Invitation to attend: Family & Closely Held Business Summit

“Building Value and Sharing Values” will be the theme of the first BizTimes Family & Closely Held Business Summit.

The event will take place Thursday, June 4, at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee from 7 to 11:30 a.m.

Business owners are invited to attend and learn about the best practices of a prestigious lineup of speakers.

The event will begin with a keynote speech by David Ransburg, an acclaimed consultant with The Family Business Consulting Group Inc. Ransburg has expertise in both business and psychology. He has developed strong relationship skills and has broad-based experience in executive assessment, coaching and group facilitation.

Ransburg has developed a system that allows family business owners to assess their companies’ “THREAD,” which is an acronym for the elements of Trust, Halted Harmful Conflict, Respectful Leadership, Epoxy, Alignment and Dialogue that is Constructive.

“Often, the factors that impact a family business’ success are out of the family’s control, such as broad economic forces, political events, illness and just plain luck. However, there are factors that are within the control of a family business.

Careful attention to those that matter most can better position a family business to succeed long-term,” Ransburg wrote in a recent whitepaper about family businesses. “Fortunately, there is an ‘uncommon thread’ that helps connect these varied moving parts together. This thread is uncommon because it is rare. This thread is also unique because unlike other types of thread, it is incredibly strong. Attending to and strengthening this thread can be difficult and not every family can do it. But those that prevail will have the opportunity to reap the tremendous reward of sustained success.”

A strong lineup of family business owners and advisors will follow Ransburg’s address in a series of interactive panel discussions.

The first panel will discuss “Building and Sharing Values.” The panelists will be: Ted Balistreri, family co-owner, Sendik’s Food Markets; Nan Gardetto, former family business owner, Baptista’s Bakery Inc.; and John Hunzinger, president of Hunzinger Construction Co. The discussion will be moderated by BizTimes executive editor Steve Jagler.

The second panel will discuss “Growth, Culture & Building Value.” The panelists will be: Kevin Honkamp, vice president of family-owned Hydrite Chemical Co.; Amy Jablonka Nelson, sales manager at family-owned Glenroy Inc.; and Rick Schmidt, president and CEO at family-owned C.G. Schmidt Inc. The discussion will be moderated by Dean Fowler, Ph.D., president and owner of Dean Fowler Associates Inc.

The third panel will discuss “Transitioning, Sustained Success & Legacy.” The panelists will be Tim Ahern, owner and board member, BCI Burke Co. LLC; and Jake Hansen, principal at Jacsten Holdings. The discussion will be moderated by David Borst, executive director and chief operating officer of the Family Business Legacy Institute.

To register to attend this dynamic, informative and interactive conference, visit

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