What It Takes to Be a Successful Family Business CEO

In a session moderated by BDO’s Brooke Anderson and Jeffrey Kane, Matt Binsfeld, 4th-generation President & CEO of J.F. Brennan Company; Colleen Moore Mezler, 2nd-generation President & CEO of Moore Research Services, Inc.; and Keith Hoogland, 3rd-generation CEO of Highland Ventures Ltd., along with David Shaw, Publishing Director of Family Business Magazine, will address the following topics and respond to audience questions and comments:

  • Business issues — inflation, risk, talent, potential recession
  • Leadership challenges in a family business — from the family and non-family perspective
  • The critical issue of planning for your own succession
  • Lessons learned and what you wish you had known



Running a family-owned business is different from running any other kind of business. It takes not only business skills, but a special kind of diplomacy. Each year, Family Business Magazine recognizes business CEOs for their exceptional leadership, and we feature them in our November/December issue.

To complement this special feature, we asked three of the CEOs to join us for a webinar discussion on the unique challenges and opportunities of leading a family-owned business:

  • Matt​ Binsfeld, President & CEO, J.F. Brennan Company (4th-generation)
  • Colleen Moore Mezler, President & CEO, Moore Research Services, Inc. (2nd-generation)
  • Keith Hoogland, CEO, Highland Ventures Ltd. (3rd-generation)

If you are the CEO of a family-owned business or aspire to lead your family company, this webinar will offer insights into what it takes to achieve true leadership success.

Family Business Magazine’s “Family Business CEOs to Watch” section was made possible through the sponsorship of BDO.



Matt Binsfeld

President & CEO, J.F. Brennan Company

Matt Binsfeld has served as president and CEO of J.F. Brennan Company since December 2018. Brennan, a 103-year-old family business, is a water-based infrastructure contractor employing nearly 700 people with work locations throughout the continental United States.
Binsfeld served as Brennan’s chief operating officer from 2008 to 2018. During his time as COO, he worked with teams of skilled engineers and trades professionals to deliver technically sophisticated water-focused projects to private industrial, state and federal owners. 
Binsfeld fostered and led substantial growth efforts achieved through organic development of the Brennan workforce, launching new business ventures and overseeing the acquisition and integration of strategically important businesses. He and his team have grown sales five-fold through organic and new business acquisition strategies.
As president and CEO, Binsfeld leads and collaborates with teams in setting organizational strategies and delivering financial results in accordance with board directives. His work includes finding, developing and completing acquisitions of businesses that fit the Brennan culture and strategically grow the organization. Human capital development and servant leadership are core values for Binsfeld.
Binsfeld is a board member for the Brennan Companies. He also serves as an outside board member for Trust Point Inc., a financial services company headquartered in LaCrosse, Wis. He and his brothers recently completed a leadership transition from the third generation of family leadership to the present-day fourth generation of leadership.
Binsfeld is president and a board member of the Western Dredging Association and serves on the board of directors for the Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Medical Center Inc., the advisory board for the Marquette University School of Engineering and the Viterbo University President’s Advisory Council.
Binsfeld holds an MBA from Tulane University and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Marquette University. He is an active member of Executive Peers in Conference (formerly TEC).
Colleen Moore Mezler

President & CEO, Moore Research Services, Inc.

Colleen Moore Mezler has been with Moore Research Services Inc., a marketing research firm, since she joined her mother in 1987. Mezler has significant experience in both quantitative and qualitative research.
Moore Research serves a variety of organizations throughout the United States and globally, from small start-up companies to Fortune 500 corporations.  
Mezler is a past chairman of the Insights Association, which promotes the role of intelligence, analytics and insights in driving business impact. She is certified by the association as an expert in market research. She has received many honors from the association, including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award.
She has also been honored by ATHENA International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a global pipeline of women leaders. She has served on the ATHENA International board of directors. In addition, she has received recognition for service to her local business community.
Keith Hoogland

CEO, Highland Ventures Ltd.

Keith Hoogland graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1982 with a B.A. in economics and immediately joined his family business. At the time, the business was a small video rental store called Family Video Movie Club. Hoogland took over as CEO in 1995 from his father, Charlie Hoogland.
Family Video, founded in 1978, grew out of the family’s original business, Midstates Appliances & Supply Company, established in 1946 by Keith Hoogland’s grandfather, Clarence Hoogland. 
After becoming president & CEO, Keith Hoogland grew Family Video from 40 to 800+ locations across the continental United States.
Hoogland and Family Video strategically purchased all Family Video retail real estate, located in 22 states. With a real estate portfolio currently valued at over $800 million, Hoogland has expanded the business, now called Highland Ventures, into a full-service real estate conglomerate. The real estate arm, Legacy Commercial Properties, selects and develops prime retail sites for national corporate tenants. 
In 2013, Hoogland formed a partnership with Marco’s Pizza, becoming its largest franchisee with well over 100 locations. He has founded, managed and sold other retail businesses centered on real estate under the Highland Ventures umbrella. 
Brooke Anderson

National Managing Principal, Private Client Services, BDO

Brooke has more than 15 years of experience serving high net worth individuals, their families, family offices, C-suite executives and others with complex tax and financial structures. Her expertise centers on trust administration, fiduciary responsibility, gift taxation, generation skipping transfer taxation and estate taxation and planning. Brooke is skilled in working alongside the clients' trusted advisors and focusing on assessing current situations, identifying risks and proposing solutions to achieve the most optimal results.

Currently, Brooke leads the firm's Private Client Services national practice where she is responsible for the strategic growth and operations of the practice. During her career at BDO, she also led the Pittsburgh market as Office Managing Principal of the Tax Practice for several years. Concurrently, she served as the Central Region Private Client Service Leader where she assisted the national leadership team over the last five years in the development of the practice. 

Brooke is a current member and Pittsburgh Board Member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) which is a global leadership community of chief executives.
Jeffrey Kane

Chair, Global Private Client Services Centre of Excellence, BDO

Jeff has over 40 years of experience providing financial and tax advice to high net worth individuals and their families as well as executives of public companies. For over 15 years, he was also the outside CFO to a Forbes 200 family as well as advising them on their income and estate tax matters.

During his career, Jeff has also been the tax advisor to businesses from start-ups and PE owned enterprises, to multi-national, multi-billion dollar companies in manufacturing, retail, real estate, and other industries.

Prior to joining BDO, Jeff led tax practices and offices in the Mid-West for Arthur Andersen and Grant Thornton, as well as being a partner in the Private Client Service group of RubinBrown in St. Louis. He is a member of the Business School Dean’s Advisory Board of the University of Detroit-Mercy and has served on many civic boards in the cities in which he has lived.
David Shaw

Publishing Director, Family Business Magazine

David Shaw is the publishing director of Family Business Magazine and its sister publication, Directors & Boards. With more than 30 years of experience in business-to-business and consumer media markets, he has served as an editor, publisher, publishing director, group publisher and group vice president of a variety of publications, trade shows, conferences and websites.

Prior to founding GRID Media, David served as senior vice president for Phillips Business Information Inc., where he oversaw nearly 100 discrete media properties, and helped build the business from $35 million to more than $100 million in annual revenues. He is a frequent author and speaker on issues related to business-to-business media, multi-generational family businesses and private and public company governance. He is married, with two grown children, one serving in the Navy and the other in law school.


• No cost to attend 

• Opportunity for questions and feedback

• Unbiased third-party family business education 

• All participants can receive a copy of the webinar materials after the event, upon request

• All participants receive Family Business Magazine weekly newsletter, with news, tips and trends that impact your family business. You may, of course, opt out at any time.

• 60 minutes — maximum value for time