How to Assess Family Business Leaders

April 11, 2023

at 12:00 pm EST

Guest Speaker(s):
Doug Gray, PhD, PCC, Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group and Chris Yonker, CFBA, Founder and CEO, Executive Performance Coach, The Center for Conscious Living and Fulfillment
John A. Warnick, Esq., Founder, Purposeful Planning Institute
At root, all PPI members do similar work: we assess, recommend, and serve flourishing family enterprises.  How do we assess the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in a complex family enterprise?  The older generation and owners may be losing sleep as they assess the capacity of the next generation.  They do not have a validated process to assess and recommend next steps.  Also, many Next Gen leaders (family and non-family) do not know how to demonstrate their capacity.  Those two problems often prevent decision-making about succession, strategic planning, compensation, and governance.  In this session, you’ll learn about a validated digital 360 assessment process that many PPI members may be interested in using immediately.

Introduction to our Guest Speaker(s)

Doug Gray, Ph.D. is a consultant with The Family Business Consulting Group where he specializes in leadership development, succession planning and building family unity in enterprising families. He assists family-owned firms and leadership teams with assessments and strategic solutions that leverage his expertise in positive psychology, outcome-based consulting, executive coaching, conflict resolution, family meeting facilitation and succession planning. Doug particularly enjoys developing collaborative relationships between generations of leaders so that those inside and outside the family can perpetuate the processes and systems required for continued growth. As an author and expert presenter, Doug often coaches newly promoted family business leaders on executive presence, communication skills and conflict resolution.

Doug’s personal history of family-owned businesses includes farmers and agri-business in Minnesota and South Dakota, electricians in Virginia, and consultants. Since 1997, Doug has worked with thousands of clients in multiple business sectors including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, finance, energy, safety, technology and insurance. His family business clients represent a wide variety of business sectors.

He has presented at international conferences and regularly leads seminars and workshops on Objectives and Key Results, positive psychology, leadership development, managing relationships, and preventing conflict in business and asset owning families. Since 1997 Doug has been a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Doug has published articles in academic and business publications and written two books. He has served as an adjunct faculty member and guest lecturer at Vanderbilt University, Owen School of Business, Belmont University, and he co-founded and led the Leadership Development Institute at the University of Maryland at College Park for seven years.


Chris Yonker, CFBA, specializes in helping family enterprises navigate the intricate and unique aspects of both being related and owning a business. He is a Certified Family Business Advisor accredited through The Family Firm Institute. Chris helps to consciously navigate the challenges of succession, leadership transitions and family conflict, while creating long-term strategies for business continuity.

Dubbed a “Life Journey Sherpa,” Chris’ holistic approach allows each individual in the family to be seen as an integral piece to the work. He uses his experience as a Neuro-Linguistic practitioner, a student of Philosophy and Psychology, and a thought leader on Personal Performance and Transformation to create a one-of-a-kind methodology that fuses heart and soul — helping families achieve extraordinary results that become permanent ways of being.

Drawing upon more than 25 years of driving change and leading sales with 3M, and over a decade in Family Business and Executive consulting, Chris has built a process that has become his special sort of alchemy. His strategy helps clients move beyond the obstacles family organizations face that often prevent them from leading deeply fulfilling lives, both individually as well as collectively. Many of Chris’s clients say the process of working with him leads to profound healing within their families, bringing a sense of deep peace, better relationships and higher levels of happiness alongside a thriving organization.

As a sought-after speaker, Chris has been a special guest of Camden Family Wealth, The Institute for Family-Owned Business, and The Center for Family Enterprise, and has been a featured contributor to Forbes.


Webinar Host

John A. Warnick, who family, friends, and clients know as “John A,” describes himself as a “recovering tax attorney.” After practicing for thirty years as a tax and legal advisor to wealthy families, he left the large law firm he was a partner in to pursue his passion of assisting clients transition their wealth more purposefully. He works with clients and their team of advisors to ensure that the impact of their technical planning will be a positive force in the lives of the rising generations of their family. His blog, Seedlings, provides suggestions on powerful but easy ways in which we can create non-financial legacies for our families and communities.

John A has been on what he describes as the path to Purposeful Planning Mastery for almost twenty years. There are many technical and professional mentors he is indebted to. But he is quick to point out, “My greatest teachers have been my clients. It is through them I discovered the secrets for producing not just tax-wise plans but plans that promote family harmony, individual growth and long-term preservation of family wealth.”

John A is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He has served as the Philanthropic Editor of the Journal of Practical Estate Planning and serves on the Carter Center Philanthropy Council and the Multidisciplinary Teaming and Professional Collaboration Committee of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils. His publications include “Generative Trusts & Trustees: A New Paradigm for Design and Administration,” “Innovate or Die,” and “Selecting a Trust Situs in the 21st Century.” He graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts and received his JD from George Washington University, graduating with honors.

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