PDFB Psychodynamics of Family Business

PDFB 21 Meeting Confirmation and Request for Further Presentations

We are looking forward to seeing you at PDFB 21. 

Save the Date!  Friday, May 1 – Sunday, May 3, 2015

Hilton Orrington Hotel
1710 Orrington Avenue

Evanston, IL 60201

T: 847.866-8700

F: 847.866.8724


Based upon input from participants at PDFB 20 and discussions within the Program Committee, we are pleased to announce that the main theme for PDFB 21 is:


"Lifting the Curtain: How We Understand Our Clients":

We come to understand our clients over time, through conversations and interactions with themes as a group and as individuals. At some point, we develop our own more cohesive understanding of the client’s story: who they are, where they came from, why they are the way they are. And, over time, we see that our narrative about them also deepens, modifies and takes on different hues.  This process, of how we develop our story about our clients, can be a source of lively discussion and presentations

We are encouraging a central focus on case presentation examples of our work with family enterprise systems.

Subthemes may include some or all of the following topics, plus others that you may suggest:

  1. How assessments have played a key role in advising clients
  2. The challenges of advising client families in business as an advisory team of two or more advisors
  3. Innovative approaches and techniques we wish to share with our colleagues
  4. Family enterprise system challenges that have been tough puzzles to solve and might benefit from input from our colleagues
  5. Discussion of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship; how do we build it in the next generation, can you teach it; what are aspects of it; What is the impact on the system of the entrepreneurial personality?; Gender differences and entrepreneurship
  6. Discuss the evolution of our practices; how our identities have changed/ our approaches, wearing  different hats and taking on different roles
  7. Role of humor in our work; how can it be used in change in families; what role does it play in avoidance
  8. Difficult cases and our top client learning experiences
  9. The ‘what’ and ‘how’ of maintaining boundaries
  10. Managing our own feelings/reactions; Transference, counter-transference and parallel process

We are also looking for at least one role playing exercise for this session.

We will announce our Friday late afternoon opening speaker soon.

Invitation to Submit a Presentation Proposal:  We invite you to submit a presentation proposal. The array of potential areas for presentations is broad. The Program Committee believes that this main theme will allow for diversity of topics, but proposals that are not directly related to the theme are also encouraged.

Many formats for presentations are possible; note that participants at the 2014 meeting requested more role play/experiential sessions.  Please use the attached form to submit your presentation ideas to the Program Committee c/o Andrew Hier (ahier@cfeg.com; 978-270-9628), as soon as convenient, the earlier the better, but certainly before February 15, 2015

New PDFB Participants:  If you know of someone who you believe would be a good addition to PDFB, now is good time to invite them to contact someone on the membership committee Ellen Frankenberg (ellen@frankenberggroup.com), David Tate (David@tate-consulting.com) and Gerard Donnellan (gerryd@big-leap.com)  to determine whether they are a fit for the group.  New members will be eligible to register for the meeting after 2/20/15, subject to available space. 

Important dates:

  • 2/15/15: Presentation submission deadline
  • 2/20/15: Early registration deadline (to guarantee a spot for returning members)
  • 2/20/15: Enrollment opened to new members

We look forward to hearing from you! The PDFB 21 Program Committee
Gerard Donnellan, Lilli Friedland, Barry Graff, Jeff Rossman, Marilyn Rumsey, Paul Sessions, David Gage, David Tate  and Andrew Hier (Chairman).



Invitations for PDFB 21 have been sent to prior participants, who have priority for the 32 slots. Remaining slots will then be open for registration on a first come first served basis to qualified professionals.

To register, please complete the attached registration form and send it with a check covering the registration fee. The non-refundable fee is $375. If you live in Chicago or suburbs, and will not be staying at the Orrington, the registration fee is $675.  Please make checks payable to PDFB.


Registrations forms and checks can be sent to David Gage, Ph.D, BMC Associates, 3000 Spout Run Parkway  Penthouse,  Arlington, VA 22201. Phone: (703) 465-1262 email: dgage@bmcassociates.com Once your registration is received, you will get an email with information about securing a reservation at the Hotel Orrington.




We do encourage you to invite new participants! Please be sure to inform them about the group’s eligibility criteria, which are posted on our website: www.pdfb.org.  New members should arrange to have a brief conversation with one of the members of the membership committee Ellen Frankenberg (ellen@frankenberggroup.com), David Tate (David@tate-consulting.com) and Gerard Donnellan (gerryd@big-leap.com)


prior to registration. New participants can register after January 1st on a first-come first-served basis, subject to available space. New members can receive the early registration discount if they register before February 15.

Best wishes,