NWFBA Programs

Our mission is to be a welcoming community of professionals from various disciplines
focused on serving family businesses professionals.

Events Information

NWFBA holds breakfast meetings on the 2nd Wednesday of each odd month in the calendar year, from 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM in downtown Seattle (July is the exception, on the 3rd Wednesday). First time visitors are welcome to attend and check us out…breakfast is on us!


NWFBA events offer the opportunity to learn from expert advisors and successful business owners, and to build meaningful professional relationships.

After Hours Networking

Because of the COVID19 pandemic and State requirements regarding social distancing we are unable to schedule after hours networking for our members at this time.

NWFBA 2021 Theme - "Navigating the Next"

Cyber Risk Protection for the Family Business Ecosystem

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
7:45 AM- 9:30 AM
Virtual Program

The family business ecosystem, comprised of family enterprises and shareholders, family-owned
OpCos, family office(s), and family members, exists in an environment where cyber threats are real
and abundant.

If not properly managed and controlled, these threats can have significant detrimental financial and
reputational impacts, and jeopardize the safety of the family themselves.

Please join us for our event, when our expert panel will discuss the dos and don’ts of cyber risk management. The panel will be moderated by Seth Shapiro.

Topics will include:

  • Cyber risks associated with family businesses
  • Threats to high net worth (HNW) individuals
  •  Practical approaches to managing cyber risks

View brief video of program HERE


Seth Shapiro, Executive Vice President USI


Seth Shapiro, CPCU, ARM,AIS, ARe, CyRM is Executive Vice President & Risk Strategist for USI. Seth has more than 35 years of experience and advises clients on a wide array of risk management topics, including enterprise risk management, risk assessment, and information security management.

Earlier in his career, Seth served as National Practice Leader of the Information Risk Consulting group of a multinational risk consulting firm, where he managed information risk assessments, executive workshops, security policy development, security policy reviews, technology due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, and insurance gap analyses.

Melissa Van Buhler
Melissa Van Buhler, Focal PPLC


Melissa Van Buhler, COPP/US is an Attorney with Focal PLLC. She advises clients in the areas of data breach and reporting, data privacy, intellectual property, online marketing, and commercial/technology transactions.

Melissa draws on her experience in the intelligence community advising on complex national security laws (such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act/FISA), to inform her advice on privacy and data protection. 

Melissa helps her clients navigate complex contractual relationships with third parties, such as customers and business partners, to identify and manage privacy and data security risks during a time of rapid change to state data privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and New York SHIELD Act.
Tim Stienstraw
Timothy R. Stienstraw, Associate | Baker Law Seattle 


Tim Stienstraw, CIPP/US , an Associate with Baker Hostetler assists organizations with responses to complex data breaches and other security and privacy incidents, in addition to helping clients understand and comply with various state, federal, and foreign data protection laws.

He assists clients with the development of a range of privacy and security policies and procedures., including incident response policies, incident response runbooks, and other compliance documents.

Tim has advised clients in connection with forensic investigations associated with more than 50 ransomware incidents. He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.

June Members ONLY Networking Event
Date: TBD

Registration NOT YET OPEN

July 14, 2021
Family Business Outlook Post-COVID
7:30 AM  – 9:30 AM

Registration NOT OPEN

August Members ONLY Networking Event
Date: TBD

Registration NOT OPEN

September 8, 2021
Fireside Chat with Owners of Taco Time
7:30 AM  – 9:30 AM

Registration NOT OPEN

October Members ONLY Networking Event
Date: TBD

Registration NOT OPEN

November 10, 2021
Family Business Recognition
7:30 AM  – 9:30 AM

Registration NOT OPEN


January 2021
Transitioning a Family Member: Health Assistance and Fiduciary Management
Presenters: Trish McKinney, Family Resource Home Care
Arianne Miller, Forever Care Services
Michael Longyear, Reed Longyear, Malneti & Ahrens
Moderator: Pam Stone, Family Resource Home Care

Members Only Mid-Winter Networking
February 2021
Sponsored by Insperity


March 2021
Social Impact Philanthropy
Presenters: Yvonne Thomas, Proximity
Stephanie Ellis-Smith, Principal and CEO, Phila Giving  
Rodney Hines, CEO/Chief Mission Guy, Métier Brewing Company



January 2020
The Fall of the House of Usher Case Study
NWFBA kicks off 2020 with a case study of succession
and estate planning discussion centering on the Usher family,
a fictitious family and their novelty business.

March 2020 – postponed

April 2020
2019 and 2020 Members

May 2020
Oh Behave!  Understanding the Role of Emotions 
in Family Business Decisions
Dr. Werner De Bondt, Visiting Professor at Seattle U.

July 2020
Turnaround Management for the Family Business at Risk
Jan Herald Robinson, Revitalization Partners
Renee Fellman
Christy Tobin-Presser, Bush Kornfeld LLC
Tina Lucas, Banner Bank, Moderator

September 2020
Selling the Family Business
Gregory Kovsky,President and Designated Broker of Int’l Business Assoc.
John Martinka, Martinka Consulting
Pete McDowell, RC Advisory Services
Mark Canton, moderator, CPA partner at Hunt Jackson PLLC


October 2020
NWFBA MEMBERS ONLY Fall Virtual Social

November 2020
Managing a Family Business During a Public Health Crisis,
Mark Canlis, Canlis Restaurants

December 2020
End of the Year Members Social
It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Cocktails


January 2019
How Family Communications about the Business Can Impact Family Harmony
Presenters: Mary Dickinson, CPA, Bader Martin
Leslie Osborne, an Executive Coach and Advisor
Bhaj Townsend, Focus and Sustain
Rachele Bouchand, Cornerstone Advisors

March 2019
Managing Adversity and Crisis in Family Business: Learning from Experience
Presenters: Marilyn Richards, Richards Consulting
Marc Berger, Nyhus Communications

May 2019
Fireside Chat with Blain and Kim, Children Dana and Carrie Roberts from Westport Winery

July 2019
Clarifying Misconceptions About Family Business Boards
Presenters: Tony Christensen, Christensen, Inc.
Marry Morrow, Nelson Legacy Group
Rick Robinson, Hotstart
Joe Weinstein, Davis Wright Tremain, Moderator

September 2019
Double Downing:Exploring the Risks and Opportunities of a Two-Family Family Business, Spartan Investment Group (SIG)
Presenters: Scott Lewis, CEO and co-founder
Ryan Gibson, CIO and co-founder
Lindsay Lewis, Director of Business Intelligence
Jackie Gibson, Director of Operations

November 13, 2019
Avoiding Family Philanthropy Pitfalls
Lorraine del Prado Del Prado Philanthropy Training and Consulting
Bill Zook Evergreen Planned Giving, LLC
Sarah Hopper is founder of Sound Philanthropy, LLC

January 2018
Impacts of  the New Tax Code on Family Businesses
Presenters: Rob Keasal – Tax Director, Peterson Sullivan
Chad Blevins – President, Blevins Financial
Lewis Horowitz – Shareholder and Taxation Team Chair, Lane Powell

March 2018
Addressing Challenges of Aging Ownership in Family Businesses

May 2018
Lost Legacy – Lessons Learned from the  Rise and Fall of a Century-Old Family Empire in Japan, Leslie Helm, Editor Seattle Business Magazine

July 2018
Bridging the Family Business Generation Gap
Panelists: Bill Criddle, Ph. D, Managerial Psychologist and Drew Steen, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine

September 2018  
NWFBA Goes Crowdsourced to Improve Family Business Workshop
Leaders: Arnie Hendricks,  Financial Management Resources and Mark Mitchell, Creekside Consulting

November 14, 2018
The Pacific Family Business Institute in conjunction with our partnering sponsors, is pleased to present the results of the recently published Northwest Family Business Survey. 

January 2017
Traditional Retirement is Dead
Presenter: Lisë Stewart Stewart – Galliard International

March 2017
Business Coaching
Presenter: Marilyn Richards, Richards Consulting

May 2017
Panel discussion on “Raising Kids in a Family Business”
Panelist’s: Bahj Townsend (Focus and Sustain), Ron Dohr (Pacific Family Business Institute), and Heather Tuininga (10|10 Strategies)

July 2017
Fireside Family Stories – Part 1
Discussions  with multi-generational family business owners who have experienced some form of transition or are in the midst of a transition.

September 2017
Building Your Business Around Your Strengths
Presenter: Alan Pratt, Legacy Advisor

November 2017
Fireside Chat with Family Business Owners
Presenters: Jim Spady and Jennifer Donovan, Dick’s Drive In Restaruants

2016 Professional Development Series

January 2016
2016 Northwest Family Business Survey Results

March  2016
Changing Models of Leadership
Presenter: Lisë Stewart Stewart – Galliard International

May 2016
Effective Teamwork
Presenter: Lisa Fitzhugh – Creative Ground

July 2016
The Influence of Technology
Presenter: David Carpenter – Connection Model

September  2016
Social Responsibility and the Family Business
Presenter: Jeff Clarke

November 2016
Preserving Family Wealth–Tax Strategies for Family Business Transfers
Presenter: David Stifle – Bader Martin

January 2015
What is Better than a Loyal Client?
Presenter: Ron Kranz – Beyond the Benchmark

March  2015
Five Golden rules of Business Develoment
Presenter: Marilyn Richards – Richards Consulting Group

May  2015
What Families Seek in Advisors
Presenter: Gene Lipitz

July 2015
The Science of Decision Making
Presenter: Stacy Allred – Purposful Planning Institute

September 2015
Becoming Generationally Savvy
Presenter: Anna Liotta

November 4, 2015
The Untapped Power of Advisor Summits

Professional Development Series

January 2014
Rising from Disaster: Problem Solving for the Usher Family
Cast members from the House of Usher video case study

March 2014
What Does Success Look Like?
Dori Brewer, Principal, Perkins Coie

July May 2014
Expanding the Mindset of Family Leaders
Sonya M. Stoklosa, MS, PCC, President/Founder of Executive Athlete

July 2014
Managing Business Complexity: The Business of Family Business
Robert A. (Bob) King, Founder, COO Services

September 2014
Managing Family Complexity
Molly McCullough, Board Chair, Seaport Steel and Chair of the Pleas Family Council

Professional Development Series

January 2013
Techniques for Successful Family Business Transitions: A Case Study
Richard Beaton, Co-founder and Senior Partner at Marigold Associates

March 2013 workshop
Difficult Conversations
Lauren Owens of Redpoint Coaching

March 2013
The Role of Philanthropy in Family Business
Sarah Hopper, Sound Philanthropy, LLC

May 2013
Strategies to Protect Closely Held Businesses from Divorce
Marguerite (Maggie) Smith, J.D; LLB Hons

July 2013
Yokohama Yankee: My Family’s Story and How Advisors Might Have Helped
Leslie Helm, Editor, Seattle Business Magazine

September 2013
40 Years Advising Families in Business: Some Lessons Learned
Bob Nuber, Chairman Emeritus of Clark Nuber

November 2013
The Fall of the House of Usher IV: Lessons in Estate and Succession Planning
David Stiefel, Principal at Bader Martin, PS

Professional Development Series

January 2012
New Year Networking Social

April 2012  Workshop
Creating an Advisory Board

May 2012
Bartell Drugs: A Case Study in Generational Planning
Michael Miller and Michael Quigley,  Capital Planning Corporation Dave Barber,  President of Bartell-Barber Family Council

July 2012
Tackling the Elephants in the Room:  How to Encourage Your Family Business Clients to Have Those Difficult Discussions
Lauren Owens, MBA, Principal with Redpoint Consulting

September 2012
 A Cultural Conversation: Reaching and Serving Asian Family Businesses
Cheryll Leo-Gwin, World Trade and Exchanges, Inc. and the Washington State Arts Commission Valerie Antoinette Berset-Price, Professional Passport Vivien Chang, Chang Law Group PC

November 2012
Power and Love in Family Business
Matthew Wesley, The Wesley Group

Professional Development Series

March 2011
Up and Out? Succession in Family Businesses.
Holly Slay, Ph.D., Seattle University

May 2011
Decision-Making in Family Businesses! And how the advisor can and should help
David Wittenberg, Verax Point Consulting Urs Koenig, Redpoint Succession and Leadership Consulting Jeanette Nyden, J.Nyden Law and Mediation PS

July 2011
Anatomy of a Small Business Sale: Management of the Many Twists, Turns and Surprises
Jim Carney, CFP, Bernstein Global Wealth Management Salim Dada, Concord Ventures

September 2011
Decision Making in Family Businesses!
Laura Schildkraut, founder of Onboarding Gen Y and a lecturer at the University of Washington

November 2011
Challenges of the Next Gen of Owners!  And how the advisor can and should help
Moderator: Mark Green Panelists: Jessica McIntosh, Atlas Supply Company David Engelstein, Classic Accessories

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