We are thrilled you are joining us for “Challenges and Opportunities in Family Business Succession,” the fourth session in the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute’s “The Drucker Difference and Your Family Business” seminar series, on Wednesday, June 2.

In addition to gaining insights from our guest speakers that can be immediately applied to your own family business, you will also have the opportunity to connect with other family business leaders during this interactive session.

Our Sponsor

Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation
“The Drucker Difference and Your Family Business” seminar series is sponsored by the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation. Thanks to the support from Foundation Chairman and Drucker School alumnus Woody L. Hunt (MA, Executive Management, ’89), the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute is empowered to further its mission to provide specialized support and resources for those leading family-owned and family-run businesses through this six-session interactive education series. Read more about how the Foundation’s generous grant is making an impact here.


Wednesday, June 2, 2021
(All times are in PDT)

  • 8:30 a.m. Welcome by Professor Katharina Pick and Director Dave Specht
  • 8:40 a.m. Session Overview by Professor Vijay Sathe
  • 8:45 a.m. Opening Remarks from Dennis Jaffe
  • 9:00 a.m. A Real-Life Experience with Succession in Family Business by Simon Cordes (MBA, ’12) (Part One)
  • 9:20 a.m. Group Discussion
  • 9:25 a.m. Break
  • 9:35 a.m. A Real-Life Experience with Succession in Family Business by Simon Cordes (MBA, ’12) (Part Two)
  • 9:50 a.m. Solutions for Succession Planning, Facilitated by Dennis Jaffe
  • 10:05 a.m. Conversation between Dennis Jaffe and Simon Cordes (MBA, ’12), Moderated by Professor Vijay Sathe
  • 10:30 a.m. Break
  • 10:40 a.m. Workshop Facilitated by Director Dave Specht and Professor Vijay Sathe

Join the Session

How to Prepare for the Session

To make our time together as interactive and valuable as possible, we ask that all participants read the article below prior to the session on June 2:

How Elders in Business Families Can Make Room for New Generations Without Sacrificing Themselves by Dennis Jaffe

Our Speakers

Simon Cordes
Simon Cordes (MBA, ’12)

Simon Cordes is 4th generation in a family-owned, mid-size glass manufacturing business in Germany. Cordes received his MBA from the Drucker School and University of St. Gallen and his BS in International Business and International Finance from The American University of Paris. Participants will learn more about his current profession and experience in family business succession during the session.

Dennis Jaffe
Dennis Jaffe
Wise Counsel Research

Dennis Jaffe, a member of Wise Counsel Research, is a San Francisco-based advisor to families about family business, governance, wealth and philanthropy. He is author of Borrowed from Your Grandchildren: The Evolution of 100-Year Family Enterprises, Cross Cultures: How Global Families Negotiate Change Across Generations, Stewardship in your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Family Leadership Across Generations, and Working With the Ones You Love. His global insights have led to teaching or consulting engagements in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America.

The Family Firm Institute awarded him the 2017 International Award for service, and in 2005 he received the Beckhard Award for service to the field. In 2020 he was awarded a special commendation as an individual thought leader in the field of wealth management by the Family Wealth Report. He has a BA degree in Philosophy, MA in Management, and PhD in sociology, all from Yale University, and is professor emeritus of organizational systems and psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco.

Katharina Pick
Katharina Pick
Clinical Associate Professor
Drucker School of Management

Katharina Pick is clinical associate professor of organizational behavior at the Drucker School of Management. She teaches MBA and executive courses in Organizational Behavior and Theory, Leadership Development, Teams, Women in Leadership, and Design Thinking and the Creative Process. She also provides individual coaching for developing leaders across a variety of contexts including museum leadership and policing.

Pick’s research examines the internal group dynamics of corporate boards of directors with a particular focus on the psychology of board membership, speaking-up behavior, and board process in decision making and conflict resolution. Recently, she has written on the subject of boardroom dynamics and board leadership. Other research interests include gender and leadership, role negotiation and social identity in high-status groups, and sense-making and diffusion of deviant organizational behavior. She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior and MA in Sociology from Harvard University and holds an MSW from University of Southern California.

Vijay Sathe
Vijay Sathe
C.S. & D.J. Davidson Chair and Professor of Management
Drucker School of Management

Vijay Sathe was a professor at the Harvard Business School for 10 years prior to joining the faculty at Drucker School of Management. He teaches Managing Change, The Effective Executive, and Managing the Family Business. Sathe has taught in numerous executive education programs around the world and has published six books and numerous articles in academic and professional journals. He has also served as a consultant to corporations worldwide, and he has advised government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.

Sathe’s two latest books are Manage Your Career: 10 Keys to Survival and Success When Interviewing and On the Job, published by Business Expert Press in 2015; and Strategy and Competitiveness in Latin American Markets: The Sustainability Frontier, co-edited with Urs Jäger and published by Edward Elgar in 2014. He received his MBA and PhD from Ohio State University.

David Specht
David Specht
Director, Drucker School Global Family Business Institute

David Specht comes to the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute with a personal mission to “preserve families and perpetuate businesses” after spending nearly five years developing the Family Dynamics Program at Wells Fargo Private Bank. Prior to that he founded Advising Generations, a family business consulting firm and served on the faculty at the University of Nebraska and established their family business program. Specht is a two time author. His latest book is called, “The Family Business Whisperer.”

Specht is fluent in Spanish and lived for two years in Uruguay. He is also happily married and has six children. He studied Business Administration at Brigham Young University-Idaho and received a Master’s Degree in Tax and Financial Planning from San Diego State University.

Technical Support

How will I be able to view and participate in the seminar?
The “Family Entrepreneurship: Founders, NextGen, and Beyond” seminar will utilize the Zoom platform for viewing of the event. This link can be found when clicking on the “Join the Session” button above. You will be directed to a new window to open the event into a full screen format. Please make sure you click on the ‘Join Audio’ button on the bottom left corner to activate the audio from your computer or phone.

Zoom is best viewed in Google Chrome, whether you are using your laptop, desktop or iPad. Unfortunately, Safari and Internet Explorer are not compatible with Zoom. There is no need to download the app to your desktop or mobile device; however, if you have already done this, be sure that you have the most up-to-date version of the platform. Check out https://zoom.us/download to ensure you have the latest updates so that you can have the best possible experience at our virtual event.

Will I be able to ask the event speakers any questions following their respective presentations?
We believe the best engagement comes directly from you––our guests. We invite you to place any questions you have for any of our presenter or staff members in the chat window in Zoom. The questions will be addressed as there is available time.

Need technical assistance?
If you are in need of technical support with Zoom or viewing the event, please connect with our event partners at The Event Company who can provide assistance. Their tech team can be reached at 605-366-7022 or hello@theeventcompanysd.com. All calls and emails are answered in the order received. If all lines are busy, please leave a voicemail message and someone will be in touch with you as soon as they can.

Future Sessions

As “The Drucker Difference and Your Family Business” seminar series continues, we will focus on unique challenges in family business, including:

        • managing transitions between generations
        • balancing tradition with innovation
        • sustainability
        • making contributions to society
        • managing wealth, governance, and people

Here’s a look at what’s to come (dates and additional speakers TBD):

      • Thursday, July 22, 2021 – “NextGen Education in Action”
        Dialogue and case study hosted by BNY Mellon and Whittier Trust
      • September 2021 – “Balancing the Short and Long Term”
        Andrew Chen, COO, Woodmax Company, Taiwan

Thank you to our Partners and Members

American Business Bank

BNY Mellon


WTC Investment



Cutting Edge Supply

Downs Energy


ITR Economics

Lippow Development

Lewis Group of Companies

Lundberg Family Farms

Ogura Family

Patton's Steel

Renken Company

Scheu Management Company

Welty Automation

Woodmax Company


A family membership with the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute unlocks a variety of benefits for you and the family members you work with.

Become a Member or Partner