For the well-being of our attendees and faculty, the Family Director Essentials program is being converted into a virtual event. We are working on the details to make sure the event delivers the maximum value that attendees expect from our programs. Interested? Contact to be notified when we begin accepting registrations.

Effective family business boards harness the energy and commitment of key family members as stewards of the business and its legacy. Yet, many family directors receive little formal governance training and may feel challenged separating their role as a board director from the role they play in the family, ownership or management teams. As the business and the board changes, family directors are asked to grow and build new skills, which happens best with a plan, process and investment in developing human capital. 

Family Director Essentials is a virtual live training experience that lays the groundwork for family directors to develop their own skills while gaining an understanding of how effective boards work. The program is designed to lead participants through learning, sharing and planning to add value inside and outside of the boardroom.

In this program, family directors will learn the frameworks and concepts that will support their full contribution to the company’s strategy and long-term planning while best leveraging the perspectives they uniquely bring:

  • Insight on owners’ vision and goals
  • Deep appreciation for the business, its history, culture, people and legacy
  • Long-term perspective for family business continuity
  • Sense of responsibility for the business’s role in the community

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for family members in a multi-generational family business who are current or potential future board directors for their family enterprise. This program may be especially valuable for:

  • Family directors who are either new to their role or looking for fresh ideas to further their development
  • Family members considering joining the board of directors
  • Board leaders (especially chairs, vice chairs, governance committee members) seeking to build board effectiveness
  • Family owners in the beginning phase of establishing a functioning board, growing or changing the board structure, or adding independent directors to their board

The program would be a good option for families who want to efficiently share common governance approaches with a group of family members/directors. We welcome groups of up to six attendees per family.

To ensure all attendees derive optimum value from the program, attendance is restricted to 75 attendees and is subject to approval by conference organizers.

If you would like to discuss the program and whether it is a good fit for you, please contact Kristi Daeda at (773) 784-5008 or

Registration Fees

$1750 – 1 board representative
$1550 for each additional member (up to 6 per family)

Please refer all registration questions to Christine Nguyen at 773-604-5005 or


This highly interactive experience is designed to help develop participants through engaging content, peer discussions and real-world case studies. Attendees will also connect and learn from the successes and challenges of other families in an open, confidential environment — fully supported throughout the program by expert facilitators.

Over the course of the program, participants will focus on:

  • The role of the board (advisory or fiduciary) in a family business
  • Effective board function, including the board’s relationship with the family and management
  • The specific value of family directors, independents, the chair, and committees and how to leverage those strengths
  • The behaviors that make a family director effective in the boardroom
  • Key skills and knowledge that family directors should have and/or develop
  • Navigating the unique tensions that family directors experience

Participants will also receive materials that support their learning and can be used as resources for their boards.

Meet the Faculty

The following leading family business governance experts will be facilitating the program:

Stephanie Brun de Pontet, Ph.D. is a principal consultant of The Family Business Consulting Group specializing in advising family enterprises facing important transitions. A recognized expert on the topic of succession, Stephanie frequently collaborates with clients on key aspects of this process, such as establishing succession plans, drafting needed policies and governance structures, and building a framework for next-generation collaborations.  In addition to her consulting work, Stephanie co-authored Building a Successful Business Board, Siblings and the Family Business and Transitioning from the Top: Personal Continuity Planning for the Retiring Family Business Leader

David Karofsky is a senior consultant with The Family Business Consulting Group with over 25 years of experience coaching and consulting to individuals, families and companies to develop better cross-team communication and build alignment among the senior management team. His client work is focused on executing the transition of ownership and leadership, conflict resolution, strategic planning and forming governance structures for family and closely-held businesses. Prior to joining FBCG, David worked in his own family business consulting practice with his father, Paul. The father-son team are the authors of So You’re in the Family Business: A Guide to Sustainability.

Joe Schmieder is a principal consultant of The Family Business Consulting Group assisting family-owned organizations increase their value through the careful guidance of family succession and the resolution of complex family business issues. He is a strong advocate for incorporating innovation into family businesses, blending family and non-family execs into effective leadership teams, developing next-generation leaders, creating effective governance structures and facilitating family meetings. Joe currently serves on four family business boards as an independent director and participates as a family business advisor at five other quarterly board meetings. He is the author of the book Innovation in the Family Business: Succeeding through Generations and numerous family business articles. 

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted to The Family Business Consulting Group via email to by Monday, October 12, 2020 to receive a refund. There will be an administrative fee of $150 for any cancellations. Refund requests will be processed after the meeting concludes.