Putting “success” into succession planning for family businesses.

Family owned and operated MIC Food Company shares similarities with other thriving family businesses in Miami. Founded in 1987 by patriarch Alfredo Lardizabal Sr., MIC Food found a niche market and serves it well, creating jobs and opportunities. The second generation is an integral part of the management of this company which provides the food industry with tropical and Caribbean fruits and vegetables.

But like many other family-based companies, succession planning has not been completed.

“The family has talked about it but never fully addressed all the issues,” said the founder’s son, Alfredo Lardizabal (BBA ’94), COO and general manager. “Running the day-to-day business consumes all your time and energy. The years go by and the third generation is getting involved but succession planning hasn’t been completed.”

Alfredo Lardizabal
Alfredo Lardizabal

Lardizabal said “the ball is rolling again” after he and his two sisters attended the “Succession Planning: The Agony and the Ecstasy” forum on May 24, 2012 at Florida International University (FIU). The event was the latest workshop conducted by the Family Business Forum, part of the Institute for Family Business in the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Business Administration.

Speakers from Baker & McKenzie LLP, the Cisneros Group of Companies and Sabadell United Bank told the attendees “How to get it right” as they covered a wide array of long-term planning steps required for a business to successfully operate for generations.

“The forum was very beneficial, very interesting,” said Lardizabal, among the 34 attendees. “It not only reminded us that we need to tackle this issue but also gave us specific information and techniques on how to do it.”

Forum continues to serve family businesses.

While the May event featured knowledgeable speakers on an important topic, Mercedes LaRue, Family Business Forum director, said upcoming gatherings will center more on members exchanging ideas with one another to share best practices.

Jerry Haar, executive director, Pino Center, and Mercedes LaRue
Jerry Haar, executive director, Pino Center, and Mercedes LaRue

“Family businesses go through some interesting dynamics that the average business does not,” Lardizabal said. “We look forward to sharing ideas and experiences at future forums.”

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