Family Business Forum | Fall 2019

The 2019 Fall Family Business Forum, Leveraging Your Legacy: Using Storytelling to Enhance Customer & Employee Engagement, took place at Del Paso Country Club on October 10. Over 90 family business members and Technical Advisors filled the seats. The half-day program, led by Meghan Baker of Downey Brand, Curt Rocca of DCA Partners and Lois Lang of Evolve Partner Group touched on all aspects of how storytelling can play an integral part in a business’s culture, brand and their public perception.

Lois Lang, Diane Fiddyment, Dave Lucchetti, Kevin Fat.

From left to right: Lois Lang, Diane Fiddyment, Dave Lucchetti, Kevin Fat.

The morning session featured Lois Lang facilitating a panel discussion with Kevin Fat of Fat Family Restaurant Group, Diane Fiddyment of Fiddyment Farms and Dave Lucchetti of Pacific Coast Building Products, on how storytelling plays a role in their family business. Each panelist, all longtime members of FBC, touched on how they use storytelling to convey values, history, and expectations to employees through internal communications and onboarding. And, how they each convey the importance of their values and mission through advertising. We learned that the common threads are the values set forth when these family businesses were founded and that their values are still alive today. Being a family business can set a business apart from its competitors.

Mid-morning, attendees had time to share their stories with one another with facilitated roundtable discussions led by FBC Technical Advisor Members. In small group discussions, family business members expanded on areas of 1) Family Storytelling for the Family, 2) Building Employee Moral, 3) Building the Family Brand.

Left to right: Curt Rocca, Les Lyman, Ernie Roncoroni, David Parker and Troy Schroeder

Left to right: Curt Rocca, Les Lyman, Ernie Roncoroni, David Parker and Troy Schroeder

We closed the program with lunch and a dynamic session let by Curt Rocca featuring Les Lyman and Ernie Roncoroni of Grow West along with Troy Schroeder of Clutch and David Parker of OTM. Grow West and their team dove deep into their recent rebranding process and how storytelling played a key role in their longterm strategic plan. Keeping the legacy alive is a driving factor for many family businesses, so the process Grow West went through to re-brand was significant for the family as well as their employees and customers.

CLICK HERE to view photos from the event!

Executive Directors Letter to Membership – September 2019

Dear Members,

It’s my pleasure to share with you in this newsletter the stories of philanthropy from some of our members. I hope they inspire you to examine your own, share your thoughts on how your business tries to break through ‘the noise’ and make a difference in your community, and take our new philanthropy survey.

As we hope you have noted by now, the 2020 Generations Family Business Conference will be in April. The Programs + Events Committee is excited to implement some conference programming changes and currently working on next year’s event calendar. I’m looking forward to sharing the new lineup with you including a trip to Chico for a Family Business Tour and adding a few more social events.

We are growing our reach and increasing awareness to other family businesses in our region and we need your help. If you work with another family business that is not a member, will you tell them about us and our programming? Maybe invite them to be your guest at a future program? Our programs are at the highest level of quality only when we have a diverse membership in attendance.

A big THANK YOU to Trevor Kern, Zeller Kern Wealth Advisors, Nathan Torinus, GBB, and John Whitfield, Moss Adams for helping get all the member Thank You Bags stuffed and ready to be delivered. 

The Membership Committee has a few new committee members; please welcome Mike Rivera with Bank of the West and Gary Orr of Orr Consulting, who will be joining the member recruitment sub-group and helping us grow our membership. The Committee, including all Ambassadors, are making their annual visits to members and delivering ‘thank you’ gifts to each of you. We appreciate this program and the opportunity to meet with you face-to-face, but this will be our final year delivering the bags. Now with over 100 members, we are designing a new way to say thank you and continue to get your feedback. Stay tuned for what’s next!

Do you follow us on social media? If not, please consider not only following us but also including us in your social media marketing. We love sharing with the world all the good stuff our members are up to and when you share your news with us, we will also share, tag and post. And, we’d love it if you did the same. We are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, so please find us, friend us, like us and let’s help each other keep the algorithms in our favor.

We are very grateful to you as members and strive to deliver interesting programs that will make a difference for your family business. If you have programming ideas that you think would be helpful to you, please reach out to me at 916.771.3220 or by email at I’d love to hear from you!


Stella Premo – Executive Director

Capital Region Family Business Center

Announcing NEW member resource: Video Library

FBC has implemented a new resource for our members and we are so excited to officially launch the first set of three videos! A BIG THANK YOU to Kim Silvers, Silvers HR and Josh Michael, GNT Solutions along with River City Bank for helping get this new member benefit off the ground.

Get in-depth information delivered when and where you want it with the ease of our new video library. The informational video features an expert FBC Technical Advisor and they are under 20 minutes each. Let us know what you think!

These videos are for educational/informational purposes only and not legal advice. Please consult with your professional advisors before making any business decisions. If you need additional resources, please contact the FBC or reach out to the FBC Technical Advisor presenting the informational video. Their contact information will be at the end of the video. Thank you.








Presidents Letter to Leadership – September 2019

Stephen Fleming, River City Bank

Dear Members,

As representatives of family businesses, we have many things in common. The fact that we can address these commonalities, including even some of our challenges, is what makes FBC effective as an organization.

We know that philanthropy is a driving force in family business, one that often links the culture of a family to its business. This is why FBC keeps a keen eye on philanthropy, and while many of our programs are around succession, governance, and leadership development, we understand that philanthropy is very important to many of our family businesses and our communities.

At River City Bank, we believe community involvement is part of our mission, not our obligation. As such, our support of local non-profit organizations is an essential value within our corporate culture. Our officers serve on a number of boards and in leadership and advisory capacities for community development organizations which serve the greater Sacramento area. In addition, River City Bank provides funding to a myriad of nonprofit organizations through the Kelly Foundation, started by River City Bank’s founder, Jon S. Kelly. Today it is the 5th largest foundation in the Sacramento region, providing grants to educational institutions, hospitals, cultural activities, health, and human services, with an emphasis on organizations that benefit children.

If you believe that philanthropy is a key component to your business and you value being a vibrant community partner, we encourage you to take our online survey and share with us how your family business approaches philanthropy. We will be sharing our collective efforts at the Generations Conference, April 2-3 with a special session focused on the power of community engagement.

Seeing our members engaged in the community makes us collectively stronger in business, in family, and as an organization.

See you soon.

Steve Fleming | President/CEO | River City Bank
Board President

Member Spotlight | The River Cats


The importance of being a valued partner is something Jeff Savage learned long ago. His father, Art Savage, as founding president and CEO of the San Jose Sharks, knew that his new business venture and the fledgling team would only be as successful as the impact they had on their community. He set up business partnerships and established a foundation that, over the years, distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars into the community.

From left to right: Steve Murrill – LeadershipOne,  Jeff Savage – River Cats, Ian & Nancy Gilfillan – Pyro Spectaculars, Stella Premo – FBC


In 1998, Art purchased a minor league baseball franchise and moved the team from Vancouver in 2000, bringing his wife and business expertise to Sacramento. With the birth of the River Cats, Jeff felt his childhood ambitions of wanting to be a sports executive just like his father. So when the opportunity presented itself, and he had a few years of San Francisco finance industry work under his belt, Jeff and his family made the move to Sacramento. Art made his intentions clear – the team was not to be sold. “My mother tells the story of my dad telling her, ‘I don’t want you selling the team; it’s security for the kids,” added Jeff.

“Growing up in the Bay Area, I never thought about living anywhere else. Once we made the move to Sacramento, we were so glad we did. This is such a welcoming community,”Jeff commented.

This July FBC held its 8th Annual Family Night at the River Cats. Pictured here is Bob Rediger and Arielle Rediger of Rediger Law, Steve Murrill, LeadershipOne and Jeff Savage, River Cats. See more photos here!

When Savage senior passed away in 2009, Jeff was ready to fulfill his father’s wishes and ultimately assumed the role of president. “I’ve taken over that notion, this is a family thing. Are we willing to sell? No. We have other motivations besides financials. We want to be here for the long haul,” says Jeff.

He also didn’t hesitate to carry on the philanthropic lessons passed on from his father. River Cats management meets at the beginning of the calendar year to review the franchise’s priorities and establish strategies that align business goals with the family’s philanthropy philosophy. Majority owner Susan, Jeff’s mother, regularly reviews applications from local nonprofits and makes recommendations.

Over the nearly 20 years since the family essentially put West Sac on the map, the area has seen significant change. “Raley Field the first attraction in the bridge district and the new development is exciting. The landscape is changing and maturing along the riverfront, putting more eyes on the team, bringing more things to do,” remarked Jeff.

The family recently entered into a sponsorship agreement with Sutter Health, a local company that shares their passion for community. Once the stadium is renamed to Sutter Health Park in 2020, the two businesses will partner to implement programs that focus on youth wellness, both physical and mental.

As far as long-term plans to keep the team in the family, Jeff says his kids are still quite young but admits he is “dropping [not so] subtle hints”.


Technical Advisor Spotlight | Sacramento Region Community Foundation

Spend a few minutes chatting with Kerry Wood, chief marketing and donor engagement officer of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation, and you can immediately sense the enthusiasm in her voice. Just as with the many families in FBC, her job is one of legacy and community impact – helping families and businesses preserve theirs in the region while positively impacting the community.

The Foundation works with many family businesses, and families in general, for that matter, to establish donor-advised funds that can be a cost-effective alternative to launching a private family foundation which, in most cases, can be very costly and riddled with complicated paperwork.

Kerry Wood, Chief Marketing & Donor Engagement Officer, The Sacramento Region Community Foundation

“A fund with us really provides the opportunity to reach the same objective of contributing to the community but we simplify the process and can gather the family together to reach to a common goal,” commented Wood. At no cost to establish a fund, just an annual management fee, the Foundation’s expert staff can guide family conversations and facilitate working through values.

“By working directly with nearly hundreds of nonprofit organizations, we are very much in tune with many pressing needs, we have strong relationships with nonprofit leaders and we understand the philanthropic landscape in the community. If a business wants to establish a fund, we can find the right fit,” Wood explained.

Established in 1983 and one of 800 community foundations across the country, the Foundation has grown to 625 funds totaling $150 million in assets managed by astute financial professionals and leaders in the community. The organization serves Yolo, El Dorado, Placer and Sacramento counties and, last year, the Foundation and its fundholders made $14 million in grants and funded 40 scholarship programs, making it the region’s largest grantmaker.

Beyond its traditional business of donor-advised funds, the Foundation also plays a community leadership role. Through its collaborations with fundholders and community partners, the Foundation works to transform the Capital Region in areas where strategic philanthropy can be a catalyst for change. It is currently working in the food sector with key partners to ensure a strong network of food providers so that food-insecure individuals can be served. Additionally, the staff is hard at work on Census 2020 to ensure that the hard-to-count population is represented which will ensure a more equitable distribution of federal and state funds.

Most importantly, as a new Technical Advisor with FBC, Kerry and her staff are looking forward to meeting our family business members and learning how to best serve them.

Does your family participate in philanthropic efforts in the community? Tell us about how you give back. Take our 2-minute community engagement survey and be entered to win a ticket to Generations 2020!


Leveraging Your Legacy | Fall Family Forum

Next month, at FBC’s Fall Family Forum Event, we will be taking a first-hand look at how you can utilize your family business story, history, and values to enhance customer, family and employee engagement. What is your family business story? Have you considered how your family’s story shapes your family business? Stories can change our thought processes. They invoke images and emotions that more tightly engage and bind us to the storyteller. They can help attract new customers, reinforce current customer relationships, as well as attract and retain employees. Stories can strengthen the culture and prepare the next generation.

The half-day program will kick-off with a robust panel discussion facilitated by Lois Lang, Evolve Partner Group. The panel participants, all long-time FBC Members, include Dave Lucchetti, Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc., Kevin Fat, Fat Family Restaurant Group and Diane Fiddyment, Fiddyment Farms.

Discussion topics include:
      • Discover how stories strengthen culture and prepare the next generation.
      • Use your family’s story to attract new customers, reinforce current customer relationships, and attract and retain quality employees.
      • Learn the different processes that your family business can use to develop your family story.
      • Identify ways storytelling can be used to communicate values to family members and employees.
      • Find out how storytelling can be used in marketing your business.

The opening session is followed by a brief small-group roundtable discussion that will allow attendees to share their stories. These table discussions will be facilitated by a variety of FBC Technical Advisors. Participants at each table will address questions designed to help family businesses identify concrete ways that they use storytelling to strengthen family bonds and the family business, enhance the family brand, and build employee morale.

The final component will highlight the nuts and bolts to using storytelling to market your legacy.  Featuring FBC members Les Lyman, and Ernie Roncoroni of Grow West and two of the consultants they used on their recent rebranding journey, Troy Schroeder, Clutch Performance and David Parker, OTM. The discussion, facilitated by Curt Rocca, DCA Partners, will focus on the information Grow West gathered about their family businesses through the preliminary work and research while preparing to rebrand. The data and information were then used to create their marketing strategy and rebranding launch. See you on October 10th at Del Paso Country Club from 9 am – 1 pm.

You can preview the program agenda here.

Registration is now open and seats will fill up fast, RSVP TODAY!


Evolve Partner Group, LLC logo

Please Don’t Go: Ways to Reward, Retain, & Retire Key Employees

This presentation is geared toward family businesses that have key employees who are requesting some sort of equity-based compensation.

These videos are for educational/informational purposes only and not legal advice. Please consult with your professional advisors before making any business decisions. If you need additional resources, please contact the FBC or reach out to the FBC Technical Advisor presenting the informational video. Their contact information will be at the end of the video. Thank you.

Employee & Executive Incentive Programs

This video shares ways to enhance the stability of Revenues, Profits, & Operations; increase the Market Value of a company; ease the transition of ownership to the next generation; and help protect the family business from losing key employees to competitors.

These videos are for educational/informational purposes only and not legal advice. Please consult with your professional advisors before making any business decisions. If you need additional resources, please contact the FBC or reach out to the FBC Technical Advisor presenting the informational video. Their contact information will be at the end of the video. Thank you.