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Featured Family Business Speakers

James D. “Jamey” Power IV
James D. “Jamey” Power IV

Managing Director, Power Family Enterprises

Peter Latta
Peter Latta

Chairman & CEO, A. Duie Pyle

Jack Ouellette
Jack Ouellette

Chairman, American Textile Company

Kyle York
Kyle York

Chief Revenue Officer, Dyn

Ken Gorman
Ken Gorman

Vice President and Shareholder, Power Construction Company

The conference for family businesses by family businesses

Registration for Transitions West 2015 is now open. Please see below for our initial topics.  We hope you and your family will join us in Newport Beach this Fall.

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.
  • Hosted family meetings:  For attending families who want to meet before and after the conference, professionally facilitated. Limited availability.

Featured Family Business Speakers

Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison

Director of Room Operations, Irvine Marriott

Noah Felton Rhodes III
Noah Felton Rhodes III

Family Council Member, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel


Wednesday November 4

Family Business Basics

Effective Cross-Generational Communication Strategies
What can the older and younger generations do to bridge the generational divide and really communicate?   Each generation has different styles and standards of communication, and often, this can be a barrier to effectively finding common ground and agreement. What is the most productive way to overcome differences in communication styles, such as a preference for making a phone call vs. sending a text? How can each generation adapt to the styles of other generations?

Speaker:  Kyle York, Chief Revenue Officer, Dyn

Opening Keynote

James D. "Jamey" Power IV  "The J.D. Power Family Governance System"

Thursday November 5

The Handoff:  Detailed Succession Plans and Results
A well-planned succession is a process, not a single event. Panelists will offer a detailed look at their leadership transitions, focusing on the year before and the year after the new leader took the helm. What proceeded as planned, and what unexpected circumstances arose? Both “smooth” transitions and “crisis” transitions will be examined for lessons learned.

Succession and Non-Family Leadership
There are a variety of reasons why a non-family member may be the best choice to lead a family business, for either the short- or long-term. Panelists will discuss the circumstances surrounding the ascent of a non-family CEO, why a non-family member was chosen, how family buy-in was achieved and the recruitment and onboarding processes.  Ultimately, the panel will examine whether the decision to go outside the family for leadership was effective, and what that decision’s impact was on the family and the business.

Speakers:  Jack Ouellette, Chairman, American Textile Company; Ken Gorman, Vice President and Shareholder, Power Construction Company

Effective Family Employment Policies
One of the biggest questions a family business faces is employment of family members.  Who can join the company?  How much should they be paid?  Should they earn perks not available to other employees or family members not employed in the business?  Who judges their performance? Panelists will discuss their policies on family employment, and their effect on the tone and culture of the family and the family business.

Speakers:  Peter Latta, Chairman & CEO, A. Duie Pyle; Chris Harrison, Director of Room Operations, Irvine Marriott

Friday November 6

Keynote Address

The Role of Effective Governance in Succession
Governance structures such as a family council, family assembly, family constitution and board of directors with independent members can go a long way toward smoothing the road to generational transition. Panelists will discuss how their family and business  governance aids in training and developing the family’s future shareholders and leaders.

Speaker:  Noah Felton Rhodes, III, Family Council Member, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel

Confirmed Speakers

James D. “Jamey” Power IV

James D. “Jamey” Power IV

Managing Director, Power Family Enterprises

Jamey Power is a former Senior Vice President and Strategic Advisor at J.D. Power and Associates. He left the firm in 2009. Today, he works on a number of new business activities, public speeches, and philanthropic interests for the Power family. He recently assisted his father on a new book that chronicles Dave’s 50 years in the automobile business entitled Power: How J.D. Power III Became the Auto Industry’s Adviser, Confessor, and Eyewitness to History (Fenwick Publishing, late 2013). Jamey is exploring work on a follow-up to SATISFACTION: How Every Great Company Listens to the Voice of the Customer, a best-selling book he co-authored in 2006. In addition, he advises selected organizations globally on quality, customer service, and marketing.

As the son of J.D. “Dave” Power III, founder of J.D. Power and Associates, Jamey literally grew up with the business. He, like the other children in the Power family, worked at the company in a variety of jobs throughout his early school years and into college. After college he worked both for a major advertising agency and then for General Motors. He joined J.D. Power and Associates in 1990.  Ultimately he became Senior Vice President for the firm’s International Division.

Today, Jamey manages several of the Power family’s community and philanthropic activities, which focus on education and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He also serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of San Diego from where he earned his BA degree in History in 1985.

Jamey and his family live in Westlake Village, CA. 

Peter Latta

Peter Latta

Chairman & CEO, A. Duie Pyle

Since joining A. Duie Pyle as Vice President in 1985, Peter Latta has held a number of leadership positions, currently serving  as Chairman & CEO.  Over the past 30 years, he has been part of a management team that has guided the company’s growth from a Southeastern Pennsylvania Less-Than-Truckload Common Carrier with annual revenue of $11 million to the Northeast’s leading asset-based supply chain service provider with 2014 revenues exceeding $300 million.  Today, Peter’s focus is on strategic planning, real estate matters, tax and financial planning, perpetuating the company culture, business continuity and succession planning.  He also works to ensure that A. Duie Pyle remains a privately owned family business by establishing the foundation for a successful transition to the next generation of ownership.

Peter currently serves on the Board of Advisors of a family owned regional automotive dealership business.

Prior to his position with A. Duie Pyle, Peter practiced law with McNees, Wallace & Nurick in Harrisburg, PA, and worked as a CPA for Greenawalt & Company and Asher & Asher.  He holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Delaware, and earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law. 

Peter and his wife Robin have four children and three grandchildren. Interests outside of work include tending to his vegetable garden & fruit trees, raising beef cattle and pigs, and hunting wild pheasants and ruffed grouse with his German Shorthair Pointers.

Jack Ouellette

Jack Ouellette

Chairman, American Textile Company

American Textile was founded in 1925 and has grown to become one of the largest utility bedding companies in the United States. American Textile manufactures and distributes bedding items to the retail market in the U.S. and Canada. The products include protective bed coverings for pillows and mattresses, bed pillows, mattress pads, comforters and sheets. American Textile has operations in Pittsburgh, PA (corporate headquarters), Tifton, GA, Dallas, TX, Salt Lake City, UT and San Salvador, El Salvador. It has sales offices in New York, NY and Bentonville, AR. The company has a product development and marketing office in Davidson, NC and a sourcing office in Shanghai, China. It has more than 400 employees worldwide. Jack Ouellette is the non-family Chairman and began his career at American Textile in 1976 as an assistant to the owner. He was appointed executive vice president in 1982 and became president in 1991. In 1996, he became chief executive officer. Jack was appointed Chairman in January 2013.

After graduating from the United Stated Military Academy at West Point, Jack served as an officer in the United States Army for nine years. As an officer, he completed Army Ranger School, served as a Company Commander in Germany and was a pilot in Vietnam where is was awarded the Bronze Star. He went on to teach military science and earn his MBA from Duquesne University.

Jack is currently involved with The Allegheny Conference. Over the years he has been involved in a number of community activities having served on the Board of The Boys & Girls Club, Shannopin Country Club, and Duquesne Business Advisory Council. He currently serves on the board of Sherpa, Henderson Brothers and American Apparel & Footwear Association. An avid golfer, Jack and his wife, Gigi, make their home in Pittsburgh, PA.

Kyle York

Kyle York

Chief Revenue Officer, Dyn

Kyle York is a businessman, angel investor and entrepreneur from New Hampshire. Born into a family business enterprise started in 1946, Indian Head Athletics, York is the middle of five sons and committed to building a vibrant economy in New Hampshire and helping grow the Internet.

He is the Chief Revenue Officer of internet performance company, Dyn, where he was an early employee of the hyper-growth global technology provider. He is an advisor and investor in several startups looking to scale, including: Fastly, Catchpoint,, Datanyze, Mill33, Distil and SquareOne. He is also a co-founder of music and brand alignment agency, 1band 1brand, is chairman of 501(c)3 abi Innovation Hub and board member of NBA players Matt and Luke Bonner's charity, Rock On Foundation.

York has been a speaker at many universities and technology conferences throughout the world, including Harvard, Bentley, Stetson, SNHU and The Next Web, Launch, Dublin Web Summit and Interop.


Ken Gorman

Ken Gorman

Vice President and Shareholder, Power Construction Company

Kenneth Gorman is a vice president and an owner of Power Construction Company and the chief executive officer of Power Wellness. Power Construction Company was founded in 1926 by Kenneth’s grandfather and is recognized today as one of the Midwest’s largest construction managers, with annual revenues exceeding $700 million. Kenneth founded Power Wellness in 1995, which focuses on the planning, development and management of wellness centers for hospitals and community colleges. Power Wellness now has 23 facilities nationwide and over 2,000 employees. Born and raised in the Chicago area, Kenneth attended North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka and graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in finance and real estate development in 1985. Kenneth is a member on the Wings Leadership Board and Good Shepherd Hospital Development Council. Kenneth has served on numerous professional and charitable boards, including the Illinois Facilities Fund, Roosevelt School of Real Estate and Harper College Foundation. Kenneth has been married for 25 years, has three children and lives in North Barrington, IL.

Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison

Director of Room Operations, Irvine Marriott

Chris Harrison is the great-grandson of J.W. Marriott Sr., and has lived and worked in hotels most of his life. He began in the kitchen washing dishes and prepping plates for large functions. He worked throughout college in various hotel roles until he graduated from Brigham Young University in 2008 with a degree in English and a philanthropic ambition. After work with the Kuwait-America Foundation, he fundraised in Chennai, India for Rising Star Outreach, an organization with the stated goal of societal education and eradication of global leprosy. After meeting and marrying his wife, Jessie, he returned to the family business in San Diego, working in a sales management role. He took a hiatus from the business in 2009 to attend Harvard Business School, where he was elected acting president of the Hospitality and Tourism Club. His hotel training continued with Marriott in 2011 in Boston, where he led Restaurant, Housekeeping, and Front Office operations. Currently, he is a Director of Room Operations at the Irvine Marriott and an advocate of industry innovation. 

Noah Felton Rhodes III

Noah Felton Rhodes III

Family Council Member, Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel

Noah Felton Rhodes III is a fourth-generation shareholder of the McGeorge Family of Companies and great grandson of the founder, Percy McGeorge. He was elected by the shareholders to the first family council in 2012 and currently serves in that capacity. His roles on the council have included drafting the initial charter, code of conduct and shareholder agreement for the company. Noah is a principal at Great Point Partners, a healthcare private equity firm with more than $800M of capital under management, and he currently serves on the board of directors for five companies. He graduated cum laude from Washington & Lee University with a B.S. in business administration and serves on the Young Alumni Council for the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. He serves on Clemson University’s Behavioral Healthcare Board for Aiken Creek and autism programs and on the Greenwich Juvenile Review Board. He grew up in Little Rock, AR, and currently lives in Greenwich, CT, with his wife, Jordan and their two children, Scotland Jane and Noah IV.

Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company recently observed its 100th anniversary and is currently managed by third- and fourth-generation McGeorge family members. The company is a diversified aggregate and marine construction company with operations in crushed stone, sand dredging, hot-mix asphalt, ready-mix concrete and marine construction, including dredging, barge transportation, bank stabilization, rock structures, levees and marsh creation, restoration and protection. Its operations are performed in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi. The McGeorge family also owns a stake in McGeorge Contracting Co. Inc. and Cornerstone Farm and Gin Co. Inc., plus other entities associated with these two operations. McGeorge Contracting is a crushed stone producer, hot-mix asphalt producer, specialty miner and earthwork contractor in Arkansas. Its mining operations include bauxite and kaolin clay mining. Its earthwork operations include highway construction, industrial site development, mine reclamation and retail site development. Cornerstone Farm and Gin is a farming operation that primarily grows soybeans and corn in southeast Arkansas. Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Co.’s main office is located in White Hall, AR.

About This Conference

Transitions West 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 email

Propose a Topic or Speaker

Contact Peter Begalla, Conference and Education Director, (386) 785-7856 or email

Advisers and Sponsors

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

What Attendees Say About Transitions

"This is the most rewarding conference I've ever attended.  Everyone has been so candid, genuine and open,  Love that the tone is showing and not telling people what to do."

"I think this was the best run conference that I have ever attended.  So much value.  We will be back."

"Great interaction and sharing.  Brilliant!"

"This is my sixth transitions and I continue to learn priceless information and make valuable connections with other families."

"Very insightful conference, so many notes I can take back and implement ideas.  Great validation of what we are doing right and where we need to improve."

"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."


The Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa is located 5 miles (approximately 15 minutes) from the Orange County/John Wayne Airport (SNA).  Discover unparalleled beauty and relaxing luxury at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa. After a dramatic $70 million transformation, this hotel offers a whole new take on coastal living with sleek, modern style and the hotel's all-new spa, Pure Blu, which soothes the soul with innovative therapies, a saltwater lap pool, private cabanas, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Near the hotel in Newport Beach, you'll find championship golf, the Newport Beach Bay Nature Reserve, and world-class shopping including Balboa Island and Fashion Island.  Elegant guest rooms with vibrant decor and plush furnishings offer views of the Pacific Ocean, Newport Beach Yacht Harbor or an expansive green golf course.  Accommodations feature cotton-rich linens, pillow-topped mattresses and down duvets with luxury baths with glass-encased full showers and granite countertops.

Special group rates have been secured for Transitions West 2015 attendees:  $210 plus 13% state and local taxes, plus $.25 commerce fee.  This rate includes complimentary internet in guest rooms.  Rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Reservations may be made, modified or canceled online here.

Reservations may also be made by calling 877-622-3056 and referring to the Family Business Magazine Transitions West 2015 Conference.

To obtain the special conference rates, reservations must be made on or before the cut-off date of October 13, 2015. 


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 September 4, 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 September 4, 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)

For general questions on attendance or help with registration, please contact Justine Wood at (703) 850-5497.

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.

Registration price includes all conference materials, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner on November 5, breakfast and lunch on November 6, and a welcome reception with buffet dinner on November 4, as well as refreshment breaks.

Registration 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 business 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 business 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.


    Platinum Sponsor


    PWC is the Opening Reception Sponsor

    Gold Sponsors


    Bessemer Trust is the Dinner Sponsor


    Abbot Downing is a Lunch Sponsor 

    Vogel Consulting is a Lunch Sponsor


    Ascent is the sponsor of the Breakfasts

    Silver Sponsors



    Bronze Sponsors




    Supporting Sponsor

    Presented In Association With

Family Business Publishing Company • 1845 Walnut Street • Suite 900 • Philadelphia, PA 19103 • (800) 637-4464