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FFI Global Conference 2014:
Family Enterprise: Complexities, Constituencies and Constellations 


October 8-11, 2014
Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill
Washington, DC USA 



The Family Firm Institute (FFI) is pleased to announce its 2014 Global Conference, entitled Family Enterprise: Complexities, Constituencies and Constellations. 

This year the conference — which annually brings together contributions from prominent keynote speakers, professionals, educators, researchers, and family business owners from throughout the world — will address the problems of complexity, the power of constituencies, and the constellations of socio-cultural forces exerting themselves across the field of family enterprise.

Sessions will focus on the following areas:

Complexity: Complexity is generally considered a hallmark of family enterprises. Complex systems imply multiple components, variables and interconnectedness, which typically cause changes to ripple throughout the system. In the intersection of family and business complex financial, familial, and organizational dynamics inevitably arise. Many believe they understand this complexity and how to prevent its complications. But this prompts the question of whether or not complications should or can be prevented. Is our understanding of complexity based on myth or research? Or conversely is complexity really a radical problem demanding a radical solution?

 In the broadest sense, constituencies are groups or bodies that are involved in, patronize, support, represent or are served by an organization or institution. Family enterprise systems have constituencies both inside and outside their system. In consideration of our 2014 host city, Washington D.C., we will explore the many and often heterogeneous constituencies operating in the field of family enterprise and the range of issues that unify — and sometimes divide — those constituencies.

 Constellations are the connections among the discrete components of a system. Family enterprise is a global field of research and practice. Understanding the various configurations and interrelations — or constellations — of cultures, customs, country parameters, regional perspectives and values in which family enterprise researchers and practitioners are embedded is crucial to working successfully in the field of family enterprise. What can we learn from comparing and contrasting?



Opening Keynote
"Life Is What You Make It: A Concert & Conversation with Peter Buffett”

Peter Buffet is an Emmy Award-winning musician whose acclaimed career spans more than 30 years as a professional musician, composer, philanthropist and author. Buffet’s book Life is What You Make It is a personal and revealing, instructive and intuitive story about following passions over conventions, transcending your circumstances or status, taking up the reins of your destiny, and living life to its fullest. The son of business magnate and philanthropist Warren Buffett, Peter Buffet ultimately conveys that it's ones values-and what we are able to give back to society-that shape and define us as individuals.


Thursday Keynote
"The Power of Habit”, Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg has been a reporter at The New York Times since 2006. His latest series focused on Apple and was named "The iEconomy.” It won a Pulitzer prize for explanatory reporting in 2013. A graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School, Duhigg worked in private equity and – for one terrifying day – was a bike messenger in San Francisco. He is the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation in our lives, companies and societies. At its core,The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements and achieving success is understanding how habits work.

Closing Keynote
"The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World”, Dominique Moïsi

Dominique Moïsi is a French political scientist and writer. In his book, The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World, he shows how the geopolitics of today is characterized by a "clash of emotions." A leading authority on international affairs, Moïsi explains that in order to understand our changing world, we need to confront emotion. Moïsi deciphers the driving emotions behind our cultural differences, delineating a provocative and important new perspective on globalization.





FFI Members receive discounts to attend the FFI global conference.

To take advantage of these discounts please sign in to your account online. If you need assistance signing in please contact Dan Lilienthal or call the office at 617.482.3045.

If you would like to become a member, please go here to join online or contact the FFI office.



Main Conference

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 to Friday, October 10, 2014 

FFI Member $1900 USD 
Non-Member $2400 USD (includes one year of FFI membership) 
FFI Member Day Rate (Thursday or Friday) $930 USD
FFI Non-Member Day Rate (Thursday or Friday)  $1,330 USD
FFI Student Member                 $950 USD 
Non-Member Student $1,000 USD (includes one year of FFI membership) 

(Student registration is not available online. To register at the student rate please contact Dan Lilienthal or call 617.482.3045 ext. 27.)

(FFI Organizational Members are eligible for discounted Conference Registration. To register as an Organizational Member, please contact Dan Frosh at or call 617.482.3045 ext. 24.)

Gala Dinner

Friday, October 10, 2014

Conference Registrants  $200 USD
Guests  $225 USD


Research & Education Symposium

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Member and Non-Member  $375 USD

Pre-conference Seminars

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

FFI Member Rate
Non-Member Rate

The Evolving Role of Attorneys in the 
Delivery of Services to Enterprise Families
$1,500 USD$2,000 USD

GEN 503: The Professional's Toolbox:
The what, why and how of assessments in family business
$1,500 USD
$2,000 USD

GEN 504: Philanthropy: More than money
$1,500 USD $2,000 USD 






Andrew Hier, co-chair
Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise

Maya Prabhu, co-chair
The Coutts Institute

Justin Craig
Northeastern University

Ramia El-Agamy
Tharawat Magazine

David Gage
BMC Associates, LLC

Margaret E. Wilson Tandem Partners



Washington, DC Advisory


Geoff Brown, co-chair
Bond Beebe, Accountants & Advisors

Margaret E. Wilson, co-chair
Tandem Partners

Cooper Biersach
University of North Carolina

Brett Coffman
BB&T Wealth

Sam Davis III
The Davis Group

Margaret Fischer
Cortland Valuation Group, Inc.

Michael Hawthorne
Thompson Coburn LLP

Jack P. Garniewski, Jr.
Wilmington Trust Company

Eileen R. Heismann
National Philanthropic Trust

Jeffrey D. Hester
Shenandoah Family Business Alliance

John Huber
Radiator Specialty Company

Patrick T. Hurley, Jr.
MidMarket Capital Advisors, LLC

Henry L. Hutcheson
Family Business USA

Jamie M. Killorin
The National Academies

Edward J. Kopf
BMC Associates, LLC

Wanda Ortwine
Luck Companies

Walter A. Reed
Fairman Group Family Office

Anna L. Smith
Wilmington Trust N.A.

Izabela Szymanska
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Edouard Thijssen

L. Mitchell Vandiver III
Strategies, Inc.

Steven E. Vozenilek
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

Karen Wawrzaszek




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