Heading: Odessa 2017: strategy of growth and mutual training


New development strategies, new projects and programs, the presentation of a new NextGen Board and the other highlights of the 25th meeting of the family companies’ owners.

The summer meeting of the owners of family companies in Odessa was held on July 13-15, 2017, and gathered 65 participants from 30 families. In addition to a rich program of presentations and master classes, inspirational contributions of speakers and the excursion to the country’s largest port, the event’s guests was able to enjoy a rich cultural program. While last year the participants visited the Odessa Classics International Music Festival, this year the event coincided with the brightest movie event of the summer – the Odessa International Film Festival. Traditionally, a special program was prepared for children. For two days, JuniorGen got acquainted with the rich cinematographic history of Odessa and created their own real movie masterpiece in the style of the 30s.

The day before

Communication began before the official launch of the event – on Thursday, July 13. After arrival, the guests gathered in the “Aivazovsky” hall of the Londonskaya Hotel to share the important developments in their families and businesses that took place in the last four months. The decision to start the event with a trusting, frank communication in the general circle arose at the event in Warsaw.

The first day

The participants of FBN-Ukraine gathered in the well-known office of RedHead Family Corporation, which was called “Sunny City” for its bright and cheerful  design of the interior. The president and founder of the company, the president of FBN-Ukraine Vladislav Burda conducted an excursion about the renovated museum of the company. He began his speech with a greeting of new participants and an introduction to the new development strategy of the Association.

This time Vladislav Burda’s presentation was devoted to some options for capital transfer in a family business. He considered the emotional mistakes of an owner by making decisions that could adversely affect this process, like a significant overvalue of the business, a very cheap sale of business at the time of recession, or the choice of an “incorrect” heir. Describing the variants for capital transfer, Vladislav suggested considering the situation, in which heirs have different levels of income, business experience, involvement and interest in obtaining the inheritance. What if one is a teacher at school, and the other is a successful investment banker? Or one is already involved in the management of the company, and the other has not decided yet, what he would like to do in his life? As a result of discussion, the participants suggested taking into account beside personal qualities of the heirs themselves, the relationship of relatives, the company’s development strategy, and the Board’s opinion when making decisions.

Larisa Mudrak, the partner on development at FBN-Ukraine, told about the development strategies and ambitious goals of the Association of family business owners.

Victoria Tigipko, who for eight years has been the president of OIFF, one of the largest auditorium film festivals in Eastern Europe, took the floor with the welcoming speech from Odessa International Film Fest. Victoria told about the criteria for selecting festival films and invited the participants of the event to take part in the opening ceremony of the festival.

Sophie du Roy, a lawyer who belongs to the fifth generation of the Swiss family of entrepreneurs Cuendet, became an international guest of the Odessa event. Sophie shared her story with the participants. After selling the company, her father was not able to cope with depression and committed suicide. Inherited unresolved conflicts, different religious views and principles, lack of communication became destructive for the family and business created by several generations. Sophie managed to rethink her traumatic experience and overcome the situation. She acquainted the participants of Odessa meeting with the new researches concerning the toxicity of emotions for the family and business. Negative stuff always breeds distrust among family members, as well as condemnation, shame, struggle for power, sometimes even on a subconscious level. To get rid of the negative vibes in the past, it is necessary to help family members to raise the level of self-knowledge of emotional intelligence. Sophie conducted a master class, during which the participants, divided into pairs, learned on the example of real situations how to analyze emotions keeping the given rules of communication from the position of a listener and a speaker.

In the second part of the day, Alexander Mikhailenko and Marina Yevtushenko presented a new NextGen Board, the need for which became evident at the strategic session.

After a coffee break, the TimeLine expert Yekaterina Ostapchuk made an overview of the situation in the realization of the Family Synergy TimeLine Project. The program of individual development of the family business heirs aiming at effective integration into the social and business environment, as well as into a family business, was launched in 2015. Several scenarios of NextGens’ entry into the family business were considered, and it was recommended that regardless of the option chosen, a special attention should be paid to training the heirs of financial management and the system business vision.

In the evening of the same day, the owners of family companies, along with the best world and Ukrainian directors, producers, actors, screenwriters, show stars and filmmakers, appeared on the longest red carpet in Ukraine to take part in the opening ceremony of the Odessa International Film Festival, to socialize with some world movie stars and watch the cult-favorite movies.

The second day

The second day of the program began in the INVOGUE Gallery, which partnered and curated the art program of the Odessa Film Festival-2017 and presented the project “Cold Faith”. The project is a synthesis of contemporary art, classical cinema and the image of an outstanding actress Vera Kholodnaya, whose life is inextricably linked with Odessa. The exposition consisted of contemporary Ukrainian artists’ works, museum paintings of permanent museum exposition, as well as objects created especially for the event.

Then the participants of the event enjoyed three inspiring presentations delivered by the talented thirty-year leaders, whose experience was especially relevant for the representatives of NextGen. The first was Dana Pavlychko – a Ukrainian publisher, the director of “Osnovy” Publishing House. Dana represents the third generation in the famous family of writers – she is the granddaughter of the poet Dmitry Pavlychko and the writer Pavel Zagrebelny. Her mother Solomia Pavlychko in the early 90’s founded the publishing house, which Dana heads today. Dana Pavlychko presented a new English-speaking guide to Odessa “Awesome Odesa” and answered some questions from the audience that concerned not only the work of the publishing house and recommendations to a younger generation, but also Ukrainian literature in general.

Daria Shapovalova told about the interaction of family and business in the largest family company Walmart. Daria enters the prestigious list of the American Forbes “30 Under 30”. Recently, Daria has returned from a trip organized in the framework of the US Department of State’s program Fortune / U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership that invites active business women to go through mentoring in leading global companies. Daria was trained at Walmart and shared her observations on how business is conducted in the world largest family company headquartered in one of the small American cities – Dentolville.

Artem Borodatyuk, the co-organizer of the reformative project “4 City”, told about its launch in Odessa. With no advertising, in just two weeks, Artem along with some of his like-minded people managed to inspire many active Odessites with the idea of creation the “4 City” restaurant, in order to enable together the realization of many projects aiming at improvements in the city life. The organizers of the project were the platform for the implementation of social projects “My City” and the IT-business incubator “IQSpace”.

Having received a portion of inspiration from the 30-year-old leaders, the participants of the event went to the port of Yuzhny on tour about the terminals of TIS Company, which for the second time became the host of the event. For the first time FBN visited this family business in 2010. Over the last seven years, much has changed: the founder of the family business Alexey Stavnitser died, the company’s management passed to the brothers – Andrey and Yegor, and the port strengthened the position of the industry’s leader.

On coming back to Odessa, the participants of the event gathered in the old mansion of the XIX century – the Museum of Western and Eastern Art – to view the general program of FBN-Ukraine and JuniorGen. The children made a film based on the smashing hit “Artist”. The stylistics of silent screen was sustained even in details, and for full immersion into the atmosphere, the show of the finished movie was accompanied by a hired pianist. The action of the movie “FBN New Voice” takes place in the XXI Century FBN film studio, where the turmoil prevails: the era of silent screen comes to an end, sound enters the cinema production, the audience, producers, critics and directors froze in anticipation of a new FBN voice.

Those who still stood good after such an eventful day, went to the Potemkin Stairs, where an open-air show of the silent screen accompanied by a symphony orchestra took place.