Detroit | Private Company Board Effectiveness: Achieving Maximum Value

Thursday, January 23, 2020
07:30 AM - 09:00 AM EST
The Skyline Club
200 Town Center
Southfield, MI 48075



Owners of private companies are increasingly expecting more value from their boards. We will be covering the differentiators which lead to maximizing the value of the board including board composition, having challenging discussions and making tough decisions, board assessment practices and the importance of ownership group unity.





Michael L. Fassler
Principal Consultant
The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.

Mike is a Principal Consultant and Shareholder with The Family Business Consulting Group (FBCG) based in Chicago, IL. Mike has dedicated his career to serving family businesses and spends most of his time with sibling and cousin groups helping them navigate the complex challenges associated with building relationships, talent and capital within their families and enterprises. In this work Mike focuses in the areas of succession planning, governance and strategy.

FBCG works with families and their enterprises to build unity, growth and continuity while protecting family relationships and the viability of their enterprises. FBCG consultants have worked with clients in over 70 different countries since the firm’s inception 25 years ago.

Mike serves as an independent director on the board of Mno-Bmadsen, the non-gaming investment holding company of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and is Chair of the Dividend Policy Committee and serves on the Audit Committee. Additionally, Mike serves on the board of The Family Business Consulting Group and is Chair of the Finance & Compensation Committee and served as the Vice-Chair of the Leadership Continuity Committee.



James C. Melvin
President, Managing Director
The Connable Office, Inc.

James is the President and a Managing Director of The Connable Office, Inc., a multi-family office based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Originating as a single-family office in 1885, Connable is one of the oldest privately owned trust operations in the country.  Converting to a multi-family platform in 1948, Connable has carefully managed growth over the years in order to assure that it can provide the highest level of personalized fiduciary services to its family clients.

James joined the Connable Office in 1992, after practicing law at Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC.  During James's tenure at the Office, he has served in a variety of positions, including Office Legal Counsel, Senior Trust Officer, and President.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BS in Industrial and Operations Engineering, an MBA, and a JD.  James serves as Director for a major food additive company and as an Officer and Director for a number of family foundations throughout the country.  He is currently a member of the University of Michigan Law School Development Alumni Relations Committee and ex officio member of the University of Michigan Engineering Alumni Society.  James is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and currently serves on its Investment Advisory Committee.  He has also served on the advisory council to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, was a member of the Board of the University of Michigan Alumni Association, and is a member of the Kalamazoo, State of Michigan, and American Bar Associations.  



Tim Schad
Nucraft Furniture Company

Tim is currently Chairman of Nucraft, which designs and manufactures high-end office furniture, primarily for meeting areas and private offices.  (   He was previously Vice-President for sales and finance for 5 years, then President/CEO for 20 years.  He is the third generation of the Schad family to work at Nucraft, following his grand-father George Schad, Sr. (founder) and his father George Schad, Jr.   Matt Schad is currently president/CEO of Nucraft and Brandon Schad works in the marketing area with a focus on product development and design.  Both Matt & Brandon serve on the board of directors, along with three non-family board members.

Tim also serves on the board of directors/advisory boards for five private companies that are in the process of transitioning or have transitioned from one generation to the next.  He also serves on several non-profit boards in the Grand Rapids area.  Tim graduated from Dartmouth College with a BE in Engineering and Harvard Business School with an MBA.


Rob Sligh
Former Chairman & CEO
Sligh Furniture and Clocks

Rob spent 33 years in multi-generational family business leadership. Initially in brand management at SC Johnson Wax for several years, he went on to become Chairman & CEO and of Sligh Furniture and Clocks, a 4th generation manufacturing and marketing company with a majority-outside board of directors.

He has served on twenty family business fiduciary or advisory boards and non-profit boards. On many of those, he served as Chairman of the Board and / or Chairman of the Compensation, Finance or Nominating Committee.

Today, Rob is Chairman of the Compensation Committee and a director on the fiduciary board of Utility Supply and Construction Company, a large, dynamic privately held company that supplies electric utilities, performs mobile maintenance and constructs and maintains power lines throughout the middle United States. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Erhardt Construction, a privately held company, constructing high profile downtown buildings in West Michigan along with education buildings, churches, municipal facilities and high-end, custom designed homes.

Rob is a consultant for The Family Business Consulting Group, helping enterprising families with business ownership and leadership succession and creating and improving family business fiduciary and advisory boards.