Past Events

Timely Topic: Is It Time to Export? A Conversation with the SBA

October 14, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Joseph Raycraft, Export Finance Manager, and Patrick Hayes, Export Finance Director North, Office of International Trade, U.S. Small Business Administration
Is lack of financing preventing you from expanding your reach and exporting to international markets? Small Business Administration international trade and finance experts Joseph Raycraft and Patrick Hayes will help you evaluate your options and share details of the SBA’s portfolio of export financing programs.

Timely Topic: Exit Options for Family Businesses

September 30, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
C. Robert Zelinger, Partner, Hinckley-Allen
All organizations need to plan and navigate leadership transitions at one point or another. Family businesses are unique in that there are limited options for such an important transition. Bob Zelinger, Partner at legal firm Hinckley-Allen, has advised independent and family businesses for over 30 years on succession planning and leadership transition. Join Bob as he shares insights and best practices to help you prepare and plan for the inevitable.

Timely Topic: Strategy in Times of Change

September 16, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Greg Reilly, Ph.D., Management Department Head, UConn School of Business
How do you create and actualize a strategic plan in the face of unprecedented uncertainty in the market? Professor Reilly’s insightful approach will encourage you to consider the following aspects of your business:

  • How has the pandemic changed your customers’ needs and the competitive dynamics of your market?
  • What is your plan for bouncing back or seizing new growth opportunities?
  • How will your culture and identity change?
  • What new projects do you need to launch, run, and coordinate?
  • How has the pandemic changed your ability to execute your plans and projects?

Professor Reilly is Professor and Department Head of Management at the UConn School of Business, where he teaches integrative strategy classes. He was Academic Director for the School’s Graduate Programs in Human Resource Management from 2014-2019. Greg is active in executive training and has led courses on developing strategy, HR metrics, strategic human resources and strategic financial management around the world.

Timely Topic: Customer & Sales Resilience

September 2, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Marc Kitz, Sales Coach / Consultant, Kitz Consulting, LLC
How solid is your pipeline, your customer base & your sales process? Come learn from veteran sales expert Marc Kitz how to understand and impact your future revenue by managing customer relationships, growing key accounts, and driving new business.

Timely Topic: A Conversation with the Dean

August 19, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
John Elliott, Dean and Auran J. Fox Chair, UConn School of Business
Come learn what’s happening at UConn. Returning to the School of Business after his year-long stint as interim University Provost, Dean Elliott holds a unique perspective he’d like to share on the state of Connecticut, the University, the School of Business and the many opportunities offered in our Family Business Program. On August 19, please join the Dean for a conversation about family business!

Hartford Business Journal’s Family Business Awards

July 29, 2020 3:00 p.m.
Family businesses are an integral part of the social and business fabric of our state. These awards recognize outstanding achievements in family-owned businesses and tell the story of a select group of the region’s most successful firms. Help us celebrate the 2020 honorees by tuning in on July 29th at 3:00 p.m. to a special virtual awards ceremony presented by the Hartford Business Journal.

Watch the video on the HBJ website

Timely Topic: Leadership & Innovation in Times of Crisis

July 22, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Professor Lucy Gilson, Associate Dean of Faculty and Outreach, UConn School of Business
In a crisis, leadership is more critical than ever. Yet leaders often become managers focused on “getting things done” rather than actually leading – setting direction, focusing on innovation and change. For a family business there is a fine line here – the business needs to do everything to ensure it remains viable, but the opportunity for change should not be lost. In this 30-minute session you’ll be inspired and understand why Lucy Gilson is a three-time professor of the year as she shares some of the key steps of crisis leadership, as well as the importance of using this time to innovate. Due to technical errors with the recording, we cannot provide you with the video, however, here are the presentation slides if you would like to view them.

Timely Topic: Supply Chain Resilience

July 8, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
David Richards, CEO, Concursive Corp.
A strong supply chain is the lifeline of your family business. You rely on suppliers to deliver products and services crucial to your business. International or domestic, the current environment is challenging even the healthiest suppliers and their customers. Supply chain expert Dave Richards will share best practices for evaluating, communicating with, and managing your suppliers.

Timely Topic: Communication in Tough Times

June 24, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Kari Adamsons, Associate Professor, UConn Human Development and Family Sciences
We all know family dynamics can sometimes make communication within a family business challenging. Add the stress of today’s significant economic, cultural and social factors, and those communication challenges can be pushed to the limit. Dr. Adamsons will share techniques to communicate and work more effectively in these challenging times.

Every Family Business Needs a Transition Plan

5 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Future Generations
Thursday, November 14, 2019

Most businesses have strategic plans, but many families don’t. While every family business is unique, there are five basic ways to transition a family business to the next generation or the next owner. Hear from academic and industry experts about the options for your family business. You will create an outline (plan) that you can discuss with your family. Highlights will include:

  • Exit strategy components
  • Effective succession plan
  • Incorporating family plan into business plan
  • When to consider outside management or other options for non-family business mgmt
  • Estate and financial planning
  • Build your bench, increase business value, and future stability

Location: Red Thread, 300 East River Drive, East Hartford, CT

Bob Zelinger, Hinkley Allen / Legal
Jeff Rich, Touchstone Advisors / Sales, Internal or External
Devar / Family Business
Eugene F. Shugrue, Liberty Bank / SEVP & Chief Lending Officer
Greg Reilly, UConn / Strategy & Planning
Kari Adamsons, UConn / Family Dynamics
Greg Lewis, SBDC / Valuation
James J. Beaulieu, Beaulieu Financial Services, LLC

Beaulieu Financial Services, LLC
Hinckley Allen
Red Thread
Touchstone Advisors

Family Base Camp Spring 2019 Training

Dates & Topics:

Tuesday, April 23rd: Family Dynamics & Communication

Thursday, April 25th: Talent & Leadership

Tuesday, April 30th: Revenue & Innovation

Thursday, May 9th: Operations & IT

Thursday, May 16th: Legal & Risk

Tuesday, May 21st: Finance & Capital

Thursday, May 23rd: The Plan: Vision & Opportunities


Family Base Camp – Executive Education Program Modules

Family Business Base Camp 4/7/18

When: Saturday April 7th, 2018

Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Where: CT Small Business Development Center – 222 Pitkin Street, East Hartford, CT 06108

For more information click here.


Family Business Base Camp

Please join us for our Family Business Base Camp.

When: Wednesday, February 28th, 2018

Time: 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Location: Avon Old Farms Hotel, 279 Avon Mountain Rd., Avon


The Innovation Connection

Please join us as our guest for a discussion on Aerospace Supply Chain Resilience: Family Businesses in Transition.


JEFFREY RUBIN, Managing Partner, Cronus Partners LLC


GARY GREENBERG, President and CEO, Birken Manufacturing Company

DAVID SOUDER, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs, UConn School of Business

EMILY CARTER, State Director, Connecticut Small Business Development Center

C. ROBERT ZELINGER, Partner, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP

When: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Time: 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Location: 20 Church Street (Stilts Building), Hartford CT

If you have further questions, please contact:

Lisa Johnson: | (203)774-9648

Innovation Connection - February 15, 2017

Previous Events

The Innovation Connection
Women in Family Business: Bridging Gaps

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
4-6 PM

Innovate Hartford
20 Church Street (Stilts Building)
Hartford, Suite 1780, 17th Floor

Panel Discussion followed by Social Networking.

How are women finding peace an prosperity? Come listen to folks who've figured out the secret sauce when dealing with:

  • Communication - Between generations
  • Value & Values - What's the business worth & what's the culture
  • Transitions - Planning for every generation
  • Financial Literacy - How do you talk about money
  • Hiring - Finding & keeping the right mix
  • Resources - Where can you go for help


  • Capri Frank, Miller Foods
  • Nancy Hamilton, Trans-Tek, Inc.
  • Sabrina Beck, Altek
  • Rebecca Harris-Selig, HAS Insurance

Sponsored by:

UConn School of Business, Family Business Program

CT - Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

UConn, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium,

HFM  Wealth Management

Innovate Hartford