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Webinar | Defining Business Transition Objectives and Succession Planning
Thursday, July 22, 2021, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT
Category: Chicago

01:00 PM - 02:30 PM (Pacific)
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM (Mountain)
03:00 PM - 04:30 PM (Central)
04:00 PM - 05:30 PM (Eastern)

Zoom invitation will be shared the day before the event.


There are many reasons owners think about exiting their business:  Retirement, boredom, experiencing a health issue, or a desire to invest the wealth elsewhere, to name a few. It may take some time to determine personal objectives and priorities for the company.  Once the decision is made to exit the business, there are also a number of ways to transition it.  You will want to align your exit type and timing with the reason you are leaving.  A good transition process is thoughtful and proactive but in so many cases, the circumstances result in an owner being reactive,  which can result in difficult negotiations and disappointment. 

This program is Session 1 of a Three Session Series: Private Company Exit Strategies and Planning. We will cover the pre-exit decision-making process and what you should know to plan your transition successfully.

Thank you to our Webinar Host and Bronze Chapter Sponsor!

Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!



Caroline Donlin
Managing Director and Head of Corporate Advisory

BMO Harris

Caroline Donlin is a Managing Director and leads the BMO Harris Corporate Advisory Practice. She regularly serves as a strategic advisor to the owners and boards of family-owned businesses on a variety of topics including mergers & acquisitions, shareholder buyouts, recapitalizations, ESOPs, ownership transitions, valuation and liquidity events. Caroline has been with BMO Harris since 2015 and has 15 years of experience in investment banking, business development, strategic planning and consulting, with the last 10 years focused on M&A advisory and corporate finance work.

Caroline most recently worked at MillerCoors LLC where she was responsible for the consolidation of private, family-owned businesses within the company’s distribution channel. Prior to MillerCoors, Caroline was an investment banker at Lincoln International where she focused on M&A transactions in the consumer, electronics, healthcare and business services sectors for leading private equity firms, multi-national conglomerates and entrepreneurs. Caroline has also worked for HBK Capital Management, a global multi-strategy hedge fund, and as a consultant at Accenture. 

Caroline sits on the ESCA Advisory Committee and is a member of The ESOP Association and NCEO. She holds an MBA from Chicago Booth and a BA from Southern Methodist University.


Guy E. Snyder
Shareholder and Corporate Practice Member
Vedder Price 

Guy concentrates his practice in the areas of business, corporate and securities law. He works extensively in mergers and acquisitions, financings, including senior debt, mezzanine debt and private equity, as well as general business matters. Mr. Snyder acts as outside general counsel to a variety of middle-market and upper middle-market companies including several foreign-based multi-national companies operating in the U.S. and abroad.

Mr. Snyder is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the John G. Shedd Aquarium and serves on the Board of Directors of ecoAmerica. He is also active in numerous other business and social organizations, including the Association for Corporate Growth, The Economic Club of Chicago and the Chicago Chapter of The Entrepreneurship Institute.

Mr. Snyder speaks widely on corporate topics, and has been retained to provide expert witness testimony on corporate securities issues. Since 2005, Mr. Snyder has been selected for inclusion in Illinois Super Lawyers. Mr. Snyder received an "AV Preeminent" Peer Rating in Martindale-Hubbell. In addition, the Legal 500 United States guide recommends Mr. Snyder in the M&A/Corporate and Commercial – M&A – Middle-Market (Sub-$500M) category. He has also been selected by his peers since 2013 as a Leading Lawyer in Closely & Privately Held Business, Corporate Finance and Publicly Held Corporations. 


Don Schumacher
CEO, Schumacher Electric
Owner, Don Schumacher Racing 

Don Schumacher grew Schumacher Electric, based in Mt. Prospect, IL.  into a $200 million global business. The company is a leading supplier of power conversion products, battery life enhancement, chargers, testers, cables and other power accessories to consumers and professional global power supply markets. In addition, Don is a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag-racing legend and the owner of Don Schumacher Racing, the most successful team in NHRA history. A great deal of Don’s success is a result of understanding how to build successful teams.  He will share with us his recent journey working with BMO to seek a private equity investor for Schumacher Electric. 



Nicki Norris
Former CEO and Board Officer
Symphony Clinical Research

Nicki is an accomplished leader with significant P&L, finance, general management and governance experience. She is a global healthcare CEO with proven record of business growth, turnarounds, operational process improvements, sales and margin gains, executive team development and the ability to rally an organization to achieve extraordinary results.

Symphony Clinical Research is the industry leader providing in-home and alternate-site clinical services globally. By taking study visits to the patients in their homes, enrollment, retention, and compliance of study subjects is enhanced. Symphony does work in all phases and therapeutic areas.

As CEO of Symphony, Nicki developed and successfully completed an exit strategy, concluding with a sale to a major global Clinical Research Organization (CRO).