October 18, 2017

8:00-10:30 a.m.

The Detroit Athletic Club



Continental breakfast


"Next Gen" Panel:  Developing Entrepreneurs in Every Generation

  • Adam Blanck, Chief of Staff, Wallside Windows.
  • Kevin Coffman, President, Champion Screw Machine Engineering, Inc.
  • Jennifer Jackson, Vice President of Development, Hungry Howie's Pizza, Inc.
  • Duncan Smith, Vice President of Operations, All Star Services.


Break-out discussion groups and report-outs



Adam Blanck is chief of staff at Wallside Windows in Taylor. He’s the third generation at the well-known home improvement company founded in 1944. A graduate of University of Michigan Law School and Ross School of Business, Adam previously was an advance associate for the White House and served on the 2012-13 Presidential Inaugural Committee. He was an associate attorney in the corporate department at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, focused on private equity and venture capital transactions. 


Kevin Coffman was named President of Champion Screw Machine Engineering, Inc. in June, 2017.

Jennifer M Jackson has been involved with Hungry Howie's Pizza since age 10, helping out at stores and at the corporate office during summer vacations. Jennifer officially started as a Hungry Howie's employee in 1998 as the Fundraising Coordinator and was promoted in 2000 to Director of Marketing. In 2005, she was named Director of Marketing & Franchise Development. After taking a brief hiatus to work in various other marketing and franchise positions, Jennifer returned to Hungry Howie's as the Director of Franchise Development and in 2015 was promoted to Vice President of Development.  Jennifer has helped grow the now approaching 600 unit pizza concept focusing with growth in new and emerging markets.


Duncan Smith is the Vice President and COO for All Star Services, Inc., headquartered in Port Huron, Michigan with additional locations in Bad Axe, Freeland and Novi.  He represents the 3rd generation in the family owned and operated business.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Economics and a Master’s in Accounting.  In 2008 Duncan led the early adoption of telemetry, dynamic scheduling and pre-kitting at All Star.  He continues to use technology to push All Star to be an industry leader.  



Next Gens:  Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Reinventors


From the EY Global Survey of the World’s Largest Family Businesses -- Staying power: how do family businesses create lasting success? “Family businesses and their leaders are the ultimate entrepreneurs. They must continually innovate to grow and pass on a thriving business from one generation to the next. Our survey demonstrates how this entrepreneurial thinking across generations results in business success and strong family ties.”



Real Stories of Next Gen Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Reinventors

  • Technology
    • Trying it your own way to save costs.
    • Getting everyone on-board to understand the need.
    • Using it to full potential.
    • Resistance but being forceful.
    • Educate and be patient.
    • Open mind – force them to see the value.
    • Adaptability.
  • Training
    • Consistent message.
    • Have a plan – communication.
      • Clear expectations.
      • Clear vision/goals/company values.
  • Direction of industry
    • Technology; online; data.
    • Proactive change to business model.
  • Order fulfillment process
    • Knowledge from prior work.
    • CRM system.
    • Increase efficiencies and effectiveness.
    • Lesson:  success in “change” starts at the top.
  • Blockers
    • Tenured employees.
      • “Why do we need to re-invent?”




How Can Family Businesses Develop Next Gens as Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Reinventors?

  • Interests lead to ideas.
  • Mentoring:
    • Family
    • Other employees
    • Advisors.
  • Outside training.
  • Cultural:  explore outside business boundaries.
  • Work first outside the family business.
  • Hard-knocks.
  • Control bleeding with “hats.”
  • Trust decision-making.
  • Don’t undermine through other people.



How Can the Senior Generation Help (or Hinder) this Development?

  • Micromanaging.
  • Senior generation needs to get out of the way.  Loosen reins.  Delegate.
  • Teach decision making process – and then be supportive.
  • Let next gen get involved in decisions.
  • Be open minded – don’t limit because of age or gender.
  • Allow next gens to make mistake – and improve outcomes.
  • Executive coach.



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