Friday, November 9 at 10:30 a.m.
Business and Faith
Running a privately held business makes decision-making easy. It’s your business; you make the decisions. But when it comes time to exit– whether you’re wildly successful, 45, and want your life back, or you’re 85 and are slowly realizing that you are eventually going to have to retire – you will face many options and many decisions that are likely outside your comfort zone.
This session will offer a conversation with two leading experts on these issues. Lance Woodbury is a leading consultant to closely-held agricultural businesses and professional service firms. He will begin by offering a framework for thinking about issues such as intergenerational business transfers, allocating wealth and control among unequally gifted heirs, external sales, and thinking ahead to maximize tax efficiency and minimize transaction costs.
For most of us, of course, our legacy extends behind maximizing benefits to our family. We take our stewardship obligations seriously and want to extend them beyond our current-year giving; we also want to leave behind a philanthropic legacy. During difficult sale negotiations, all too often consideration of the giving side of a business exit is limited to tax considerations. As a result, philanthropic structures become an afterthought, and are ill-suited to the goals of the donor. Sometimes they even end up doing more harm than good.
After a brief introduction by the two presenters, the session will open up for extended Q&A.
Frederic J. Fransen is a national authority on philanthropy and a leader in the emerging field of philanthropic advising. He has written for, or been quoted in, papers in 33 states, reaching an audience of more than 50 million readers, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. Fred specializes in higher education projects and is involved in numerous initiatives related to the transition to digital learning, as well as the application of technology to even the playing field in education around the world, including projects in Africa and Latin America, as well as the United States.
From 1996 until 2006, Fred was variously a program officer, fellow, and senior fellow at Liberty Fund, Inc., a private operating foundation. From 2001 to 2006, he simultaneously served as director of grants for the Pierre F. and Enid Goodrich Foundation, a private grant-making foundation.
In 2006 Fred helped The Philanthropy Roundtable initiate a new breakthrough group in higher education philanthropy where donor intent is a major concern. At the same time, he began providing support to donors interested in being more strategic about their higher education giving.
In 2007, this led to the launch of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, Inc. (CEHE), a 501 (c) 3 public charity dedicated to improving higher education through more effective philanthropy. In 2012, Fred helped broker the merger of CEHE with College America and related for-profit colleges and their subsequent conversion to non-profit schools. CEHE is now operating a chain of career colleges with twenty campuses serving more than 7,000 students.
Fred’s primary affiliation is Donor Advising, Research & Educational Services (DA•R•ES), LLC, a national, fee-for-service organization he founded which is dedicated to providing support and assistance to strategic-minded philanthropists. Fred has a Ph.D. in Social Thought from the University of Chicago.
Lance Woodbury is a partner at Ag Progress, a firm providing facilitation, mediation, management consulting, educational, philanthropic and family business advisory services. Ag Progress helps business owners learn from one another in peer groups, and helps them navigate family communication, succession planning, strategic management initiatives, family giving, estate planning, governance and conflict.
He was previously a partner and led the agribusiness practice at Kennedy and Coe (now K•Coe Isom), and was the founding Economic Development Director in Wichita County (Leoti), Kansas. He also worked at a cattle feed yard.
Lance attended Sterling College (BA History); George Mason University (MS Conflict Analysis and Resolution); and Purdue University (MBA). He spent much of his school year youth in the inner city Argentine neighborhood of Kansas City, and his summers on the family farm and ranch in western Kansas.
Lance writes family business columns for DTN and The Progressive Farmer and has published two books on family business, The Enduring Legacy and Family Business: Genesis 37-50 and the Family of Joseph. He teaches Family Business Management at The Executive Program for Agriculture Producers (TEPAP) and is a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute. He serves as a Trustee for the Finnup Foundation in Garden City, Kan., where he currently resides with his wife, Dana, and their three children.