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2020 XPX Connecticut Summit



Introduction by: Ramsey Goodrich, Carter Morse & Goodrich

Moderator: Dick Albu, Albu Consulting LLC

Keynote Fireside ChatCindi Bigelow, President & CEO of Bigelow Tea

Cindi Bigelow is the 3rd generation President and CEO of family-owned Bigelow Tea, the US market leader of specialty teas that produces over 2 billion tea bags annually. She holds a BS degree from Boston College, an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, and Honorary Doctorates from Johnson & Wales University, the University of New Haven and Fairfield University. Socially-and community-minded, she frequently makes appearances speaking to students and industry leaders, sharing insights on business ethics, leadership and marketing, and has received numerous awards for her years of community service. Favorite pastimes include skiing, tennis, taking long walks, being with her children and friends and, of course, drinking lots and lots of tea.

Introduction by: Ramsey Goodrich

Managing Partner
Carter Morse & Goodrich

Ramsey W. Goodrich is a Managing Partner at Carter Morse & Goodrich and brings more than 25 years of experience advising business owners of privately held middle market companies on M&A and capital transactions. Over the course of his career, Mr. Goodrich has advised on more than 100 transactions totaling more than $3.5 billion in value.

He is an active speaker on M&A and Capital transactions, having given dozens of presentations to corporations, associations and trade organizations and is a regular speaker at industry conferences around the country. In 2019, he was awarded the Thomas Farrell Memorial Award from M&A Advisor given “to the individual chosen by their peers to have made the most generous contribution to the advancement of our industry.”

Moderator: Dick Albu

Albu Consulting LLC 
President & Founder Albu Consulting LLC

Dick founded Albu Consulting in 1994, a strategy management consulting firm dedicated to helping its clients realize their growth goals. Having worked on a wide range of industries, his principle skill is in developing and executing pragmatic business strategies. Prior to forming Albu Consulting, Dick worked as Vice President with a New York City based business development consulting group and at Nestle he held senior management positions both in the US and Switzerland. Dick’s Board of Advisor seats include the David S. Lapine Co., Center for Family Business and the Entrepreneur Center at the University of New Haven and XPX CT Chapter.

Panel 1 : Business Value Growth

Speaker - Paul Decelles

Business Leader & Executive Coach

Paul holds degrees from Providence College and URI. He began his career in executive positions at Imperial Chemical Industries, and Astra Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. In 1995, Paul co-founded Decision Point LLC, a consulting firm primarily focusing on leadership development for family-owned businesses. Most notably, the Firm enabled Yarde Metals ownership to build effective business processes, institute “open book” management, grow top line revenues by $500 million, and facilitate their merger with a multinational corporation. In 2006, Paul and Craig Yarde founded YardeZone Inc, a company whose mission is to “Redefine Monday” for entrepreneurs as they build highly successful Companies.

Speaker - Brian Kerrigan


Brian Kerrigan is a Partner in our Hartford, Connecticut office. He has provided tax compliance and consulting services for large public and privately held companies throughout New England for more than 17 years. He is skilled in managing tax computations for larger corporations operating in federal and multi-state tax environments, and has extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions of both private and publicly held companies.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Bridgewater State University and a Juris Doctorate from Roger Williams University Law School. He was Roger Williams University's Law School Valedictorian and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He is also a member of the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA).

Speaker - Nicole Russo

President & CEO

Microboard Processing, Inc

Nicole Russo is a proven senior operating executive and owner of Microboard, a globally recognized firm sought after by several branches of U.S. Military and Fortune 500 Companies for their expertise in Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) in the Medical, Defense/Aerospace, Industrial, Commercial and Telecomm sectors.

Nicole often participates in keynote speaking engagements to highlight advanced manufacturing technologies, resulting in recognition as Connecticut's Women of Innovation in 2015.

Nicole is a former Vice President at GE Capital where she successfully guided a portfolio of diverse clients through various business cycles. Nicole is also actively involved in global humanitarian projects.

Moderator - Steve Ronan

Citrin Cooperman 

Steve Ronan is a principal and the leader of Citrin Cooperman’s Strategy & Business Transformation Practice. He is an experienced professional in the theory and execution of improving business value.

Steve has partnered with a range of companies, from the Fortune 100 to the middle-market, to develop and implement strategies that improve profitability, create scalable businesses, and strengthen customer relationships. His projects have created over $100M in value through top-line growth and bottom-line cost savings.

Steve brings a practical, holistic perspective to the topic of business improvement. His experience is extensive and includes strategic planning, process improvement, and organizational transformation.

Panel 2: Business Value Transfer

Speaker - Capri Brighenti

Project Manager/Family Business Owner
Miller Farms

After many years working with non-profit agencies, Capri Brighenti returned to her 4th generation family business to assist with the development and growth of a new line of premium pet food. Now as President, Capri is leading the company’s manufacturing and distribution expansion and investing in key technology solutions. She is a University of Connecticut graduate (Corporate and Organizational Studies), along with having served as Chair of her UConn Alumni Association. Additionally, she’s co-founded UConn’s Family Business Base Camp, which supports small Connecticut businesses, and has served on CBIA Small Business Advisory Council.

Speaker - Tom Heide

President & CEO
Heide & Company LLC

Tom has been a successful entrepreneur and senior advisor for more than 35 years. He provides strategic and financial advisory services to private, public and family businesses in the low to middle markets in all lifecycle phases. Tom has been a Senior Advisor and Operating Partner in various Investment Banking roles and he was a founding partner of Viant Group. Previously, he was President and CEO of SAFE, Inc., a data storage and business recovery services company, which he founded and grew through mergers and acquisitions and then successfully sold to the Iron Mountain Group. Tom also served as Chairman / Director of Henry Heide, Inc., a national confectionery manufacturer where he was instrumental in selling the company to the Hershey Foods Corporation. Tom also founded Financial Marketing Services, Inc., a national consulting and marketing distribution company in the financial services industry that he ultimately sold, and he has held several senior sales and management positions with Fortune 1000 companies including Johnson & Higgins, Merrill Lynch and Alexander & Alexander. He holds an undergraduate degree from Fairfield University and an M.B.A. with Honors from Adelphi University. Tom currently serves on the boards of several companies.

Speaker - Michael Rocheleau

Executive Vice President & CFO
PTA Plastics

Michael Rocheleau, is a leader, and strategist, serving PTA Plastics as Executive Vice President & CFO. He led the transition of PTA to an employee owned company (ESOP). 

Throughout his career Mike has been a senior leader who has worked to grow manufacturing and service organizations both organically and via M&A.

Mike serves on multiple for-profit boards, and volunteers on the boards of the Employers Association of the Northeast (EANE) and the New Haven Manufacturers Association (NHMA), and supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Mike has a BS Degree in Managerial Accounting and Finance, from the University of New Haven.

Moderator - Steven Pappas

Touchstone Advisors

Steve Pappas is co-owner of Touchstone Advisors, a lower middle market M&A firm specializing in privately held businesses with enterprise values from $5 to $50M. Steve brings 20 years’ experience advising business owners on mergers, acquisitions, valuation and how lower middle market firms can maximize value.

Steve is President of XPX Hartford Connecticut Chapter and holds a designation as a Mergers and Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&A MI), the professional standard in lower middle market transactions.

Touchstone Advisors works with private companies who are looking to sell their business for maximum value in industries including; manufacturing, distribution, technology and B2B services.

Panel 3 - Owner Life and Legacy

Speaker - Keith Michaelson

Family Business Advisor
Lovins Group

Keith Michaelson helps family businesses navigate the challenges of generational transition. With his help, families discuss the difficult issues that have been creating tension in the family and holding back progress in the business. Keith joined The Lovins Group after 25 years of experience working with business leaders in major corporations and non-profit organizations to integrate their personal growth with improvement in organizational performance. Keith’s education includes an MBA from the Yale School of Management and an MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the State of Connecticut.

Speaker - Francois de Visscher

Co-Founder, Executive Chairman & Senior Managing Director

Mr. de Visscher is a Co-Founder and Principal of FODIS, (Family Office Direct Investment Services) which works exclusively with family offices that invest in operating companies. In 1990, he founded de Visscher & Co., one of the world's most renowned independent financial consulting and investment banking firms for family and closely-held companies. Mr. de Visscher also served as a director and shareholder of his own family's global enterprise, N.V. Bekaert S.A. Headquartered in Belgium, Bekaert was founded by his great-grandfather in 1880 and today has sales of over $5.0 Billion in over 80 countries manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of steel wire and related products.

Speaker - Gavin Watson

Former Co-Owner
Watson, Inc.

Gavin Watson was a co-owner of Watson Inc., a third-generation family owned company headquartered in West Haven CT, and a leading supplier of ingredients for the food and supplement industries. Watson was acquired by Glanbia Nutritionals in 2019.

In November of 2019 Gavin retired from Watson Inc., having served over 30 years in various roles from maintenance to engineering to operations. Gavin is newly elected Chair of the Connecticut Chapter of Conscious Capitalism and intends to spend his time pursuing interests in workplace human ecology and creating high performing environments where humans flourish. Gavin received his Bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University.

Moderator - Michael T. Clear

Wiggin and Dana 

Michael is the Chair of the Private Client Services Department at Wiggin and Dana. Michael regularly counsels clients on the far-reaching financial implications of estate planning. Michael’s estate planning practice includes assisting individuals and families in tax-efficient and practical estate and gift planning. Michael also assists business owners with succession planning, by presenting to family groups on business/estate planning matters and by preparing business entities, shareholders’ agreements, and buy-sell agreements. He often facilitates the sale or purchase of business assets. He is also a trained counselor with insight into the family dynamics these matters can effect.




Summit Table


REGISTRATION FEES:  Early Bird(Through 7/22/20)  Regular  Same Day
Connecticut & Tri-State Members  $175  $210  $250
Other Chapter Members
 $190  $225  $265
Non-Members  $225  $265  $280

No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations.

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