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You have a lot at stake.  Interview slowly because 'fit' is very important.

Selecting the right professional advisor to facilitate family meetings, guide your intergenerational planning process, and help to gradually prepare the rising generation will be among the most important decisions you make for your family enterprise. - You need a partner who is trusted by every branch and member of your family to bring the right blend of business acumen, emotional intelligence/consensus building, and the technical proficiency to work in concert with your incumbent advisory team.

The service I offer isn't for everyone, and that's okay.

 

The client relationships I seek are low in number and high-trust/long-term in nature, so let's spend time getting to know one another. We should only begin working together if all parties feel there is a fit and see mutual benefit in the relationship.

I can't believe I get to do this work with families.

Both of my parents were farm kids and each were the first members of their families to go on to post-secondary education. My mother pursued a nursing career where she rose to senior leadership. My father pursued engineering where he discovered his passion for managing complex construction projects (the national virology lab in Winnipeg will always be his favorite). Raised in this environment along with my younger sister, I was unaware of the complex challenges facing business families until 2012 when I was recruited to become a non-family president of a family-owned business. Although the opportunity didn't work out as either party hoped, I now realize what an incredible learning opportunity it was. To this day I draw upon the experience acquired while I navigated issues from that vantage point.

I have always tried hard to conclude career chapters with grace. When the opportunity with the family business I was recruited to lead didn't work out, I went for coffee with the previous CEO I reported to only 18 months prior. He knew me well, both my strengths and my many weaknesses, and he believed I would enjoy meeting Patrick O'Connor. Pat and I started working together in 2014 and he quickly became a great mentor and friend. In Fall 2021 after considerable deep thinking that COVID created space for us all to do, I decided to launch this solo practice with the goal of narrowing my focus and going even deeper in pursuit of my mission to help enterprising families thrive across generations. To this day it remains an incredible honor each time a family invites me to come alongside them to listen, sort through/make sense of their challenges and identify their opportunities before guiding the process to discover common values and develop a new common vision that everyone will support. - I thoroughly enjoy the work and I wake up every morning with a hunger to become significantly better at it than I was the day before.

In short, thank you to the mentors I've been fortunate to work with, the client families that continue to place their trust in me, and the advisors I've been fortunate to collaborate with. I am proud of what we have already accomplished and know the best is yet to come in this journey we are on together.

Chris

About Chris - Background

Book Smarts (Academics)

  • B.Comm (Hons) - Bachelors of Commerce, Asper School of Business (2006)

  • MBA - Masters of Business Administration, Asper School of Business (2009)

  • FEA - Family Enterprise Advisor designation, University of Alberta (2018)

  • TEP - Trust & Estate Practitioner designation, Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (2021)

Street Smarts (Prior Business Experience)

  • Partner - boutique planning firm specializing in family governance

  • President (non-family) - family-owned business with 3 retail locations and a manufacturing plant

  • VP Sales/Marketing - national private healthcare services provider

  • Territory Manager before promoted to Western Canadian Sales Manager, global medical device manufacturer

  • Founder/Entrepreneur - startup that rented bariatric medical equipment to regional health authorities

  • Founder/Entrepreneur - startup after university, manufactured orthopedic seating for hip/knee replacement patients

Emotional Intelligence

  • Elementary school conflict mediator (peer-elected in grades 5 and 6)

  • True Colors proficient - personality assessment platform

  • Married to a therapist - my facilitation skill has improved dramatically thanks to coaching received from my wife Michelle through her work with individuals and couples

Thought Leadership and Industry Involvement

  • Session Moderator - National Symposium (Vancouver), Family Enterprise Canada (FEC)

  • FEA National Committee - Family Enterprise Advisors (FEA), Family Enterprise Xchange (FEX)

  • Student Liaison Committee - Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP), Winnipeg chapter

  • FEC Ambassador - Family Enterprise Canada (FEC, formerly FEX)

  • Workshop Facilitator - Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME)

  • Guest lecturer - Asper MBA program: Marketing Management, corporate strategy capstone courses

  • Former Board Member - Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE)

Volunteerism and Community Engagement

  • Coach - Timbits Hockey (5 and 6 year olds)

  • Volunteer - Play4Sven annual hockey tournament fundraiser to reduce the stigma of mental health in sports

  • Former Coach - Winnipeg Foundation Fast Pitch 2015,16 (think Dragons Den for non-profit sector)

  • Former Board Member - Young Associates - Asper School of Business

  • Former Volunteer Cyclist - Habitat for Humanity (Yellowstone USA to Winnipeg)

Hobbies and Personal Interests

  • Anything that burns gas and goes fast

  • Adventure - 'Gravel travel' roadtrips in search of new places to stargaze and make s'mores with my wife and our 2 young daughters

  • Music - Winnipeg Folk Festival, concerts, 'music appreciation club' bedtime routine with our girls

  • Learning - stimulating 'brain stretcher' conversations, reading, courses

  • Family - building pond rinks and skating with our girls (sample video clip below)

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