The 32nd Annual

Family Business

Conference Agenda

Family Business

Conference Agenda

People: Starting with you.


April 17

Day One


7:30 am


8:15 am

Stephanie Larscheid, Executive Director of PFBA and Timothy O'Keefe, Dean of University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business

Success Story: Willie Robertson, CEO of Duck Commander

8:30 am

willie robertson ceo of duck commanderDuck Family Legacy: The Success Story of Willie Robertson

Willie Robertson, the dynamic and affable CEO of Duck Commander, is not just a television personality; he's a living success story. From humble beginnings in the Louisiana bayou to becoming a household name through the smash-hit reality TV show "Duck Dynasty," Willie's journey is an inspiring testament to the power of his faith in God, hard work, perseverance, and staying true to one's roots. With his distinctive Southern charm and unmistakable beard, Willie captivates audiences with tales of turning a small family business into a multi-million-dollar empire.

Today, Willie is in business with his wife, Korie, and their whole family. Willie shares the secrets of his success, from overcoming obstacles in the business world to embracing the values of faith, family, and freedom that have guided him every step of the way.


9:15 am

PEOPLE: Dare to Build an Intentional Culture – CJ DuBe'

9:30 am

CJ DubeCJ DuBé has always been an entrepreneur. With more than 25 years of experience, CJ knows a lot about business and people. Since 2010 helping entrepreneurs and their leadership teams have become CJ’s passion. She has helped over 124 companies, through more than 1,475 sessions, clarify, simplify & achieve their vision. An award-winning entrepreneur with a dynamic background, CJ is also a sought-after speaker – spreading the word of EOS and helping companies and leadership teams get better at three things: VISION, TRACTION & HEALTHY.


10:45 am

Innovation & AI in Family Business – Tom Epperson

11:00 am

dr thomas eppersonStaying relevant in family business requires innovation and entrepreneurship. Multigenerational companies often look nothing like the business the founder established. During this keynote, Dr. Tom Epperson will share how to reignite the spirit of innovation upon which their family businesses was founded upon in the first place. Using Caterpillar’s partnership with Luck Companies’ (the nation’s largest family-owned and operated producer of crushed stone, sand and gravel) to deploy their first autonomous solution as a case study, the audience will learn how to build the necessary culture, skills, and processes in the business and the family to drive innovation and growth.

Lunch + Awards

12:00 pm

When The Family Undermines The Business: Understanding The Fredo Effect – Kimberly Eddleston

1:30 pm

Kimberly EddlestonKimberly A. Eddleston is the Schulze Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Montoni Research Fellow at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University. She is also an Academic Scholar at Cornell University’s Smith Family Business Initiative. Professor Eddleston is the Founding Editor of and a Senior Editor of the Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange ( In addition, she has had various levels of involvement with several of her family’s businesses. Her research has accumulated more than 18,000 citations to date, leading her to be ranked among the world's top 2% of scientists by Stanford University.


2:45 pm

Breakout Sessions

3:00 pm

dr thomas epperson

Many folks make the decision to retire based on an economic state rather than a life state – and that comes as no surprise considering that there's plenty of guidance for retirees about their financial portfolio; not so much about their emotional portfolio. Beyond that there's myriad of reasons why it's so difficult for Family Business Leaders to hand over the reins and hand over their leadership responsibilities. Instead of thinking of it as retirement, what if we defined it as reinvention?

Reinvention is focused on transitioning that same passion, purpose, and potential that's been focused on the business to bring about continued fulfillment in the next chapter life. This program takes a holistic approach that leverages each leader's invaluable insights, wisdom, and talents that have been honed over decades,  to overcome their personal challenges (from handing over the reins of the business to family dynamics, and everything in between) and live a life of abundance and purpose after retirement. 

Bruce FeilerGone are the days when managers can simply issue top-down edicts and ignore the input of their workers. But what do workers want? This workshop will first explore the changing values of today’s workforce, focused specifically on his proprietary data on the post-pandemic rise of job fluidity, work from anywhere, along with the importance of balance, flexibility, and well being.

The discussion will then turn towards leaders, and the development of a three-pronged approach to create a more purpose-driven workplace:

  1. How to conduct a “meaning audit” to identify an organization's strengths and weaknesses;
  2. How to develop a “meaning agenda,” that introduces science-backed solutions; and
  3. How to “communicate with meaning,” using language from the top of the organization to the bottom that is people-focused and inclusive, while also being inspiring and helpful to the bottom line. 

This timely, practical workshop will offer a new framework for work in a post-Covid, post-career world and road map for leaders and workers to work together to create a more welcoming, more balanced, and ultimately more successful work culture.

katie & jenny Family businesses are often built on tradition, legacy, and a shared vision. The strength of these businesses lies in the dedication and commitment of family members who work tirelessly to ensure the company's success and continuity. However, there's an equally important aspect that sometimes gets overlooked—the value of finding your unique voice within your family business, especially for Next Gens.

Katie Rucker and Jenny Dinnen truly believe that cultivating your unique voice doesn't mean going against the family values but rather the focus is around enriching the business (and ultimately the family) with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. It's about enriching the family business with your own experiences, skills, and vision. Your personal achievements outside the business can boost your confidence and leadership abilities, while your envisioned personal legacy can align your goals with those of the family business. By striking this balance, you contribute to the continued success and growth of the family business while honoring your own individual journey.

Key takeaways:
• Importance of harnessing your individual strength and passions to drive both personal and professional success
• Tips on how to get started utilizing Next Gen Collaborative’s FAMILY Framework
• Why envisioning your own personal legacy is important as you expand your role in the family business

Taste of Family Business

5:30-7:30 pm


April 18

Day Two

Breakfast & Roundtables

7:30 am

The Power of Profitable Conversations – AmyK

8:30 am

AmyKImagine having the ideal set of communication skills to break down barriers, inspire your team [and yourself!], connect with your customers, solve problems, and level-up your sales! What if you had the confidence and courage to share your ideas, speak with conviction and honor the worth of your own voice? You’d be unstoppable: both brilliant in business and happy in life. In this power session, AmyK Hutchens, an international award-winning speaker, 2x Amazon #1 best-selling author, and 23+ year coach and consultant, is introducing us to the power of creating a profitable future --- one magical conversation at a time. From mindset and intention, to leading more engaging team meetings, AmyK’s tools and communication techniques are used around the globe by clients such as Expedia, The Home Depot, UBS, Lockheed Martin, Starbucks Canada and Whole Foods, to share a few. Join us and get the same tools that have helped close multi-million dollar deals, save marriages, advance careers, heal family dynamics, and align leaders with their “right” and best lives.


9:30 am

The Secrets of Happy Families: How High-Functioning Families Adapt, Talk, Play, and Thrive – Bruce Feiler

9:45 am

Bruce FeilerAs seen on GMA, TODAY, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, and his popular TED Talk, Bruce Feiler delivers a lively, practical talk designed to help busy families contend with the issues they struggle with most: discipline, dinner, difficult conversations, out-of-control mornings, challenging bedtimes, technology showdowns, and sibling rivalry. Combining up-to-the minute research, personal experience, and proven know-how from more than fifteen years of research, two bestselling books, and 100 New York Times columns, Feiler offers and easy-to-implement blueprint of what high-functioning families have in common and helps audience members identify the specific takeaways that can make their family—and everyone in their family—happier.

Facilitated Family Meetings

11:00 am

Take everything you learned at the conference and talk through next steps and action items with the guidance of an experienced family facilitator. Whether you are currently having family meetings with a facilitator or this is your first opportunity to do so, take advantage of this complimentary facilitated meeting.

For those interested, please click here to complete this brief survey in order to be considered for the facilitated family meetings taking place on the final day of the conference

Affinity Peer Group Summit

1:00-3:00 pm

Jack SchottJack Schott - Building the Container

For individuals who are currently in an Affinity Peer Group, click here to register for the Summit.

For those interested in joining one of our peer groups, please click here for more information.

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