Maggie Bender-Johnson Named President of the Board


Contact: Stella Premo, Executive Director
Capital Region Family Business Center
(916) 771‐3220

Northern California’s Largest Family Business Organization Announces New Board Leadership

Third Generation Business Leader Elected President

Sacramento, CACapital Region Family Business Center (FBC) is pleased to announce the election of Maggie Bender‐Johnson as board president and Justin Horner as vice president. Ms. Bender‐Johnson’s role as president signals a continued emphasis on the organization’s growth in serving Northern California family‐owned businesses in the Sacramento region.

Bender‐Johnson, president of Bender Insurance Solutions in Roseville, has been active in the organization for several years. As a member of her family’s third generation in the business, Maggie possesses unique insight and understands the distinctive challenges that often accompany rising to the top of family business leadership.

“Capital Region Family Business Center has been a significant resource for our family’s business, and I’m so honored to serve the board in this role. FBC and its members have played a critical role in supporting my journey as a next generation family business leader, and as a leader in our community. I hope to inspire other ‘Next Gens’ to lean into their own development and to leverage their FBC peer relationships to further their family businesses,” remarked Bender‐Johnson.

Bender‐Johnson’s term follows that of Stephen Fleming, president and CEO of River City Bank, who led the organization to unprecedented growth, hitting the 100‐member mark in 2019.

“I am delighted to hand the baton to Maggie to lead Family Business Center’s Board of Directors. As an active member for many years, she has contributed to tremendous growth in membership and quality programming. As a senior executive with one of our members, she has a deep understanding of our membership and the programming which will be most impactful,” Fleming commented.

Joining Bender‐Johnson as a board officer is Justin Horner who will serve as vice president in addition to chairing the Generations Conference, slated for January 19‐20, 2022. The two‐day conference in Sacramento will bring together family businesses from across Northern California for lectures, workshops, team building, and networking. Mr. Horner’s leadership experience will be instrumental in building out the programs and ensuring the conference’s overall success.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a part of FBC since 2015 and I’m looking forward to expanding on that commitment. Family‐owned businesses are the job‐creating economic backbone for our community, and I’m excited to play a supporting role in our members’ strength, prosperity, and continuity,” said Horner.

Family businesses are the lifeblood of California’s economy, accounting for 66 percent of the state’s GDP and employing 64 percent of its workforce. While these businesses have a tremendous impact, little from a traditional business model translates to the unique dynamics of working for and alongside family members. FBC seeks to fill that void through inventive programming that offers education, peer support and networking.

“I look forward to working alongside Maggie and Justin to reinforce FBC’s mission and vision while serving and growing our membership,” added Stella Premo, executive director for Capital Region Family Business Center.

Current members include such notable companies as Flyers Energy, Green Acres Nursery & Supply, Mikuni, Nugget Markets, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, River City Bank, Sacramento River Cats, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Teichert.

Board members are charged with providing direction on events, programs and topics that are timely priorities for family businesses. Events are often led by Technical Advisors, experts in the fields most pertinent to family businesses such as tax, wealth management, business management. The roster of current technical advisors includes such companies such as Wells Fargo, CAPTRUST (formerly Genovese Burford & Brothers) and HUB International, Inc.

The organization’s events include the annual Generations Family Business Conference, quarterly affinity group meetings on topics specifically geared for CEOs, ‘Next Gen’ leaders and women in business, bi‐annual half‐day family business forums that tackle common issues and challenges, and periodic social outings that bring families together for networking and fun.

For more information on FBC, visit

Capital Region Family Business Center is one of the largest family business centers in the country, offering special educational workshops, round‐table discussion groups and relationship‐building social events. Its mission is to promote growth and prosperity for all family businesses in the greater Sacramento region, the guiding focus of its strategy.

Mikuni Family Dinner II with Taro!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our family dinner night featuring Taro, sushi chef extraordinaire!

Thank you to Elevation Ten Winery for donating the wine everyone enjoyed. This event requires a lot of hands-on work and it takes a team of Mikuni staff along with FBC staff and volunteers to make it all happen. Since the pandemic began Mikuni has done 15 virtual Sushiology classes, two of which were with FBC members! Since retiring, Reverend Arai gets so much fulfillment out of his role teaching kanji in the Sushiology class, and Mrs. Arai was SO excited to be a part of this class as well.

Did you know that 25 pounds of fish and 432 individual shrimp were used for our dinner?  We had 72 members participate, which meant 72 kits needed to be packed and that included 144 little bottles filled with special sauces! Timewise it took over eight hours to prepare! And, of course, a wonderful event like this wouldn’t be possible without all of our amazing members!

Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!



Delivery time! Each of these coolers is filled with fresh fish (on ice!), rice, toppings, and fixings to make your own version of Mikuni at home!
Ryan Beatie with Holt of CA picking up his order at Mikuni!
Thanks to Shawn McElmoyl with Wells Fargo for delivering! He's pictured here with Stella Premo.
Jennifer Bernel & Stella Premo loading up deliveries.
Technical Advisor Mike Rivera with Bank of the West grabbing his deliveries at Mikuni Roseville.
Thank you Julie Newton with Grow West for making deliveries!
Taro and his momma! She was the first chef in the family.
Dogs love sushi too! Pictured here with Maggie Bender-Johnson and Jillian Cormier of Bender Insurance Solutions is Winnie.
Molly Dog waiting for some SUSHI to ROLL onto the floor! Pun intended 😉
Toddlers LOVE Mikuni!
Three generations making sushi!
Cheers to Taro! Thank you from the FBC Family to your family! <3

FBC Leadership: Message to our Members

Throwback Photo: Steve and Stella at the 2019 Spring Family Forum.

Dear Members, 

This time of year usually brings a flurry of activity, including the 2021 planning efforts of FBC staff and volunteers.  As such, normally we would be touting our Holiday events, programs, and, of course, the organization’s signature event, the Generations Conference.  But something else was planned for this year and we have all been forced to adjust course. 

In reaction to the social isolation and economic shutdown which began in March, we are so proud that our programming team immediately responded with relevant information that paved the way for reassurance, calm, and progress:

  • We gathered virtually for a fun Family Dinner Night (Sushiology) class hosted by FBC member, Mikuni owner (and local celebrity) Taro Arai. Don’t worry if you didn’t catch this one, we may have another opportunity for our members in the spring.
  • Our Family Forum and Affinity Groups were all held online and gave our members an opportunity to see each other face to face, even if it was only virtually. Being able to share our experiences about the pandemic and other topics was informative and even a bit therapeutic.

Looking ahead to 2021, we are excited to follow along with a new sitcom pilot on ABC based on our member, the Sacramento River Cats, and their CEO Susan Savage. The dramedy, starring Felicity Huffman and Zack Gottsagen, will tell the story of how, after tragically losing patriarch Art, Susan and their son Jeff Savage took the reins of the company and became a leading family business in the Sacramento community.

We are as committed as ever to creating engaging programming to efficiently educating and nurturing our region’s family businesses. None of this could be possible without the dedication of our volunteer board of directors and committee members. We sincerely thank each of our volunteers for their strong commitment to the Family Business Center.

We would especially like to thank Grant Deary of Nor-Cal Beverage. Grant has been a part of the FBC since 2009 and recently termed off the Board after an 11-year stint. We thank him for his many years of service, vision, and leadership that have helped the FBC to the growth that we enjoy today.

We wish you and your families a safe holiday season and look forward to opportunities to work together in the new year.

Happy Holidays!

Stephen Fleming
Stella Premo, Executive Director, FBC

Celebrating Our Dedicated Board & Committee Members!

What a year it’s been! We could not have made it through without the support of our entire volunteer Board of Directors, Programs + Events Committee, Membership Committee, and Generations Committee. These volunteers are champions for family business and instrumental in making FBC the best resource for family businesses in the northern California region.

Through it all, our board and committee members have kept their cool, planned and re-planned events and programs, and buoyed FBC and our members through the most challenging time in our history…all while undertaking the same trials at work. Pictured below are three out of the four groups in our December Zoom meetings (the Generations Committee is currently on a break until Spring 2021) hard at work brainstorming, planning, and strategizing for next year. Overall, there is a cohesive feeling that things will get better.  In fact, we’re planning on it!

Please read on to learn of some of the ups and downs (but mostly ups!) of their year taken from brief interviews with each.

We know you’ll be intrigued to read what they have witnessed in their own business or those of their clients, their biggest take-aways, unanticipated challenges, what took them by surprise, even some unexpected silver linings.

Kim Silvers, Program + Events Committee

 “Let’s all share so we can all learn from each other”

Silvers HR Fall Family Business Forum: The Evolving Workplace

“I’ve been doing this work for almost 40 years and a week does not go by that doesn’t make me think on some level, ‘Oh my goodness, I can’t believe it.’

But this year has been truly unbelievable. I am surprised that clients and my team were so resilient to changing things up and eight months later we are still pivoting every single week because there’s another new law. We just continue to ask ourselves, ‘OK, how can employers comply with this and stay in business?’

I was delighted to participate in two panels this year. I continue to be impressed by FBC members that are so transparent about their journeys and their challenges and wonderfully open to sharing. It’s part of the culture to think, ‘Let’s all share so we can all learn from each other’.”

“I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly, efficiently, and productively our staff adapted to working from home in March and proud of the Herculean effort for River City Bank and the banking industry as a whole to process so many Paycheck Protection Program loans on such short notice.

And I can’t believe how much can be done via video conference calls! But in-person meetings are still the best.”

Stephen Fleming, President of the Board


“In-person meetings are still the best.”

Meghan Baker, Board of Directors & Program + Events Committee

 “One of my biggest takeaways from remote working is the importance of flexible and effective communication.”

“I was impressed by how quickly our law firm transitioned to remote work, and I am incredibly grateful for all of our team members who have contributed to that effort.

One of my biggest takeaways from remote working is the importance of flexible and effective communication. Flexibility has also been key to balancing remote work with childcare and virtual schooling, which our family (like so many others) did throughout the spring.

Despite the challenges of this year, I am grateful for the additional time I have been able to spend with my husband and children, the new recipes we’ve tried, and the memories we’ve made.”

“Let’s start with some challenges.

The lack of in-person meetings meant less-than-ideal connectivity with clients and vendors. And our employees not working in the office also struggled to stay connected with colleagues while dealing with school-age children and distractions at home while adapting to new flex work hours. Not to mention the absurd challenges with State/County/local governments and the constantly changing response to the pandemic.

But there were also successes like surprising efficiency (relative to fears) from certain groups and departments working from home and their adaptability to the virtual world of Zoom, Teams, etc. We’re sure to see many businesses considering material reductions in their office space.”

Greg Robinson, Generations Committee


“The lack of in-person meetings meant less-than-ideal connectivity with clients and vendors.”

Mary Towne, Generations Committee

“The struggle we and our clients have experienced in running our small businesses has resulted in a surge of creativity and innovation unlike any I’ve witnessed before.”

“If 2020 were to have a motto I think it would have to be “Adapt and Overcome”. The last several months have been challenging at best.

The struggle we and our clients have experienced in running our small businesses has resulted in a surge of creativity and innovation unlike any I’ve witnessed before.

From new ways (and places) to do business, to new products and market segments – accelerating innovation in the way businesses work and serve their client base has been, in many ways, one of the greatest gifts of 2020.“


Join a committee today!

If you’re interested in connecting with other family businesses and working to help support them, please contact FBC’s Executive Director, Stella Premo at

2020 in Review

If this year taught us anything, it’s that we CAN adapt. When our members needed us most, we went virtual with all of our events. It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary.  Team FBC, along with our committee and board members, worked quickly and thoughtfully to produce over 20 online events, from PPP and Estate Planning to even sushi making.

We now have a library compilation of expert panelists and top-notch professionals providing guidance, support, and information to help family businesses navigate the pandemic. Browse through all of the programs:

Our Members Endured in 2020

This year has proved to be nothing like we thought it would be. It’s safe to say, 2020 has been one of the most trying years we’ve experienced in our lifetime. Through it all, our members and technical advisors adapted, shifted, and met the moment.

We are grateful to our members for their support and we are excited to highlight some of the “feel good” stories we shared this year on our social media channels.

When reading through these posts we are reminded of how resourceful, strong, and resilient family businesses truly are. Whether it’s a first-generation business that is learning to adapt to this new normal or a fourth-generation business that is giving back to the community when it needs it most. We LOVE sharing our members’ updates and news. Our sole purpose at The Capital Region Family Business Center is to help family businesses grow and prosper. We look forward to showcasing our member’s many triumphs in the year ahead. We’re ready for ya, 2021!

We are #FamilyBusinessStrong

FBC is here for your family business! Our mission is to help your family businesses grow and prosper. Please let us know if you have news, information, or announcements to share on our social media channels. Contact FBC

Not a member yet? Join today!

WEBINAR + SLIDES | Use it or Lose it? End of Year Financial Planning + Proposition 19

End of Year Financial & Estate Planning + Proposition 19


Find out what strategies you need to consider for transferring wealth before the transfer tax exemption is reduced. Plus…learn how the passing of Prop 19 might affect your financial plans.
Join FBC Board Member Gina Lera, Attorney at Lera Tiberini PC as she presents important information on the best wealth transfer strategies and what you need to do to prepare for potential changes in federal estate and gift law.