Insider Tips from Family Businesses that Last

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Lessons from the Inner Workings of Family Businesses

Learn how effective family business culture and boosting employee retention go hand in hand.

Build a Solid Ground

Ways to Foster a Strong Family Culture

Prepare for the Future

Tips and techniques that can change lives and propel family business growth.

Aspire for Success

Mitzi's Spouse Program discusses turning unfortunate incidents into good fortune.

Live with Purpose

Meet Mitzi

Mitzi Perdue is the daughter of one family business titan (her father founded the Sheraton Hotel Chain) and the widow of another, (her late husband was the family business poultry magnate, Frank Perdue), and she is also a businesswoman in her own right. She started the family wine grape business, now one of the larger suppliers of wine grapes in California. Mitzi likes nothing better than to share insider tips for successful family businesses. Her family of origin (the one that started the Sheraton Hotels) began with the family business, Henderson Estate Company, in 1890, and her Perdue family started in 1920 in the poultry business. These two families have a combined tradition of 222 years of staying together as a family. Mitzi is happy to share actionable advice on how they created and maintained their family businesses.

Mitzi speaks on how to make your family business last across the generations.

Book Mitzi

Talk Excerpts

Articles Written by Mitzi Perdue

Mitzi and Frank Perdue

Mitzi Perdue’s strategies to preserve your company as a family business

The widow of Frank Perdue, longtime president and CEO of Perdue Farms, offers nine suggestions gleaned from observing her husband’s leadership in the January/February 2016 issue of Family Business Magazine.

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Team Hand Cheer

Leadership Insights: What made the Sheraton Hotels Grow

My father, Ernest Henderson, built the Sheraton hotels from one hotel to more than 400 during his lifetime.

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Family Practitioner: Embedding the Family’s values by creating an ethical will

Much as I admired Frank Perdue for his success with his family poultry business, I admired him even more for his success as a family man.

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Mitzi Perdue was one of the most vibrant and interesting family business speakers that we have featured at a Transitions Conference. As a member of a successful family business and a married – in to another successful family business, Mitzi’s helpful tips for running a family company truly provided a wealth of knowledge. From her creative ideas on the family and childrens’ newsletter to suggestions on embedding the family culture, Mitzi’s passion for maintaining family harmony really resonated with our 280 family business CEOs and their families. We were lucky to have her presentation and hope she will return again to speak.

- Caro U. Rock, Family Business Magazine -

Mitzi Perdue’s presentations were the highlights of our 2017 annual conference. She brought an unbeatable combination of personal grace, her experiences as the daughter of Sheraton Hotels founder Ernest Henderson and wife of Frank Perdue, and unique story-telling ability. Connection with the audience was virtually instantaneous and personal due to Mitzi’s warmth and genuineness. She masterfully used stories about her father and husband to make powerful business points. Mitzi also shared with us personal stories about her commitment to family cohesiveness over generations and some of the things she does to create and nurture that cohesiveness in her own extended family.  It is not easy for a speaker to captivate an audience of attorneys and other professional advisors, but Mitzi did that, and so much more.    
Andy   Peter
Andrew N. Karlen Peter P. Dougherty
Co-Chair, AFHE 2017 Annual Conference Co-Chair, AFHE 2017 Annual Conference

- Andrew Karlan & Peter Dougherty, Co-Chairs, Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises Annual Conference, 2017 -

Wow, Mitzi’s keynote was a hit with our conference attendees. She provided practical, thoughtful ideas for complex family business challenges. Her warm, engaging approach radiates a genuine passion for all things family and business. Mitzi was diligent and detailed in her preparation, making it fun and effortless to work with her.

- Peter Begalla, Education Director, Family Business Magazine -

Mitzi Perdue’s keynote speech on culture and values, and her working roundtable on ethical wills at our forum of NYC area families  were both outstanding! Everyone said her keynote speech and her energy were the highlight of the day.

All family businesses can benefit from Mitzi’s inspirational family business experience, practical tips and rich stories.

- Warner King Babcock, CEO, New York City Family Enterprise Center Inc. -

What a wonderful presentation Mitzi gave!! She has a tremendous stage presence and is truly a stage natural. Her advice, with clear and actionable steps, was awesome. And, I absolutely loved that she asked each person in the room to say “YES”!! Joyful. She was the talk of the night!

- Wanda Ortwine, Chief Family Officer,  Luck Companies -

Mitzi Perdue’s pure charm, business acumen and captivating communication skills are just a few of the reasons she is the most sought after keynote & motivational speaker on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For decades she has inspired United Way Leadership donors as well as hundreds of CEO’s at our annual CEO Breakfast. Her grace, style and over the top energy combined with a down to earth approach touch audiences hearts and minds like none other! Kathleen Momme, Executive  Director, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore

- Kathleen Momme, Executive Director, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore -

I learned so much from Mitzi. Her talk was filled with wisdom, heart and generosity. I really felt like she was speaking directly to me – that she genuinely cared. I rarely find that in a speaker. The tools she presented were extremely useful for growing a business, and for life!

- Laura Zam, President & CEO, Zam International -

Mitzi is a wonderful storyteller who provided our audience with valuable insight and perspective on the importance of employee engagement.

- Sherry Herwig, Director, Family Business Center, Wisconsin School of Business -

Mitzi Perdue can take a complex, critically important topic and masterfully create an intelligent, well-thought-out presentation. She uses her talent for oration to create a clear and captivating story that sometimes makes you think, sometimes makes you laugh, but always draws you in. Her recent presentation at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Annual Luncheon was brilliant.

- Steve Salem, President, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation -

I don’t care if you’re a Fortune 500 CEO or a student thinking about starting their first business, Mitzi will change the way you think about more aspects of what REALLY makes the difference between success and failure in business than you can begin to imagine.

- Harry Levine, Modern Times Marketing -

Want Those Who Come After You to Be Happy?Write an Ethical Will!

Lack of values can make children vulnerable to destructive behaviors, can turn heirs into playboys and can accelerate the arc of “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” An ethical will can play a role in helping your children and those who come after them to have happy, productive lives.

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