Past Events

UConn Family Business Town Hall

August 19, 2021 11:00 AM ET
Meg Warren: UConn School of Business, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Robin Bienemann: UConn Family Business Program, Entrepreneur in Residence & Program Director

Come join the conversation about where the program has been & where it’s going this fall. We’d love your input on the program, the content & the future of the program.

Video coming soon

Hartford Business Journal’s 2020 Family Business Awards

June 23, 2021 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM ET

The UConn School of Business is proud to be the Education Leadership Sponsor for HBJ’s 2021 Family Business Awards. 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.

Meet the 2021 honorees at this outdoor event on June 23rd at Farmington Gardens.

Special keynote by Kim Morrison, Founder of New England Pasta Co., and Co-Founder of BeanZ and Co.

The Human Assets of a Family Business

June 17, 2021 11:00 AM ET
Cathy Wynne, SPHR, SHRM-CP, CSP, Owner, A Hire Purpose, LLC; Matthew Kerzner, Ph.D., Director, Eisner Amper: Center for Family Business Excellence; Rebecca Pardoe, President, Results HR, LLC.

It’s all about the people–learn how businesses return, re-engage, redefine, recruit, and retain the people that make the business work. Hear from experts who can share best practices in making the most of today’s workforce.

Ownership & Leadership Transitions – Expert Advice and Strategies

April 15, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Matt Pugliese, Associate State Director, CTSBDC; Bob Zelinger, Partner, Hinckley Allen; Dan McMahon, Partner & Founder, Integrated Growth Advisors
Transitions in family businesses are an opportunity & a challenge. Come learn from professionals & academics how to negotiate the transition to a new business model. Video recording coming soon.

Work/Life Balance for Families – Tips & Tricks

March 18, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Kari Adamsons, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences at UConn, teaches classes on parenting, close relationships, and family theory. In this Timely Topics session, she will share tips & tricks to make things better at home and at work while juggling multiple priorities during a challenging time. Take thirty minutes this month to prepare yourself for a better 2021. Video recording coming soon.

Timely Topic: Love is Damn Good Business

February 18, 2021 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (ET)
Come hear why Love is Damn Good Business. Based on his best-selling book, author & leadership speaker Steve Farber tells us why it’s time to toss aside the touchy-feely notions of love in business and recognize the real power it holds. Love is not only appropriate in the context of business, it’s the foundation of great leadership, and, therefore, the very foundation of a thriving, competitive enterprise. Video recording coming soon.

Timely Topic: New Year, New Innovations for Family Businesses

January 21, 2021 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Lucy Gilson, PhD, Associate Dean UConn School of Business; Edward Lim, UConn Business & Entrepreneurship Librarian; and Jennifer (Oakes) Keohane, Executive Director at Connecticut Library Consortium
It’s time for new products, services, markets and customers. Come learn what innovation can mean for your family business and what resources are available to help.

Timely Topic: Learn, Grow, and Collaborate with UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (CAHNR)

December 9, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Indrajeet Chaubey, Ph.D., Dean & Director of UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health & Natural Resources (CAHNR)
Learn what’s happening in UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health & Natural Resources. There’s a wealth of opportunity to learn, grow and collaborate. Indrajeet oversees the land grant mission—integration of learning, discovery, extension outreach in student centered approaches, interdisciplinary research, diverse and inclusive culture, and extension outreach that has transformational impacts on the communities that we serve. His faculty and staff are working to positively impact agricultural production, economic development, natural resource sustainability and health of our communities at regional, national and global scales.

Timely Topic: Engineering Resources for Connecticut Family Businesses

November 11, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Jeff McCutcheon, PhD, Al Geib Professor of Environmental Engineering Research and Education, UConn School of Engineering
Professor Jeff McCutcheon runs a dynamic research laboratory in the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Department at UConn. He has raised over $7 million dollars in research support from public and private sponsorship and published over 85 refereed papers. Join Professor McCutcheon on November 11th to learn what’s happening at UConn’s School of Engineering, and what resources are available to support Connecticut companies.

Virtual Panel Discussion: Succession & Technology

Thursday, November 5, 2020 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. (ET)
Jeff McCutcheon, PhD, Al Geib Professor of Environmental Engineering Research and Education, UConn School of Engineering
In this 90-minute virtual Panel, UConn School of Business Dean John A. Elliott led a discussion about surviving and thriving in the COVID-era business environment. As a family business owner, you must always be looking towards the future. For technology – being able to adapt to the new realities of conducting business, and also in your succession plan, to make sure your business is in good hands.

Timely Topic: What Would Your Banker Say?

October 28, 2020 11:00 – 11:30 a.m. (ET)
Eugene F. Shugrue, Chief Lending Officer, Liberty Bank
Joe Williams, Captial Access Team Lead, CTSBDC Business Advisor
With all the changes in the need for capital and the capital markets – what would your banker say? Come learn from an expert in financial markets what banks are considering and what you should be doing now, and learn what resources the CT Small Business Development Center has to help manage the capital markets.

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


UConn Family Business Program Spring Training flyer

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.


UConn Family Business Program Base Camp Flyer

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


UConn Family Business Program Base Camp Flyer

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