LETTER FROM THE BOARD CHAIR
I am delighted to be writing to you as the Chair of the Galliard Family Business Advisors Institute and a devoted champion for small family-owned businesses. In 2009, when we were first exploring the idea of developing an educational institute for professional advisors, we were driven by an emerging mission that finally coalesced into the following statement of purpose:
Statement of Purpose
Our mission is to change the national conversation among business owners. We want discussions regarding succession, transition and life planning to become as natural and commonplace as conversations about sales, marketing and profits. We believe that normalizing these subjects will increase the likelihood that business owners who need our help will actually seek our help. The result will be more businesses that not only survive, but thrive during a significant transition in leadership and ownership.
“We want discussions regarding succession, transition and life planning to become as natural and commonplace as conversations about sales, marketing and profits.”
And, we stand here today, thrilled to find that ‘succession planning’ has become the hot business topic of our times. Entire conferences are organized around the topic. Business owners are reaching out, CEO forums are mobilizing resources and organizations are springing up across the country, designed to help families, businesses and owners to plan and grow as they navigate the effects of demographic, social and technological changes. The conversation has not only started, it has become a full-blown cacophony of opinions, editorials, tutorials and pay-to-play resources.
Now, our challenge for the Institute is to remain both viable and relevant in this fast growing consulting industry. The Galliard Institute began as a market leader – the first national training and educational support organization for professional advisors, serving small businesses, in the country. We are a well-respected source for information, resources, collaboration and support. And, there is still so much that we can be doing.
In early 2018, we were officially awarded our 501c3 status by the IRS. This is a gateway to a new service model and new opportunities for fundraising and resource development.
Challenges to Address in 2019 & Beyond:
- More organizations are offering support and resources for professional advisors. We have never seen ourselves as competing in this sector, but rather, have focused on collaboration, mutual support and a shared commitment to the greater good. That being said, we need to ensure that the Institute is able to provide services and educational resources that are unique and cutting edge.
- Traditionally, we have focused on the interpersonal, psychological and family-systems aspects of consulting and this has been a solid and unique niche. To maintain our market position in this space, we will need to expand both the range of support materials and the number of members willing to share their knowledge and expertise with the rest of the membership.
- We have tended to rely on a small group of very enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to keep the Institute well stocked with articles, webinars and materials. We will need to expand this group to ensure we have a wider variety of information as well as a refreshed group of volunteers who feel valued for their time and materials.
“To remain relevant, the Institute will need to invest in both research and the development of new tools for our members – and this will take funding to accomplish.”
We are excited to report that we are working to bring original research to the Institute by partnering with a PhD candidate, Matthew Kerzner, to make introductions to GFBAI members for research interviews. In addition, we have greatly increased our visibility on social media and have developed a strong cohort of members who serve as advocates for the program. We currently have a waiting list for the FBAC training and have certified 2 new facilitators for this program: Matt Kerzner and Kristen Ward.
Our Key Strategic Initiatives for 2019:
- Developing Funding Support Materials with identified areas of research and new tools to be developed for members
- Identifying potential funders and responding to/initiating requests for program funding
- Implementing board development activities, including: Review of board membership, roles and responsibilities, review of bylaws and engaging the board in strategic planning
- Completing a marketing and PR plan for increasing engagement from members
- Redesign of the Institute online library to increase ease of use
- Planning for an Institute Gathering in February 2020
I remain excited and committed to the Institute and all that we can achieve. While the national conversation has begun, it is still awash with more questions and concerns than with answers and practical solutions. The voice of the small business owner still gets lost in the larger, louder economic conversations driven by large corporations and political pundits eager to please wealthy donors. The Institute has long been the voice and advocate for these smaller businesses by effectively training and supporting local advisors who can support and assist with high value, low cost services. The need has never been greater and I believe we are well poised to continue to meet the challenge.
Board Chair, Galliard Family Business Advisor Institute
Principal-in-Charge, EisnerAmper Center for Family Business Excellence
PROGRAMS & OPERATIONS
Family Business Advisor Core (FBAC) Training
The Galliard FBA Institute is proud to offer its flagship training program, the Family Business Advisor Core (FBAC) Training, to provide consultants, advisors, professional service providers and community advocates an opportunity to learn what makes a family business tick. We explore the unique features of the family business and learn how, in our various roles, we can assist the family to become more engaged and equipped to build value, meet the challenges of both business and family and create a sustainable business for the future.
In 2018, the Galliard FBA Institute provided two FBAC trainings for a total of 19 participants. The first training took place in May in Rochester, NY and the second training took place in October in Philadelphia.
Galliard FBA Certification
The Galliard FBA Institute is an educational institution focused on bringing leading-edge information and training to our advisors. We do this because we believe that family businesses, regardless of size, deserve the best in service from the advisors they choose as partners.
Many of our advisors strive to become certified in the Galliard methodology. Certification requires completion of the Core Training, successful completion of the online knowledge assessment, the design and completion of a project and the submission of a written case study.
In 2018, the Galliard FBA Institute produced seven Galliard Certified Advisors. We have produced a total of 40 Certified Advisors since we introduced our certification process in 2015.
Galliard Member Webinar Series
Ongoing training and resource development is a major program of the Galliard FBA Institute. We engage our members and the wider family business advising community in webinar trainings where they can learn from experts in the field and continue building their skillset. In 2018, the Galliard FBA Institute has conducted 12 webinars engaging 89 participants. In our lifetime we have held 37 webinars engaging 344 participants.
Some of our 2018 webinar topics include succession, the impact of psychological capital, fraud awareness and prevention, and forensic accounting.
We asked some Galliard Certified Advisors to share their experiences with our program and how it has contributed to their practice. Here’s what they had to say:
Strategic Thought Partner, Consultant & Coach – Enterprising Families; FBAC participant, April 2015
I’m like a kaleidoscope in that I help business-owning families bring their different perspectives, as well as the business, ownership and family systems, into focus and alignment. My work supports families to be as intentional in developing their family’s human capital as they are in growing their financial capital. Through their work with me, families develop the capacity to have sensitive conversations, make difficult decisions, and be purposeful stewards of their resources while navigating the complexities that come with combining family and finances.
Lisë packs quite a bit of substantive material into a couple of days in a well-organized and engaging way. The training certainly helped to accelerate my learning. To this day, I refer to the materials and my notes from the training. I continue to be a member of Galliard, and greatly appreciate the wealth of resources that are consistently made available to the members and the guidance and support that Lisë so readily offers.
Owner and Principal at VR Business Sales Mergers and Acquisitions Baton Rouge; FBAC participant, October 2017
At VR Business Sale and M & A of Baton Rouge, our mission is two fold: we help business owners sell or otherwise transition out of their business and develop longer-term exit strategy solutions. I was first drawn into the business because I felt that my forty-plus years in corporate management and serial entrepreneurship could help owners in a more professional way. I started out and bought six businesses over the years. Some transitions were better than others. I had family members who owned their own businesses and transitioned badly, causing great harm to the family.
I discovered the Exit Planning Institute and became a Certified Exit Planner so that I could be more equipped to help my clients achieve financial success. I was able to achieve more successful outcomes for my clients because I could help them transition through numerous paths, not just a third party sale. Because the sale of a family business is so stressful for many families, I started to feel like I was not as prepared as I should be to deal with the emotional issues that arise in these situations.
I was at a conference where Lisë Stewart gave a presentation on difficult family transitions and how she handled those internal struggles. A light bulb went on. I knew from my experiences, both personally and with my extended family, that if you can identify the issues early on then everyone can have a better outcome. Almost immediately I signed up to become a Galliard member. From the online seminars and member information I learned how to better relate to my clients. The Galliard Institute is unique in that it focuses heavily on the psychology of the owner and his family and partners. I quickly signed up for the FBAC training and became a Certified Advisor.
My training through Galliard has made a huge difference in our practice. The training has allowed us to approach each potential assignment with the owner in a more professional way. We are not there just to “list” a business, we are there to help the owner and family solve problems and help them achieve their dreams. The training helped me to see the bigger picture. It is not just about balance sheets and profits and losses, it is also about the people involved and their hopes and aspirations. I am now more holistically able to help our clients.
Senior Manager, EisnerAmper Center for Family Business Excellence; FBAC facilitator, October 2018
The work that I do as a family advisor is very enriching to me. I get to help families work through emotional issues relating to their families and the business. I have opportunities to get to know all the generations of people that work in the family business. I’ve had the pleasure of helping families develop their emotional intelligence and governance communication skills. I also find it very satisfying to help the families that I work with bring in the right resources to help them reach their personal and professional goals. It is important to me to have a personal relationship with the families that I advise.
My involvement with the Galliard Institute started when I developed a relationship with Lise to help me with my PhD studies. I participated in the FBAC training to better understand the methodology of family advising. I have met great people through the Galliard network and have collaborated on this very important work that we do. I carry the FBAC workbook with me and refer to it frequently during my engagements. It always helps me remember what role I need to play and to meet my clients where they are. Getting certified as Galliard Family Business Advisor was one of the smartest things I have done to enhance my professional skills.
Founder and Chief Firestarter, Rule 6 Consulting; FBAC participant, October 2017
My interest in working with family owned businesses grew out of my work with Conscious Capitalism: a non-profit organization which promotes and educates businesses in organizing their work and culture around a “purpose beyond profit”. I have found that this is often the intrinsic core of many family owned businesses. They often see their reason for being as much more than “just turning a profit”; they care deeply about their employees, their communities and the environment in which they live. I want to help organizations like this survive and thrive because it’s this approach to business which our country needs now more than ever.
The value I bring to these organizations is as both an organizational change management consultant and a coach. My coaching work is focused on supporting family ownership and non-family business leadership in their ability to have effective, healthy and productive interactions with each other as they go about addressing business opportunities and challenges. I work with individuals one-on-one as well as “teams” whether they be family teams, leadership teams or some combination. Helping groups learn to be effective and productive as a group is my particular interest and passion.
I became involved in the Galliard Institute a few years ago when I was brought in by a Galliard senior leader to work with one or two people who were poised to take over the family business in a situation that involved a challenging sibling relationship. The success we were able to achieve in helping this family keep the business within the family made me want to be more “consciously competent” in working with family-owned businesses. While I had my own experiences in this area, I didn’t know what I didn’t know about the complexities and dynamics of working with the family-owned business. I was able to gain this information through the FBAC training and certification. Galliard also has introduced me to a rich network of experts and specialists to draw upon when particular needs arise. The most notable impact this has had on my work is being able to track and attend to the family dynamics present when working with teams, which is very different from the work I do with publicly-owned clients.
CALL TO ACTION
In the next 10 to 15 years, over $10.5 trillion will transfer from one generation of owners to the next. Thousands of family businesses will try to work through the challenges of succession and exit planning. Some will be successful and many will not. If there was ever a time to come together to provide support, guidance and coaching to a sector of our society that desperately needs us… it is now.
Please consider joining us. Shortly, we will be calling for nominations for our Board. Always, we are looking for contributors to our webinars and newsletters. We are building a community to serve an even larger community. Working together, we can change to course of our economic trajectory—knowing that we are positively impacting the lives of millions. We welcome your involvement, camaraderie, contribution, and friendship!