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, FBC Board President
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 spremo@capfamilybus.org.

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.

WEBINAR | Post Election Roundtable Discussion

Elections have consequences. What do they mean for you and your family business?

In FBC’s Post Election Roundtable Discussion that took place on November 5, 2020, the expert panel assessed the potential economic outcomes of the presidential and congressional elections. With less than two months until year-end, what can family enterprises still do to affect business and personal year-end tax and wealth planning? Watch the recording to learn more.

WEBINAR + SLIDES | Paycheck Protection Program Part IV

CARES ACT Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)


Over the past several months we’ve brought you Paycheck Protection Program webinars Part I and Part II  and Part III to help you navigate the PPP program and make informed decisions.  Riley Gardner, River City Bank and Ben Brown, B|F|B|A| have teamed up once again to bring you the most current update. They answer a variety of questions during the webinar and help provide clarity while you prepare to fill out the necessary forgiveness forms.

This webinar covers:
  • Loan forgiveness application instructions
  • Changes, adjustments, and new information regarding forgiveness
  • Step by step details on how to accurately make your calculations

Fall Family Business Forum | The Evolving Workplace

Now it is more important than ever to reinforce your company culture, keep employees engaged, and expand your productivity capabilities within your family business. Watch this recorded session featuring FBC Technical Advisor Member and HR expert Kim Silvers, president of Silvers HR, as she leads a panel discussion focusing on finding out how other family businesses have navigated the evolving workplace, what new programs and protocols they have implemented, and what their vision is of the future of company culture and employee engagement. Member panelists include Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Pacific Coast Building Products, DJA Properties, and Hogan Mfg., Inc.


FBC Leadership: Message to our Members

Dear Members,

From the smallest ‘mom and pop’ to our largest family business members, we have all been challenged to meet changes in our businesses that even the most prescient could not have forecasted. Some are weathering disastrous declines while others are sleepless trying to accommodate an unplanned but appreciated boon. To say the last six months have been difficult is an understatement.

Through these throes, we have witnessed communities come together to share ideas, lend a helping hand, and support each other in business. And the creativity and resilience are astounding and will continue to be so.

Founded with the mission to support all family businesses, we as the board of directors, committee members, and volunteers continue to delve into what you need to succeed and are dedicated to developing effective resources to meet those needs.

In July we conducted the Family Business Insight Survey to gauge the sentiments of the family businesses in our region. Thank you to the member businesses that took the time to respond for the benefit of all. Please continue reading for some takeaways from the survey. We know that robust dialogue and communication can only strengthen our organization and will continue to provide opportunities for feedback.

From the survey, we learned that the Generations Family Business Conference is one of the most important member events that we deliver. It’s terribly unfortunate that we are not able to gather in large groups for the foreseeable future.

The board of directors and planning committee weighed our options against the threat of diluting the value of the conference, collectively we decided to postpone the event until we can meet safely as a family business community.

We thank Generations Chair Justin Horner for his insight and look forward to greeting our sponsors, speakers, volunteers, and attendees at the Sacramento Convention Center when we can meet in person. In the meantime, please join the virtual events over the next few months. We have a great mix of programs that are certain to be entertaining.

Stephen Fleming, FBC Board President
Stella Premo, Executive Director, FBC