Family Business Facilitator

Family Meetings and Retreats

Choosing the best family business facilitator for your family business meetings and retreats is an important decision.

It's all about experience and understanding...

You should be seeking a family business facilitator who is a highly experienced family business expert.

"You want someone who understands family business dynamics. Preparing for a family business meeting or retreat is crucial - it may be even more important than the meeting or retreat itself!" according to leading family business expert Don Schwerzler "Preparation is a key factor - one that will determine a successful outcome for your family business meeting or retreat."

As a family business facilitator, Schwerzler has been advising family business entrepreneurs for more than 40 years and is the founder of the Family Business Institute - headquartered in Atlanta GA.

"My brother and I took over the business from our dad. We have always had a strong personal and professional relationship. But now we were having problems - we both have adult kids working in the business and we need to make some decisions about the leadership of the business as we transition to the next generation. Our discussions are becoming more emotional than rational and I fear that the succession issues will hurt the business and family relationships. We contacted Don Schwerzler about helping us with our problems - he was amazing, a gifted family business facilitator."

Partner - Manufacturing & Distribution SLC Utah

"I had heard other family business owners talk about how much they had benefited from the family business retreat process. While it seemed to be a good idea, I was afraid that some of the family and business issues that cause us to get upset with each other would rear their ugly heads at the retreat and we would end up with worse problems than we started with. In doing research about family business retreats I discovered the Family Business Experts web site. I talked to them about my fears and they had good answers to all of my tough questions. One of their key people scheduled a day with us so he could meet the family members and to learn about the business. From that one-time visit, he was able to help us organize our family business retreat. We were so impressed with his knowledge about family business issues that we asked him to act as our family business retreat facilitator. The family business retreat exceeded all of my expectations."

President, Steel Service Center, Cleveland, Ohio

Family Business Retreat Facilitator

Our family business retreat facilitator will help provide the structure needed to encourage family members to:

  • Communicate their personal and professional goals and objectives

  • Build trust with other members of the family

  • Define the roles of family members in the business

  • Address succession management issues

  • Communicate the values of the family

  • Establish business plans and strategies

  • Establish rules and policies for the family's business

  • "We are a second generation business in transition. I started the business 20 years ago and we have been very fortunate in building our family business. I want to push back from day to day operations but my two sons are not ready to take over the reins - they still want some additional seasoning. So we have several key non-family executives involved with our business, including the CEO. When we first started doing family business retreats we did not think we would need to use a facilitator - I think we were more focused on getting away from the business for a few days of R & R. At a trade association meeting I had a chance to attend a seminar about family business retreats conducted by Don Schwerzler. One of the points he made was about how a family business retreat can help communicate the family's values and culture to non-family members of the executive management team. That made a lot of sense to me so we asked Don to facilitate our next retreat. It really made a difference, not only to the family - but we were able to create clarity about the family's vision and expectation for the business. Several of the non-family members of our management team stated that the feed back from the family business retreat was the best guidance they had received since they started working for us. That was the difference made by having a family business expert as a facilitator for our family business retreat."

    Chairman of the Board, Metal Fabrication, Tulsa, OK

    Family Business Retreat

    Family business meetings and retreats are a time for each of the family members to reflect on their personal and professional aspirations, to ensure the growth and profitability of the business while maintaining healthy family relationships.

    "We are a third generation family business. The business was started by my grandfather and then passed on to his four sons. My dad is still active in the business as are his three brothers. So we have siblings, cousins, parents, uncles and aunts in the business. Fortunately we all get along well. As we professionalized the management of the business, we knew we also had to formalize the communication system for the family. We met with Don Schwerzler and found his in-depth experience working with hundreds of other family businesses, his informal style and his innate ability to identify key issues is invaluable to our family business meetings and our family business retreats."

    CEO, Convenience Stores, Houston, TX

    "Our family business was founded by my dad and mother. When my dad died, my mother ran the business - doubling it in size every 3-4 years. I worked in the business part time and when I finished business school I joined the business on a full time basis. My wife was a successful marketing executive and she joined the business a few years after me. After about 5 years, the relationship between my mother and my wife deteriorated very badly - and that put me right in the middle between two angry women. We agreed to hire a family business consultant to come in and get us back on track - the disputes between my mother and wife were starting to have an adverse affect on the business - especially on other members of the management team who were expected to "take sides" in the disputes. I contacted the Family Business Institute in Atlanta and was able to talk with Don Schwerzler, the founder. Within two days he was on-site and defusing the situation. The longer-term fix came about by having Don facilitate our family business meetings and our family business retreats. He taught us about not letting inconsequential issues affect things of consequence. He was more than a facilitator - he was a mentor and a coach for all of us."

    COO, Regional Home Health Care, Charlotte, NC

    It is not easy to run a family business - even more difficult to create a family business that can be passed on to future generations of family.

    Finding a trusted family business advisor can truly change the destiny of YOUR family business.

    Internationally recognized for his life-long work as a family business advisor, Schwerzler has been helping business families successfully deal with the unique and difficult issues that confront families in business together.

    To contact Schwerzler - call 770-970-0163 or use the ASK THE EXPERT form at the bottom of this page.

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    Family Business Experts Understands
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