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10th Annual Family Business Forum

Thursday, October 6, 2016
7:30 am
- 11:30 am

Private Event


Amway Grand Plaza, Ambassador Ballroom
187 Monroe Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States
+ Google Map

10th Annual Family Business Forum “Myths & Mortals: Stories of Larger than Life Individuals & the Journey of their Successors”

Featured Speaker: Dick DeVos

Dick has worked in a variety of executive positions at Amway, the NBA’s Orlando Magic, and The Windquest Group, where he currently serves as President. Dick served as President of Amway from 1993–2002, and Vice President of Amway International in the years prior. In 1991, when his family acquired the Orlando Magic, Dick became President and CEO of the team for three years.
DeVos has led a wide range of community initiatives, from education-focused projects such as the Education Freedom Fund and the West Michigan Aviation Academy, to downtown revitalization and regional health care improvements such as an arena, convention center, and Downtown Market. He was the Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan in 2006. His New York Times bestselling book, Rediscovering American Values, was published in 1997


Keynote Speaker: Andrew Keyt

Andrew is an internationally known business strategist and succession planning expert for family owned businesses. He has established a reputation globally for his exceptional ability to accurately advise large family owned businesses, resolve family conflict and restore communication. He is one of the few experts called upon in family emergency transitions to help them discover invisible opportunities and solve seemingly impossible problems.




Panel Speakers

Charlie Secchia

Charlie currently serves as a partner at Sibsco, LLC, a commercial real estate investment firm. Charlie is also the owner of Attico Ventures LLC, an asset management and property management company. Previously, he ran Secchia Ltd. in Rome, Italy as Owner and Manufacturer’s Representative and before that worked at LEAR Corporation as Business Development Manager, Project Manager, and International Purchasing Manager. His time at LEAR provided him with opportunity to manage customer relationships with clients on multiple continents, and run the company’s Russian venture, based in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, overseeing 650 employees. In recent years, Charlie has been appointed to many economic and finance committees, including the Board of Directors of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, The Kent County Convention and Arena Authority, and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce PAC Board.

Rick DeVos

Rick is an entrepreneur and investor. In 2009 he created ArtPrize, a simple social experiment designed to see if artists and the public could engage each other in a new way. The scale and energy of the event rocketed it into debates all over the art world, in urban planning circles and the global press. Rick is also Founder of Start Garden, a unique ecosystem that invests in very early stage companies and strives to build Michigan’s startup ecosystem. Rick graduated from Calvin College in 2004. He lives in Ada with his wife, Melissa, and their daughters, Clara, Sloane and Remington. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for ArtPrize, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Economic Club and University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship.

Rachel Mraz

Rachel is a Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Grand Rapids, MI. Rachel joined her Mother, Eileen DeVries’, team and worked with her for over a decade before Eileen retired several years ago. Although she grew up with her Mother in the business, Rachel has been with Merrill Lynch for over 16 years and now runs the practice that Eileen started forty years ago. Rachel and her husband Mike reside in Grand Rapids with their two Great Danes and enjoy golf and traveling when time allows.




  • What’s the 5-10-15 year vision (i.e. what the business and your family will look like)
    and what needs to done to get there.
  • Keys to success-financial health, use the business to help the family, pride of being
    part of something bigger than you, and a strong family connection.
  • Identify your most significant failures, what you learned from them, and
    communicate them to your family.
  • Ask what things you need to keep in the family and business through the transition
    process and what do you need to change in the transition.