Holleman Business Succession Forum
By Vernon Holleman
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The purpose of this Forum is to engage business owners in conversation about the political and emotional aspects of business succession planning. We believe that through the stories our guests tell of the real life issues and challenges, our listeners will be better prepared to build their own succession plans.
||Interview with Alan L. Wurtzel||From 1973 to 1986, Mr. Wurtzel was CEO of Circuit City Stores. For the decade of the 80's and beyond, it was among the best performing companies on the New York Stock Exchange. That accomplishment is recognized and analyzed in Jim Collins' best-selling book, "Good to Great."||23 4 12||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Gilbert Melville Grosvenor||From an early age, Gil Grosvenor met, with interest, the explorers who were visiting his father and grandfather in Washington D.C., in their work at the National Geographic Society. Although he was meeting interesting people and respected what his family was up to at the Geographic, it was not his early intent to follow in their footsteps, as they had in those of his great-grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell, and great-great grandfather, and Society founder, Gardiner Greene Hubbard. What changed the mind of the man who eventually served as editor of National Geographic Magazine from 1970 to 1980, then as the National Geographic Society president from 1980 to 1996.||23 4 12||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with C. Kemmons Wilson, Jr.||On a summer morning in 1951, Kem Wilson, Jr. and his four siblings, two brothers and two sisters, helped pack the car after spending the night in a motor court motel somewhere between Washington, D.C. and Memphis, TN. Little did they know, but at that moment the extra $2 they each cost their father for the privilege to sleep on the floor of their family's motel room, would launch an idea in Kemmon Wilson, Sr.'s entrepreneurial head that would forever change not just the lodging across the globe, but the life's work of Kemmons Sr., his three sons and that of multiple grandchildren.||17 2 12||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Michele V. Hagans||From a young age Michele Hagans worked for her father - her first job was working the switch board at the Dunbar Hotel in Washington D.C., at age twelve. Even then, it was not lost on Michele that her pay for that work was not in line with her co-workers or her brother who was mowing the hotel's grass. She was not shy, not then or ever, about expressing her feelings to her big personality father who had provided the opportunity. Was he testing her business acumen or being sexist or, perhaps, both?||20 9 11||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Kathy Kolbe||In this interview, you will learn about the growing up in the Wonderlic house in the suburbs of Chicago, as the test business was getting started, and the family involvement from the outset. More importantly, Kathy helps the listener understand how the Kolbe Test, as a tool, can help individuals and families better understand one another and help them make better decisions about leadership roles and succession in a business . She does this by explaining what the Kolbe Test studies and gives some real life examples of how Kolbe Test outcomes have driven positive decisions by families, and why. It also illustrates the dynamics of father-daughter ties and some key issues in continuity decision making during the twentieth century.||20 5 11||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Knight A. Kiplinger||In this interview, Vernon and Knight talk through the decisions Knight made early in his career and how he determined journalism was for him. Once clear on that, you will hear the path he took, which did not include Kiplinger for many years, something he considers very important to his success (and highly recommends for anyone considering a family business career).||20 11 10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Cathy Merrill Williams||Surrounded by classic typewriters, Vernon Holleman sat down with Cathy, in her office at Washingtonian, which was her father's before her. Roughly four years prior, Cathy had been busy running operations for ACS Transportation Solutions and thinking very little of the publishing business. Then, her father died unexpectedly. Philip Merrill borrowed money to get into the publishing business in his 30's and had run the Capital Newspaper in Annapolis since then. He added Washingtonian Magazine in 1979 to his holdings, and had run that as well. What was next?||30 9 10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Mallory Walker||Vernon Holleman sat down with Mallory, in his home, to discuss the history of Walker & Dunlop, his family's real estate financial services company, his experience following his father, his development of the business, what he learned about family business continuity during his career, and the eventual transition of the firm to one of his two sons, which looked anything but probable. Vernon and Mallory talk through the key events in Mallory's life that helped him not only come to understand the fundamental dynamics of family firms, but also helped him build a clear set of beliefs about the key elements and components necessary for a successful private company transition. The issues covered, include: family equability fairness (he had two sisters), leadership decision making, non-family member equity for key executives, what-if planning, and, of course, the specifics of how Walker & Dunlop has made it to the third generation of family leadership.||17 7 10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with John M. Kane||Vernon Holleman sat down with John M. Kane, in John's home, to discuss, among other things, his history in his family's transportation company and the transition of that organization from his father to him. They talk through how and when John began working in the business, what he learned and gained from both his early experience as well as working with multiple siblings, and an father who decided to "un-retire". His thinking and ideas on how he will apply the wisdom he gained when the next generation of Kane children expresses an interest in working in the country's most successful commercial moving company is also made clear in the interview. This interview is a window into the experience and success of a leader who started working with a father in childhood, the father-son working dynamic, the challenges and solutions of multiple siblings in a family business, the importance of keeping the right culture in the company, and some of the avenues to a successful succession plan.||13 6 10||Free||View In iTunes|
||Interview with Austin H. Kiplinger||Vernon Holleman sat down with Austin H. Kiplinger in the Kiplinger Building Museum (H Street, NW, DC) in front of the replica of his father's office at the Press Club, which includes W.M. Kiplinger's desk, typewriter, telephone, and photographs. The subject was the transition of the Kiplinger organization from his father to him, what he learned from that experience and how it was applied when the next generation of Kiplingers came along. This interview is a great window to both the success of a third generation firm and the emotion and friction that can be a part of such success. It is also a wonderful look at the twentieth century history of both journalism and business, as well as how vastly different our Nation's Capital is today from when The Kiplinger Washington Editors began.||5 5 10||Free||View In iTunes|