Friday, April 20, 2012

Success from one generation to the next

Marie Carmen Lence of Leche Rio S.L., Burlingame, Calif.,
listens to Leslie Leavens-Crowe, Leavens Ranches, Santa Paula, Calif.,
standing to address the group during
the Transitions West Conference last fall.

The Family Enterprise Center of Stetson University’s School of Business Administration and Family Business Magazine are partnering to offer Transitions East 2012, a conference focusing on the challenges and opportunities of taking family-owned business enterprises from one generation to the next.

The conference, April 25-27 in Orlando, Fla., is sold out, with 160 family business representatives, speakers, sponsors and Stetson students planning to attend. Participating businesses range from small to large, with many having a global presence. Some are multi-generational, going back 200 years or more.

“The Transitions Conference is an intimate conference where successful family businesses can talk about innovative ways to address the challenges they face with their peers and top-notch advisors,” said Dr. Greg McCann, director and founder of Stetson’s award-winning Family Enterprise Center, with the nation’s first undergraduate major in family business.

“The conference focuses on families from family-owned companies sharing their experiences, in panel discussions, workshops and through keynote speakers,” added Peter Begalla, instructor and outreach program manager for Stetson’s Family Enterprise Center. “It gives families the opportunity to come together to talk about governance, next-generation development, succession planning, and maintaining a strong family and a strong enterprise.”

Since 2010, Stetson’s Family Enterprise Center and Family Business Magazine have put on three Transitions conferences in Florida and California. Two are planned for 2012, with the second planned for fall in Marina del Rey, Calif.

“This exposes Stetson students to some of the leading family businesses in the world, who are engaging in the best family business practices,” Begalla said. “Participants and speakers at the conference often result in world-class speakers coming to campus, mentor and internship opportunities, and research projects.”

Stetson family enterprise majors attending Transitions East 2012 include Olivia Stevens, Daniela Cadavieco and Torri Hawley. Hawley will serve as a panelist, along with her grandfather, who is president and CEO of Windway Capital Corp., for a discussion on “Next Generation Engagement.” The students’ conference registrations were funded by Fred and Patricia Lane, members of the Family Enterprise Center Board of Advisors, and Stetson Trustee Geoff Jollay, who also is a member of the center’s Board of Advisors.

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