Insider Tips from Family Businesses that Last

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), but 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

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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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 -

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 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 -

Mitzi Perdue is a true inspiration to all who have the opportunity to hear her speak. Whether talking to an intimate group of 20 or a crowd of 200, Mitzi has the ability to bring Frank to life by sharing his philosophy of hard work, determination, and strong ethical principles. Our students love her and standing room only is a guarantee whenever Mitzi is on campus.

- Christy Weer, Dean, Perdue School of Business -

Mitzi Perdue spoke to the International Executives Resource Group, of which I am Chairman. She had a strong, but friendly presence and spoke with authority and deep knowledge. Importantly, she showed great understanding about Frank Perdue’s decisions and why he was successful. Listeners went away with real lessons they could apply to their own businesses.

- Richard Guha, Transformational Leadership, Fortune 100 CEO, Board Member Max Brand Equity -

Mitzi Perdue is an extraordinarily accomplished and engaging story-teller – with quite a story to tell. Real lessons from the real trenches of business, told in a highly personal and memorable way.

- Timothy Powell, President, The Knowledge Agency -

Mitzi’s story telling ability and style far exceeded my expectations. It felt like a personal conversation with a good, longtime friend and more, I felt like Mitzi was sharing private stories about the inner workings of the business and thoughts that drove Frank’s standards of excellence. Mitzi’s stories must be shared with all business students.

- Amy Miller, Human Resources Consultant -

“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

- Sherry Herwick, -

Mitzi Perdue took her listeners on the journey of her life among successful leaders of business. She shared the tips that helped both them and her turn opportunity into success. Mitzi inspires others to redefine failure.

- Christine L. Sherman, U.S. Armty Major - Ret. -

Mitzi is a wonderful, charismatic person with a great story. I have been in the Rotary for a long time, and I tell you, I’ve never seen the men and women so quiet listening to every word she said.

- Pastor Ted Henderson, Dover, DE Rotary -

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.