DC Family Business Forum

About DC Family Business Forum

The mission of the DC Family Business Forum is to promote and foster the growth and ongoing success of family businesses through learning, sharing and creating effective solutions regarding the critical issues and challenges confronting family businesses in the Washington, DC metropolitan region. Presentations and seminars are supported entirely by multi-disciplinary sponsors who are involved in working with family businesses as part of their routine practice.

Attendance to lectures and presentations sponsored by the DC Family Business Forum is offered by invitation only to a limited number of family-owned businesses. Participation in activities is restricted to invitees and sponsors. An invitation is extended by sponsors to family businesses who have the ability to benefit from and participate in the lecture series. Invited businesses will generally have a family member with controlling interest in the business and at least one family member currently employed in the business.



2019-2020 Schedule (Year 4)

Incorporating the Next Generation into the Family Business - Anthony Lanier & Philippe Lanier
March 24, 2020

The D.C. Family Business Forum continues the 2019–2020 series with a fireside chat featuring Anthony and Philippe Lanier of EastBanc Inc. Established in 1987 by Anthony Lanier, the D.C.-based EastBanc Inc. is one of the largest contiguous owners of urban retail properties in the country. EastBanc has also expanded its interests into the technology and lifestyle segments, offering full-service software development through EastBanc Technologies, and as the developer/owner of Squash On Fire, a new specialty sports venue. The father-son duo will provide insight on the rewards and challenges of bringing the next generation into the family business, including:

  • Preparing the Next Generation to be leaders
  • Succession Planning
  • Long-term vision agreement
  • Addressing potential family discord
  • Motivating non-family employees

Anthony Lanier, president and CEO of EastBanc Inc., founded the multinational company in 1987. He is involved in all development decisions and the strategic direction of the firm. Over the course of his career, Anthony has co-developed over 4 million square feet of mixed-use commercial real estate in multiple countries.

Philippe Lanier is the principal vice president at EastBanc Inc. and is responsible for overseeing all company activities. Prior to joining EastBanc, he spent seven years as an equity research analyst at Lehman Brothers and Bank of America Securities, and also worked as an acquisitions manager at the European office of Prudential Real Estate Investors.

The Challenges of Establishing, Sustaining, and Expanding Your Family Offices -
Jack Clark Beau Schweikert Michael Friedl Gail Merriam
December 3, 2019

No two family offices are alike. Family offices provide the level and type of services the family needs, which evolve over time and expand as the family grows.
We've assembled a panel of the managers of four family offices, which range from the limited services Gail Merriam provides for Michelle Freeman and her children, to the broad range of services Steuart Investment Company provides for multiple generations of the Steuart family, under the leadership of Jack Clark.
Attending this program may help you whether to establish a family office, which may entail bringing to the personal services provided by employees or consultants. If you have a family office, this program may help you decide if the services you receive are sufficient and whether to expand your office to provide additional services.

Automotive Family Panel - Michael Lindsay & Vince Sheehy
October 17, 2019

Many successful and well-known automotive dealerships in the D.C. metro region are family businesses, and this diverse group provides a unique perspective into the challenges that they face. Join us in a discussion about expansion, next generation leadership, real estate holdings and the pros and cons of the family automotive industry.

2018-2019 Schedule (Year 3)

"Golden Handcuff": Strategies for Attracting & Retaining Key Executives - Panelist: Steve Alloy (Stanley Martin Homes) Panelist: Jim Davis (Davis Construction)
October 9, 2018

Steve and Jim joined together and presented their thoughts on strategic growth and retaining excellent talent in a family-owned business.

Transfer Business to Family Members - Panelist: Enrico Cecchi (IDI Group Companies)Panelist: Howard Cohen (Daycon) Panelist: Michelle Freeman (Carl M. Freedman Companies)
February 12, 2019

They will discuss their experiences as second generation members who’ve assumed control and management of their family’s business, while nurturing the third generation who will eventually step into their shoes.

Transfer Business to Employees - Linda Rabbitt (Rand Construction)
April 9, 2019

The 2018-2019 D.C. Family Business Forum continues with an event featuring Linda Rabbitt, Founder and Chairman of the Board of rand* Construction Corporation.
Linda founded rand* Construction Corporation in 1989 and has grown the company into a multi-market construction company with annual sales in excess of $300 million. Linda will discuss how during this period she nurtured a strong team of key employees to perpetrate the company into the future and will discuss why and how she is transitioning ownership of her business to these key employees.

Sale of Business to Third Party - Tom Carr (Federal Capital Partners) Doug Kinney (Delta Partners)
June 11, 2019

In today’s economy where disruption is the rule and good leadership is at a premium, every family business owner needs a full understanding of all available mechanisms for transferring a company – including a possible sale to a third party.

Thomas A. Carr, managing partner of Federal Capital Partners and former Chairman and CEO of CarrAmerica Realty Corporation will talk about the effort to market and sell a family business to third parties, including (i) a 1993 IPO in a distressed capital market, (ii) bringing in a strategic partner and later buying it out, and (iii) selling to Blackstone in 2006.

Douglas S. Kinney, president of Delta Partners, LLC and former president of the YPO-Gold Washington DC-Baltimore chapter, will talk about distressed family businesses Delta Partners has purchased, in what amount to involuntary sales.

Tom and Doug will discuss what things went wrong and what things went right leading up to the sale, common themes and lessons that should be learned by all family business owners.

2017-2018 Schedule (Year 2)

Family Systems and Family Governance - Ellen Perry (GenSpring)
September 12, 2017
  • Complexities of family wealth, particularly around closely held businesses
  • How to prepare the rising generation to become thoughtful stewards
  • How to successfully transition family wealth and values while understanding the next generation’s aspirations
  • How to create a blueprint for family governance

Successful Succession - All You Need is a Little Luck - The Luck Family
November 14, 2017

The Luck family will discuss issues they faced with succession planning.

Family Security Discussion - Kris Coleman (RedFive Security)
January 9, 2018

A discussion on how to keep your family safe, your identity secure, and your cyber-life private.

Family Business - What Can Go Wrong - John Kane (Kane Co.)
March 13, 2018

A number of factors can play into the failure of a family business, but experts believe the number one leading cause is lack of communication and expectation between generations.

2016-2017 Schedule (Year 1)

Lone Ranger - I Did It My Way
October 18, 2016 - Sheila Johnson (Salamander Resorts)

Sheila Johnson is co-Founder of BET Networks, Founder and CEO of Salamander Resorts. Read more for full bio.

Transition: Lone Ranger to Sibling Partnership
December 6, 2016 - Peterson Family (Peterson Companies)

The Petersons discussed the Legacy Plan they developed, pursuant to which Milt Peterson has transitioned the ownership and management of his businesses to his children and they, in turn, will transition the businesses to future generations of their family.Read more for full bio.

Sibling Partnership
February 7, 2017 - David Trone (Total Wine)

Total Wine & More is one of the country's largest independent retailer of beer, wine and spirits. However, it is not owned by a publicly traded company or large private equity firm. Read more for full bio.

Transition: Sibling Partnership to Cousin Consortium
April 4, 2017 - Bryant Foulger, Brent Pratt, Cameron Pratt (Foulger-Pratt)

Established in 1963, Foulger-Pratt is a real estate development firm distinguished by its long-term investment focus and extensive experience executing successful mixed-use, transit-oriented projects throughout the Washington D.C. metro area. Read more for full bio.

Going Public, Staying Private
June 6, 2017 - Willy Walker (Walker & Dunlop)

Willy Walker is chairman and chief executive officer of Walker & Dunlop. Under Mr. Walker's leadership, Walker & Dunlop has grown from a small, family-owned business to become one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States that is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company has repeatedly been named one of the "50 Fastest Growing Companies" in the Washington Region and a "Great Place to Work" by Fortune magazine.