Forum focuses on the value of strategic planning for family businesses.

Alan Carsrud, executive director, Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center, with Jesus Rene Capó, chief information officer, El Dorado Furniture.

Navigating the dynamics of planning for family members inside and outside a company can be challenging for any family business—making this an ideal topic for the Family Business Forum held at Chispa Restaurant in Coral Gables on April 25, 2006.

The Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center hosted the event. Guest panelists included Jesus Rene Capó, chief information officer of family-owned El Dorado Furniture; Derek Capó (BBA ’03), analyst with Everest Capital; and Miguel Rey, president of Renaissance Executive Forums. Rey presented an overview of the importance of long-term strategic planning plus provided excellent tips on what works and what doesn’t in the family business environment. The discussion then turned to the Capó family members, who offered insights into their own successful planning strategies.

“The Capós are following a strategic plan that allows for sustainable growth,” said Alan L. Carsrud, executive director of the Pino Center. “Derek is gaining valuable experience outside the core family business. Whether he returns to the family business or serves as an adviser, all will benefit from the knowledge and fresh perspectives he can bring back to El Dorado Furniture.”

More than forty people, including alumni, accountants, attorneys, investors, and family business owners attended the Forum. The event began on a lively note with salsa music, breakfast, and Cuban coffee, thanks to Chispa, which happens to be an excellent example of a successful family business.

Eric and Brian Dosal were there with father Alberto Dosal, president and CEO of Compuquip Technologies, the largest systems integration and technology consulting company based in South Florida. Eric and Brian work with their father, currently as outside account managers in the systems integration group. Maintaining a commitment to their family business is important to both father and sons.

“My father was the fourth generation in his family’s original business and passing on the family legacy means a lot to him,” Eric said. “The Forum addressed the unique needs of a family business and provided an excellent opportunity to learn how others are addressing the challenges we face every day.”

The last in a series of three this academic year, this Forum on strategic planning was the second one the Dosals attended—but they’ll definitely be back for future ones.

“We gathered some sound advice about how to separate family from business,” Brian said. “What’s more, some of the recommendations reinforced that we are already doing the right things, which is always good to hear.”

Sponsors for the Forum were the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Holland & Knight; and Rachlin, Cohen & Holtz, LLP. Partners were the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and the College of Business Administration’s Business Alumni Chapter. Plans are in the works for next year’s Forum series. For more information about the Family Business Forum or the Florida International University Institute for Family Business, visit:

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