From daddy's little girl to company CEO, daughters share a special bond with their fathers after they take over the family business. Our panel will feature three women CEOs and their fathers as they talk about the dynamic between daughters and dads in a family business. The discussion will explore how the hand-off between generations happened, the role of any sons/brothers in the business, whether the father remains involved with the company, and the challenges and rewards of working for dad. Join us for this special entrepreneurship event.
Panel includes (speaker bios below):
Lisa Hirsh and Charles Hirsh, Accurate Box in Paterson
Courtney Villani and Diodato “Dee” Villani, Villani Bus Company in Linden
Jodi Solotoff and Steve Solotoff, PIP Printing, Livingston
Event is free, but you must pre-register.
6:00-6:45 p.m. Networking with light refreshments
6:45-6:50 p.m. Welcome
6:50-7:00 p.m. Audience pitches (1 minute per person)
7:00-8:30 p.m. Panel discussion with audience Q&A
After her older brother decided he'd rather be a journalist, Lisa Hirsh became more involved with the family business, Accurate Box in Paterson. Lisa became president in the mid-1990s. The company was founded in 1944 by Henry Hirsh, and started as a small folding carton company in Newark. Henry’s son, Charles Hirsh, took over the business in the 1960s and began the true growth of the company. Accurate Box grew as a folding carton manufacturer specializing in large format packaging. Between 2006 and 2009, under Lisa’s direction, the company completed a process to modernize the plant facility and expand its capacity. Today, Accurate Box is one of the largest independent box manufacturers of litho laminated packaging in the United States.
After a 10-year stint as a volunteer firefighter, Courtney Villani became more involved with the family business, Villani Bus Company in Linden. She joined the company full time in 2001. Diodato "Dee" Villani is the oldest son of Frank Villani Sr., who founded the bus company in 1920. Dee joined the company full time in 1951, and became president in 1956. The company started after Frank Sr. returned home after World War I and found Newark embroiled in a trolley car strike. With so many people unable to get to work, he saw a chance to leverage the situation, create an income opportunity and do something of value at the same time. He commissioned a carpenter to build him a bus, improvising with a chassis that had a wooden body fitted out with benches to seat 20. That first make-shift bus shuttled workers up and back in Newark until the strike ended.
Jodi Solotoff had spent 19 years working at a retail computer services company on Long Island, with no intention of entering the family business, PIP Printing. Then her father, Steve Solotoff, announced at his 65th birthday party that he was planning to retire and sell the business, and two days later Lori told him she wanted to take over the business. Lori gave six months notice at her old company, where she was a vice president, and began working at PIP in 2010. In 2013 she began managing the day-to-day operations of PIP.