Last month we met with a family who has a very successful business. But, as is all too common, the relationship & communication between the three partners, who are also siblings, has been suffering for decades. One sibling attended one of our Forums last year and knew that the time had come to seek outside guidance. So, they took a courageous step and joined our Center. When they came in for their Family Business Consult (which every family has access to as part of membership), they lamented with some hope — but also deep sadness — as they thought of all the pain their family has gone through, “I wish we would have known about your Center 20 years ago!”

And THAT, my friends, is why I am so passionate about our Learning Community here at DVFBC. A key learning for me over the past 25 years in the business of family business is that the road is long and difficult. In fact, most shouldn’t attempt it alone. That’s why we refer to the work of healthy family businesses as a Multi-Generational Journey, or climbing up the 5 family business mountains. And that’s also why we’ve worked so passionately the last 25 years to build a community of support for family businesses. In short, our goal was so you would understand that you are not alone in your journey. Most of all, we wanted you to discover experienced — and available — guides to help along the way!

This year our theme for the Center is “Innovation in Family Business.” Last week I was at a Family Business Conference in NYC. Lloyd Steier, a professor at the University of Alberta School of Business, said something that made me smile and beam with what I’ve experienced in my work with remarkable business families: “Family businesses are more entrepreneurial & innovative than all business schools put together.” This year we will showcase some ways family businesses lead their community, and sometimes industry, by balancing stability and tradition with innovation and forward-thinking approaches. Here are some highlights of our upcoming Center events:

Dinner FORUMDriving Innovation from Generation to Generation, Wednesday, March 16, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Peter Latta, G3 CEO and Chairman of A. Duie Pyle, will share how they are developing policies, governance and boundaries to prepare G4 for the future. Location: Radnor Valley Country Club, Radnor, PA.

Best Practice Event: 5 Myths About Millennials, Boomers, & Gen-X in the Workplace, Thursday, April 28, 9:30 am – 11:30 am. Every family business faces the challenge of communicating across the generations. Join DVFBC, Lacher & Associates, and Proxus to learn tips for communicating and engaging family members across the generations! Location: Fox Rothschild, Blue Bell, PA

Best Practice Event: Ways to Retire While Preserving the Legacy for the Rising Generation, Wednesday, May 18, 8 am – 10 am. Letting go can be difficult — especially when you are trying to balance your own personal financial needs with the needs of the business. But there are options. Come hear Paula Barrett from RKL and Bill Wanger from Fox Rothschild talk more about these innovative approaches. Learn simple steps to pass on the business in a way that provides financial security for all involved parties. Location: RKL, Wyomissing, PA

Click here for our complete list of educational events.

Let Us Help Guide You

For more information about becoming a member of the DVFBC, please contact us at 215.723.8413. Prefer email? Email myself or Jared Byas and we can answer any questions you might have. Your membership gives you access to all our great events as well as a 90 minute Family Business Consult. At your consult, learn more about our 5 family business mountains and best practices, and chart your next steps for a successful 2016.


Sally Derstine

Managing Partner, Senior Family Business Advisor

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