Steinbeck Family Business Seminar


Conflict in the Business

Unconstrained by the scrutiny of public shareholders, family businesses can focus on long-term goals. However, management decisions can be influenced by nepotism and lead to trouble. These issues make family businesses more complex to operate, which is why less than 4% survive to the fourth generation.

The Steinbeck Family Business Program offers a series of workshops and conferences focused on leading effective and profitable family-owned (or closely held) businesses.

Attendance and Fees
Seminar in person (limit 55)
Registration fee $495

UCLA Event COVID-19 Guidelines

Face masks: Masking is not required but is strongly recommended at all indoor campus events. Masking is optional outdoors but is recommended when in large crowds or at events where physical distancing is not feasible.

More Info


All events are at UCLA Anderson School of Management

Thursday, May 11, 2023

1:00 - 1:25 p.m.
Introduction, A201

Holly Han (’02), Director of Special Projects and Steinbeck Family Business Seminar, Price Center, UCLA Anderson

Olav Sorenson, Joseph Jacobs Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies; Professor of Strategy; Faculty Research Director, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson

Jay Steinbeck

1:25 - 2:15 p.m.
Roundtable Introduction to Families, A201

Moderator: Daniel A. Nathanson, Faculty Advisor and Continuing Lecturer, UCLA Anderson

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
The Acquisition and Expansion of McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, A201

Michael Palmer grew up in Santa Barbara with McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams. Founded in 1949, McConnell's makes its ice cream from scratch with decadent, high-butterfat dairy ice cream and features signature flavors ranging from Eureka Lemon and Marionberries to Toasted Coconut Almond Chip. When their house burned down in the wildfires, Palmer, a winemaker, and his wife, chef Eva Ein, decided to buy McConnell’s instead of rebuilding. The owner at the time chose over them other buyers because he wanted McConnell’s to remain a family business and maintain its artisan reputation.

In the first year post-acquisition, they won best dessert in America at the Fancy Food Show in New York City. The Palmers used their insurance money, along with other funds, to rebuild the dairy operation and purchase new equipment. The company makes 100% of its products and everything that goes into them (cookie bits, swirls, etc.). Today, McConnell's is now sold in more than 2,000 stores throughout the U.S., operates its own scoop shops, sells to restaurants and ships products nationwide through its website. Palmer is an advocate of slow growth to ensure products are unique and compelling.

Michael Palmer, Chief Executive Officer, McConnell's Fine Ice Creams

Moderator: George Abe Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, UCLA Anderson

3:15 - 3:25 p.m.
3:25 – 4:00 p.m.
Acquisitions: An Option for Growth, A201

Family enterprises often overlook business acquisition as a path to growth or expansion. Families may consider a variety of growth strategies and alternatives to preserve their assets. Business acquisition makes sense for most people who want to run their own business. The retirement and passing of baby boomers means there is a large number of good businesses available for sale today. This session will present pointers for buying (or selling) a business and improving odds for future growth along with a due diligence checklist for the buyer.

George Abe Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, UCLA Anderson

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Family Foundation Engagement, A201

Family foundations range in asset size from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 billion. The holdings of family foundations total approximately $294 billion, which is about 44 percent of all foundation holdings ($662 billion). Yet, 3 out of 5 family foundations hold assets of less than $1 million. Family foundations can provide a framework for philanthropy, expand pathways to giving, engage broader perspectives, create solutions that lead to a better future for all and include income tax and estate tax benefits.

Join us to hear about the creation of the Roddenberry Foundation, which was inspired by the legacy of Gene Roddenberry, the creator and producer of the original Star Trek television series. The series spawned over 700 TV episodes, 14 movies and comic books, animated series and a global following. Its enduring resonance is a testament to Roddenberry’s vision for a future where diversity and tolerance are encouraged and in which inclusivity and equality are the norm. The Roddenberry Foundation supports innovative thinking, original ideas and extraordinary people who can change the world.

Heidi Roddenberry, President and Board Chair, Roddenberry Foundation

Moderator: Holly Han (’02), Director of Special Projects and Steinbeck Family Business Seminar, Price Center, UCLA Anderson

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Networking Cocktail Reception, C Atrium

Friday, May 12, 2023

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast, C Atrium
9:00 - 9:50 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Conflict and the Family Business, C315

Conflict is inevitable when working with family and scaling the business. The challenges and complications increase when your parents, cousins and siblings work together.  Albert and Elizabeth Tene of Access General Contracting will share their experiences transitioning the family business from their parents to them and navigating their sibling dynamic as they grew the enterprise.

Family business conflicts may arise from emotional baggage, vastly different communication styles, and conflicting goals and priorities. To address these issues, we will discuss techniques such as negotiation, mediation and collaboration, as well as establishing boundaries and roles.

Elizabeth Tene, President, Access General Contracting
Albert Tene, Vice President, Access General Contracting

Ken Gilbert, Co-Founder, Business Consulting Resources
Jean Santos, President and Co-Founder, Business Consulting Resources


Estate Planning in Unpredictable Times: Planning Strategies That Provide for Flexibility with Imperfect or Unknown Information, A201

Chris Welton’s interactive session will focus on answering the three basic questions of estate planning: Where do your assets go? Who is in charge? What are the rules? He will discuss four “weapons you can use with your illiquid assets to ensure that your estate is tax-efficient and your wealth passes to your desired entity.

Chris Welton (’12), Wealth Management Advisor and Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual

9:50 - 10:00 a.m.
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Navigating a Fragile Economy, A201

Inflation, interest rates and employee layoffs remain extremely high. Banks are in crisis, but that may not lead to an immediate recession. Higher-income households saved money during the pandemic, but even they are starting to feel the pinch of inflation. Low- and middle-income households are reeling from high prices. Increased political unrest will pose a risk to the global economy’s recovery, as it can have a lasting impact on economic performance. In an environment with so much uncertainty and risk, what might the economy and investment markets look like for the rest of 2023 and beyond.

Professor Eric Sussman will cover the complex market, economy, regulations and technology, and offer his predictions. Sussman has been voted Teacher of the Year 15 times by Anderson’s MBA students and was awarded the Citibank Teaching Award in 1998, the Neidorf Decade Teaching Award in 2008 and the University-wide Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015. He has also been recognized by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the Top Ten Most Popular Business School Professors in the country.

Eric Sussman, Adjunct Professor, UCLA Anderson

11:00 a.m.  - 12:00 p.m.
Conflict Management, A201

Conflicts frequently occur in many day-to-day interactions in family businesses, and if left unresolved, may jeopardize the business. Professor Bendersky will present information and answer questions about best practices for managing conflicts. She will share ways to de-escalate emotionally intense situations and identify each person's concerns and interests in order to pursue mutually satisfying outcomes. Participants will gain new tools for navigating the complex relationships in family businesses.

Corinne Bendersky is an expert in workplace conflict, status, justice, and diversity and inclusion in teams and organizations. Bendersky’s research contributes to both academic knowledge and organizational practice. In recent projects, Bendersky has developed interventions to reduce the gender bias experienced by women who work in extremely male-dominated professions, like the U.S. fire service, and conducted a workplace DEIB climate assessment for public-sector employees of the City of Los Angeles. Dr. Bendersky is the Faculty Director of the Human Resources Roundtable at UCLA, known as HARRT, and Founder of Morpho Leadership Development consulting.

Corinne Bendersky, Professor and Area Chair of Management and Organization, UCLA Anderson

12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch, C Atrium
1:00 - 1:50 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Mitigating Risks in Unstable Markets, A201

If you own a business, you have risk. With all the challenges businesses face on a daily basis, carving out time to identify, assess and plan for these risks can be daunting and time-consuming. However, the businesses that are prepared are always better off.

Join us to learn more about timely topics like cybersecurity, employment practices and supply chain risk. We’ll also share the causes of broad insurance rate increases and some immediate steps you can take to control these expenses for your venture.

David Melnick (’96), CEO, Ledger Works, Inc.
Jonathan Schreter (’00), Executive Vice President, Bolton & Company


Economic Insights for Today’s Tumultuous Times, C315

Ryan Martinez will moderate a discussion regarding the economic outlook and insights in today’s environment. This session will include an overview of and update on the stability of banks, the state of M&A and drivers for market value for private businesses moving forward.

Bernstein is a leading global investment management and research firm with $780 billion under management. In addition to managing capital for institutional investors, It manages money for successful business owners and entrepreneurs.

Clay Bryan, Senior Managing Director, Financial Sponsors Group, B. Riley Securities
Aytan Dahukey, Partner, Corporate Practice Group, Sheppard Mullin

Moderator: Ryan A. Martinez, Principal, Bernstein Private Wealth Management

1:50 - 2:00 p.m.
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
A Family Affair, A201

Galpin has been family-owned and -operated since 1946. Over the last 76 years, Galpin has reached the pinnacle of the automotive industry, being credited with countless industry firsts and earning the recognition as the most honored dealership group in America. Galpin Ford has been the No. 1 Ford dealer in the world in terms of volume for a record 29 consecutive years, and every Galpin dealership — Porsche, Land Rover, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Lotus, Lincoln, Honda, Mazda, Volkswagen, Volvo and Polestar — has reached exceptional sales levels. Galpin Studio Rentals is a leader in the entertainment industry. Galpin Auto Sports, its in-house customizing shop, has earned worldwide recognition and been featured in two TV shows, “Pimp My Ride” and “Car Kings.” Galpin’s Horseless Carriage restaurant is the first-ever in-dealership restaurant. Galpin’s latest venture, The Autopian, is the fastest-growing automotive enthusiast website. Automotive News has ranked Galpin Motors in the top 50 automotive groups, with over $1 billion in annual revenue.

Beau Boeckmann, President, Galpin Motors, Galpin Premier Collection and Galpin Auto Sports
Moderator: Alfred E. Osborne, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Global Economics and Management; Faculty Director Emeritus, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Closing, A201

Session Speakers



The Steinbeck Family Business Seminar has been made possible through the generous support of Jay Steinbeck and our sponsors.


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Email or call (310) 825-6368.