Steve Forbes to headline conference for family-owned businesses on March 4 at FGCU

Steve Forbes - Family Business Conference

Sunshine Ace Hardware President Michael Wynn will be a featured speaker at the Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference. Below is a news release that announces conference details:

Steve Forbes to headline conference for family-owned businesses on March 4 at FGCU

Media mogul Steve Forbes will deliver the keynote address during the Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference in partnership with Florida Gulf Coast University on March 4 at the FGCU campus. 

The conference, titled “Family Business: Thriving in an Ever-Changing World,” is geared toward owners of multigenerational businesses and offers insight and best practices from dynamic leaders who are running family businesses. In addition to Forbes, speakers include David Hoffmann, chairman of the Hoffmann Family of Companies; Shelly Stayer, co-owner and chairwoman for Johnsonville Sausage; Michael Wynn, president of Sunshine Ace Hardware and John Resnick, principal of The Resnick Group. 

According to the U.S. Census, about 90% of all American companies are family-owned or controlled. Yet the survival statistics are stark. Only one-third of family-owned firms survive to the second generation and just 13% make it to the third generation.  

Steve Forbes photo“A family-owned business is not just about business; it’s personal,” said Forbes, who serves as chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media. “That’s why this conference couldn’t be timelier and that’s why I am honored to be a part of it.” 

Forbes Media was founded by his grandfather and has 132 million global visitors every month. 

Family-owned businesses have been particularly impacted during the pandemic through inflationary costs, labor shortages, shipping delays and changes in consumer behavior like online shopping. Forbes notes that family-owned businesses still have an advantage because they can “combine commercial success with a broader consciousness of community stewardship and continuity – a critical asset during this troubled era.” 

“As the CEO and a fourth-generation family member of The Barron Collier Companies, I am aware of the challenges family businesses can go through to survive from generation to generation,” said Blake Gable, a steering committee member for the conference. “I am thrilled to be part of this program that sheds light on how family businesses can thrive in today’s competitive corporate environment.” 

The conference series, created by Michael Wynn and John and Billie Resnick, will be similar to conferences the Resnicks conducted with The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania that included Steve Forbes and other family business icons. 

“Family businesses are the economic engine of our economy,” said Billie Resnick. “John and I, along with Michael Wynn, are proud to have partnered with David and Jerri Hoffmann, Blake Gable and Shelly Stayer to support and increase the odds of survival of family businesses in Southwest Florida.” 

“Sunshine Ace and other family-owned businesses face a fierce competitive environment, often competing with large corporations with very deep pockets,” Wynn said. “It’s more important than ever for family businesses to work together to share strategies and best practices to excel during challenging times like we’re facing now. Family businesses represent the lifeblood of our community.” 

The Family Business Conference runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 4 at the Cohen Student Union, 11090 FGCU Blvd. N. in Fort Myers. Tickets are $250 each. Discounts are applied for multiple tickets or tables purchased.  

Sponsorship opportunities also are available and start at $2,500. Net proceeds will support scholarships for business majors attending FGCU.

Registration Information

Website: FGCU.edu/FamilyBusinessConference

Telephone: 239-745-4700

Email: ResnickWynnFBC@FGCU.edu