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What Our Families Say

Pete Coors

Chairman, Coors Brewing Corporation

Through the work of The Williams Group, families learn the essential skills of how to build trust with one another; move beyond the past; and see new ways to build relationships and to foster direction, purpose and involvement for individual family members, and for the family as a unit. The family is placed front and center. The family learns the necessary skills required to work together as a high-performing team, turn conflict into a generative way forward and take accountability for the responsibilities of their family unity and wealth. These skills build confidence, competence, and the necessary ambition in the next generation so they can step up to the plate and impact their world in meaningful ways.


Eileen Fisher

Founder, Eileen Fisher, Inc.

My daughter and I have worked with Amy Castoro and The Williams Group for about a year. Amy and team are gifted communicators with a deep understanding of the unique issues and complex dynamics around the transfer of wealth and heir preparedness. They focus on the most important aspect of succession planning — preserving and strengthening relationships between generations. Their approach, process and methods have been invaluable in bringing us to greater alignment. In our ongoing work together, the Williams Group is helping us move forward through difficult moments and conversations, with positive results.

The Williams Group has my highest recommendation. To be in their presence and to learn from them is an honor and a joy!


Bill Meek

Chairman Of The Board, Meek’s Lumber And Hardware

Communicating between generations can be very difficult. Communicating between family members with different histories and financial needs can be impossible, especially after the patriarch dies. The Williams Group gave us the secret sauce and a process for resolving our family issues. I wish we had gone to them earlier, and I am grateful we went to them when we did.


Corinna Holt Richter

President and Chief Administrative Office, HOLT CAT

Our work with The Williams Group proved invaluable as it allowed us to learn together how to implement ways to honor our individual family goals, while collectively and unitedly leading a family business. We have developed the essential skills to address complex topics and preserve family harmony, peace, and trust. Through their proven approach and process, we can now have generative, creative conversations as a “high performing family team” that pave the way for our future generations.  We are grateful for their expert guidance and continued support.


Peter E. Gilgan

Founder & CEO, Mattamy Homes Ltd.

My family and I worked with TWG for several years, learning and practicing the steps outlined here. With this work, I am confident we have established a way forward that preserves all of the family assets, including the most important: care, love and unity.

I would unequivocally recommend their book, Bridging Generations, as mandatory reading for any G1 or G2 families of wealth who are concerned about having a successful transition of the family legacy between generations.

As is often pointed out in this communiqué, the majority of transitions are unsuccessful as a result of a lack of preparedness by the heirs: understanding the dynamics of being the curators of wealth for successive generations. This book highlights the steps the family needs to take to reduce the odds of the shirt sleeves-to-shirtsleeves phenomenon.


Patriarch

The Kudu Family

Regarding The Williams Group, my family and I have had a wonderful experience. Williams began with several surveys of each family member and spouses for a total of 12 people. We have had 8 two-day sessions over 14 months with our entire family including the 2nd and 3rd generations. We had 3 coaches led by Amy Castoro. Each coach proved and provided varying skills and also worked together well as a team. They were articulate, respectful, and understanding of all members of my family.

We were taught some very important skills, especially on communication issues. This included how to let the other person in the conversation know of its importance. We were taught listening skills. While these skills are often basic and taken for granted, we practiced and critiqued difficult and sometimes emotional problems, issues, and conversations. We were able to unpack many of the issues and able to work through them to the satisfaction of all parties, even with difficult people and persons with varying values.

We enjoy the meetings with The Williams Group.  They have become friends but also remain teachers to us.

Many of my family members say it is the best thing we have done for the future of our family. I agree as well.


Patriarch

The Collins Family

Unresolved issues and not having the skills to work through them had been motivating our family members to separate the family wealth.

The Williams Group’s experienced, professional, and caring guidance created a safe environment for us to learn together and talk through difficult and emotional issues while helping us to keep our love for each other in focus. Their process of self-discovery, finding peace and empathy with differing perspectives and learning powerful communication skills has given us the ability to reset our relationships and take them to higher levels of trust and love. Today, we see new possibilities and a new future for our family.


Damon Shelly

Shelly Family

My family’s work with The Williams Group has been nothing short of transformational.  The work is accomplishing way more than “Preparing Heirs”.  It is helping our family redefine itself in terms what’s important, how we communicate and what we communicate about.  The work is focused, intentional and fascinating. 

While we have completed The Williams Group process, we continue to have regular check-in meetings and coaching conversations to keep our skills sharp and work through challenges that come up.  As a blended family, we have been able to navigate important conversations that allowed us to see new possibilities and co-design a shared future together. Today I can say the Next Generation is well on their way to being their best selves and not just receivers of wealth – “waiters”.

Making this investment in our communication skills and family relationships has increased my confidence that the family wealth will support a strong family legacy.


Mark Scher

Scher Family

The Williams Group created a truly magical experience for my family.  

To a person, everyone in the room was completely engaged, vulnerable and excited about the possibilities that were uncovered during our time together.  This only happened through the “witchcraft” that Amy and Joel and their associates engineered in the most unassuming, open and intelligent fashion I have ever experienced.  I still don’t know how they did it, but my kids and spouses and myself (all in their 30’s except me) completely opened up about their fears, dreams and hopes for themselves and for our family.  The emotional and transformative arc that we traveled over 3 weekends in the course of nine months was kind of astonishing.  We left equipped to create our own family meetings going forward and with a plan to move as a unit together in the years to come.  Hiring The Williams Group was one of the most serendipitous and smartest decisions I have made in my personal and business life.


Karyn Smith

Smith Family

The work that we did with Amy and Joel was a pivotal experience for us as a family, particularly as  a family whose wealth has accumulated very recently.  With two daughters approaching young adulthood, this work provided a unique opportunity for us to lay the groundwork to move into a very different future than we envisioned even a few years ago.  

Joel and Amy helped us — and in some instances pressed us — to tackle family dynamics and stick with the hard conversations, even when that involved fears and tears.  As a parent making the transition from parenting young children to parenting young adults, I was able to see my daughters through new eyes, which allowed me to set aside some of the fears I’d been carrying around about how our new wealth might change them in ways I didn’t view as positive.  For my daughters, they were able to express their own fears and questions about what this new world meant for them, and I could see their bodies relax when they realized they could put aside the worries they’d been carrying.    Doing this work up front allowed us to move into the fun and exciting work of creating our family wealth mission statement from a place of trust and openness.

I feel incredibly fortunate that we discovered The Williams Group when we did, and that we had the opportunity to have open conversations and lay the foundation at this point in our family’s journey.  With (hopefully) decades ahead of us as a family, I expect we will return to this work again and again, to refresh ourselves, to check in, and to bring in new family members as partners and children join our ranks in the coming years.  The time spent with The Williams Group is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever given my family.


Bob Shaw

Shaw Family

The Williams Group has led us through a series of steps that have laid a foundation for genuine communication and trust.  Developing a mission and values together – and a number of breakthroughs with seemingly taboo subjects – has brought us together.  This investment of time and talents is insurance against the risk of division so many families encounter.  We are all engaged, learning, building, and enjoying.


Peter Ganahl

CEO, Ganahl Lumber Company

Our family got not only the pathways outlined in the book, Bridging Generations, we also got the wisdom and guidance of Roy and his professional team to coach and guide us through the early years of putting our transition plan in place. Roy William’s latest book is a great primer for families who want to transition a business to the next generation and keep the family values intact.


Max Lehrman

Vice President, Lehrco Corporation

My family and I worked with TWG for several years, learning and practicing the steps outlined here. With this work, I am confident we have established a way forward that preserves all of the family assets, including the most important: care, love and unity.

I would unequivocally recommend their book, Bridging Generations, as mandatory reading for any G1 or G2 families of wealth who are concerned about having a successful transition of the family legacy between generations.

As is often pointed out in this communiqué, the majority of transitions are unsuccessful as a result of a lack of preparedness by the heirs: understanding the dynamics of being the curators of wealth for successive generations. This book highlights the steps the family needs to take to reduce the odds of the shirt sleeves-to-shirtsleeves phenomenon.


Alan Ho

Ho Family

I really enjoyed working with The Williams Group, as it gave us a productive environment where we could all share and process our feelings. I personally learned how to find a healthy balance between conveying my honest thoughts and being cognizant of others’ feelings. It was a positive learning experience, and if more issues arise, we will be sure to reach out again! 


Mark Sutherland

Sutherland Family

The Williams Group gave our family tools to better our communication. We had no communication skills all these years, and now we have comfortable and relaxed Zoom meetings once a month. Some siblings hadn’t spoken to each other in years! The professional team we had dug right in and showed us how to communicate with each other and respect the opinions of everyone. We had to do it in a hurry, as our father was heading to hospice, and they were able to accommodate our needs. I highly recommend The Williams Group for your family.


Alex Gould

NextGen Collaborative Program

I was delighted to join such a focused and timely group to discuss with like-minded peers to discuss issues and concerns that we are all facing, in a structured and safe place. It was incredibly insightful to be surrounded by a unique group of successful individuals who are facing similar challenges. I enjoyed the group discussions and valued the regular check-ins. Discussions were well-thought-out and easy to digest, helping me gain a greater sense of direction and unveil deeper questions to get to “the heart of the matter.” It was incredibly useful to have the program structured the way it was. I also appreciated the smaller group discussions that occurred. I particularly enjoyed getting to know some of the other participants on a one-on-one basis.


Lynn Brayton

Psy.D Clinical Psychologist, Brayton Family

It’s been over a year since our last meeting with The Williams Group and a year since my father’s death.  I think what every parent wants for their children is to see them move forward in a positive way.  I know it was important to my parents.  They also wanted us to stay connected and to support each other.  Our engagement with The Williams Group has made the resolution of my father’s estate and the coming together through our family foundation an experience of gratitude and appreciation.

The Williams Group worked with our family in creating alignment and connection with each other.  Prior to our engagement with The Williams Group, there was a growing number of serious disconnects within the family.  This wasn’t just a case of infrequent contact, rather it was a case of no communication for years.  Through our individual and family meetings, we reconnected in a powerful way that we never had before.  We completed our sessions knowing we had each other’s back, no matter what. Today we have a thriving foundation with clarity of our shared purpose and individual roles.  Our next generation is engaged and pursuing their own passions.  

The Williams Group helped us create a paradigm shift in what it means to be a family and I know we will always remain connected in spite of the differences that may occur along the way because we have the skills to keep those relationships strong.   This isn’t therapy.  It is the step beyond therapy.  The Williams Group is about creating what you want in your family and giving you the skills to implement it.


Anonymous

Matriarch of Family

We engaged The Williams Group to help ensure our heirs are prepared to assume the family’s wealth when something happens to us. We got much more than that. We have peace of mind knowing that our family will not be surprised and burdened AND our family communicates more authentically and effectively. We appreciate and trust each other more and all feel “lighter”.


Anonymous

Matriarch of Family

Our work with the Williams group accomplished something I wasn’t sure was possible.  We managed to put money in its place – focusing on what it can do, not what it is, and recognizing that relationships are more important. As our conversations evolved, we learned and practiced how to listen to understand, while acknowledging differences.  And, for me, it was a special gift to get to know each other better as adults and family – with (some) shared values and true alignment on the purpose of our resources.”


Robyn Wagner

NextGen Collaborative Program

This class was the perfect capstone for our family meetings. It was a chance to get a more in-depth look at the concepts in the world outside my family. I was able to implement the same lessons I had learned with my family into my life outside my family unit. The group meetings helped me explore ideas I hadn’t previously thought of, and the 1-1 meetings helped me dive deeper into the concepts and work through goals. 


Jordan Vander Kolk

NextGen Collaborative Program

Dear Williams Group Team, I want to take a moment to thank you for your contribution to myself in our recently completed NextGen Collaborative Course. I believe leadership is not a position but is a skillset and like the proverbial ax must be regularly sharpened. The NextGen Collaborative Course with your coaching has helped me to sharpen the ax by expanding my knowledge of communication as it shows up in my life in the assessments made and spoken and trust built with others. Joel, it has been a pleasure to get to know you, and thank you for the one-on-one sessions and discussions. Thank you to Nicholas for your leadership in the sessions and for your development of the materials and assignments. And thank you to Amy for your continued outreach to me and gentle prodding to push me to grow myself. As an encouragement to others who may consider this course for themselves, I encourage you to not just sign up but fully engage. The course is not a teacher-driven classroom lecture but is a personal exercise with very talented and learned coaches. Like any athlete who wishes to be the best at his or her craft, only by listening to great coaches and putting in every bit of practice can you become who you wish to be. This course will continue to develop individuals who can lead themselves and then others. In Gratitude, Jordan Vander Kolk


Charles C. Stephenson

Jr., Stephenson Investments, Inc.

We are a family of 18 consisting of G1s, G2s and G3s. We have been a client of The Williams Group for several years and have participated in the exercises described in this book. Through working with The Williams Group, our family has grown closer together and developed a mutual respect and greater love for each other. They helped us to more fully know what it means to be a family unit in harmony and to define the purpose of our wealth and the legacy we will leave for our current and future generations. Our children and grandchildren are now much better prepared to successfully lead productive lives while enjoying and preserving family financial wealth.


Carl & Peggy Sewell

Founders/Owners, Sewell Automotive

Roy Williams and The Williams Group coached our family into the next generation. Peggy and I became coaches, sponsors and teachers for our children while letting them grow into leaders. We learned to give our children a lot of responsibility augmented by trust, respect, and love.

We were taught by Roy Williams and Joel Kimmel. We are all eternally grateful.
This book provides the information necessary to navigate the journey, and the journey always requires guidance.


Art Ludwick

Owner, Rainbird Manufacturing Company

Transitions are never easy. Generation bridging is among the hardest to successfully accomplish where wealth, personalities and generational values collide. Roy Williams and Amy Castoro offer sound guidance to mitigate the inevitable family distress surrounding generational transitions.


Caroline Daniels

Retired Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Aircraft Technical Publishers

Every family business will face difficult and emotionally charged challenges beyond expected corporate concerns. I doubt they will prevail without the honest conversations and heart-based trust and communication skills that Roy and The Williams Group coaches teach their family clients.


Eddie Bradley

Founder/CEO, Auto Inc.

The last thing all wealth creators want is for their hard work and success to become the instrument of destroying their family. Nor do they want to see the fruits of their labors squandered because of inadequate planning and education. Most would love to see their heirs use what they are given to build even greater success, in addition to living full happy lives. Families are complicated organisms and often present a big challenge to decision makers attempting to make equitable, intelligent choices about wealth and responsibility transfer to succeeding generations. Roy Williams and Amy Castoro offer a proven, practical process to families needing to navigate this difficult issue.

The best gift that heirs can receive is a family plan that gives them direction about how to co-develop their family values with their family and properly utilize what they inherit. It is the wealth creator’s responsibility to assure this plan is developed as a family team while they are able to participate in developing the process.


Fred Smith

President, The Gathering

Louis Pasteur said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” If you are like many fortunate families today, wanting to avoid the statistics of family wealth disappearing within three generations, you will reap the benefit of the accumulated wisdom of Roy Williams and Amy Castoro. There is no better resource for preparing the hearts and minds of whole families for a successful inheritance.

This is wonderful material — especially in a time when wealth creators are inundated with bad counsel by professionals and institutions with vested interests intended to undermine their families.


Paul Keiswetter

President & CEO, Petoskey Plastics

Families are one of our greatest gifts, but families are vulnerable. Our family — a founding father of a successful company with four children from two mothers who share equal company ownership, two working in the company — has unique challenges.

Our first sessions with The Williams Group revealed that a lifetime of building a growing business did not provide the unique and personal skills required in transitioning wealth to an unprepared family.

Under The Williams Group’s professional guidance, we discovered a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other, revealing our potential trials and ultimately strengthening our unity, respect, trust and family bond. We now have a Mission Statement and a playbook of performance. While The Williams Group cannot change individual personalities, they can develop rules for communication and standards identifying acceptable behavior.

Our blood family, our business family and the communities in which we work will all benefit from a successful transition of our assets. The Williams Group has given all of us an opportunity to increase our odds of future success.