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New England Chapter Breakfast- Neighbor Hardware: A Tale of Dead Wood and Loose Bolts
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Neighbor Hardware: A Tale of Dead Wood and Loose Bolts

When: Wednesday, June 12
From 8AM until 9:30AM
Where: Murtha/Cullina
99 High Street
20th Floor
Boston, MA  02210
United States
Contact: New England Chapter of FFI

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Neighbor Hardware: A Tale of Dead Wood and Loose Bolts

This panel discussion focuses on a fictitious family business, Neighbor Hardware.  The family and the business are besieged by a host of issues: the lack of a business succession plan, lack of leadership development in the business, nonexistent strategic vision for the business, no shareholder agreement and a general malaise in the business and the family. Little is the way it should be in this family.

The discussion will focus on these issues and will highlight some themes running through the case:

·     How do we talk with our clients about their other advisors (and if they are still a good fit at this point in the life of the  business?)

·     How to address the issue of dead wood in the family business?

·     Are we the beacon of hope when the family feels depleted?

This promises to be a lively, interactive discussion.   

About the Presenters

William Ely is Counsel in the Boston office of  Robinson & Cole llp.  His practice consists of estate and gift planning, estate settlement, and related matters as well as representation of family-owned and closely enterprises in a variety of contexts and industries.  Suffolk University School of Law J.D. cum laude, Boston University School of Law LLM (Tax).

Martha Sloan Felch is Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for Blue Hills Bank’s Business Banking group.  She finances and services a variety of enterprises with annual revenues less than $20 million including family owned businesses, professional service firms, and non-profits.  She currently serves on several non-profit boards including New England Baptist Hospital and the YWCA of Boston.  Her degrees are from Babson College (MBA) and Connecticut College (BA). 
Terry Phinney, Principal, Blackstone Management Group, helps family owned companies become more successful. As a senior change agent and Vice President of Human Resources at Benjamin Moore and Company, for example, Terry was an integral part of this company's successful $1 Billion sale to Berkshire Hathaway.

Terry holds an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from Columbia University. He serves on the advisory boards of several family owned firms.

Gerard J. Donnellan (moderator) is the author of, "Who Will Drive the Bus?  Guidance for Developing Leaders in the Family Enterprise.” His company, Big Leap (, with offices in downtown Boston and Lexington, provides innovative solutions to organizational issues in closely-held businesses, family enterprises and professional service firms. He is Adjunct Professor at the International Business School at Brandeis University and is a member of the Boston Estate Planning Council.