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.“

GET INVOLVED WITH FBC

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.