Steinbeck Family Business Seminar

Steinbeck Family Business Seminar


Growing Healthy Business Relationships

Running a family business successfully comes with its own unique set of challenges in addition to the typical issues faced by any business. While all businesses may struggle with lack of systems and vision as well as management and team performance issues, family businesses must also navigate the complexities of family relationships and dynamics.

Building and maintaining healthy relationships can greatly overcome these complexities and thrive. The Steinbeck Family Business Seminar offers a series of workshops and conferences focused on leading effective and profitable family-owned (or closely-held) businesses



Seminar is limited to 60 participants and rolling admissions.


All events are at UCLA Anderson School of Management

Thursday, April 25, 2024

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast, D301
9:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction, D301

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

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Enhance the Effectiveness of Hiring for Your Family Business, D301

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

Hiring through social networks can be crucial for family businesses, often providing a more personal and trusted approach to recruitment. This session will discuss the pros and cons of hiring through networks, and some of the best practices for how to do so more effectively.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The Rise of Randy's Donuts, D301

Mark Kelegian, President and CEO, Randy’s Donuts

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

Randy’s Donuts is a renowned brand and landmark in Los Angeles, known for its giant rooftop donut and appearances in various media. Kelegian acquired Randy’s Donuts in 2015 for a little more than $2 million. Kelegian, a former trial attorney, was operating casinos with his father and brother, but wanted to work with his three daughters. He wanted to shift away from casinos and create a venture they would enjoy running together.

With over 40 stores open and agreements for more, Randy’s ambitious plan is to franchise 150 domestic and 300 international locations for swift expansion. International expansion is prioritized due to quicker construction approvals and permitting compared to the domestic market. While Randy's offers specialty donuts like Red Velvet, S’Mores, and Matcha Tea, the majority of revenue comes from glazed and chocolate doughnuts, long johns, and bear claws.

Soon, you will be able to get your Randy’s Donuts cravings satisfied globally in Hawaii, Utah, Kentucky, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. 

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Roundtable Lunch, B208
1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
Participant Introductions, D301
George Abe, Adjunct Assistant Professor, UCLA Anderson
2:15 – 3:45 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

Making Lemonade out of Lemons: Succession Planning for Family Businesses, D301
Given the unprecedented rise in interest rates, M&A activity, business valuations, and adjusted commercial real estate values across the country, now is the time for family businesses to strategize for the future. The current estate tax exclusion of $13.61M will be dropped to $6.8M and the 40% gift and estate tax rate will increase to 45% in 2026. Discover how to navigate these estate planning strategies in the current economic environment.

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 and acts as an outsourced family office for successful business owners and entrepreneurs.

Christopher J. Clarkson, National Director of the Wealth Strategies Group, Bernstein Private Wealth Management
Brian Reichert, Managing Director, CFGI
Moderator: Ryan A. Martinez, Principal and National Director of the Wealth Strategies Group, Bernstein Private Wealth Management


My Way vs. Your Way: How to balance the “current” generation’s desire for control and the “next” generation’s desire for autonomy in a family business, D307

In the changing landscape of family businesses, a critical dichotomy emerges between the “current” generation's inclination to maintain control and the 'next' generation's yearning for autonomy and trust. In this session, we will delve deep into this nuanced interplay, highlighting practical insights and strategies for achieving equilibrium in family-run enterprises. The discussion will open dialogue, encouraging family members to express their concerns, aspirations, and expectations regarding control and autonomy.

Business Consulting Resources (BCR) has been championing successful transformations for 40+ years. BCR has grown into a diversified team of consultants and partners that work together to make their client’s business dreams a reality.

Julian Gallo ('25), Senior Financial Analyst, Gallo
Stephanie Gallo, Chief Marketing Officer, Gallo
Paul Tyler, Owner, John O’Groats
Charles Eckhart, PhD, Co-Founder, Cathexis Group
Moderator: Kyler Gilbert (‘25), Vice President/Consultant, Business Consulting Resources, Inc.

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Business Growth requires a Combination of Strategy, Logic, and Luck: Less than 3% of family businesses make it to the 4th generation, and only 0.05% of startups receive VC funding. Alex Canter's journey exemplifies the importance of perseverance and innovation in overcoming these odds, D301

Alex Canter, Co-Founder and former CEO, Nextbite
Moderator: Daniel A. Nathanson, Continuing Lecturer and  EMBA Faculty Advisor

Since 1931, the Canter's family has been synonymous with offering the most authentic and traditional Jewish deli experience in Los Angeles. Alex Canter, a member of the 4th generation, started in the family business at the age of thirteen, as a waiter. After completing college, he returned to Canter's with innovative ideas despite facing resistance from family members and employees. By 2017, the restaurant kitchen had a dozen separate tablets to process online orders from delivery apps. Alex and his team saw an opportunity to create a solution for order management and co-founded OrderMark, one of the first companies to conceive of a software solution for restaurants to manage online orders, and Nextbite, a leader in virtual restaurants.

He raised more than $150M in funding (SoftBank-backed) for Nextbite before selling to SBE Hospitality in 2023. Alex will discuss the disruptions, trends, and future of the restaurant and food technology industry. Alex is a recipient of the Forbes 30 Under 30, Business Insider’s Top 33 Food-Tech Power Players, and Fast Casual Executive’s Top 25 and a restaurant industry innovator, investor, advisor and passionate foodie.

5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Networking Cocktail Reception, B208

Friday, April 26, 2024

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Breakfast, D301
9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Team Effectiveness, D301

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

Even as teams become a way of life in many organizations, widespread myths and misconceptions about them often stand in the way of effective teamwork. At their worst, teams create more problems than they solve. Participants in this session will learn how to optimize the performance of the teams on which they work and lead by diagnosing complex team dynamics and taking appropriate action to improve team functioning.

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. 

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The Evolution of AI and Its Transformative Application in Education Technology, D301

Ramit Varma (‘02), Founder and CEO, Breakout Learning

Join Breakout Learning's founder and CEO, Ramit Varma, as he highlights key milestones in the history of AI and shares common AI tools used today. With this foundation, he will delve into Breakout Learning’s innovative use of AI to revolutionize educational publishing. With a distinguished 25-year career in education technology, Ramit’s journey began when he graduated from UCLA Anderson in 2002 and started Revolution Prep, which supports families' journey in K-College education and was ultimately sold to Apax Partners.

Breakout Learning is pioneering a new era in education as the publisher for the AI world. Their approach involves crafting content that sparks debate, leading students into small-group discussions that are moderated and graded by AI. This method provides professors with AI-driven insights that simplify grading and enhance lectures. Students are engaged in a learning journey that not only educates but also inspires critical thinking.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Roundtable Lunch, B208
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions

11 Big Tax Changes on the Horizon: Secure Your Legacy Today, D301

Did you know that today’s historically high estate and gift tax exemptions are set to roughly halve at the end of 2025? While that may feel like the distant future, it’s closer than you think. These changes will impact the pocketbooks of average Americans as well as many owners of closely held businesses and Americans with significant wealth.

Join Chris Welton, CFP, Wealth Management Advisor who will outline the 11 big tax changes on the horizon, who will be affected by each with a particular focus on what business owners can take advantage of now in order to avoid the potential pitfalls in the near future. Chris is a proud alumni of Anderson who loves giving back to his alma mater and is a sponsor of the Steinbeck seminar for the third year in a row.

Chris Welton (‘12), Wealth Management Advisor & Managing Director, Silicon Valley, Northwestern Mutual


Funding for Growth with Private Equity: What to know, how to prepare for investment, and what to expect, D307

Private equity (PE) firms primarily partner with mature, growing companies, providing capital and expertise to support ownership transitions, accelerate growth opportunities, and navigate challenges. Learn about the pros and cons of bringing on a PE partner, business characteristics that PE investors look for, questions to ask when selecting a partner, and the steps to prepare your business for investment.

By assessing whether private equity is a fit for their privately-held business and proactively preparing for investment, business owners can increase their ability to attract investment from reputable investors and achieve their transaction goals.

Rahul Lamba, Vice President, Endeavour
Rachel Senko Foltz, Managing Director, Endeavour
Moderator: Jonathan Schreter (‘00), Executive Vice President, IMA

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Adapting the Family Recipe for Success, D307

Ryan Sung, Executive Vice President, Honolulu Cookie Company
Moderator: Jane Wu, Assistant Professor of Strategy, UCLA Anderson

Established in 1998 by Keith and Janet Sung in Honolulu, Hawaii, the Honolulu Cookie Company is renowned for its iconic pineapple-shaped cookie, symbolizing the spirit of Aloha. Inspired by Hawaii, their products and packaging are meticulously crafted using the finest ingredients. Their son, Ryan, grew up  around the business, assisting wherever he could whether it was in the bakery dipping the cookies in chocolate, wrapping cookies on the line, or even delivering products to the stores.

After leaving Hawaii in 2006 and graduating from USC in 2011, Ryan gained experience in the advertising industry as a Media Planner, Strategist, and Sales Planner. He returned to Honolulu Cookie Company in 2016 working his way up ultimately to his current position as Executive Vice President. Prior to the pandemic, the company's sales relied heavily on tourism. When travel came to a halt, so did their sales. To counter this, Ryan focused on their "mini bites" product line, which were ultimately sold in Costco and other retailers across the U.S, Canada, and Asia. This initiative created a new market and generated fresh demand for their products, ensuring the survival of Honolulu Cookie Company. 

3:45 - 4:00 p.m.


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


Past Seminars


Application and Fees

Apply online with rolling admissions. Seminar is at UCLA Anderson and limited to 60 people in person only. Sold out last year. Registration fee of $725 includes two days of breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception with over 19 hours of instruction and networking.

For a list of current COVID-19 protocols, please see the UCLA COVID-19 Guidelines

Contact Us


Email or call (310) 825-6368.