FEA Program Faculty

Our Expert Faculty

Learn from internationally recognized leaders in the field of family enterprise, combining decades of family enterprise teaching and consulting experience with the academic acumen to provide an unparalleled educational experience.

Meet Our Faculty

coachLaura Barton

Laura Barton

MA
coachDavid C. Bentall

David C. Bentall

FFI Fellow, B. Comm, FEA
coachJudi Cunningham

Judi Cunningham

MA, CEPA, FEA
coachArline Kardasis

Arline Kardasis

MAT
coachGaia Marchisio

Gaia Marchisio

Ph.D, FEA
coachMichael N. McGrann

Michael N. McGrann

MA, MBA, FEA
coachMichelle Osry

Michelle Osry

B. Comm, CA, FEA
coachWendy Sage-Hayward

Wendy Sage-Hayward

MA, FEA
coachRuth Steverlynck

Ruth Steverlynck

LLB (Hons.), FEA
coachElizabeth Watson

Elizabeth Watson

LLB

Laura assists business leaders and their families to improve communication, both at work and at home. She specializes in coaching families to create more effective relationships, have open and authentic conversations, clarify family vision, values and goals, and align goals with their businesses where appropriate. Laura has a Master’s degree in Leadership and Training, a leadership coaching designation and is a licensed Insights Discovery and Insights Transformational Leadership practitioner.

David is an Adjunct Professor at the Sauder School of Business with expertise in the areas of succession consulting, executive and life coaching, and a co-founder of the Business Families Centre. David is a seasoned executive and educator who brings a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experiences to family business issues.

Judi is an expert in the field of family enterprise advising. She illuminates the significant role of families in business – highlighting their economic, community, and philanthropic contributions. Judi has been instrumental in developing world class programming for business families and designed and developed the curriculum for the Family Enterprise Advisor Program. Judi co-founded the Business Families Centre at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and founded the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors.

Arline Kardasis is an expert mediator with a specialty in managing family and family enterprise conflict. She is co-author, with Continuity Managing Partner Blair Trippe and Partner Rikk Larsen, of Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles and Eldercare Crises. She also collaborated with Rikk Larsen on the article, When Aging Issues Lead to Family Conflict for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Arline is also a highly sought-after facilitator for family meetings, whether an annual retreat or topic-focused meetings, such as one to discuss a shared family vacation home. Bringing her depth of knowledge about conflict management and understanding of the unique dynamics in family business systems, Arline guides families through processes that lead to clarity, alignment and meaningful dialogue.

Gaia is a family-enterprise researcher, consultant, educator, speaker and writer with over 25 years of impact across global family enterprises, academic institutions, corporations, public-sector organizations and others. She not only advises on and researches family enterprise, but is a fourth-generation successor in her own family business.

Gaia holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Bocconi University, and a Ph.D. in General Management from Università Degli Studi di Pavia (both based in Italy). Originally from Italy, she is a naturalized US citizen who speaks fluent English, Italian and Spanish.

Currently, Gaia is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School. Until recently, she was Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center, the US’s first family business center, and the Aronoff Professor of Family Business at Kennesaw State University. Gaia has been a visiting scholar at educational institutions worldwide, including large Family Business Centers in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.

Over the last 25 years, Mike has worked with family firms and family offices from across the world. He teaches and coaches in the areas of entrepreneurship, strategic planning, and family enterprising. He serves on the Board of several growing companies and is the founding partner of Trella, a consulting firm focused on growth and transition strategies for enterprising families. Mike has worked at several universities – teaching, conducting research, and starting new programs. Most recently he founded the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

Michelle works with business families and family offices worldwide as an advisor and facilitator, supporting them through periods of transition and advising on matters related to family governance and family engagement. Michelle draws from a broad range of disciplines and practices, blending systems thinking with traditional consulting frameworks, to help families navigate the complexities of wealth and family dynamics. In her role, Michelle works with families to define their goals and establish the structures, processes and relationships to achieve both family well-being and business success.

Wendy is a consultant at the Family Business Consulting Group. She has 25+ years of experience working with business leaders, family firms, and boards. She serves a global and diverse set of clients across the industry, facilitating meaningful conversations with multi-generational families on matters relating to firm continuity, next generation preparation, governance and, when needed, conflict resolution.

Ruth has spent the past 15 years of her career pursuing her great passion of working alongside families where the shared hope and aspiration is for the true meaning of “wealth as well being” to be realized. She engages with individual family members, couples, siblings and families as a whole, using time-tested models and frameworks supported by meaningful learning to create the conditions where both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of significant financial resources are in balance.

Elizabeth Watson, KC (Liz), is the founder and leader of WATSON, whose raison d’être is to strengthen Canadian organizations by building highly effective boards and executive teams. Liz has practiced law for more than 35 years and has spent over half her career advising boards, chairs, directors, committees and CEOs.

Liz works closely with the corporate governance community in Canada and is a sought after advisor, speaker and contributor on governance, CEO and board recruitment issues and the importance of diversity on boards. She teaches at the ICD’s Directors Education Program on Governance Effectiveness and recently authored CPA Canada’s publication on Building and Sustaining an Effective Board.
Liz has been named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and as one of the inaugural Top 100 Influential Women of British Columbia.

coachLaura Barton

Laura Barton

MA
coachDavid C. Bentall

David C. Bentall

FFI Fellow, B. Comm, FEA

Laura assists business leaders and their families to improve communication, both at work and at home. She specializes in coaching families to create more effective relationships, have open and authentic conversations, clarify family vision, values and goals, and align goals with their businesses where appropriate. Laura has a Master’s degree in Leadership and Training, a leadership coaching designation and is a licensed Insights Discovery and Insights Transformational Leadership practitioner.

David is an Adjunct Professor at the Sauder School of Business with expertise in the areas of succession consulting, executive and life coaching, and a co-founder of the Business Families Centre. David is a seasoned executive and educator who brings a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experiences to family business issues.

coachJudi Cunningham

Judi Cunningham

MA, CEPA, FEA
coachArline Kardasis

Arline Kardasis

MAT

Judi is an expert in the field of family enterprise advising. She illuminates the significant role of families in business – highlighting their economic, community, and philanthropic contributions. Judi has been instrumental in developing world class programming for business families and designed and developed the curriculum for the Family Enterprise Advisor Program. Judi co-founded the Business Families Centre at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and founded the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors.

Arline Kardasis is an expert mediator with a specialty in managing family and family enterprise conflict. She is co-author, with Continuity Managing Partner Blair Trippe and Partner Rikk Larsen, of Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles and Eldercare Crises. She also collaborated with Rikk Larsen on the article, When Aging Issues Lead to Family Conflict for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Arline is also a highly sought-after facilitator for family meetings, whether an annual retreat or topic-focused meetings, such as one to discuss a shared family vacation home. Bringing her depth of knowledge about conflict management and understanding of the unique dynamics in family business systems, Arline guides families through processes that lead to clarity, alignment and meaningful dialogue.

coachGaia Marchisio

Gaia Marchisio

Ph.D, FEA
coachMichael N. McGrann

Michael N. McGrann

MA, MBA, FEA

Gaia is a family-enterprise researcher, consultant, educator, speaker and writer with over 25 years of impact across global family enterprises, academic institutions, corporations, public-sector organizations and others. She not only advises on and researches family enterprise, but is a fourth-generation successor in her own family business.

Gaia holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Bocconi University, and a Ph.D. in General Management from Università Degli Studi di Pavia (both based in Italy). Originally from Italy, she is a naturalized US citizen who speaks fluent English, Italian and Spanish.

Currently, Gaia is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School. Until recently, she was Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center, the US’s first family business center, and the Aronoff Professor of Family Business at Kennesaw State University. Gaia has been a visiting scholar at educational institutions worldwide, including large Family Business Centers in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.

Over the last 25 years, Mike has worked with family firms and family offices from across the world. He teaches and coaches in the areas of entrepreneurship, strategic planning, and family enterprising. He serves on the Board of several growing companies and is the founding partner of Trella, a consulting firm focused on growth and transition strategies for enterprising families. Mike has worked at several universities – teaching, conducting research, and starting new programs. Most recently he founded the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

coachMichelle Osry

Michelle Osry

B. Comm, CA, FEA
coachWendy Sage-Hayward

Wendy Sage-Hayward

MA, FEA

Michelle works with business families and family offices worldwide as an advisor and facilitator, supporting them through periods of transition and advising on matters related to family governance and family engagement. Michelle draws from a broad range of disciplines and practices, blending systems thinking with traditional consulting frameworks, to help families navigate the complexities of wealth and family dynamics. In her role, Michelle works with families to define their goals and establish the structures, processes and relationships to achieve both family well-being and business success.

Wendy is a consultant at the Family Business Consulting Group. She has 25+ years of experience working with business leaders, family firms, and boards. She serves a global and diverse set of clients across the industry, facilitating meaningful conversations with multi-generational families on matters relating to firm continuity, next generation preparation, governance and, when needed, conflict resolution.

coachRuth Steverlynck

Ruth Steverlynck

LLB (Hons.), FEA
coachElizabeth Watson

Elizabeth Watson

LLB

Ruth has spent the past 15 years of her career pursuing her great passion of working alongside families where the shared hope and aspiration is for the true meaning of “wealth as well being” to be realized. She engages with individual family members, couples, siblings and families as a whole, using time-tested models and frameworks supported by meaningful learning to create the conditions where both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of significant financial resources are in balance.

Elizabeth Watson, KC (Liz), is the founder and leader of WATSON, whose raison d’être is to strengthen Canadian organizations by building highly effective boards and executive teams. Liz has practiced law for more than 35 years and has spent over half her career advising boards, chairs, directors, committees and CEOs.

Liz works closely with the corporate governance community in Canada and is a sought after advisor, speaker and contributor on governance, CEO and board recruitment issues and the importance of diversity on boards. She teaches at the ICD’s Directors Education Program on Governance Effectiveness and recently authored CPA Canada’s publication on Building and Sustaining an Effective Board.
Liz has been named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and as one of the inaugural Top 100 Influential Women of British Columbia.

coachLaura Barton

Laura Barton

MA
coachDavid C. Bentall

David C. Bentall

FFI Fellow, B. Comm, FEA
coachJudi Cunningham

Judi Cunningham

MA, CEPA, FEA

Laura assists business leaders and their families to improve communication, both at work and at home. She specializes in coaching families to create more effective relationships, have open and authentic conversations, clarify family vision, values and goals, and align goals with their businesses where appropriate. Laura has a Master’s degree in Leadership and Training, a leadership coaching designation and is a licensed Insights Discovery and Insights Transformational Leadership practitioner.

David is an Adjunct Professor at the Sauder School of Business with expertise in the areas of succession consulting, executive and life coaching, and a co-founder of the Business Families Centre. David is a seasoned executive and educator who brings a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experiences to family business issues.

Judi is an expert in the field of family enterprise advising. She illuminates the significant role of families in business – highlighting their economic, community, and philanthropic contributions. Judi has been instrumental in developing world class programming for business families and designed and developed the curriculum for the Family Enterprise Advisor Program. Judi co-founded the Business Families Centre at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, and founded the Institute of Family Enterprise Advisors.

coachArline Kardasis

Arline Kardasis

MAT
coachGaia Marchisio

Gaia Marchisio

Ph.D, FEA
coachMichael N. McGrann

Michael N. McGrann

MA, MBA, FEA

Arline Kardasis is an expert mediator with a specialty in managing family and family enterprise conflict. She is co-author, with Continuity Managing Partner Blair Trippe and Partner Rikk Larsen, of Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles and Eldercare Crises. She also collaborated with Rikk Larsen on the article, When Aging Issues Lead to Family Conflict for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Arline is also a highly sought-after facilitator for family meetings, whether an annual retreat or topic-focused meetings, such as one to discuss a shared family vacation home. Bringing her depth of knowledge about conflict management and understanding of the unique dynamics in family business systems, Arline guides families through processes that lead to clarity, alignment and meaningful dialogue.

Gaia is a family-enterprise researcher, consultant, educator, speaker and writer with over 25 years of impact across global family enterprises, academic institutions, corporations, public-sector organizations and others. She not only advises on and researches family enterprise, but is a fourth-generation successor in her own family business.

Gaia holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Bocconi University, and a Ph.D. in General Management from Università Degli Studi di Pavia (both based in Italy). Originally from Italy, she is a naturalized US citizen who speaks fluent English, Italian and Spanish.

Currently, Gaia is Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia Business School. Until recently, she was Executive Director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center, the US’s first family business center, and the Aronoff Professor of Family Business at Kennesaw State University. Gaia has been a visiting scholar at educational institutions worldwide, including large Family Business Centers in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.

Over the last 25 years, Mike has worked with family firms and family offices from across the world. He teaches and coaches in the areas of entrepreneurship, strategic planning, and family enterprising. He serves on the Board of several growing companies and is the founding partner of Trella, a consulting firm focused on growth and transition strategies for enterprising families. Mike has worked at several universities – teaching, conducting research, and starting new programs. Most recently he founded the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA.

coachMichelle Osry

Michelle Osry

B. Comm, CA, FEA
coachWendy Sage-Hayward

Wendy Sage-Hayward

MA, FEA
coachRuth Steverlynck

Ruth Steverlynck

LLB (Hons.), FEA

Michelle works with business families and family offices worldwide as an advisor and facilitator, supporting them through periods of transition and advising on matters related to family governance and family engagement. Michelle draws from a broad range of disciplines and practices, blending systems thinking with traditional consulting frameworks, to help families navigate the complexities of wealth and family dynamics. In her role, Michelle works with families to define their goals and establish the structures, processes and relationships to achieve both family well-being and business success.

Wendy is a consultant at the Family Business Consulting Group. She has 25+ years of experience working with business leaders, family firms, and boards. She serves a global and diverse set of clients across the industry, facilitating meaningful conversations with multi-generational families on matters relating to firm continuity, next generation preparation, governance and, when needed, conflict resolution.

Ruth has spent the past 15 years of her career pursuing her great passion of working alongside families where the shared hope and aspiration is for the true meaning of “wealth as well being” to be realized. She engages with individual family members, couples, siblings and families as a whole, using time-tested models and frameworks supported by meaningful learning to create the conditions where both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of significant financial resources are in balance.

coachElizabeth Watson

Elizabeth Watson

LLB

Elizabeth Watson, KC (Liz), is the founder and leader of WATSON, whose raison d’être is to strengthen Canadian organizations by building highly effective boards and executive teams. Liz has practiced law for more than 35 years and has spent over half her career advising boards, chairs, directors, committees and CEOs.

Liz works closely with the corporate governance community in Canada and is a sought after advisor, speaker and contributor on governance, CEO and board recruitment issues and the importance of diversity on boards. She teaches at the ICD’s Directors Education Program on Governance Effectiveness and recently authored CPA Canada’s publication on Building and Sustaining an Effective Board.
Liz has been named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women and as one of the inaugural Top 100 Influential Women of British Columbia.

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Phone

1.866.849.0099 ext. 260
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