In these virtual one-hour sessions, family business leaders, scholars, and experts share their experiences and knowledge at the intersection of sustainability and family business. 

Review short (1-5 minute), searchable video clips from these forums via the link below.

Key Insights

Next Event

JEBSEN & JESSEN GROUP and GMA Garnet, SINGAPORE

Spring 2023

Heinrich Jessen, chairman of Jebsen & Jessen, reveals the governance strategies that have enabled them to preserve the entrepreneurial spirit of their founders across three generations. Privately owned since 1895, this family enterprise has grown from a single trading company to a global conglomerate of 5,500 employees and turnover of over three billion euros. Grant Cox, the CEO of GMA Garnet, a Jebsen & Jessen company, explains the lived realities of establishing the garnet recycling and closed loop business, to become a global industry leader. Prof. Marta Widz, Research Director @ the Wealth Management Institute (WMI) of Singapore adds her perspective on sustainable development strategies of enterprising families.

Past Forums

CASCADE ENGINEERING, USA 

March 24, 2022, 9:30 am – 10:30 am EST | recorded session with Cascade EngineeringInfluenced by the 1960s civil rights movement, Founder Fred Keller built Cascade Engineering over the past 40 years into a $400 million family business and registered B-Corp focused on large plastic injection molding solutions for a variety of industries. A pioneer in institutionalizing the triple bottom line as a core business strategy, Cascade’s “welfare to career” program has long hired the disadvantaged. Daughter Christina became President and CEO of Cascade in 2018 after working for nearly 10 years in various roles within the company. She along with her two sisters own 51% of the company, making it a women-owned family business. Long-time friend of the company, Professor Stuart Hart, will engage Fred and Christina in a spirited discussion about their aspirations—societal and strategic—for the company looking out a decade and beyond. [Host: Prof. Dita Sharma]

THERMAX GLOBAL INC., INDIA

February 15, 2022, 9:30 am – 10:30 am EST/ 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm Indian time | recorded session with Thermax Global Inc. The second and third generation mother-daughter team of Anu Aga and Meher Pudumjee of Thermax Global, a highly professional publicly listed Indian company at the forefront of manufacturing energy solutions to curb environmental impact, join Prof. Kavil Ramachandran of the Indian School of Business to discuss the practicalities of governing a 40+ year old, $770 million enterprise with over 4,500 employees. Anu and Meher share how they drew energy from their deep-rooted family values to persevere through painful life experiences of losing loved ones, and grow their company’s sales network across 29 countries with 14 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in Asia and Europe. Their deep commitment to  professionalisation, sound governance practices, and contributions to Indian societal issues continues. [Host: Prof. PramoDITA Sharma]

SUPREME CREATIONS, UK

November 19, 2021; 9:30 am – 10:30 am EST | recorded session with Supreme CreationsFounder and Managing Director Dr. Sri Sriram and CEO Smruti Sriram-Blunt of Supreme Creations of UK, the world’s largest ethical manufacturer of eco-friendly packaging discuss the transformation of the business. From a trading business dealing with textile raw materials Sri set up a manufacturing base first in the UK and then moved it to India. The business now supplies to over 60,000 retail chains around the world from Dior, Nike, Tesco, H+M, John Lewis and is favored by British royalty, American film stars and musicians. Products range from designer tote bags, beauty and food packaging and face masks. The founder’s vision of employing hundreds of women from under privileged economic backgrounds and sticking to ethical manufacturing became not only socially but financially viable. In a candid conversation with Dean Sanjay Sharma, the father-daughter duo reveals the challenges of keeping their twenty-year-old trans-national sustainable manufacturing business growing amidst a pandemic. [Host: Prof. Dita Sharma]

ROYAL VAN WIJHE VERF, THE NETHERLANDS

October 29, 2021, 9:30-10:30 am EST | recorded session with Royal Van Wijhe VerfIn this interactive session, fourth generation sisters Marlies Van Wijhe and Marijke Van Wijhe of Royal Van Wijhe Verf join Windesheim University professor Judith Van Helvert-Beugels to explain the evolution of their 100+ year old Dutch paint manufacturing business into a leading producer of high-quality long-lasting paints and coatings by focusing on sustainability. As the world’s first B-Corp in their industry, these phenomenal sisters discuss their experiences as they integrate environmentally friendly raw materials into their products and work towards their ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. [Host: Prof. Dita Sharma].

STATE GARDEN INC., USA

September 24 2021, 9:30-10:30 am EST | recorded session with State Garden Inc. Mark DeMichaelis (’87), President and CEO of State Garden Inc., shares how three generations of his family transformed their small celery processing and re-packaging business started in 1938, to become a top producer of sustainably sourced organic produce distributed through highly successful Olivia’s Organics and Simple Beginnings retail brands. Son, Mark Jr., reveals how fourth-generation DeMichaelis cousins are preparing to continue their legacy business focused on doing well by doing good. [Host: Prof. Dita Sharma]

RHINO FOODS INC., USA

September 30, 2022, 9:30 am – 10:30 am ET | recorded session with Rhino Foods Inc. Ted Castle, the President of Rhino Foods Inc., shares the journey from the founding of his family business in 1981 to becoming a $65+ million revenue business that not only invented cookie dough ice cream with Ben & Jerry’s, but now manufacturers bakery-style inclusions for many major ice cream manufacturers, quick service restaurants, and retail snack products. Vice President and soon to be President, Rooney Castle reveals the role of his people-centric beliefs in his decision to join Rhino Foods, a B Corp since 2013. The father-son duo highlights the practicalities of balancing their mission of impacting the manner business is done and innovating employee focused programs like the Open Book Management, Income Advance, and Inclusive Hiring, while delivering top quality food products for iconic global companies. [Host: Prof. Dita Sharma]

JAIPUR RUGS, INDIA

October 28, 2022, 9:00 am – 10:00 am ET [6:30 pm – 7:30 pm IST] recorded session with Jaipir Rugs Established in 1978, Jaipur Rugs has successfully revived the traditional art form of carpet weaving by providing sustainable livelihood to over 40,000 independent artisans dispersed across 600 Indian villages. While restoring the creative pride and financial independence of marginalized artisans, the exquisite handmade carpets and rugs are enjoyed by customers in 60+ countries. Exceptional business growth is evidenced by revenues over 20 million USD. The dynamic father-daughter duo of NK Chaudhary and Kavita Chaudhary share the secret recipe to achieve the elusive mix of social impact and financial success in an industry fraught with challenges. Based on his research, Prof. Srini Venugopal, an award-winning professor brings the artisans’ perspectives to the conversation. [Host: Prof. Dita Sharma]