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Steinbeck Family Business Seminar

Investing in the Future

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

The largest global family owned businesses have revenues over $2.3 trillion. These businesses are essential to the economy and often take a long-term view of investments and relationships. Family companies that stay successful over generations despite change maintain operational excellence but also are skilled at creating new value and leaving those that destroy value.


May 7

10:00 a.m. Welcome

Alfred E. Osborne, Jr. | Professor and Faculty Director, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson

Jay Steinbeck

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

10:15 a.m. A Family on a Mission to Build a Perfect Snack
Growing up, the Keith family traveled in a motorhome as their father toured the country lecturing on the value of whole food nutrition. In 2005, the family had grown to 13 kids, their father fell ill with cancer. With mounting medical bills and nine younger children still at home, four of the eldest children (then 22, 19, 18 and 17 years of age) launched the Perfect Bar from a family recipe that their father created when they were kids, by mixing whole food protein with organic peanut butter and honey. In 2019, Perfect Snacks was acquired by global snacking leader, Mondelēz International, owners of Oreo, Nabisco and Cadbury, among other brands. Leigh will share their journey, explaining how they made it work because they had no other options and the dynamic of building a business and working together as siblings.

Leigh Keith | President and Co-Founder, Perfect Snacks

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

11:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

Best Practices for Family Business Succession Planning
For family businesses, smart succession planning is one of the biggest challenges and keys to keeping the business successful. Succession planning is the strategy for passing on leadership roles to an employee, group of employees and/or family. Succession planning is complicated as it involves buy-in from many parties to be successful. We will review best practices and how the Lentons did succession planning smoothly.

Evelyn Lenton (B.A. ’83) | CFO and Owner, Lenton Company, Inc.

Kendal Lenton | Operations Manager, Lenton Company, Inc.

Robert Lenton (B.A. ’83) | President, CEO and Owner, Lenton Company, Inc.

Moderators: Ken Gilbert | Senior Consultant/Partner, Business Consulting Resources

Jean Santos | Senior Consultant/Partner, Business Consulting Resources


Estate, Tax and Succession Planning Given Future Legislative Changes: Where Do Business Owners Go from Here?
Given the changes in Washington, D.C., a key question for owners is taxes and succession: Proposed policy agenda includes the possibility of potential tax increases on corporations, individuals and estates to pay for other key priorities such as infrastructure projects. Some are concerned that any tax changes could be made retroactive to the beginning of 2021. We will discuss how to evaluate and implement the most compelling strategies in today’s environment.

Jeff Geida | Partner, Weinstock Manion

Andrea L. Kushner (B.A. ’93) | Senior Vice President and Director of the Wealth Strategies Group, Alliance Bernstein

John K. Murphy | Founder and CEO, JK Murphy Advisors

Ryan A. Martinez | Principal, Bernstein Private Wealth Management

12:15 p.m. Break
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Negotiations and Gender

Although there is no data suggesting that men or women have a better ability to negotiate, women are, however, less likely to initiate negotiations. Professor Unzueta will cover the costs of negotiations, gender differences and cases. Ideally, your business can eliminate these differences and understand how management can apply fairness principles. Unzueta’s research has been published in top management and psychology journals, including Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Psychological Science. In recognition of his research record, he was awarded the Eric and E Juline award for excellence in faculty research at UCLA Anderson. 

Miguel M. Unzueta | Professor and Senior Associate Dean of MBA Programs, UCLA Anderson

May 14

10:00 a.m. Restaurants Must Adapt to Survive and Innovate to Thrive
Restaurants were hit harder than any other industry during the pandemic, particularly in Los Angeles, and still have a long road back to pre-coronavirus levels. Two owners will discuss their strategies for adapting to the pandemic with different business models.

Madelyn Alfano (B.S. ’80, MDE ’15) | Owner and President, Maria’s Italian Kitchen

David Kuo (B.A. ’01, MDE ’20) | Founder, Chef and Owner, Little Fatty

Moderator: Alfred E. Osborne, Jr. | Professor and Faculty Director, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson

11:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions

The Change CycleTM | How People Can Survive and Thrive in Organizational Change
Get through organizational change without damage to your blood pressure, career, relationships, and confidence. The stages of Loss, Doubt, Discomfort, Discovery, Understanding and Integration indicate the six cycles of change. We will cover how to recognize what stage you or others in your business are in so that you can best navigate change successfully. We will discuss the cycle with System Pavers, who has transformed ordinary spaces into beautiful and lasting outdoor living environments for almost thirty years. 

Scott Neamand | Chief Financial Officer, System Pavers
Jonathan Schreter (’00) | Executive Vice President, Bolton & Company


Growth in a Historic Family-Owned Business
Fugetsu-Do is a mochi and manju confectionery in Los Angeles since 1903, and the oldest Japanese-American business in the US. From the Great Depression to the 1992 riots to the redevelopment in downtown Los Angeles, World War II was the toughest for them to survive. The owners were incarcerated along with other Japanese Americans and had to close the shop the years they were in camp. In May 2020, they were supposed to open another location, but COVID hit and their revenue dropped. Hear how they have managed to grow this past year despite everything and how the fourth generation is engaged.

Brian Kito | Owner, Fugetsu-Do (third generation)

Korey Kito | Fugetsu-Do (fourth generation)

Olav Sorenson | Professor of Strategy and Faculty Research Director, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson

12:15 p.m. Break
12:30 p.m. Investing and Economics in Unprecedented Times
Governments enacted unprecedented measures to support people and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The long-term impact is not yet clear, but the pandemic has changed the way people, businesses and economies function. Professor Eric Sussman will cover the complex market, economy, regulations and technology, and offer 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 universitywide 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

2:00 p.m. -
2:30 p.m.
Jay Steinbeck

Moderator: Alfred E. Osborne, Jr. | Professor and Faculty Director, Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, UCLA Anderson

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

Past Seminars
Contact Us

Email or call (310) 825-6368.