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Featured Family Business Speakers

Cindi Bigelow
Cindi Bigelow

President and CEO, Bigelow Tea

Charles S. Luck IV
Charles S. Luck IV

President and CEO, Luck Companies

Richard K. Smucker
Richard K. Smucker

Chief Executive Officer, The J.M. Smucker Company

The conference for family businesses by family businesses

Transitions East 2015 will focus on the theme of successfully separating family abd business issues, with sessions on:

  • Establishing and living the values of the family
  • How to separate family and business issues
  • Developing family and business leaders
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship and family tradition
  • From managing the business to owning the enterprise

Focus sessions on:

  • Parent-child communications
  • Raising capital for growth
  • Mentoring the next generation
  • Next generation roles and responsibilities
  • Communicatons, conflict and conciliation
  • Wealth management
  • Taxes, trusts and estate planning

This conference is for family companies and enterprises of all sizes and ages.  

Special Bonus:  To extend and enhance conference learning, all attendees will receive a free one year's subscription to Family Business Magazine (or a one-year extension to their current subscription).  Subscription includes access to Family Business' online archive of more than 700 articles, organized by topic.

We continually strive to enhance your conference experience:

  • Special interest group meetings for those who would like to meet to discuss issues related facing family councils, family offices, the NextGen, non-family executives and the senior generation with like-minded attendees.
  • Smaller group sessions to facilitate discussion.
  • Topic-based focus sessions to allow you and your family members to drill down more deeply into areas of specific interest or need.
  • Some families bring family members who do not attend the conference itself. We've created the opportunity for these families to schedule a working family meeting prior to and after the conference, with a professional facilitator. (Limited space available, please contact Justine Wood at 703-850-5497 for details). Please note: our hotel room block allows families to book rooms before and after the conference, at our group rate, to extend the duration and value of your visit.
  • Family Business Basics--a pre-conference session focused on key family business terms and ideas, and on how to get the most out of the conference itself.

Transitions features:

  • Speakers from family companies: Our focus is on speakers from family enterprises, sharing real-life problems and solutions. 
  • Intimate, open environment: Limited attendance, and a private "safe harbor" environment in which to openly share challenges and opportunities with other families. 
  • Collaborative discussions: Opportunities to work through family issues via guided discussions. 
  • No-Sell Environment:  Conference sponsors understand and commit to participating as thought leaders and experts, and are restricted from actively selling their products and services.
  • Special content and sessions for next-generation and married-in family members
  • Networking with families like yours: Hosted networking, opening reception, meals, breaks and workshops are all designed to allow you to meet many family enterprise attendees.
  • Family focus: Brought to you by family-owned Family Business Magazine, we use family-owned or controlled hotels, transportation services, restaurants and service providers whenever possible.  We believe in, and invest in, America's family businesses.

Featured Family Business Speakers

Preliminary Program

Keynote Speakers

Richard K. Smucker, CEO, The J.M. Smucker Company

Charles S. Luck IV, President and CEO, The Luck Companies

Cindi Bigelow, President and CEO, Bigelow Tea

Establishing and Living the Values of the Family
What do we stand for?  Why are we in business as a family?  A statement of mission, vision and values serves as a guidepost for the family and the business in times of challenge and growth. An agreement on what the family business stands for and means can be an important engagement tool for current and future generations.  Panelists will describe how they developed their values statements and how those statements have guided the family. We’ll also explore the potential pros and cons of strong—especially religion-based—values statements as they relate to employees and customers. 

How to Separate Family and Business Issues
Prevent, resolve and grow from disagreements and disruptions within the family and develop effective strategies for dealing with family conflict over business management or ownership. What tools can be used effectively and consistently? This session will focus on keeping personal issues separate from the business, and how to develop good family and business relationships.

Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Family Tradition
Next-generation family business leaders and stewards must balance the need to innovate in order to compete in an ever-changing marketplace and loyalty to the products, customer service and traditions that made the company what it is today. Panelists will discuss these challenges and how to balance innovation and tradition.

Developing Family and Business Leaders

In a multigenerational family business, there are many roles that talented and committed family members can play. In addition to management and leadership roles in the business, key positions include family council chair, family council member, member of the board of directors, and family foundation director. What can a family do to identify who has the talent and the desire to fill these roles? Once these promising family members are identified, how should they be mentored and trained?

From Managing the Business To Owning the Enterprise
Opportunities to diversify family holdings along with complex, professionalization of the family firm, present opportunities for families to create enterprises which require a diverse and sophisticated set of ownership responsibilities among family shareholders.  This panel will review the development of several families who have gone from family business to family enterprises 

Confirmed Speakers

Richard K. Smucker

Richard K. Smucker

Chief Executive Officer, The J.M. Smucker Company

Richard K. Smucker is Chief Executive Officer of The J.M. Smucker Company, a leading manufacturer of food products, including coffee, fruit spreads, peanut butter, shortening and oils, etc. Founded more than a century ago by Mr. Smucker's great-grandfather, The J.M. Smucker Company has appeared numerous times on FORTUNE magazine's annual listing of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the United States, ranking first on the list in 2004.

Mr. Smucker serves on the board of The J.M. Smucker Company and is now chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; and serves as a director of the Sherwin-Williams Company, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Musical Arts Association of the Cleveland Orchestra, and The Consumer Goods Forum.

He has also held a variety of board and trustee positions in the past, including International Multifoods Corporation, William Wrigley, Jr. Company, and Buttonwood Capital Partners Limited. He is a past chairman and trustee of the Miami University Board of Trustees and is a trustee emeritus of the Culinary Institute of America.

He and his brother, Tim, were recognized by "Market Watch" as CEOs of the year for 2009.

Mr. Smucker received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Commerce and Finance and his bachelor's degree in finance from Miami University of Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1970 to 1976.

He and his wife, Emily, have one daughter and two grandchildren.

Charles S. Luck IV

Charles S. Luck IV

President and CEO, Luck Companies

As President and CEO of Luck Companies, Charlie Luck is the third-generation Luck family member to lead the 90 year-old, privately held and family-owned organization. He is focused on developing the future vision of Luck Companies and leads the Strategic Leadership Team, which is responsible for guiding the transformation of the enterprise into a global, values based leadership organization. Charlie collaborates with four chief officers to develop the people, organization, strategy and future direction for the company in alignment with the company's mission "of igniting human potential through values based leadership and positively impacting the lives of others around the world."

Charlie began his career in the company in 1980 as a summer trainee, and became President and Chief Executive Officer in 1999. He is a 1983 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, where he majored in civil engineering, and he has participated in several executive education programs at Darden School of Business at University of Virginia.

An Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient, Charlie is currently Chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee with the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) and is currently serving on the boards of Saint Christopher's School, Virginia Military Institute's Jackson-Hope Fund and the Virginia Foundation of Independent Colleges, as well as the Robins School of Business Executive Advisory Council.

Cindi Bigelow

Cindi Bigelow

President and CEO, Bigelow Tea

Before assuming her role as the third generation president and CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea in 2005, Cindi Bigelow spent 20 years in virtually all areas of the company that her grandmother founded. Cindi is instrumental in expanding Bigelow Tea into new channels while building awareness and brand engagement across social media—all to ensure Bigelow Tea is accessible everywhere, 24/7.

As passionate as she is about producing the finest cup of tea, Cindi is equally concerned about community and sustainability issues. She initiated the Annual Bigelow Tea Community Challenge that has donated over $1 million to local charities and participates in volunteer projects that include Habitat for Humanity’s Adopt-a-Home program. Under her leadership, the company was one of the first in Connecticut to install solar panels to offset energy usage, and she has implemented other innovations that have earned Bigelow Tea the distinction of being a Zero Waste to Landfill company.

She holds a BS degree from Boston College, an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management and an Honorary Doctorate from University of New Haven. She frequently makes appearances speaking to students and industry leaders, sharing insights on business ethics and career development and has received numerous awards for her years of community service. Favorite pastimes include being with her children, skiing, tennis, yoga and drinking lots of tea.

About This Conference

Transitions East 2015 is sponsored by Family Business Magazine, and is the only conference created for family companies, by family companies.

Who Should Attend

Attendance at this conference is strictly limited to owners, shareholders, family members and in-laws of 75 family businesses/enterprises. The conference is designed to facilitate conversation on important family issues among generations. There is special programming for family business members aged 15-29, and for those who have married-in to the family business.

The Transitions conference is for family companies and family offices of all sizes. At our last conference, approximately one third of attendees represented companies with revenues of under $25 million, one third of attendees had revenues of between $26 million and $300 million; and one third had revenues of over $300 million. And approximately a third of attendees were in the third generation or less; a third were in generations 4 and 5; and third were part of companies more than 6 generations old. What all attendees share is a desire to see their family enterprise grow successfully through generational transitions.

68% of attendees at Transitions are coming to the conference for the first time; 98.5% of attendees at our last conference say they'll attend again, and that they'd recommend the conference to other family members.

NOTE: All attendees will be vetted to ensure that they are family company leaders, members or shareholders. This event is only for family-run companies or enterprises. Senior advisers to family companies may attend ONLY with the family company they represent.

For further information, contact conference director David Shaw at (301) 963-6162 or by email.

Advisers to family companies may inquire about sponsorship opportunities. Contact Scott Chase at (301) 879-1613, or email

What Attendees Say About Transitions

"Incredible experience with more opportunities than possible to soak up. Such a unique conference!"

"I was hoping to get the family to raise questions and their awareness. I did not expect to actually walk away with a healthy to do list--things we need to change or do.  Thank you!"

"Incredibly informative, efficient, and the most well-organized and intentionally designed conference I've attended."

"Transitions was an eye-opening experience to help our family business create the appropriate ownership and succession structure for the business to thrive into the 6th generation."

"My goal was to raise awareness within the family of how we could bring governance to the business to make it stronger. I had been receiving resistance to the idea and the family left inspired to start a more formal family council structure and create mission and values statements. Goal accomplished!" 

"It was wonderful being able to relate to all these families going through similar issues.  I learned a great deal and will be able to bring this knowledge back to my fellow G3 cousins."

"Great conference, especially in generating NextGen interest and development."

"Very relevant information in settings that were non-threatening with easy and open discussions."

"Thanks again for hosting a fabulous conference. My dad and I really got a lot out of it, from thinking about governance structures to new insights into executive compensation. For me, more than anything else it was nice to be in a room full of people who think about their businesses from a 'long-term' perspective. It's awfully hard to build anything substantial when your perspective is limited to 5-7 years...I look forward to attending many future Transitions conferences!

"This is truly a conference 'created for family companies by family companies' and, once again, we enjoyed some great, honest presentations by some outstanding family business members, non-family executives and family business experts."

"Great forum for discussion, sharing and learning that can be applied to both our family and our business."

"I was overwhelmed by the value I received from this conference. You did a phenomenal job."

"Very good networking and very good speakers. I was glad to have experienced this conference."

"This was my first family business conference and I met a lot of good people and gained a lot of ideas I can bring back to my family's business."

"Transitions was very enlightening and gave a broader perspective of what others are facing and how they have overcome similar challenges to the ones we face."


hyatt_300_01The Grand Hyatt Tampa is part of the family-controlled Hyatt hotel chain. 

Enter a haven for wildlife that is home to a freshly-redesigned, contemporary Tampa Bay hotel. Following a $16 million renovation, our guestrooms have been totally transformed to provide the perfect hideaway amid surroundings of unspoiled natural beauty. Egrets and herons seem oblivious to the pace around them as they roam the grounds of this 35-acre AAA Four Diamond luxury resort.  Perfectly located, the hotel is just minutes from the Florida airports, downtown Tampa Bay, beaches and more. Let your spirit soar at the most luxurious choice of Tampa Bay hotel resorts.

Special group rates have been secured for Transitions East 2015 attendees:

$189 plus 12% state and local taxes (Net, non-commissionable).  Includes complimentary internet in guest rooms.

Reservations may be made, modified or canceled online using this link. 

Reservations may also be made by calling (888) 421-1442 and referring to the group (Family Business Magazine) and meeting name (Transitions East 2015).

To earn the special conference rates, reservations must be made on or before the cut-off date of March 3, 2015. 

Cancelation of room reservations must be made 24 hours in advance of arrival.


Registration Information

Please Note: Attendance at this conference is limited to members, owners, senior executives (including non-family executives and non-family board members) or shareholders of family-owned businesses whose primary business is other than advising family-owned businesses. Senior advisers to family businesses may attend only with family members. Attendance is strictly limited to the first 75 family businesses/enterprises who register

Past attendees of any Transitions Conference, or alumni of Stetson University, receive an additional 10% discount on their registration fees.

All registrants receive a free one year subscription to Family Business Magazine ($79 value), or a one-year extension to their current subscription.  Subscriptions include free online access to Family Business Magazine's extensive online archive of articles, organized by topic. 

Click here to begin your registration.

Early Registration Pricing (before January 9, 2015)

Family Company Attendees
$1,545--First Attendee from your family company
$1,050--Each additional attendee (Age 30 and above)
$875--Each additional Next Generation attendee (age 29 or below)

Standard Pricing (after January 9, 2015)

Family Company Attendees
$1,750--First Attendee from your family company
$1,250--Each additional attendee (Age 30 and above)
$1,050--Each additional Next Generation attendee (age 29 or below)

All attendees will be verified prior to acceptance of registration. A family company's advisers may attend only if accompanied by one or more family company members. Other family company advisers may contact Scott Chase at (301) 879-1613 for information on attending. For general questions on attendance, please contact Justine Wood at (703) 850-5497.

Registration price includes all conference materials, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner on March 26, breakfast and lunch on March 27, and a welcome reception with buffet dinner on March 25, as well as refreshment breaks.

Or contact:
Justine Wood
Program Manager
(703) 850-5497

Cancellation policy: All conference cancellations must be made in writing and sent to Justine Wood, Transitions Program Manager, 13631 Maidstone Lane, Potomac, MD 20854; faxed to (301) 987-0476 or emailed to Registrants who cancel more than four weeks prior to the program date are entitled to a full refund of the registration fee less an administrative fee of $150 per registrant; if canceled within four weeks, but more than 10 days prior to the conference date, 50% of the conference registration fee will be refunded less an administrative fee of $150 per registrant; within ten days of the conference date and no shows, no refund is possible. Family Business Magazine may cancel the program if attendance does not meet required levels; in case of cancellation or rescheduling, full refunds of registration fees will be made. Travel fares and hotel deposits cannot be reimbursed.

Conference Details

  • Program
  • About this Conference
  • Confirmed Speakers
  • Location and Hotel
  • Registration
  • Sponsors
  • Download the Brochure

  • Your Hosts

    Barbara SpectorBarbara Spector

    Barbara Spector, who grew up in a family business, has served on the editorial staff of Family Business Magazine since 2000 and has been the magazine's editor-in-chief since 2004. She has also compiled and edited six volumes in the acclaimed Family Business Handbook Series, most recently the all-new revised edition of The Family Business Succession Handbook. Previously, she was the managing editor of Jewelers' Circular Keystone, a trade magazine for the jewelry industry, which is primarily composed of family businesses.

    Caro RockCaro Rock

    Caro Rock is the publisher of Family Business Magazine, which is itself owned by a family company with interests in media and information technology research. She was the founder of Main Line Life, a weekly newspaper with 15,000 readers covering the western suburban communities of Philadelphia. She grew up in a family business that manufactured and sold flour under the labels Ceresota and Heckers Flour. The Uhlmann Company, formerly Standard Milling Company, also produced Wheatena and Maypo hot cereals, Patio Chef Charcoal and Just Add Water jelly mix. Today, her father and brother are involved in the family business, which has ventured into additional related businesses.


    Peter Begalla

    Peter Begalla is a family business owner, Family Business Magazine's Conference and Education Director, and Adjunct Professor with Stetson University's Family Enterprise Center. He is at the forefront of Next Generation Leadership Development, having helped hundreds of college-aged students establish credibility and marketability with their family, with their family businesses or with non-family employers. He combines years of counseling experience with over 10 years of business development and marketing experience in online education.


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