Leading Families, Sustaining Enterprises

A group of people posing for a photograph at a hotel

Cornell SC Johnson College of Business logo
INCAE Exec Ed logo

Family enterprises represent nearly 90 percent of all businesses in Latin America. The management of these companies goes through difficult times when mixing two fundamental elements: love and money.

Therefore, it’s important to anticipate conflict and evaluate alternative mechanisms that allow for family harmony and business continuity in the long term.

This program is based on the experience and trajectory of two world-class institutions: Cornell University, through Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, and INCAE Business School. The union of these two business schools allows students to learn first-hand from professors and practitioners who are very well acquainted with both Latin America and the rest of the world.

This event provides us with the opportunity to share with many business families, from different countries of the region, and thus complements the learning with the experiences of the participants.

We invite you to join us in this program and, please, do not come alone. With experiences like this, it is important that several members of the family participate, in order to return to the day-to-day speaking the same language of success.

General Information


  • March 11-14, 2024
  • September 16-19, 2024

Times:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily

Place: Delivered live and in-person, Intercontinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL 33131

Registration Fee: US $5000*

* Registration includes breakfast and lunch daily, teaching materials, and a participation certificate.

For questions regarding content, attendees or participation, please contact Daniel G. Van Der Vliet, at dgv9@cornell.edu.



  • Understand family businesses: their challenges and opportunities
  • Understand the options available to promote entrepreneurship in the family business
  • Discuss alternative approaches to corporate governance in the family business
  • Develop the fundamental tools for the Family Protocol


Based on the lessons learned from the successful application in countless Latin American companies, our instructors will present global best practices to guarantee the competitiveness of family businesses, and, above all, show participants how to apply them according to their reality and within a local scenario.


  • Owners and members of family businesses
  • Members of different families that share ownership of the same company or business group
  • Senior managers of family businesses
  • Executives of the family business
  • Professionals and consultants who, due to their activity, must relate to this type of company


Daniel G. Van Der Vliet

John and Dyan Smith Executive Director of Family Business | Cornell University

Executive Director of John and Dyan Smith Family Business at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. As director of the Family Business Initiative at the University of Vermont (UVM), he worked with the owners and their successors to find solutions that work for both families and businesses. He developed and taught the Leading and Managing the Family and Closely Held Business course at the University of Vermont. As founding director of Vermont Business Center, he oversaw the launch and growth of executive education and management development seminars.

Esteban R. Brenes - Academic Director

Steve Aronson Chair Professor of Strategy | INCAE Business School

Strategy and entrepreneurship full time professor, holder of the Steve Aronson Chair of Strategy and Agribusiness, former Minister of Science and Technology, and former Minister of Agriculture of the Government of Costa Rica. For 10 years, he served as Visiting Professor of Strategy and International Business at the Business School of the University of Michigan and, most recently, visiting professor at Cotrugli Business School, in Croatia. He has lectured on executive programs and on the campus of the University of Chicago, Duke University and the Business Schools of the University of Michigan. In addition to his academic work, he is a consultant in commercial strategy, mergers and acquisitions, development of new companies, family business administration and food policy.

Joe Astrachan

Cornell Family Business Scholar

Dr. Astrachan has over 30 years’ experience studying and working with family companies and has spoken in over 35 countries. He has served on a total of 16 boards of privately owned family businesses (currently serving on eight), in a variety of industries including: heavy equipment, automotive, restaurants, building materials, food manufacturing, retailing and distribution, commercial and multifamily real estate, and healthcare. Dr. Astrachan comes from a family business background (container and tanker shipping, coal mining, and pharmaceuticals). Dr. Astrachan earned his BA, MA, MPhil, and PhD degrees at Yale University.

Wesley Sine

Professor of management and organizations, Cornell University | Cornell Family Business Scholar

Professor Sine’s research focuses on the emergence of new economic sectors and entrepreneurship. His research context includes the United States, Latin America, and the Middle East, and he explores issues related to institutional change, industry and technology evolution, technology entrepreneurship, and new venture structure and strategy. Sine has examined a diverse set of economic sectors ranging from the electric power industry to the emergence of the Internet. Teaching interests include entrepreneurship, commercializing university technology, new venture growth, the management of technology and innovation, and organizational change. Additionally, he has consulted and taught executives in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Julia Tellez Roca

Attorney at Law | Family Business, INCAE Business School

Professor Tellez was a partner in Gomez-Acebo & Pombo Abogados and is currently a member of the Advisory Council (OF Council). Since October 2009, she has been an independent director of Natura Bisse. In addition, she is an external advisor to a plurality of Boards of Directors and a member of ten family councils of leading companies from the most diverse sectors of Spain and Latin America. Professor Tellez also has participated in seminars, conferences, forums (International Bar Association of Barcelona: “Insolvency in the Travel Industry”, IFTTA: “Hoteliers and Tour Operators – legal relations: The Spanish and EU Outlook”; She also attended the first meeting with the main Latin American business families (several from the Forbes list.) She is a professor of the “Private Wealth Management Spain” Program. Professor Tellez is the reference specialist in Good Family Governance of the Multi Family Office MdF Family Partners, strategic partner of The Wise Company and founding partner of Julia Tellez Advising Group. She has successfully led more than one hundred processes with important Spanish and Latin American business families.

Professor Tellez has a Master’s Degree in Family Business Management from the Instituto de Empresa, a Bachelor of Laws and Diploma in Business Studies from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (ICADE). She also holds a diploma in Business Strategy from the European Club and has completed several specialization courses in insurance, international taxation (ICADE), international arbitration (CCI Paris), product liability (Brussels), family businesses (3 Special Management Programs with John Davis, Harvard and 2 of the Family Firm Institute, in London and Miami, respectively). Lastly, Professor Tellez is a certified counselor by the Institute of Directors and Administrators (IC-A) in Good Corporate Governance.

More Information

Dann Van Der Vliet 
Executive Director
John and Dyan Smith Family Business
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Email: Daniel.VDV@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255 2881