vancouver skyline / includign north shore mountains / and all tall buildings

The Event

✓ Security and privacy
✓ Artificial intelligence

✓ New media
✓ Cryptocurrency

FEX Symposium 2020 is our signature conference for family businesses and FEAs in Canada, where you can expect dynamic keynote speakers, interactive skill-building workshops, family stories and engaging panel discussions that are all uniquely tailored to the family business community.

You will learn and gain new perspectives by seeing how other business families and FEAs overcame similar challenges that you may face in your (or your client's) family enterprise. You will also come away with knowledge that you can put into practice as you acquire new tools and resources to help both your family and your business succeed.

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25 May 2020
5:00 - 8:00
Family Dinner (FEX Members Only)

Pre-Timber Room, Grouse Mountain - transportation provided

FEA Dinner (FEA Graduates and Candidates Only)

Seasons in the Park – transportation provided


26 May 2020

Pre-Conference and Main Conference Registration Desk Open
Plaza Court Registration Area

Opening & Keynote
The Improv Advantage

Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese of SmartLeese Creative will introduce the essential principles of improvisation and how they can enhance relationships. In this fun, interactive session you will discovering practical skills and insights that demonstrate how improvisational methods can help us quickly connect, communicate more effectively, adapt to change and collaborate to generate innovative solutions together.

Families and advisors will leave this session with effective communication and collaboration tools they can put into practice immediately and call upon as a framework for future interactions

Networking Break
Details to be announced

Please take lunch in your own time. Conference attendees will not be charged.

The Impact of Brain Health on the Multi-Generational Family

Presented by Dr. Raymond Rupert

This seminar will provide a framework to support and guide family members in the identification, assessment, and intervention, in dealing with ‘brain health’ issues facing many multi-generational families. You can expect to leave this seminar better prepared to deal with these eventualities along with an increased knowledge and understanding of: mental decline, addiction, death and dying.

The Why and How of Family Constitutions

Presented by Patrick O'Connor and Chris Reichert

Most enterprising families have shareholders agreements and strategic plans for their business but may not have considered formal documentation for navigating family-related issues. A Family Constitution captures the family’s mission, vision, values, and policies the entire family agrees to live by. Attend this seminar to explore the benefits of family constitutions when navigating succession and continuity planning, hear practical tips and tools to start the family constitution process, and see sample constitutions while engaging in collaborative discussions.

Evaluating the Performance of Leaders in a Family Enterprise

Presented by Rachel O'Conner and Elizabeth Watson

Evaluating the performance of top leaders is essential work for any organization. When a leader is family, it adds more than one dimension of complexity to the picture. Relationships, subjectivity, conflicts of interest, and financial complications all come to the table. In this interactive session, you’ll learn about: the best practices for conducting leadership performance evaluation in a family context, why this work is so important to do well, practices you can put in place to do this work successfully, and how to navigate family and enterprise people dynamics.

Networking Break
How Heroes Impact our Leadership Style

Presented by David C. Bentall

This workshop explores the nine characteristics that family enterprise successors would be wise to cultivate if they want to successfully lead their family enterprise. You’ll also be asked to consider who your current heroes are, and who you aspire to be like as a leader. Attend this workshop to examine how your heroes impact your leadership style, how you can build stronger relationships in your family business and find out what historical figures belong in your personal hall of fame.

Creating Flourishing Families

Presented by Victoria Brown

Families flourish when they can transcend daily challenges and visualize possibilities and solutions. Appreciative Inquiry provides an approach to transition and change that focuses on strengths rather than on weaknesses. As a process it can help build harmony and ignite a shared vision where all members feel included. This interactive session will include a template that will help family enterprises and advisors integrate Appreciative Inquiry into a strategic planning process.

Building Resilience in Families and Family Enterprises through Storytelling

Presented by Dr. Lloyd Steier and Shauna Feth

A distinguishing feature of family enterprises is that they have achieved, or aspire to, longevity. Resilience is often a key trait underlying the survival and success of these firms. This session will focus on the practice of resilience in family firms and how it is established through storytelling and narratives. Participants will be encouraged to explore narratives relative to their own families and enterprises that preserve core values whilst preparing them for contemporary contexts.


27 May 2020
First floor

Pre-Conference and Main Conference Registration Desk Open
Plaza Court Registration Area

Marketing operations @ Lobby
Keynote - Growing Up Feminist: Building a Life of Purpose and Meaning

Jessica Houssian will share her learning journey as a G2 family member, philanthropist and business leader.

Learning to Run the China Shop with the Bull Still in it!

After practicing law for nearly 10 years, Paul walked away from a successful career as a Criminal Prosecutor to help run his family's business: Attia Quarries, started by his immigrant father. The landing was not a soft one. However, the biggest challenge was not the transition from the courts to the quarries - rather - the challenges came in learning to work with his dedicated and determined entrepreneurial father.

Having learned to manage the bull in his own family's china shop, Paul will draw upon his own experience in family business and unpack how difficult it was to serve the business and his family - and to do so while is father was still actively involved in the business.


  • Understand that though every family is unique, with a unique set of dynamics, there are common themes in the difficulties each family faces
  • Identify that each family system includes various personality types that may be advantageous in one regard, but extremely difficult to manage in the context of family dynamics
  • Learn key principles and practical ways to better manage these difficult dynamics and challenging characteristics — to learn how to Run the China Shop with the Bull Still in It
Conflict Avoidance: The Silent Killer

This interactive workshop will raise awareness that conflict avoidance is the number one destroyer of relationships, both personally and professionally. And, within the context of business families, it can result in the downfall of family businesses faster than almost anything else. Communication is the foundation of any relationship, when it's not healthy, particularly due to conflict avoidance, it renders relationships vulnerable to unresolved issues.


  • Understand the different facets of conflict avoidance and identify what the behaviors look like
  • Explore why conflict avoidance is so destructive
  • Learn why the brain plays such an important role in this coping mechanism
  • Steps that can be taken to move away from this coping behavior and learn healthier conflict management tools
The Role and Impact of Trusts on the Family Business

This session will explore the various ways in which business families can consider using a trust as a tool for transition and a vehicle for holding family wealth. Setting up trusts is usually seen as a technical initiative, but it is equally important to think through purpose, meaning and intent when utilizing Trusts as a planning tool. We will explore the value of having transparent family conversations to discuss the purposes of trusts, how to navigate the relationship between trustee and the beneficiaries, and how these discussions can inform the decision-making process. This is a powerful opportunity to connect the beneficiaries and trustees to the purposes of the trust in the family's wealth creation and preservation.


  • Explore principles that can be used at the point of creation and ongoing administration of a trust
  • Understand best practices that can be used by the creators of the trust and the trustees along with creating relational (vs. technical) practices tools and tips
  • Appreciate the purpose and meaning of a trust's and its impact on the estate planning landscape
Networking Break
Women in Leadership

Francois Lyon and Monette Malewski will be in conversation with moderator Susan St. Amand, discussing women in leadership.

The Family Office: Trends and Applications for Transgenerational Wealth

Family offices are a fast growing and evolving phenomenon in Canada to facilitate transgenerational wealth. At its essence, a family office is a means by which a family coordinates its financial affairs. The need or wish for a family office is usually driven either by a requirement for coordination of the liquid portion of wealth or by a significant increase in family liquidity and the desire to retain some degree of coordination over the management of wealth. A family office is a means for a family to maintain control over the way they preserve and grow their wealth while at the same time being a focal point of contact for the family and their numerous advisors. Participants will learn about the various family office structures available and how they may assist families and their advisors to address complexity and enhance complete family wealth.


  • Understand the current landscape of family offices and wealth in Canada
  • Introduction to the various forms of family offices and services available to families
  • Explore various family office options to address complex family requirements
  • Learn about the evolution of this fast growing field and opportunities for families and their advisors in the future
Conversations with Kids About Money

As parents we can be intimidated, fearful, shy or just uncomfortable talking about money with our children. This is particularly true when the succession of a business and financial assets are part of the conversation. Money can be a powerful currency that defines our sense of worth, confidence and purpose, and it has the power to change our lives for better or worse. In this session we will explore the family stories, myths and research behind this tender and taboo topic of wealth and inheritance, as well as our own assumptions and biases that might get in the way of our conversations.


  • Explore the meaning of money in your family and individually
  • Learn tools and tips on how to start talking about money in your family or with your family business clients
  • Recognize the benefits of having those breakthrough conversations and the consequences of not!
Rite of Passage in the Land of Giants

Born into a world of giants, emerging adults in family enterprises can struggle as they grow up in the “shadow” of their parents and grandparents. Over the past two years, Russell Haworth and Dr. Jamie Weiner have spoken with some of these rising generation members, in Canada and around the world, as they shared stories about their journey towards establishing individual identities and defining personal worthiness on their own terms.

Experience the world and words of these young leaders and their challenge to become “giants” on their own terms. In this workshop Russell and Jamie will explore the key concepts that contribute to mastering this journey and the mishaps and missteps along the way.


  • Understand the unique challenges of growing up in the shadow of one’s elders
  • Examine the concept of “worthiness” and how to create the right space for successful, meaningful self-discovery and self-actualization
  • Explore how understanding the ‘Land of Giants’ can lead to a new paradigm
Networking Break


28 May 2020
First floor
P.A.G Breakfast

Pre-Conference and Main Conference Registration Desk Open
Plaza Court Registration Area

Marketing operations @ Lobby
P.A.G Member Workshop
Networking Break
P.A.G Member Workshop
P.A.G Lunch & Closing Remarks


Kevin Richards is an engineering manager working with the Chrome and Web Developer Relations teams at Google. He is passionate about web performance and tooling. Vice President, Netflix
Melissa award-winning artist and designer. Born in Shanghai China, Educated in Sydney Australia & London UK, now based in San Francisco. Melissa was the first artist invited to join IDEO Shanghai. Marketing Manager, Netflix
Eva is the author of the book Psychology of Designers. A recovering neuroscientist, then a spell as a elementary school teacher, Melissa started his UX career 14 years ago. Senior Designer, Netflix
View All Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Moss

Company Name

Unlocking Happiness for a Healthy, Higher-Performing Work and Life

Lindsay Lee & Lee Smart

Company Name

The Improv Advantage <br>

Jessica Houssian

Company Name

Growing Up Feminist: Building a Life of Purpose and Meaning

Master of Ceremonies

Jeremy’s path into branding wasn’t traditional. He fell into it out of necessity. After watching his family’s business nearly hit rock bottom, he was forced to take a hard look at the way the company was run and at their industry as a whole. Jeremy realized it wasn’t his sales people or marketing processes that were failing, it was the brand: their customers couldn’t distinguish them from anyone else. This insight caused him to rethink, reposition, and rebrand the business. The strategy worked, and within a year the company turned the corner and rocketed into growth mode. And in 2013, Jeremy sold his family’s business to focus exclusively on what he does today: build brands. It was this experience that compelled Jeremy to embark on a decade-long study of how companies grow recognizable, memorable brands. He and the Sticky Branding team have profiled and interviewed hundreds of companies across dozens of industries to uncover how companies grow Sticky Brands.


(Early Bird)

  • Price goes up to $2195 on Feb 28th

(Early Bird)

  • Price goes up to $1795 on Feb 28th

(Early Bird)

$199 Person
  • For groups of 3 or more
  • For FEX Family Members Only
  • Price goes up to $1595 on Feb 28th

What is Mann - New York?

Mann – San Francisco is an open, developer community event curated and delivered by leading community developers. If you’re a developer who needs to keep up to date with the latest development technology and techniques, Mann – San Francisco is for you!

What are the conference dates?

Mann – San Francisco will be held February 20 – 22. February 20th is Community and Workshop Day, and the Mann– San Francisco conference days are February 21st and 22nd.

How do I register

You can register for our events  here.

What’s included in a conference pass?

Conference registration includes admittance to both the Community and Workshop Day on February 20th, and the Mann– San Francisco conference days on February 21st and 22nd.

What is the payment policy?

A credit card is the method of payment for Mann – San Francisco. If an alternate method for payment is needed contact us


1128 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R5, CA

Get to the venue


Vancouver International Airport
3211 Grant McConachie Way
Richmond, BC  V7B 0A4


Name of the closest station to the hotel


 Limousine: $90 CAD (one way)

Taxi fare: $40 CAD (one way)


The Park Central

Frequently ranked among the top five cities to live in worldwide, Vancouver is host to many international conferences due to its beauty, high-end shopping and exciting nightlife.