Press Release for Friday, February 10, 2006

Coggin College Hosts Family and Closely Held Business Forum

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida will host the 3rd Annual Family&Closely Held Business Forum from 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, at the University Center on campus. The Forum will explore critical transitional issues for today’s family and closely held businesses.

Family or closely held businesses account for 78 percent of all new jobs created nationwide and comprise 90 percent of all American businesses. These businesses face specific problems and challenges as they pass the reins to future generations. Among family companies, less than 30 percent survive into the second generation, barely 10 percent make it to the third and only about 4 percent to the fourth.

“The relevant topics and timely discussions at the Forum will help our local businesses to grow,” said Dr. John McAllister, dean of the Coggin College of Business at UNF. “The Forum is so important because studies show within the next five years, 30 percent of family-owned firms will experience a change in leadership due to retirement or semi-retirement.”

Featured Forum speakers include Dr. Craig Aronoff, co-founder and principal of the Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.; Dr. Gary Buffone, director of the Family Business Center at The Byron Harless Group; Tim Flanagan, a certified tax lawyer with Purcell Flanagan&Hay, P.A.; and Steven Lapidus of Greenberg Traurig LLP, founder and chairman of the Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Group.

Featured Forum panelists include:
• Phyllis Lockwood Geiger and Peter Behringer—Phyllis and her son Peter operate the family’s confectionary business, Peterbooke Chocolatier, Inc.
• Susan Ryzewic—Susan is the President/CEO of EHR Investments, Inc. and EHR Aviation, Inc., as well as director of The Remmer Family Foundation.
• Jack Proctor and Steve Proctor—The Proctors have three generations of family members involved in their fourth generation family-owned retail hardware stores.
• Gardner Davis—Gardner is a partner in the Jacksonville office of Foley&Lardner LLP. He is the past chairman of the Corporate and Securities Committee of the Florida Bar Business Law Section.

Registration for the 3rd Annual Family&Closely Held Business Forum is $175 per person. Price includes continental breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks and two complimentary books titled, “Letting Go” and “Choking on the Silver Spoon: Keeping Your Kids Healthy, Wealthy and Wise in a Land of Plenty.”

To register for the Forum, call the Small Business Development Center at UNF at (904) 620-2477 or log on to or fax your name, company, address and phone number to (904) 620-2567.