Family Business - Winter2017

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The 2017 Family Business Conference Leaders from Diverse Industries Hold Panels to Make Family Businesses Stronger

Photos: Amanda Martocchio

From left: Deb Drapalla, regional president - Boston, Webster Bank; Thomas Sheehan; Ken Kirkland, CPA; Aviva Sapers, president and CEO, Sapers & Wallack Inc.; and Ed Pendergast, founder and president, Pendergast & Co. LLC.

Ted Clark, executive director of the Northeastern University Center for Family Business and executive professor of entrepreneurship and innovation.

From left: Mike Mulrain, CFO & COO, Polar Beverage; Engin Okaya, managing director, Prudential Capital; Chip Johns, president, Butler Automatic; and Caleb White, senior consultant, CFAR.

By Mike Flaim

T

he Massachusetts Family Business Conference convened this year in Boston’s celebrated Colonnade Hotel on Oct. 25; the annual Family Business Awards ceremony preceded the conference. See page 10 for more about the awards ceremony and profiles of the winners. Planning is Paramount If the focus of the all-day, eight-session conference had to be distilled into a single word to reflect the theme, it would be “planning.” An understanding of the consequences long-term planning has for the success of a family business was the basis on which all discussions were built that day. Though attendees had the difficult task of choosing which of the concurrent sessions to attend, common themes ran through

each: managing generational transitions, the importance of an outside perspective for the vitality of a family business and how a carefully chosen board of directors can be the best management decision a leader will make were among the repeated ideas. The singular outlier was an extraordinary workshop on cybersecurity that was moderated by a former chief information security officer for the White House. Even there was an understanding of the value of looking to the horizon to ensure a company’s wellbeing. The Power of Planning was one of the opening sessions and featured the founder and president of Royal Health Group, James Mamary Sr., along with his son, and James Mamary Jr., executive vice president. Also in attendance were Bruce F. Hoffmeister, director of wealth and fiduciary planning for Wealth Advisory Continued on page 6 5