Past Events

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 That dust-collecting document, high up on your shelf, was probably outdated the moment you finished it.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 Dynamics, Karen Utgoff of Karen Utgoff Consulting, Paul 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.