Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Keys to Governance and Decision-Making

Family Forum · May 12-13  •  NxG Forum · May 14
The Standard Club · 320 S. Plymouth Ct · Chicago


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Don’t miss this joint conference, hosted by Family Business Network-North America and Loyola University Chicago’s Family Business Center. Explore issues of governance and decision making  from the perspective of family, business, the family foundation and the family office. Check out session highlights from both the Family and Next Gen Forums below.

Family Forum Session Highlights


How Leading Families Manage the Challenges of Governance
Ernesto Poza PhD · Professor Emeritus, Thunderbird University

Effective governance empowers leaders to leverage the synergy between a unified family and a well-run family enterprise or office.  Join Ernesto Poza as he shares why so many families fail to govern the family-to-business relationship, how this lack of governance can impact wealth and the family enterprise, and how some families have learned to navigate these unique challenges.


Building a Collaborative Culture in Decision Making: The W.L. Gore Story
Betty Snyder (G2) and Bret Snyder (G3) · WL Gore & Associates

In 1958, Bill and Vieve Gore tossed aside convention for something different: a business focused on people and relationships. At W.L. Gore (global manufacturer of Gore-Tex and many other high technology products) there are no traditional organizational charts, no chains of command and no predetermined channels of communication. Join Betty (G2) and Bret (G3) Snyder as they share how the Gore family uses culture to empower stakeholders and drive the success of their family business.


Breakout Session:
How to Manage the Functions of a Family Office
Mike Hamra · CEO, Hamra Enterprises

A Family Office can be an essential key to managing wealth, real estate, taxes and day-to-day operations. In this highly interactive session, two families share how they deal with managing the challenges of their evolving family enterprises. Participants will engage with other members in group discussions around the topic.


Breakout Session:
Keys to Effective Family Governance
Gigi Cohen · Executive VP, Magid Glove & Safety

Two important keys to successful succession are family meetings and family governance. This session will offer examples of how to manage family governance. Participants will engage with members from similarly sized businesses to discuss their own challenges.


Out-Smarting Biases in Decision Making: Moving Beyond Consensus
Joe Astrachan, PhD · Faculty, Kennesaw State University & Coles College

Being clear about how we make decisions can be the first step towards successful governance. This session will explore our natural biases and mistakes and explore how families can develop a decision-making strategy to help ensure smooth governance.  Participants will explore the challenges of cognitive biases, collaborative/group decision making, central leader model and consensus vs. voting.


Breakout Session:
Creating the Board to Lead Your Family into the Future
Nolan Burke · Burke Beverage, Inc.

Nolan Burke will share the story of how Burke Beverage created a board of directors and how the business identified and recruited individuals to serve on that board. His presentation will be followed by an interactive discussion about the steps your family can take to create a board.


Breakout Session:
Leading an Experienced Board
Debbie Brown - Laird Norton & FBN-NA Board Member

Designed for experienced and established boards: Join Debbie Brown as she explores the challenges of board engagement, board accountability, and how to effectively partner with management to align business results with family expectations.


Next Gen Forum Session Highlights


Entrepreneurial Decision Making
Marc Bushala · Founder, Angel's Envy Whiskey

Following one’s own path in creating a new venture can create lasting financial and emotional value for both the family and the successor.  Hear the story of how Marc Bushala (founder of Angel’s Envy Whiskey) has built several entrepreneurial businesses after learning about entrepreneurship from his father and grandfather.


Building a Strong Sibling Team
Justin & London Rakestraw · SCR Transportation

Moving the succession process along can be a challenge and engaging in crucial conversations with the founding generation can create friction and impede the growth and development of the Next Gen.  London and Justin Rakestraw (G2) will share how they have developed a strong sibling relationship to lead the succession planning process at SCR Transportation.


Leading Family Governance
Mary Kay Mudd · Mudd Advertising

Often the Now Generation doesn’t have the energy to organize and unify the family to revamp the governance system.  This is an important step for success on both the family and business side.  Mary Kay Mudd (G2) will share her challenges and successes in organizing family meetings and pushing important conversations forward.


NxG Social Event
Salpicon & Second City

The NxG Forum will end with an evening of delicious food, drinks, and laughs. Enjoy cocktails and a private dinner at Salpicon, one of Old Town’s standout Mexican restaurants, followed by a not-to-be-missed comedy show at Chicago’s renowned Second City.


Hotel Information
A special hotel rate of $175 available at The Standard Club on a first come, first-served basis. Call 312.427.9100 and ask for reservations. Be sure to mention the Family Business Center/FBN.