Entrepreneurial Family Business and Innovation: The Story of a 4th-5th Generation Business Owner and an Unusual Drive for Innovation Excellence
This year FFI has invited several highly entrepreneurial family business owners and key employees to discuss some special aspects of their firm's unusual experiences and developments that have shaped the owners, their employees, and their local communities. The owner's values, goals, methods of management, philanthropic interests and activities, and approaches to change and opportunities for innovation will be of keen interest to those attending this particular presentation.
The Wyner Family founded its initial company, Shawmut Mills, in the early 20th century. Dan Wyner came into his family's company following college. As VP of Sales and Marketing, Dan helped shape the company's expansion dramatically. He also engaged in specialty products, developing patents for unusual applications. In time, Dan became President of Shawmut Mills for ten years. Dan handed off the Presidency to his brother, James, when he returned from Harvard Business School and a stint at McKinsey.
Dan's interest in specialty products continued. His serial entrepreneurial orientation led to many collaborative relationships. Long-term relationships led to deeper trust and additional entrepreneurial opportunities, as friends and employees became "cousin-like" co-entrepreneurs, resulting in wildly productive business ventures.
One of Dan Wyner's many relationships was with Danny Warshay, MBA, professor of entrepreneurship at Brown University, and fellow parent involved in mutual community and educational activities of their respective daughters. Dan and Danny developed an "alter-ego" approach to decision-making and management in their joint venture, G-Form LLC, a company that designs revolutionary impact protection for edgy athletics and extreme protection for consumer electronic products for international markets. G-Form won the SBANE 2012 New England Innovation Award. [Former winners come from various fields such as technology, non-profit, manufacturing and include companies like Staples, Ben & Jerry's, and others.]
Danny Warshay, as President of G-Form, has become the face of G-Form to the public. Both Danny and Dan lead G-Form in an usual combination of style and method. Their presentation and story has to do with the staggering impact that collaboration can have on a business and relationships.
The specific focus of their shared presentation will be how a multi-generational family business owner morphed into some other entrepreneurial businesses, acquiring partners who become cousin-like or "siblings", for ventures in the technology and innovation space. In their one hour presentation, including Q & A, they will describe their experiences and observations. Their presentation will be extremely informative to all the attending family business advisors.
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