"All in the Family (Business)" Panel Discussion

Firstrust's Family Business Banking Panel

Family-owned companies face unique challenges: from succession, estate planning and ownership control to conflict resolution, mentoring, and nurturing relationships among family—and non-family—employees.  Thanks to the coordination by Center City Proprietors Association (CCPA), on September 29, 2010, three local Philadelphia family businesses and two expert resources shared how they make their successful businesses thrive – from the dining room to the board room.

The lively discussion focused on:

  • Legal and psychological challenges for growth
  • Challenges in transitioning a family business from one generation to the next, when to use outside consultants
  • Growing up in the business and inter-generational mentoring
  • Smart use of outside consultants to minimize or avoid risk
  • Accountability, governance, business structures
  • Conflict management, building consensus, bringing in outside experts


Panelists included:

Marc Brownstein, President & CEO, The Brownstein Group

After a successful career on Madison Avenue, Marc returned to Philly and now runs the advertising agency his father started in 1964.

Bill Mignucci, Owner, Di Bruno Brothers, Inc.

With a helping of technology and a glass of Chianti, Bill and his cousin run their grandfather’s cheese-and-gourmet store

Sam Mink, Owner, Samson Street Oyster House

Sam represents the third generation in a seafood-restaurant family, although each generation has established and created a unique Philadelphia eatery

Lauren A. Schmidt, Associate, Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
Craig Lichtman, MD, MBA , Family Business Consulting

The panel was moderated by:
Caro U. Rock, Publisher, Family Business Magazine


Introduction and Welcome

Terry D'Alessandro, Executive Vice President, Firstrust Bank

This podcast explains Firstrust’s unique position: as a third generation family-owned bank, we understand your needs.

Listen now:

Download in mp3 format (01:56 / 1.8MB)


Meet Our Panelists

Family Business magazine publisher, Caro Rock, welcomes today’s panelists and then gives each an opportunity to introduce themselves and their family business.

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Download in mp3 format (15:44 / 14.7MB)


Transitioning a Family Business From One Generation to the Next

In this segment, you’ll hear about successor selection, timing of transitions, defining responsibilities, assessing risks and knowing when to ask for help by consulting with external professional.

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Download in mp3 format (06:41 / 6.2MB)


What do you do when you don’t have a Succession Plan?

Sam Mink describes how his family acted as his mentor and safety net.

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Download in mp3 format (03:14 / 3.0MB)


Get Help! And Avoid Mistakes

Attorney Lauren Schmidt provides valuable insight when she discusses how external professional resources can help a family business minimize risk.

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Download in mp3 format (03:08 / 2.9MB)


Running a Family Business: From the Dining Room to the Board Room

Moderator Caro Rock and the panelists discuss personal accountability, business governance practices, family involvement, informal/formal discussions and how to surround your business with industry and professional expertise.

Listen now:

Download in mp3 format (06:15 / 5.8MB)


Conflict as a Constant for Growth

Two experts discuss some of the legal and psychological challenges for growth while still maintaining a family’s traditions and values.

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Download in mp3 format (05:29 / 5.1MB)


“Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

How family businesses manage conflict, resolve disagreements and build consensus by identifying experts within the family and business hierarchy and soliciting the opinions of outside experts.

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Download in mp3 format (06:02 / 5.6MB)


Audience Discussion and Q&A

How did current generations overcome reluctance to innovate and not displace the legacy of previous generations?

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Download in mp3 format (03:17 / 3.0MB)

How a Legacy Thrives: learn how each generation pays homage to the previous generation’s philosophy. With special comments by David Mink, father of Oyster House’s Sam Mink

Listen now:

Download in mp3 format (08:17 / 7.7MB)

“You can pay people to work but you can’t pay people to care,” how to include non-family employees in owning a piece of your business' success.

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Download in mp3 format (04:03 / 3.8MB)

Leading by example: take care of your employees and they will take care of you.

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Download in mp3 format (02:03 / 1.9MB)

Practical matters: dealing with the ‘nuts and bolts’ of a family business.

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Download in mp3 format (01:27 / 1.3MB)

Thank you for listening.

To learn more about Firstrust’s background as a family-owned business,

 please click here.

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