Search
Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Attend a dinner forum of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

Take a test drive

Call Ira Bryck, President of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley, Inc., at (413) 835-0810 to get more information, discuss your situation, and commit to an evening that will expand your thinking about growing your business.

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT DINNER FORUM by clicking here

Sign up to stay in touch!

APRIL 19, 2017 •WEDNESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM IS LAUGHING: HOW TO MANAGE WORKPLACE STRESS AND CHANGE WITH HUMOR AND CREATIVITY

You're very lucky if you think that work is fun. It's not at all funny that 70% of employees hate their jobs, and less than 1/3 are engaged at work (even fewer are married). Tonight's presentation will explore how to create a lighter, less stressed feeling at your workplace; how to use humor to create more positive teams that believe in themselves; examples of real and practical ways that companies can make themselves a better or best place to work. Be prepared to get a new perspective on how to make your company a place where people want to be.

We're glad to again hear from IZZY GESELL, organizational alchemist, who will help you understand the different ways that people use humor, and what you can tell about your organization from the kinds of humor on display. Izzy was one of the first to use Improv Theater concepts as tools for personal and organizational learning. He is the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater, a co-author of Cancer & The Healing Power of Play, and of Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter, and a contributor of a chapter on Improvisation as a facilitation tool in the IAF Group Facilitators Handbook. His latest project is a deck of cards with improv games on them. Recognized by his peers, he has earned a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association. Less than 15% of NSA’s 4,000 members are CSPs. The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) regularly calls on him to train facilitators in his techniques.

FRAUD PREVENTION: WHO HAS THE KEYS TO YOUR DOOR? Today’s world is more complex when it comes to addressing financial security.  Cyber Criminals are constantly inventing new techniques to commit fraud whether it is spyware, phone scams, check fraud, phishing, key logging, and the list goes on.  Businesses must remain diligent and proactive by doing all they can to protect the company’s assets.  During this session we will • Review some of the current trends that we are seeing • Discuss some practical approaches that are being taken by financial institutions to prevent threats• Share a variety of technical and operational controls that can be implemented to discourage instances of fraud.  Presented by ASTRA ROGERS Vice President of Enterprise Commercial Payments/ Cash Management of Key Bank, a strategic partner of the FBCPV.  


MAY 19, 2017 •FRIDAY, 9:00 AM-11:30 AM MORNING WORKSHOP ROUNDTABLE

Holyoke Public Library Community Room, Holyoke, Mass

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION THROUGH LAUGHTER: USING IMPROV TO IMPROVE YOUR WORK

Tired of inside-the-box team thinking? Ready to take more risks in a supportive, positive way? This workshop gives you a roadmap for how to get your team problem-solving, brainstorming and creating in a judgement-free environment full of "Yes!" attitude and forward momentum.Let's support your team experience with the vulnerability required to bring new ideas into fruition, by redefining and disempowering failure together. In the words of scientist Edith Widder, "Exploration is the engine that drives innovation. Innovation drives economic growth. So let's all go exploring."‘

About Your THROUGH LAUGHTER Facilitator: PAM VICTOR is the founder and president of Happier Valley Comedy, where she runs the Through Laughter program and a multi-level improv comedy school, as well as producing regular improv shows in Western Massachusetts. Pam is the author of “Baj and the Word Launcher: A Space-Aged Asperger Adventure in Communication” and, along with legendary improvisers TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, co-authors of “Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book.” A graduate of Smith College with a Masters in Education from Iona College, Pam has received improv training from iO Theater (Chicago), Annoyance Theatre (Chicago), ImprovBoston, and from Second City teachers. Pam is a nice person. She would probably like you. Check out how Pam makes the Happy Valley HAPPIER at www.happiervalley.com 


JUNE 13, 2017, •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

HOW TO LEAD AS A DECISION ARCHITECT, CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE EMPLOYEES MAKE CHOICES THAT LEAD TO GOOD OUTCOMES

Delaney House, Holyoke, Mass

You may not realize it but simple, irrelevant factors can have profound consequences on your decisions and behavior, often diverting you from your original plans and desires. Tonight’s presentation by Harvard Professor Francesca Gino will help you identify and avoid these influences, so the decisions you make do stick — and you finally reach your intended goals. Dr. Gino will help you explore inconsistent decisions played out in a wide range of circumstances — from our roles as consumers and employees (what we buy, how we manage others) to the choices that we make more broadly as human beings (who we date, how we deal with friendships), to the decisions we make as business managers and employees.  We will explore how the work environment can include factors that are likely to sway our decisions in directions we did not initially consider; and what can we do to correct for the subtle influences that derail our decisions. This presentation will help you identify the common biases that affect your business decisions, including excessive optimism and overconfidence; how groupthink, egocentrism, sunk cost fallacy, status quo bias and more can impair your ability to objectively evaluate information, form sound judgment, and make effective decisions. Your increased understanding of behavioral economics and choice architecture could result in reducing high employee turnover, missed deadlines, and poor strategic decisions; and help you create a method to define problems, diagnose underlying causes, and design and test solutions. Your decision to attend this dinner forum is a great first step to many more correct choices.

Our presenter tonight is FRANCESCA GINO, professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. She is also formally affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, with the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative at Harvard, and with the Behavioral Insight Group at Harvard Kennedy School. Francesca teaches Decision Making and Negotiation in the MBA elective curriculum and in Executive Education programs at the HBS, co-chairs an HBS Executive Education program on applying behavioral economics to organizational problems, and teaches a PhD course on Behavioral Approaches to Decision Making and a PhD course on Experimental Methods. Her research focuses on judgment and decision-making, negotiation, ethics, motivation, productivity, and creativity. Her work has been published in top academic journals in both psychology and management, as well as in numerous book chapters and practitioner outlets. Her studies have been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been discussed on National Public Radio and CBS Radio. She has won numerous awards for teaching, including the HBS Faculty Award by Harvard Business School's MBA Class of 2015, and for her research, including the 2013 Cummings Scholarly Achievement Award, from the Academy of Management Organizational Behavior Division. In 2015, she was chosen by Poets & Quants to be among their "40 under 40", a listing of the world's best business school professors under the age of 40. In addition to teaching and doing research, she advises firms and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, decision-making, leadership and organizational behavior.

also: AN EDUCATIONAL SHORT TALK BY CHARLIE EPSTEIN, OF EPSTEIN FINANCIAL SERVICES, one of our STRATEGIC PARTNERS


SEPTEMBER 15, 2017, •FRIDAY, 8:00 AM-10:30 AM MORNING WORKSHOP ROUNDTABLE

ROCKET FUEL: LEARN HOW TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

Green High Performance Computing Center, Holyoke, Mass


The media often perpetuates the myth of a superhuman entrepreneur, driving the growth and success of his business from inception to public company—all by himself.  Yet a mountain of research shows that there are, in fact, two jobs which are critical to the growth and success of entrepreneurial businesses. For every great Visionary (idea person), there needs to be a great Integrator, the person who turn the ideas into reality. This inspiring workshop is tailored to entrepreneurial Visionaries and Integrators alike, and is gleaned from the teaching of the Entrepreneurial Operating Sytem (EOS), as popularized in Gino Wickman’s books Traction and Rocket Fuel. Taught by long-time EO Boston member turned Certified EOS Implementer Nate Wolfson, this hands-on workshop will:
• Provide real rules and tools that move you to consider your business leadership from a powerful new perspective
• Help you crystallize your thoughts on how to get more of the freedom and impact you want from your business
• Help you understand when and how to connect with your ideal Visionary/ Integrator counterpart
• Teach existing Visionary-Integrator duos how to maximize their effectiveness together
• Walk away with a playbook for how to maximize this vital relationship

A lifelong entrepreneur, NATE WOLFSON started IT services firm Thrive Networks in 2000 at the age of 23. Over the next six years, Nate and his team grew the company from zero to $10 million in revenue before selling the company to Staples. In 2008, Nate took over the web development firm Digital Bungalow. He successfully created and implemented a turn-around plan which restored the company to profitability and stability over his first two years. Nate then implemented a strategic growth plan—leveraging the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)—to grow Digital Bungalow into one of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in America in 2013, 2014, and 2015 before selling the company. In 2015, Nate became a Certified EOS Implementer. He is currently helping more than 25 entrepreneurial leadership teams across New England get everything that they want from their business. Nate’s talent for aligning owners and their teams is rooted in his belief that “empowerment and accountability are two sides of the same coin. IN ADDITION TO ALL THIS, NATE PRESENTED AT AN FBCPV dinner forum in 2016, and go outstanding reviews, and Ira Bryck, center president said "I thought it was going to be very good, but didn't realize that it would be really exceptionally outstanding." When Nate asked what else he could do to help, Ira jumped at the chance to have him do one of our Friday morning workshop/ roundtables. Each attending company will get one free copy of Gino Wickman's book Rocket Fuel.


SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

HOW HIGHLIGHTS MAGAZINE LIVES THEIR GUIDING PRINCIPLE "FUN WITH A PURPOSE" INTO THE 4TH GENERATION

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

In a two-room office over a car dealership in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, a young couple, Garry Cleveland Myers and Caroline Clark Myers, created Highlights™ a monthly magazine for children ages 6 to 12. They filled it with stories, adventures, brainteasers, and Hidden Pictures® puzzles. The magazine reflected their philosophy that children become their “best selves” by using their creativity and imagination; developing their reading, thinking, and reasoning skills; and learning to treat others with respect, kindness, and sensitivity. Since then, the Highlights brand has grown to a diverse and inclusive family of products for kids from birth to 12, including games, websites, mobile apps, and book clubs; and spans the globe, now in 40 countries and in 16 languages. It's now a 4th generation family business, and we are proud to have as tonight's presenter, KENT JOHNSON, their CEO and the great grandchild of the founders. Kent earned his undergrad degree at Amherst College, and doctorate in physics at Harvard. Before joining Highlights in 2005, he served in various roles in scientific research and development, manufacturing and operations.  Though he’d had no aspirations to join the family media brand, Johnson found himself inspired by the company’s mission to help children become their best selves and motivated by the challenge of carrying that philosophy into new markets around the world. Kent will discuss with us how his company operates as a family business, how they've viewed succession and expansion over the years, while keeping to their guiding principles; the role they are proud to have in helping children be creative, caring, curious, and confident; and what it has taken to keep their brand and product profitable, relevant and innovative over the last 70 years (ie: their first customers have grandchildren and great grandchildren).

also: AN EDUCATIONAL SHORT TALK by Bacon\Wilson, our lawfirm STRATEGIC PARTNER, details to be announced


OCTOBER 24 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

A HAPPINESS COACH AND AN IRONMAN /BLACK BELT WALK INTO A BAR to work together to help the owner analyze the data, design better solutions, as well as find more meaning, pleasure and appreciation. And help her/him figure out how internal and external effectiveness are sides of the same coin. More details to follow, but join us tonight as positive psychology coach JULIA MINES and change agent/engineer LISA TOTZ compare, contrast and convene to demonstrate how change can happen in companies just like yours (maybe even yours, as we’ll be looking for a couple of guinea pigs for them to work on and with).

also: AN EDUCATIONAL SHORT TALK BY MICHAEL LONG and ALANA SAMBOR OF AXIA INSURANCE, one of our STRATEGIC PARTNERS


DECEMBER 5, 2017 •TUESDAY, 5:00 PM-8:30 PM

Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, Holyoke, Mass

HOW OUR BUSINESS LEADERSHIP, GOVERNANCE, TEAMWORK, AND MORE HAS CHANGED OVER THE YEARS Hear from a panel of 5 people who tell about how their company has changed from parent/ child to sibling partnership to sole proprietor, and how that's changed how the company is run, how decisions are made, how non owners are empowered, how information is shared, how people are compensated, how the mission is stuck to or evolved, and so much more. Excellent stories and lessons that will help you think about your situation, whatever it is, was, and will be.

also: AN EDUCATIONAL SHORT TALK BY KRIS HOUGHTON, OF MEYERS BROTHERS KALICKA, ONE OF OUR STRATEGIC PARTNERS

Archive of past Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley dinner forums

TRY IT- YOU'LL LIKE IT !!

ASK ABOUT OUR TRIAL RUN OFFER
or come as the guest of a member company or corporate partner
For more information, or to register, call Ira Bryck at (413) 835-0810 or email Ira Bryck

Back to Top