Returning from Calgary after attending my third annual CAFÉ Symposium in a row, I thought I would try something a bit different in this blog, and with a hat tip to David Letterman, here is my Top 10 List of memories.
Number 10 – Tony Dilawri’s Dad stories
A second generation family business leader who opened the Symposium with his family story.
Favourite parts: His Dad announcing “We’re all moving to Regina”, as well as his Dad telling him he was not working hard enough because he did not work on weekends, and his reply that he had multiplied the size of the company many times over while working less hours.
Number 9 – Dinner conversation
At the Family Enterprise of the Year Award dinner, I was seated next to a retired criminal lawyer, Larry Hursh (accompanied by his wife Carolyn) and I had the chance to exchange views with him on the Oland trial that I had attended in November.
Number 8 – Another Molson please
After the FEYA dinner, author Gordon Pitts interviewed Andrew Molson, who shed light on how their family has remained strong over the generations, including 3 separate times that they have owned my favourite hockey team.
Number 7 – Old Friends, New Friends
Like any annual conference you attend, it just gets better every year, because you know more people and more people know you. It was great to see old friends and meet other new ones, and hopefully we will all see each other again in Halifax in 2017.
Number 6 – Paint by Numbers
An old friend was Sarah Tkatchuk of KPMG, and she and some colleagues lead a workshop called “Painting a clear picture of long term family success”, which was surprising to me because “painting” and “accountants” are not necessarily two words you think of together. Of course, it was essentially a “paint-by-numbers” exercise.
Number 5 – You are getting sleepy
Wayne Lee’s hypnosis show was hilarious and very memorable for the performances by a couple of participants, old friend Trudy Pelletier and new friend Margaret-Jean Mannix. I will just leave it at that.
Number 4 – Brett Wilson’s unique ways
The former Dragon shared a few of his stories and philosophies to end the conference.
Favourite parts: He admits attending the University of Saskatchewan because he did not realize that (in theory at least) he had other choices of schools. Also, the methods he is using to get his children to be financially responsible, which sound like they are working, even if they are clearly not for everyone.
Number 3 – Prepare those heirs!
The mother-daughter team of Kathy Reich and Nicky Scott shared lots of great ideas during their workshop. It is nice to see that more people are getting into what they called “Preparing Heirs for Assets (not the other way around)”.
Having read “Preparing Heirs” myself, and also having the pleasure of speaking with author Roy Wilson on a recent conference call, I am glad to help spread this message to more people.
Number 2 – A new take on Core Values
Keynote speaker John DeHart spoke passionately about how he co-founded Nurse Next Door and how defining their corporate values was (and still is) their key to success.
It only hit me after he was finished that his real innovation was getting away from the staid old “one word” values like integrity and replaced them with sayings, taglines or catchphrases like “sunny side up”, which was both a personal value of his and a value of his company.
Number 1 – The Bermingham Story
Patrick Bermingham recounted the tale of his 119-year old family business, and what a tale it was.
Favourite parts: How he purchased the company from his father, they shook hands, and Dad never said another word, he was now fully in charge. How he went about raising cash at a time where he had no other choice, and how he offered shares to key employees to ensure the company’s growth would be sustainable.
Many inspirational stories were heard and enjoyed by the hundreds of attendees, and I was glad to be one of them again.
I hope to see you all in Halifax next year!
Steve Legler “gets” business families.
He understands the issues that families face, as well as how each family member sees things from their own viewpoint.
He specializes in helping business families navigate the difficult areas where the family and the business overlap, by listening to each person’s concerns and ideas. He then helps the family work together to bridge gaps by building common goals, based on their shared values and vision.
His background in family business, his experience running his own family office, along with his education and training in coaching, facilitation, and mediation, make him uniquely suited to the role of advising business families and families of wealth.
He is the author of Shift your Family Business (2014), he received his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business (UWO, 1991), is a CFA Charterholder (CFA Institute, 2002), a Family Enterprise Advisor (IFEA 2014), and has received the ACFBA and CFWA accreditations (Family Firm Institute 2014-2015).
He prides himself on his ability to help families create the harmony they need to support the legacy they want. To learn how, start by signing up for his monthly newsletter and weekly blogs here.