Welcome to
The Holleman Business Succession Forumsm

The purpose of this Forum is to engage business owners in conversation about the political and emotional aspects of business succession planning. We believe that through the stories our guests tell of the real life issues and challenges, our listeners will be better prepared to build their own succession plans.


LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Gilbert Melville Grosvenor Gilbert Melville Grosvenor
Chairman, National Geographic Education Foundation

From an early age, Gil Grosvenor met, with interest, the explorers who were visiting his father and grandfather in Washington D.C., in their work at the National Geographic Society. Although he was meeting interesting people and respected what his family was up to at the Geographic, it was not his early intent to follow in their footsteps, as they had in those of his great-grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Michele V. Hagans Michele V. Hagans
President, Fort Lincoln New Town Corporation

From a young age Michele Hagans worked for her father - her first job was working the switch board at the Dunbar Hotel in Washington D.C., at age twelve. Even then, it was not lost on Michele that her pay for that work was not in line with her co-workers or her brother who was mowing the hotel's grass.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW John M. Kane John M. Kane
President of Kane Company

Vernon Holleman III, CLU, sat down with John M. Kane to discuss his history in his family's transportation company and the transition of that organization from his father to him. They talk through how and when John began working in the business, what he learned and gained from both his early experience as well as working with multiple siblings, and an father who decided to "un-retire".

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Kathy Kolbe Kathy Kolbe
Chairman of the Board, Chief Creative Officer, Kolbe Corp

From an early age, Kathy Kolbe queried her father, E.F. Wonderlic, about the test he had created in the 1930's (commonly known to this day as "The Wonderlic", or formally as the Wonderlic Personnel Test, www.wonderlic.com).

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Austin Kiplinger Austin H. Kiplinger
Editor emeritus of The Kiplinger Letter

Vernon Holleman III, CLU, sat down with Austin H. Kiplinger in the Kiplinger Building Museum (H Street, NW, DC) in front of the replica of his father's office at the Press Club, which includes W.M. Kiplinger's desk, typewriter, telephone, and photographs. This interview is a great window to both the success of a third generation firm and the emotion and friction that can be a part of such success.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Knight A. Kiplinger Knight A. Kiplinger
Editor in Chief and President of
Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc.

Picking up from Austin Kiplinger's suggestion (when asked about the leadership transition from him to his son), "you better ask Knight," Vernon Holleman, CLU sat down with Knight to talk to the Editor in Chief of Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., to hear directly from the third generation Kiplinger to lead the organization.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Mallory Walker Mallory Walker
Chairman of Walker & Dunlop, LLC

Vernon Holleman III, CLU, sat down with Mallory, in his home, to discuss the history of Walker & Dunlop, his family's real estate financial services company, his experience following his father, his development of the business, what he learned about family business continuity during his career, and the eventual transition of the firm to one of his two sons, which looked anything but probable.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Cathy Merrill Williams Cathy Merrill Williams
President and Publisher Washingtonian Magazine

Surrounded by classic typewriters, Vernon Holleman III, CLU, sat down with Cathy, in her office at Washingtonian, which was her father's before her. Roughly four years prior, Cathy had been busy running operations for ACS Transportation Solutions and thinking very little of the publishing business.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW C. Kemmons Wilson, Jr. Kemmons Wilson, Jr.
Principal & Executive Vice President,
Kemmons Wilson Companies

On a summer morning in 1951, Kem Wilson, Jr. and his 4 siblings helped pack the car after spending the night in a motor court motel somewhere between D.C. and Memphis. Little did they know, the extra $2 they each cost their father for the privilege to sleep on the floor of their motel room, would launch an idea in Kemmon Wilson, Sr.'s mind.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW  LISTEN TO INTERVIEW Alan L. Wurtzel Alan L. Wurtzel
Former CEO, Circuit City

Alan Wurtzel had no interest or ambition to lead the family business. with $13,000 and one TV store in Richmond, VA. Alan eventually joined the company in 1966. He became CEO in 1973, and led Circuit City to become a "Good to Great" company (one of eleven companies that Jim Collins chose to feature in his 2001 book with the same title).

All podcasts and podcast transcripts are copyrighted by Vernon Holleman III.
No unauthorized use is permitted without written permission by Vernon Holleman III.