Biltmore has been in our family for almost 125 years and my brother, Bill Cecil, and I represent the 4th generation of the Vanderbilt Family to have owned and operated this extraordinary estate. Biltmore has experienced significant transitions over the past century, beginning with its changing from a family home to a place of business when the House and grounds opened to the public in 1930 during the Great Depression. The family business has evolved through the years and seen significant growth. And throughout all the changes, the one constant has been our family’s mission of preserving Biltmore as a privately owned, profitable, working estate.
We began working with members of the Family Business Consulting Group in 2002 as we planned for our first Family Meeting in 2003. After reading many of the books created by this knowledgeable group of family business consultants, and attending a number of family business conferences, our family, at that time consisting of three generations, committed to creating a Family Charter together, complete with family mission, vision and values. Amy Schuman facilitated the first several meetings and helped us develop a format for the meetings which we still use today. We have since worked with Stephanie Brun de Pontet on Next Generation Development as well as with Jennifer Pendergast, when she was still part of the group, on Succession Planning.
We have been working together as a family for the past 16 years and have accomplished a great deal in terms of laying the foundation for trust, open communication, and respect and developing family policies which have kept our family on the same page as we plan for the future. The Family Business Consulting Group has guided our family throughout our entire development process and we remain grateful for their continued support and encouragement. With their help, we have thus far agilely sidestepped any potential points of conflict and worked as one family adopting a family motto of Cora Unum Via Una – One heart, one way!
We wish all members of the Family Business Consulting Group a very Happy 25th Anniversary. We are grateful for their generous support through the years and look forward to working with them for another 25 years into the future.
Staying True to the Vision
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore’s core values of community service, hospitality, integrity, profitability, teamwork, authenticity, quality, and leadership shape the expansion of the company and provide guidance for the future. To learn more, visit www.biltmore.com