Sunday, July 7, 2019

Family Businesses Plan for the Next Generation

center for business in transitionThe North Country Center for Businesses in Transition has announced “Intergenerational Family Transitions, Creative Solutions and Alternative Structures,” an informational and networking workshop where North Country family business owners and regional business support professionals will share their experiences, set for Wednesday, July 10th from 8 to 10:30 am, at Anchorspace Potsdam, 71 Market Street, Potsdam.

Family business owners, retiring owners and entrepreneurs interested in taking over existing businesses are encouraged to participate. The event is hosted by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. SUNY Canton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Business Advisor Michelle A. Collins will moderate. The workshop is free and open to the public.

The workshop is the fourth in a five-part series offered by the Center, a collaborative partnership led by the  (ANCA). The Center’s partner organizations and community liaisons provide resources and networking opportunities for business owners looking to transition their operations to new owners or ownership models.

Each workshop features invited panelists who speak about their experiences with selling a business, taking over an existing enterprise or supporting small businesses through ownership changes. Panelists for the July 10 workshop include Deena McCullough, president and chief executive officer of Northern Insuring Agency, a Plattsburgh-based insurance firm that has been in her family for three generations.

William P. Collins, president and licenced insurance agent and broker at MacFadden Dier Leonard Agency in Canton, will also be on the panel. In over 23 years working in insurance, Collins has supported a number of businesses transition in the North Country.

Presentations by regional professionals will focus on business governance, the importance of peer networking and peer-to-peer groups in family transitions, developing strategic plans, convening family stakeholder meetings and creating a leadership development strategy.

Carol Wittmeyer, visiting associate professor at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, is one of the invited presenters. Wittmeyer is working to develop a new Family Business Initiative at the college which includes a Next Generation Leadership Program.

Debi Pettit, an accredited human resources professional and business advisor, will also present. Pettit has over 25 years of experience in human resources operations and has implemented business conversion programs for a variety of North Country enterprises, including family businesses transitioning to the next generation.

The Center for Businesses in Transition is offering different ways to participate in the workshops, including in-person attendance and online viewing opportunities with partner organizations. Workshops will be recorded so interested participants can view them at their convenience and for future reference.

The final workshop in the series, “Entrepreneurs: Taking Over an Existing Business,” hosted by Lewis County Economic Development and IDA at their Center for Business office in Lowville, NY, will take place on August 21, 2019 from 8 to 10:30 am.

For more information or to be connected with a community liaison, North Country business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to contact the Center at ANCA’s office at or (518) 891-6200. Information about the Center’s workshop series and how to register can be found online.

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