Transition Consulting Group at the New England Family Business Conference
On June 7, at the New England Family Business Conference, David and Paul Karofsky had the pleasure of moderating a panel of family business leaders who have achieved great success in professionalizing their businesses as they transition to the next generation. The panelists were:
- Austin O’Connor, 2nd generation CEO of The Briar Group and Boston Event Solutions with a dozen restaurant venues
- Judd Rottenberg, 3rd generation principal of Long’s Jewelers with 5 stores in Massachusetts
- David Grossman, CEO of First Boston Capital Partners, a private short-term bridge lender and 4thgeneration Co-CEO of the Grossman Companies
- Denise Brookhouse, CFO and 3rd generation co-owner of Koopman Lumber with 7 locations in Massachusetts
The panelists spoke of their challenges in overcoming differing opinions and their experiences in creating advisory boards to professionalize their thought processes. They also talked about the importance of setting entry criteria and conducting family and company meetings. They established revised hiring practices and incentive packages, and spoke about the virtual world, sharing their visions, sourcing capital and preparing others for change. With increased industry and peer involvement, they shared how they learned to follow their own paths and not attempt to fill their parents’ shoes and shadows, yet keep seniors well informed for the sustainability of both generations.
Perhaps most important, the panelists shared the critical need for self-assessment and effective communication skills, understanding how others think, keeping others informed, sharing priorities and having the courage to address difficult issues.