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New England Family Business Conference 2017 Schedule
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Reception and Networking

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Massachusetts Family Business Awards (separate ticketed event)


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. General Registration, Networking and Continental Breakfast

9:15 a.m.  – 10:30 a.m. Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)

Three Types of Succession, Ownership, Leadership, Power and Control
Presented by Ted Clark is the Executive Director of the Northeastern University Center for Family Business and Executive Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. 

Succession is descripted as a process, but why then does careful planning and following the process often not yield the desired results?  At this interactive program we will discuss three Types of Succession, factors that affect succession, and why even the most careful planning often doesn’t result in success.

As part of this program we will:

  • identify three types of succession in a family business,
  • discuss factors that influence succession, and
  • identify strategies to increase the opportunity for success.

Understanding the types of succession, and the forces that influence and cause them can help you to develop more appropriate and successful strategies for your family business.

Ted Clark


10:45 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m
. Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)

Continuing the Legacy: Preparing the Next Generation for the Family Business
Moderated by David M. Karofsky, The Family Business Consulting Group. Panelists include: Jacob Grossman, The Grossman Companies, Andrew Salmon, Salmon Health and Retirement and Ethan Becker, President, The Speech Improvement Company

There is no better way to carry on the legacy of your family business than preparing the next generation to take it over.  Unfortunately, statically speaking, only 1/3 of family businesses successfully continue through a 2nd generation.  For a multitude of reasons, sustaining the legacy of the family business continues to be a challenge and arguably may get even tougher. In this panel discussion, you will hear from next generation family members about how they successfully continued the legacy of their family’s business along with tips and best practices to prepare the next generation for a successful transition.

David Karofsky              Jacob Grossman                Andrew Salmon          Ethan Becker


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Speaker

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)

Management Issues & Transitioning Family Businesses: Governance, Organization, Pay and Other Key Aspects for the Next Leaders

Moderated by Debra Drapalla, Regional President – Boston, Webster Bank. Panelists will include Thomas Davidow, founder and principal of Thomas D. Davidow & Associates, Geoffrey Wilkinson, II and Geoffrey Wilkinson, III of George T. Wilkinson, Inc. and Avia Sapers, President and CEO, Sapers & Wallack, Inc.

Session details coming soon

Deb Drapalla

Our heritage dates back to 1935, when 24-year-old Harold Webster Smith founded the bank with $25,000 borrowed from family and friends. Then known as First Federal Savings and Loan of Waterbury, Connecticut, our purpose was to help make homeownership a realistic dream for people, and our values centered on putting people first. Over the years, we have expanded to become a leading regional bank in the Northeast with over $25 billion in assets and 176 banking centers from greater New York City to Boston. Today, we offer the full range of financial services, delivered by close to 3,000 employees.

Session presented by Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico, LLP

Session details coming soon

MFA – Moody, Famiglietti & Andronico, LLP is a proactive CPA and consulting firm located north of Boston with national and global reach. Since 1981, clients have relied on MFA’s exceptional tax, audit and consulting services, but have stayed with us year after year because of our value as a proactive and trusted advisor. Our over 150 professionals, including 38 partners, facilitate growth for our client base by going beyond ‘nuts and bolts’ accounting and supporting them with deep expertise, critical guidance and strategic advice when they need it most.

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions with panels (choose from one of two breakouts)

How Advisors Will Guide You Through the Transition of the Family Business
Moderated by Deb Drapalla, Regional President- Boston, Webster Bank. Panelists will include Attorney Thomas Sheehan, Ken Kirkland, CPA, Ed Pendergast, Outside Independent Director & Independent member of Board of Advisors and Avia Sapers, President and CEO, Sapers & Wallack, Inc.

Session details coming soon

Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers, P.C. is a full service law firm, with clients throughout New England, providing businesses and individuals with sophisticated legal counsel. The firm is unique in its ability to deliver comprehensive and high quality legal services normally associated with larger firms in a more cost-effective manner.

Presented by:


The Importance of “Boards” in the Success of Your Business
Presented by Caleb White, Senior Consultant, CFAR

Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, Peer Advisory Boards: Which is right for your organization, who should be participating and why. They are vital to the Strategic Direction of your company, and when maximized they can help drive your growth. They are particularly useful when your business is pivoting and undergoing major change. Hear from experts and successful business owners who have learned through experience to gain the utmost value from the appropriate board.

Caleb White

Caleb White, Senior Consultant, specializes in the complex strategic and operational issues facing today’s organizations. He draws on his experience as a high impact leader in both privately-held and large public companies, at different stages of development and across multiple industries. This includes leading his sixth-generation family business, Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc. Caleb brings both personal and professional insight to leadership and governance dilemmas facing clients.


4:15 p.m. Conclusion