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Multi-Generational Family Business – A Guide to Successful Succession

Posted on Apr 22 2013 under Family Business, Previous Programs

Mary WhitesideRick Segal

Family businesses are unique and complex differing in many ways from non-family businesses. For those family businesses preparing for the next generation to transition and succeed, they need to expect all kinds of issues to arise that can cause conflict. Family members have questions and expectations: who is moving out? Moving in? Moving aside? The new generation has ideas and strategies which could very well be different from how Grandpa used to do it.  Succession planning is key to this transition process. Change does not happen over night.  Support from family business experts can frequently facilitate the way to a productive succession.


Mary F. Whiteside, Ph.D. is a family therapist, consultant, and mediator affiliated with the Ann Arbor Center for the Family.   She is a Fellow and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Family Firm Institute and has contributed significantly to the introduction of family systems concepts to the family business field.

Her perspective honors the complexity of the interweaving of family and business relationships and encourages families to develop the best of both.  In her consultation practice she works with family firms to develop effective communication across and between generations.  She works with Family Councils to coordinate family/business mission statements, and to set goals and guidelines for family career development, compensation, and ownership.  She facilitates family strategic planning through family meetings and encourages the development of skills in building consensus and the learning of constructive problem solving techniques.

Richard Segal is an accomplished speaker and consultant on family business issues at Segal ConsultingRick completed a month long speaking tour of Australia for Family Business Australia.  He has also addressed professional organizations, trade associations, etc., including the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Upon graduation from the University of Michigan, Rick joined his family’s mechanical contracting firm where he spent almost 20 years.  In addition, he became a Plumbing & HVAC industry leader as President of the Trade Association and Chair of the Plumbing & Heating Industry Fund of Metropolitan Detroit.

Currently, Rick maintains a successful insurance practice while he consults with and trains family business stakeholders and service providers. Rick chairs the Family Business Council – an organization of family firms and service providers he founded in 1992.  He holds the prestigious “Advanced Certificate in Family Business Consulting” with a fellows status from the Family Firm InstituteRick has served as the family business editor of Corp! Magazine. He   is also a Civil Court Trained Mediator.

Process of Succession Chart


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