"Thank you so much for having me! I learned so much in that one Women in Family Business event and have already been implementing my power pose, digital detoxing, active listening, and really trying to make that personal connection with everyone I meet!"
- Katherine Gifford, Account Manager, iBec Creative


Peer advisor / Affinity Groups

Affinity groups consist of people who share similarities and interests.  Affinity Groups meet several times throughout the year. Opportunities for networking and relationship builiding are included in all meetings.  These Affinity Groups are open only to family-owned business members.

Types of Affinity/Peer Groups:

  • CEO Central -  A facilitated roundtable discussion designed exclusively for family business CEOs with gross revenues above $5million. Space is limited and advance registration is required. 
  • Women's Leadership Forum - A facilitated round-table discussion with fellow women in leadership roles in family business. Our goals for this forum include support, encouragement, inspiration and information.   Space is limited and registration in advance is required. Sponsored by Baker | Newman | Noyes
  • Next Gen - Executive - A facilitated round-table discussion with Next Generation members who are working at the top management levels within their company i.e., Vice President, President, CEO, and CFO levels.
  • Next Gen - Executive Blend - A facilitated round-table discussion group for those who have been working in the family business for a while and are now moving towards or into an executive role i.e., a Finance Manager moving to an Operations Manager.
  • Next Gen - Senior - A facilitated round-table discussion group made up of Next Generation members who are working at the mid-management responsibility level in their company i.e., Department Managers / Area Managers.
  • Next Gen - Remote-Only BlendThis facilitated round-table discussion group is made up of Next Gen members who are located further away from Portland.  Participants can be in various roles in their family-owned business.
  • Leaders in Transition - A faciliated, confidential peer group where current business leaders have the opportunity to process with and learn from other leaders who are at different stages of transition with their rising next generation family members.

What are Peer Advisory Groups?
Peer advisory groups are small, confidential discussion groups of about 8-10 members that meet regularly and are
facilitated. The Executive groups are led by facilitator Anne Hussey from Guad Group.  The Senior and the Executive Blend group is led by Priscilla Hansen Mahoney of Blazing Trails Coaching.  The groups allow individuals to share experiences and learn from each other in a safe and open environment.  These groups are for those actively working in a family business or who are interested in joining the family business, are IFOB members and in non-competing businesses.  Ideally, only one member of a family will be in each peer group and non-family members are also welcome.

Members explore family business subjects of mutual interest, provide accountability and feedback, define issues of importance for each member, and discuss what to do (and not to do) in day-to-day interactions among family, owners, employees, and board members in order to make family leadership a competitive advantage.

Relevant topics developed by the groups might be around relationships and negotiation with siblings and/or cousins and parents, facing obstacles such as gaining respect of company employees, and deciding what career path is a good match for their skills.  Other topics could include long term goals and weighing the pluses and minuses of working in the family business.  All discussions are held in the strictest confidence and a confidentially agreement is signed at the start of each year.

If you’d like to join this peer advisory group, please contact Catherine Wygant Fossett, Executive Director at catherine@fambusiness.org or 207.798.2667.
    Our  mailing address is Post Office Box 3364, Portland, Maine  04104.


    Colleen McCracken & Maddy CorsonColleen McCracken and Maddy Corson, IFOB advisory board members

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