Learning Opportunities

Shifts and Twists: Exploring Generational Transitions in the Family Enterprise

March 05, 2020 8:00 AM to March 06, 2020 3:00 PM

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La Valencia Hotel
1132 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037
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Get a new perspective on the never-ending journey of generational transition.

As younger generations develop and take on new roles and older generations determine when to step back, generational transition can be a complex endeavor that affects every aspect of your family business.

This forum will examine generational transitions from a systems perspective as well as an individual perspective, especially ownership transitions and moving from an employee or stay-at-home parent role to being a shareholder or board member. We'll discuss working with new leadership, development of the family office, and shifts in the mindset of the family and board.

Session Descriptions

Navigating Leadership Transitions in the Family and Business

Speakers: Dain Kistner and Andrew Pitcairn, Pitcairn

Three centuries ago, Christopher Bullock first published the famous phrase "'Tis impossible to be sure of anything but Death and Taxes." Today, we might add leadership transitions to that list. Much like death, everyone knows transitions are inevitable, but it is awfully hard to talk about them. The stakes are high - a well-planned transition can sustain a family's Wealth Momentum® into the next generation, while a poorly-planned one can derail the family and their legacy.

Drawing on nearly a century of transitions within the Pitcairn family and its enterprises, Andrew Pitcairn (G4) and Dain Kistner (G5) will explore best (and not-so-great!) practices in how an effective transition can be executed. This is an interactive session designed to explore your family's leadership transition experiences and uncover new ideas to help manage the process.

Director of Family Office Innovation

Dain Kistner is Director of Family Office Innovation at Pitcairn. Dain is responsible for helping to guide Pitcairn’s technology strategy, supporting Pitcairn’s business development efforts, and supporting the executive team on a broad range of projects. A fifth generation Pitcairn family member, Dain is an elected member of Pitcairn’s Board of Directors, and serves on the Family Council, which he chaired for 10 years.

Before assuming his current role, Dain served as Director of Family Office Strategy, coordinating the firm’s strategic planning and business process improvement initiatives across all aspects of the business. Previously, he was Chief Information Officer, managing all information systems and technology-based activities at Pitcairn, including: systems design, programming, network planning, database management, web delivery, and computer operations.

Prior to joining Pitcairn in 1999, Dain was Vice President at Bedminster Bioconversion Corporation. He served in a marketing capacity and was responsible for maintaining relationships with technology licensees, negotiating, drafting and approving new license agreements, and managing public relations and communications needs.

Dain has an Executive MBA from Villanova University and a BA in Economics from Colgate University. When not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, boardgaming, and organizing men’s retreat weekends.


Family Council Chair

A fourth-generation family member, Andrew actively serves as Chair of the Pitcairn Family Council. Established in 1982, The Pitcairn Family Council is a platform for recognizing talent, educating family members, identifying and implementing solutions for connectedness, and interfacing directors, management and owners. After serving as both member and co-Chair, Andrew was appointed Family Council Chair in 2010. Additionally, Andrew is a member of the Pitcairn Board of Directors, co-trustee of Pitcairn family trusts, Chair of the Nominating/Governance Committee, advisory member of the Capital Committee and an invited guest to the Trust Committee.

Recognized as a published author and passionate speaker, Andrew regularly serves as an expert at family office and family business forums and conferences on topics related to family council and engaging the next generation.

Andrew’s desire for knowledge and growth lead to the creation of Family Council Concepts, a collaborative peer group of eight family council chairs whose discussions cover the challenges, concerns, and successes of multi-generational families with current and post-operating companies.

Growing up outside of Philadelphia, Andrew attended Temple University and completed the Cannon Trust Fundamentals course. He is a Trustee on the Meadowbrook School Board of Directors, as well as a member of the Advisory Board at St. Joseph’s University Haub School of Business. Andrew also serves on the Board of Cabot-Wellington, a Boston-based single family office, as an Independent Director and Chair of their Governance Committee.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys riding his Triumph motorcycle throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania and sporting clay shooting with his cousins. With family being one of his core values, many of Andrew’s most cherished moments include spending time with his wife and daughter, as well as, friends and family.


History, Values and Company Culture: Tell Your Family Story

Speaker: Rose Ann Woolpert, Granite Rock

Telling your family and business history has many tangible and intangible benefits.  Sharing your unique story can strengthen values within your business, teach key lessons you wish to convey and build stronger ties and long term interest within your family. Connecting to the past helps create a sense of belonging, identity, and pride, not just among family members but also within your business team and among your customers and the broader community.

Join this session to hear family historian Rose Ann Woolpert share her passion for celebrating and preserving her family and company history.  She will describe her journey in capturing these important stories and artifacts and how they are used to strengthen the family and the business. This session will spark new ideas on how to bring your own family history to life.

Board of Directors Members and Historian

Rose Ann Woolpert is historian of her family’s 120-year-old construction materials and services business, Graniterock, based in Watsonville California. She sits on the company‘s Board of Directors, a position she assumed in 2012 after the unexpected passing of her husband, Bruce W Woolpert, who was CEO and grandson of company founder A.R. Wilson. Since then she has worked to preserve the company’s family culture and values and to represent the Woolpert family perspective and vision for the company‘s future.

A community leader, philanthropist, artist and author, Rose Ann has led development of the Bruce W. Woolpert Algebra Academy, a math enrichment program serving middle school students in Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey Counties. She has written and illustrated three children’s books based on the history of Graniterock over the last century. She sits on advisory councils at the University of California Santa Cruz and California State University Monterey Bay and is active in the Cupertino Rotary. A former registered nurse, Rose Ann graduated from UCLA in 1973.


Story Behind the Sauce and the Spicy Flavor of Leadership

Speaker: Tony Simons, Mcllhenney (Tabasco Sauce)

Family shareholders honor the values, philosophies and traditions set forth for the founder and early generations.  The Mcllhenny family, owners of Tabassco sauce, are no different in that regard.  What is strikingly different is the family culture, family employment process and development of family leaders in the company.  With 150 years of business under their cap, Tony Simmons, Retired CEO, will share the story behind the sauce, ownership and board transition insights, and share the leadership development process that continues to work for their family today. 

Past President and CEO

Anthony Avery (“Tony”) Simmons is the past President and CEO of McIlhenny Company, the manufacturers of TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce. Mr. Simmons is the great-great grandson of McIlhenny Company founder and TABASCO Original Red Pepper Sauce inventor Edmund McIlhenny. McIlhenny Company has been family owned and operated since its inception, and Mr. Simmons is the seventh member of the McIlhenny family to lead the company.

Mr. Simmons joined McIlhenny Company as Executive Vice President in January of 2000. In 2012 he was promoted to President, and in 2013 he became Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Simmons retired in June of 2019. Previously, he was elected to membership on the McIlhenny Company Board of Directors in 1998. He is also President and a Director of Avery Island, Inc. An active and concerned member of the community and environment, he serves on the board of the America’s Wetland Foundation as well as King Ranch and serves as Chairman of the S Corporation of America Board of Directors.

Prior to joining McIlhenny Company, Mr. Simmons spent 25 years working with and for Manitowoc Cranes. Freshly married and out of college, Mr. Simmons began his career as a Mechanics Helper, but also spent time in service, parts, sales, marketing, and new product development with tours in Texas, Singapore, and North Carolina. From 1993 to 1999 he owned and operated Manitowoc Southeastern, an independent distributor of Manitowoc Cranes based in Charlotte, NC.

Mr. Simmons holds a degree in speech from Loyola University – New Orleans and also attended LSU. He is an avid outdoor sportsman, enjoys fine wine and old cars, and attempts to play golf on his free weekends. Mr. Simmons resides on Avery Island, home of TABASCO and McIlhenny Company, with his wife Jeanie and their golden retriever Moose. He has two children and five grandchildren.


Social Event

Thursday evening, we'll be transporting everyone to the San Diego Wine and Culinary Center to test our culinary mettle with a non-competitive, team culinary experience.



Please join us for the March 2020 Family Forum held in La Jolla, Ca. We willl have an established discounted group rates for FBN attendees at the La Valencia Hotel.

La Valencia Hotel

1132 Prospect St.
La Jolla, CA 92037

Call the hotel’s reservation center directly at 1.800.451.0772 to receive the discounted group rate of $309/night plus resort fee and tax. Reservations must be made by February 3, 2020 and cannot be guaranteed even before this date


Registration Rates


$950.00 Member Ticket - First Attendee
$850.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$900.00 Member - Add'l Family Attendee
$800.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$1,450.00 Non-Member
$1,350.00 Earlybird rate before January 15

$1,400.00 Non-Member - Add'l Family Attendee
$1,300.00 Earlybird rate before January 15