president of the Family Firm Institute, a national professional organization he helped found to further the education and practice of professionals working with family-owned businesses.

Keeping It In the Family: Sbarro's Italian Eatery

Jerry Sbarro's family opened their first salumeria (delicatessen) in Brooklyn in 1959; it is still run by his grandmother, who is company VP. Meanwhile, the family owned chain is active in 47 states and worldwide, including Israel (kosher) and Kuwait (no alcohol or pork). They are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and have over 700 units, company owned and franchised. Mr. Sbarro will discuss how his family business balances growth with maintaining the family culture and values, and how, in spite of having many family members in the business, feels he'd "rather hire the president of another company, and know that I was able to hire someone who could do a better job than I could."

October 26, 1995 Thursday, 5:00—8:00 PM
Delaney House, Holyoke

Preparing the Business Owner for the Ultimate Test of Success

Jeremy Weir, Manager, Closely Held Business Group of the Bank of Boston asks: What is the real world like once the owner is gone? What are the real issues that you must face in your business? Ninety-five percent of all family business owners use a trust vehicle—but does it make sense? Will it meet tax needs, or get shares into the appropriate hands? This seminar will enable the business owner to determine the appropriate use of such products and services as insurance, buy/sell agreements, employment agreements, retirement benefits, and other vital business tools.

"To Fund or not to Fund. That is the question."

Charles D. Epstein, CLU,ChFC, of Mass Mutual Life, discusses valuable lessons learned in 16 years of funding Business Buy-Sell Arrangements, including turning a Funded Life Insurance Buy -Sell into a discretionary, supplemetal retirement plan on a selective basis for Family Members, as well as creating "golden handcuffs" to retain key non-family employees at zero net cost to your company.

November 16 , 1995 Thursday, 4:00—7:30 PM
The Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst

Family Business at the Crossroads

An intriguing case study presentation led by UMass Professor of Entrepreneurship James Theroux,recently selected as one of the nation's ten top entrepreneurial professors, by the Kaufman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The story of the Steinberg Supermarket chain is strong proof that without the proper insight and planning, no business can succeed into the next generation. Participate in a fascinating and revealing event that will speak loudly to you and to the issues of your own family business.

December 6 , 1995 Wednesday, 4:00—9:00 PM
Chez Joseph, Agawam

How To Make Your Kids Furious, Your Business Unmanageable, and Uncle Sam Your Principal Heir

Who will own your business next? How will you meet all the financial obligations that occur at transition? How will you maintain family harmony through the tension? In this highly interactive seminar, we'll talk candidly about these sensitive, money-related issues. Case examples, discussion questions, and hands on exercises will be used to illustrate the principle at issue. The semi-nar will focus on your goals and expectations, not on intricate technical solutions. You will come away with a specific action plan, including questions to address with your financial and legal advisors. Drs. Paul and Pat Frishkoff, a husband and wife team, work together in their consulting practice guiding leaders of family businesses. They specialize in succession, ownership transfer, and family meetings. Pat is founder and Director of the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University. Paul is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Oregon. They are among the most sought-after and highly-rated speakers in the field.

From 1-3 PM, sponsors of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley will attend a special training session presented by the Frishkoff's entitled Unlocking the Paralysis Which Stalls Family Business Planning:Advisors know from experience that succession plans don't get completed; research supports that observation. In this interactive and thought provoking session, Drs. Paul and Pat Frishkoff will examine the points of paralysis. Participants will gain expertise and experience in moving clients forward.

December 1994 (Friday) 8:00 a.m.

What You Don't know about Estate Planning Could Kill You

Presentation by Tom Rogerson, Coopers and Lybrand, followed by panel discussion featuring our sponsoring organizations: BankBoston, MassMutual, Coopers and Lybrand, and Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas.

November 16th (Thursday) 8:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m.
Hotel Northampton

Our first breakfast forum: the topic will be

Strategic Planning: Creating and Implementing a Shared Vision

In an increasingly complex business environment, family businesses have to compete in ways that their founders may never have imagined. As the next generation moves into leadership, a business requires a long range view of its strengths and weaknesses so that the business will flourish. This program will allow family business owners to learn the essential elements of strategic planning and how to develop the skills that will inform business decision making in a coherent , comprehensive manner. Consultant David A. Mersky of the Genus Resources consulting firm is an adjunct professor in the Simmons College Graduate Program, as well as an ordained Rabbi. He has trained thousands of professionals in private business and non-profit organizations.

October 21 (Friday) 8:30 a.m.—2:30 p.m.
Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place

Featuring Bonnie Brown, Ph.D., Executive in Residence of the Baylor University Institute of Family Business, Dr. Brown is the co-author of Succession Survival Kit, Preparing…just in case, and the What Next? checklists. She writes for Nation's Business and was interviewed on a recent PBS special on family business succession. Dr. Brown will speak on the topic Challenges Facing Family Businesses in Transition. She will provide a practical look at the issues of management and ownership succession, leadership development, conflict resolution, and retirement planning. Our afternoon speaker will be family business owner George Berkowitz , of Legal Seafood Restaurants, speaking on the topic Family Business: Directing the Energy. It will be a day of inspiration and education.

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