Family Business Alliance

The Family Business Alliance, established in 1992 as The Family Business Forum (FBF), was founded by the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to support family businesses. The Alliance provides family businesses in the metropolitan area with a unique opportunity to learn from leading experts about proven strategies for successfully owning and operating a family business through outcome-oriented educational programs and seminars.

The Alliance also provides members with the opportunity to exchange ideas and share experiences. Programs are designed to foster interaction and participation by addressing issues of specific concern. The members-only environment fosters long-term relationships based on mutual trust and understanding and an ongoing dialogue about family and business issues.

To attend a forum: Kindly RSVP 973-443-8842; Free for FBF members and FDU faculty, staff, and students. Non-members, one-time attendance $75.  Potential members are invited to attend one free forum.

2019-2020 Forums

The Small Business Economy in New Jersey panel discussion

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 6pm – Orangerie
In partnership with SKC-The Entrepreneurs Accounting Firm

Valuing your business for succession planning or for sale

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 at 8:30am – Rutherford Room

Cyber Security

Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 8:30am – Rutherford Room

Strategic Planning

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 8:30am – Rutherford Room

AI and Technology – Changing the way we do business

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 8:30am – Rutherford Room

Sales – Increasing the bottom line

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8:30am – Rutherford Room

Human Resources – Reinventing HR to adapt to the changing work culture

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 8:30am – Rutherford Room

Spring 2019 Forums

The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Presenter: Dr. Dale Caldwell, Executive Director, Rothman Institute

Succession and Conflict 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
Dr. Dale Caldwell, Executive Director, Rothman Institute – Moderator


Sarah Krom, Managing   Partner, SKC & Co., CPA’s LLC
Jim Hunt, Chairman of the Litigation Department, Tenaglia & Hunt
Mark J. Speckhart, ZCS Company

Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Dr. Dale Caldwell, Executive Director, Rothman Institute – Moderator


Sarah Krom, Managing Partner, SKC & Co., CPA’s LLC
Marian Janes, Ignite Growth Coaching
Rick Sawyer, Talent Management and Organizational Effectiveness Executive, L&D Consulting

Preparing for the Future through Strategic Planning and Cyber Security

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Panel 1 – The Importance of Strategic Planning

Dr. Dale Caldwell, Executive Director, Rothman Institute – Moderator
Jeff Dickinson, Force Financial Group
Kevin Bodnar, Peapack Gladstone Bank
Andrew Frazier, A&J Management

Panel 2 - Technology – Staying Modern, Staying Safe

Bellaria Jimenez, President, Mass Mutual Tri State
Christian Betlyon, Mass Mutual Tri State
John   Kowal, Peapack-Gladstone Bank
William Walbroel, Couch Braunsdorf
Eric Wistrand, Couch Braunsdorf

Succession and Estate Planning

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Dr. Dale Caldwell, Rothman Institute – Moderator
Giovanni Duran, CFP, Managing Partner, IronRidge Wealth Management Group
Michael La Forge, CPA, CGMA, Sobel & Co.
Jordan S. Weitberg, Attorney, Principal, Bressler Amery Ross

Why a Forum only for family firms?

Family businesses face unique challenges. In addition to all of the fundamental issues involved in operating a business, families in business must address a number of other important concerns, including:

  • Developing visions for the family and business that are mutually compatible
  • Selecting and preparing successors
  • Planning for estate taxes and ownership transfer
  • Developing fair and effective compensation strategies for family members as well as non-family employees
  • Developing and implementing governance structures
  • Fostering open and productive communication
  • Creating productive roles for family members who are not active in the business
  • Managing conflict within the family and business
  • Attracting and retaining non-family managers and employees

What to Expect from a Forum Seminar

A typical Family Business Forum seminar consists of from 30 to 50 attendees, representing two or three generations, with family and non-family members from various types and sizes of businesses. Representatives from sponsoring organizations are also present at seminars to offer their expertise when appropriate. Seminars vary in content and format. Some feature family business experts while others include panels of members and sponsors.