Transitions 2011 Family Business Conference

This past Thursday, I spoke at Transitions 2011, a family business conference. The event was hosted by Family Business Magazine and the Stetson University Family Enterprise Center at the Grand Bohemia Hotel in Orlando, Florida.

I was part of a three person panel that discussed the power of the family legacy and brand. The panel was moderated by Saybrook University professor, Dennis Jaffe, Ph.D., and included Tim Hussey, President and CEO of Hussey Seating; and Mark Peters, CEO of Butterball Farms Inc. It was a fun experience and based on the feedback, a positive one for the 75 or so family business members and family business industry members in attendance.

The conference focused on family governance, wealth, legacy, and generational change. I spoke about Horst Engineering’s legacy and reputation and how we have leveraged family ownership to strengthen our enterprise. The Livingston Family is extremely proud of our businesses’ 65-year heritage, and how our employees work together to uphold the reputation that was built by our founder, Harry Livingston.

I was happy to present, but was also excited to hear the other members of my panel. Tim and Mark have done wonderful things with their businesses along with the help of their families and their employees.

I heard many other interesting family business experts speak about their passions. There were many highlights:

Ross Born, Co-CEO of Just Born Inc. spoke about how his company built and use their family brand. Just Born is a candy maker and they are known for their main brands, Mike & Ike’s, Hot Tamales, and Peeps.

Lansing Crane, former Chairman and CEO of Crane & Co. Inc. spoke about family governance as a competitive advantage. Crane led an amazing resurgence for his family’s business with an emphasis on governance as a key part of the strategy. He launched a global initiative and ushered the business into new markets. Crane has been the long time source of the paper used to manufacture currency for the United States Mint.

Dirk Junge, Chairman & CEO of Pitcairn, led a strong panel discussion about family governance.

Harold Yoh, Chairman and CEO of Day & Zimmerman, Anne Eiting Klamar, M.D., President and CEO of Midmark Corporation, and Jim Ethier, Chairman of the Boards of Bush Brothers & Company, each spoke eloquently about their business governance. I heard Bush speak last fall at the University of Connecticut Family Business Program awards. In a more intimate environment, he shared some great information about his business and his family.

Greg McCann Ph.D., from Stetson University, led an excellent session about next generation successors. A lively group discussion about generational differences (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y) ensued. This was fascinating. We explored how technology and communications have impacted the youngest generation in the workforce and what that means for family business succession.

Another excellent speaker was Thomas Bloch, who is the former CEO of H&R Block. He spoke about his family’s social capital and community contributions. Bloch’s father founded their family’s business and is recognized as an iconic entrepreneur.

The whole conference was supported by family businesses. We stayed at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, which is owned by the Kessler Family. We dined at Del Frisco’s Prime Steak and Lobster, which is owned by the Christner family, and we were transported by Mears Transportation, owned by the Mears family. Apparently, there weren’t any family owned vegan restaurants that can seat 75 people, but I got by alright…

It was an excellent conference and I got to meet people from dozens of successful family businesses. The best part of these education events are the networking opportunities. I met some fabulous folks from all over the United States, from India, Hong Kong, and Guatemala.

I spent most of my Orlando time in conference rooms, but I did get to run early on both mornings and explore some of the quaint neighborhoods not far from the downtown. I’m already looking forward to Transitions 2012.

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I crashed out of the Singlespeed Championship @renocxnats (on the dreaded off-camber) but not before having more fun. @artroti43 raced on the frosty course ❄️ at day break. 🚴🏽 We met a lot more @horsteng #crossspikes customers. I hung with little bunny hopper 🐰 Miles, the Junior 11-12 year old Silver Medalist.🥈I cheered for Nic, who represented @the_ccap in the Junior 15-16 age group. @sportstert and Iva came down from Tahoe to cheer LOUDLY for me. 🎺 I got my badly sprained ankle taped and iced. I had a beer. 🍺 I’m even looking forward to my red eye flight home ✈️ . Best of all, I’ll see @trailrunningmom and the kids on Sunday. I can’t explain the sensation, but despite the pain, I’m ready for next #Cyclocross season to begin... after some rest. #teamhorstsports #cxnats #horstengineering @parkavebikeshop #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross #crossiscoming You could say that at least for this week, I’m married to my #bicycle - - -

@renocxnats #cxnats @seven_cycles #sevencycles #teamhorstsports #horstengineering #crossspikes @horsteng #chapelofthebells #Cyclocross #lifedeathcyclocross Good day representing @horsteng at @renocxnats in the 45-49 age group. It’s a great course. The wind was blowing hard, but the sun finally came out. I’m happy with 37th place but should have made a move to get to 29th, which was 30 seconds ahead. That’s a long way when you are going flat out and cramping. 4,500 foot elevation was a factor. I’m disappointed that they cut one lap of my race when I wasn’t close to getting lapped by the leaders. You train this hard and come all this way; and you want to get the most racing for the $ and time invested. They only let 25 riders do the full six laps. The only positive to come out of that was that I watched fellow New Englander @adammyerson execute a perfect final sprint to win the Stars and Stripes again. Teammate @artroti43 had a good ride too. 
@seven_cycles #sevencycles #horstengineering #teamhorstsports @bicycleseastct #crossspikes #cxnats #renocxnats #Cyclocross #crossisboss @therichardsachs didn’t have the race he hoped for but it was still great to see him @renocxnats and “pit” for him. He said he officially started his second off season, but first of 2018. @artroti43 and I played soigneur/mechanic for 90 minutes, but minus the massage! atmo #renocxnats #richardsachs #teamhorstsports @horsteng #crossspikes #hauteframebuilding #Cyclocross #crossisboss #lifedeathcyclocross I previously hadn’t published this image, but it recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 @appalachianmountainclub Photo Contest for the People Outdoors category. Check out my blog (link in profile) for the interesting story of his photo (shot with this iPhone 6s), a trip report from this amazing Maine adventure, and past contest history. I love this image of two of my favorite women. I’m barred from submitting images to the 2018 contest, but I’ll be back in 2019. #appalachianmountainclub #baxterstatepark #katahdin Congratulations to Master Park, the Park Family, and the entire team at Park’s U.S. #Taekwondo at the Grand Opening of the new facility in the former VFW building. Our kids love it! So much better than being next door to the pawn shop and liquor store.😊#tkd 🇺🇸🇰🇷 This morning, the @trinitycollege Main Quad was bathed in beautiful sunshine ☀️but it was frigid and the wind was blowing! ❄️ The chapel was packed with an overflow crowd to celebrate the (shortened) life of a lovely friend. She will be missed. #circleoflife 🌏 #Repost @horsteng
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We just launched the #cxnats edition of #crossspikes News and it is chock full of great information. Click our profile for a link to the newsletter and info regarding @renocxnats pre-orders and on-site sales. See you at the Race Expo! #crossisboss 🚴🏽🏆 Brilliant sunshine☀️ at the @shenipsitstriders #newyearsday run. #shenipsitstriders #boltonnotch #hopriverstateparktrail #teamhorstsports #trailrunning ❄️🌲⛄️🏃🏻

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