Schedule

2020 Families in Business Conference

veni. vidi. virtual!

Monday, October 26, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Opening comments and welcome message, Daniel G. Van Der Vliet, The John and Dyan Smith Executive Director of Family Business, Cornell University
  • Kickoff Keynote – “Around the World in 60 Minutes.”  A distinguished panel of family business leaders from around the world will offer and share insights on innovations, changes, and discuss the path forward.

Moderator:

Daniela Scur, Assistant Professor, Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management

Panelists:

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Peer Group forums – participants may self select into a variety of moderated small group discussions. The purpose of these roundtable discussions is to broaden understanding of the subject, engage in a moderated discussion, and connect peers with others in the group.

Establishing Business Continuity Through Moments of Chaos

Rochelle Clarke, Founder, Succession Strength

Crisis as a Revealer

Christine Blondel, Adjunct Professor of Family Business, INSEAD and Cornell Family Business Fellow

Maintaining a Long-Term Board Perspective When Even Next Week Seems So Far Away

Dave Spitulnik, Spitulnik Advisors

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Thirteen Centuries and 46 Generations of Family Business Wisdom from the World’s Oldest Family Business – Hōshi Ryoken. 

Facilitated by Margarita Tsoutsoura, the John and Dyan Professor of Management and Family Business

Hōshi (法師) is a ryokan (Japanese traditional inn) in the Awazu Onsen area of Komatsu, in Ishikawa PrefectureJapan. Founded in 718, has been owned and managed by the Hoshi family for forty-six generations. We will be joined by owner Zengoro Houshi and general manager Satoru Saka.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Finding Her True North with Mary Owen, Lifetime Trustee, Ralph C. WiIson, Jr, Foundation.  Moderated by Candace Davies Benzel, MBA ’06. 

Mary Owen was invited into the family business by her uncle, the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. The family business just happened to be the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. When Ralph passed away at age 95, a plan was set in motion that saw Mary assume leadership of the Buffalo Bills, guide the initiation of the sale of the franchise for an estimated $1 billion, and finally positioned her as a Lifetime Trustee of the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. Mary will share her journey of succession, leadership, and resiliency.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Essential Businesses – How to operate when others must close: Lessons from the agriculture industry on agility, adaptation and perseverance in the face of the pandemic and other major changes.

Moderator:

Anna Richards MBA ’20, Founder,  2020 Consulting

Panelists:

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Peer Group forums – participants may self select into a variety of moderated small group discussions. The purpose of these roundtable discussions is to broaden understanding of the subject, engage in a moderated discussion, and connect peers with others in the group.

Managing Cyber Risks in a Hyper-Connected World.

Holly Isdale ‘86, Founder, Wealthaven and Cornell Family Business Fellow

The Two Sides of Generational Wealth

Kevin Omar Williams ‘99, Cornell Family Business Fellow

Growing the Family-Owned Enterprise: Leveraging Strategic Alliances to Deliver  Success

Rustom Desai, MBA ’95, Senior Lecturer, SC Johnson Graduate School of Management

Thursday, October 29, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

A Conversation with Gary Dake, President of Stewart’s Shops.

For any Cornellian or New Yorker who has traveled through the state, they are very familiar with Stewarts’ Shops as a community place for gas, milk and conversation. Founded in 1945 in Ballston Spa, the company now has 337 shops in operation and reaches from the Canadian border to the northern fringe of New York City, as well as locations stretching into Vermont as well. On day 4 of the 2020 Families in Business Conference, we sit down with Gary Dake, 3rd generation President of the venerable Stewart’s Shops brand, with business roots that date back to the family dairy farm in 1917.  During the Coronavirus pandemic, Stewart’s has been on the front lines as an essential business and a stalwart in many rural communities. The company, while it remains family-owned, also offers an employee stock ownership plan which accounts for nearly 40% of company ownership. As a result, there are 67 current or former long-time Stewart’s workers with retirement balances of more than $1 million in the ESOP. Gary will share the Stewart’s story, along with a few family connections to Cornell, the importance to the communities Stewarts serves, and how the business has fared during the current pandemic.

2:00 pm. – 3:00 p.m.
Cross Cultures – How Global Families Negotiate Change, with Dennis Jaffe, Cornell Family Business Fellow. Moderated by Michael Palumbos, President, Family, Wealth, and Legacy

Dr. Dennis Jaffe is one of the leading architects of the field of family enterprise consulting. He has helped hundreds of families overcome personal and organizational challenges to the successful transfer of businesses, wealth, values, and legacies across generations. His global insights have led to teaching or consulting engagements in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America. Dennis will share findings from his 100 Year Family Enterprise Research project with particular emphasis on how culture affects differences in approaches to family business change and transitions.

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
A (virtual) Taste of Family Business with Alan Rosen ’91, CEO of Junior’s Cheesecake

Alan is the third generation of the Rosen family to lead the venerable New York City brand.  Founded by Harry Rosen in 1950, Junior’s has been famous for great food, great fun, great service, and, of course, the best cheesecake. The original location in Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue is still thriving. The current pandemic has caused major changes in how Junior’s operates, and Alan will share the family business story and challenges up until now and many still to come. Participants are invited to sample some of “the world’s most fabulous cheesecake” together with Alan and fellow conference attendees by ordering direct from Junior’s Cheesecake prior to the tasting.

Friday, October 30, 2020

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Closing Panel  – “Defining Business in the Next Generation”  An accomplished panel of family business founders and successors will share their perspectives on launching and maintaining their family business through challenging times.

Moderator:

Michael Liersch, Head of Advice and Planning for Wealth and Investment Management at Wells Fargo

Panelists:

Closing comments and departing message

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Peer Group forums – participants may self select into a variety of moderated small group discussions. The purpose of these roundtable discussions is to broaden understanding of the subject, engage in a moderated discussion, and connect peers with others in the group.

CEO and Founders: Partnering Principals

John Engels, Leadership Coaching, Inc., and  Cornell Family Business Fellow

Pivot or Stay the Course:  a next-gen discussion about navigating challenge and opportunity in the family business

Angie Sabel & Nancy Amick, Abbot Downing

Women, Leadership and the Emotional Complexities of Family Business

Rania Labaki, Director of EDHEC Family Business Centre and Cornell Family Business Fellow