Our expert panel discussed recent trends in Northwest Family Businesses as reflected in the 2015 survey organized by the Pacific Family Business Institute. Over 200 family businesses in Washington and Oregon responded.
The panel addressed many of the challenges, issues, and opportunities facing regional family businesses as highlighted by the survey. Topics included:
- Business growth and opportunities
- Succession planning
- Family business structure and ownership
- Governance and board structure
- Business characteristics
Rich Simmonds, Pacific Family Business Institute
Rich Simmonds is a co-director of the Pacific Family Business Institute. For more than 25 years, he has been working with Northwest family-owned businesses and their advisors in the development of next-generation family members, development of their business and family boards, and transitions from one generation to the next. Rich is involved with the family business initiatives at Oregon State University and Gonzaga University as well as the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Board of Central Washington University. In 1995, Rich co-founded Tyee Asset Strategies, a wealth management company that grew from startup to $4 billion in assets. He served as Chairman of Tyee until 2004, when it was acquired by Laird Norton Company.
Ron Dohr, Ph.D., Pacific Family Business Institute
Ron Dohr is a co-director of the Pacific Family Business Institute with more than 35 years of proven success as a business consultant and family business advisor. As an experienced business psychologist, university professor, certified mediator, executive coach, and senior advisor to many Pacific Northwest legacy businesses, Ron has consulted with all types and sizes of family enterprises in various industries and stages of life cycle. Ron has been an active board member of the Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution and also has affiliations with the Family Firm Institute, Seattle Estate Planning Council and the Northwest Family Business Advisors.
Christian Schiller, Cascadia Capital
Christian Schiller is a Managing Director of Cascadia Capital where he supports the buy side and sell side of Mergers and Acquisitions. Christian is involved in equity and debt private placement, and strategic advisory transactions with private and public companies in the middle market. He is a very active participant and leader in the family business segment across the Pacific Northwest, working proactively with family business leaders to facilitate various strategic initiatives. With over 15 years of investment banking experience, Christian has closed over 90 transactions in a variety of industries across the U.S. and globally.
Dori Brewer, Perkins Coie
Dori Brewer is a partner at Perkins Coie with more than 30 years of experience in the areas of corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, and advising closely-held companies and family-owned businesses. She serves as outside general counsel to a number of significant private companies. Dori works closely with owners of family-owned businesses to develop governance structures to support growth and stability of the business and to develop succession plans, whether leading to a sale of the company, raising capital from outside investors, or a continuation of the business with the next generation of family members.