Center for Family Business Forums


What Forums Are:

Confidential groups of 10-12 family business members meeting monthly to discuss matters of business, family and personal interest. The Center’s Director, Paul Sessions, serves as facilitator for the Successors and two Management Forums.  Andy Errato facilitates a Management Forum.  Lynne Perry facilitates our Women in Leadership Forum.  If you are interested in any of the forums, please contact Paul Sessions at 203-932-7421.

You will have an opportunity to:

  • share, learn and grow
  • seek advice and help in solving your problems
  • give advice and help other solve their problems
  • a confidential trusting environment for education and exchange of ideas

What forums Are NOT:

  • group therapy
  • social gatherings
  • boards of directors 

Forums Provide a Vehicle for:

  • a confidential, trusting environment for education and exchange of ideas
  • advice and problem solving on business and personal issues
  • skill development in the human side of enterprise
  • family business education -personal growth and a deeper look into your own personality 

Principles of a Successful Forum:

  • confidentiality
  • group purpose/shared expectations
  • commitment
  • organized interaction
  • leadership
  • group continuity

Forums currently meet approximately once a month in the evening or morning, includes dinner or breakfast and last about 3 hours. Additional Forums will be scheduled to meet the needs of the majority of the participants. There is a nominal charge per meeting to cover our costs. The following are brief descriptions of our current Forums.

Successors Forum: for the younger generation, those slated to take over or hoping that they will. They deal with succession issues. They also work on getting along with siblings and cousins, earning the respect of employees who have been with the company much longer than they have and understanding the responsibilities of ownership, management and leadership.

Management Forums: These groups are made up of CEO’s and COO’s, family and non-family. They help them deal with the issues of leading and managing their companies, and often function as ad hoc advisory board for the group members. We now hold 3 of these Management Forums each month.

Women in Leadership Forum: for women of all ages in key management positions dealing with the issues of women working in a family business. This group focuses on both family and business issues, and the way the issues and opportunities in both areas intersect. They also discuss and address the unique balance of roles that women in business find themselves having to manage.