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New England Chapter Quarterly Meeting "From a Family Business to a Business Family: A Case Study"
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New England Chapter Quarterly Meeting

When: Thursday, June 6th
From 5:15 PM until 8:00 PM
Where: US Trust/Bank of America
100 Federal Street
2nd Floor
Boston, MA  02110
United States
Contact: New England Chapter of FFI

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From a Family Business to a Business Family: A Case Study 

Clemens Family Corporation, a fourth-generation company with over 200 shareholders and dozens of family members employed, was facing stagnating performance and decision-making gridlock. Recognizing they were at a transformational crossroads, family leadership made the difficult decision to shift from a "family business” to a "business family” utilizing the help of an outside advisor.

Despite the over-identification of many family members with the business, dramatic changes were made to the organizational leadership structure which affected family member employment, entitlement, and accountability. In the subsequent ten years, revenue has doubled and stock value has more than quadrupled.

Using a case study approach, the path of this transformation will be discussed by the advisor who led the process (and soon after joined the company as a senior executive), detailing the minefields and key opportunities that influenced family decision-makers through this complex restructuring, as well as the impact on the effected family members caught in the aftermath.

Participants will gain a practical understanding of the distinction between "Family Business” and "Business Family,” drawing from the complex dynamics of this case study with real-world implications.

About the Speaker:

James B. Wood is Sr. Vice President of Clemens Family Corporation, a $750 million family-owned agribusiness and real estate concern based in Hatfield PA. He has extensive experience working with emerging, family-held, and middle market companies. Prior to joining CFC, Mr. Wood was the Director of Entrepreneurial Services for Ernst & Young’s New England consulting practice, targeting middle market growth companies in the Northeast.

Previously, he was with Inc. magazine, where he launched and managed Inc.'s Growth Strategy Consulting Group, providing advisory services to Inc.’s audience of fast-growth companies. In this capacity, he consulted with literally hundreds of privately-held CEO’s in a wide variety of industries on effective growth management and developed best practices for effectively planning and managing growth.

Mr. Wood is author of the book, The Next Level: Essential Strategies for Breakthrough Growth (Perseus Press). His article "Business Family vs. Family Business” was recently featured in the Jan-Feb issue of Family Business Magazine.