Sam Seltzer ’48 Mentors Forum

The Sam Seltzer ’48 Mentors Forum is an annual event that connects current Cornell students and recent alumni with scholars, advisors, and family business leaders for one-on-one mentoring sessions. Students have the exceptional opportunity to select their own agendas and interest areas for exploration during the time spent with their mentors.

Kshitij Mutha

“It was a pleasure to be a part of the Mentor’s Forum last year. I was amazed to see the depth and breadth of experiences that the mentors brought with them. Having personal conversations with owners of other family businesses and with family business consultants came as a great learning experience, and I was surprised by the kind of support that the mentors provided during the forum and after. This is has been one of my best experiences at Cornell.”

Kshitij Mutha, MBA ’20, President, Family Business Club
A student with a mentor in the lobby at the Tata Innovation Center
A student listens to his mentor's commentary

Common discussion topics among attendees

Students are increasingly seeking out opportunities to interact with family business industry leaders on a variety of topics, including:

  • New business opportunities
  • Career opportunities
  • Returning, or not returning, to the family business
  • The role of women in their family’s business
  • Leadership
  • New perspectives
  • Succession planning
  • Family wealth and values
  • Conflict
  • Family office and governance
  • Family enterprise advising and the role of consultants
  • Legal considerations in family business


Eligible student participants

The Mentors Forum is open to all current Cornell students and recent alumni who have graduated within the past five years.

Take advantage of a wealth of information from senior family business leaders in a one-on-one setting.

Students listen to Dann Van Der Vliet in a classroom setting

Serving as a mentor or coach

You can have an impact on the lives of our students and the next generation of family business leaders.

For more information about serving as a mentor or coach in future Mentors Forums, please contact our executive director.

Contact Daniel Van Der Vliet

“I’m so glad I was able to attend. I got some fantastic advice and will definitely be in touch with the folks I spoke to. This could not have come at a better time for me, as my mom is looking to start formal succession talks next week.” — Mentors Forum Participant

Previous forum mentors

  • Douglas Baumoel ’78, Founding Partner, Continuity Family Business Consulting
  • Daniel Bernstein ’70, President, Alexander Wolf & Son
  • Evan Cagner ’95, President & CEO, Synclaire Brands
  • Savio Chan, President & CEO, US China Partners, Inc.
  • Rochelle Clarke, Founder and CEO, Succession Strength
  • Carrie Dilauro ’91, Director of Operations, Hamilton Robinson Capital Partners
  • Janice DiPietro, Founder and CEO, Exceptional Leaders International, LLC
  • Jason Fein ’85, MPS ’91, Partner, ABS Partners Real Estate, LLC
  • Jessica Green ’13, Director for People + Culture, Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co.
  • Paula Kovarsky, Investor Relations Officer, Cosan Limited
  • Martin Magida, Managing Director, Berkery Noyes
  • Drew Mason, Managing Partner, Jade Capital
  • Richard Narva, Founder & Senior Advisor, Narva
  • Shari Narva ’73, Senior Clinical Consultant, Narva
  • Lloyd Robinson ‘87, President, AWISCO
  • Angie Sabel, Managing Director, Abbot Downing
  • Judith Walsh, Senior Advisor, BanyanGlobal Family Business Advisors
  • Kevin Omar Williams ’99, Managing Director, Family Office
Two women mentors
Three men talking

“I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. Counting all the incredible takeaways would be impossible. I hope to keep alive my relationships with very valuable mentors and new friendships.”

— Mentors Forum Participant

For more information, contact:

Erin Kelly, assistant director

The Mentors Forum is made possible through the generous support of Sam Seltzer ’48 (ENG) and Jason Fein ’85, MPS ’91 (SHA).