It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium 2024



Mission Statement

While facing unique challenges, family businesses are vital to the economic and social fabric of Mississippi. As a part of the UM CIE Legacy Leadership Program, the It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium aspires to be an open forum where Family Business owners, leaders, family members, and employees from a variety of industries can share insights and make connections in order to learn best practices from knowledgeable industry leaders.

From case studies to networking opportunities, the It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium inspires attendees to grow and to continue their family businesses for generations to come. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, learn from industry experts, and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of maintaining family business traditions.


10:00 am     Check-In 

10:30 am Opening remarks from Clay Dibrell, Co-Director of the Ole Miss CIE

10:45 am Estate Planning - Trip Barnes, President and Shareholder of Barnes, Bailey & Janoush, P.A

11:30 am Lunch

1:00 pm Keynote Speaker I - Ken Williams, President and COO of Corinth Coca-Cola Bottling Works

2:00 pm Coffee Break with Sponsors

2:30 pm Case Study (I) with Webb and Tate Wilson, Kemmons Wilson Family Foundation

3:30 pm Coffee break with Sponsors

3:45 pm Women and Family Business Panel - Facilitated by Amy Walker, Area Sales Manager at Ergon, Inc. Panelists include Emily Fordice Payne, Beth Pickering and Shelley Brown Floyd

4:30 pm Successful Intergenerational Wealth Transfer - George Hester, Chairman of Navitas Wealth Advisors

5:30 - 7:00 pm Reception
Wednesday, September 11 | Sheraton Flowood Junior Ballroom
8:00 am       Check-In and Breakfast

8:45 am Revisit Day One Learnings - Liza Cirlot Looser, Founder, CEO and Chairman of The Cirlot Agency, and Dr. Clay Dibrell

9:00 am Case Study II - The Dowell Family, The Dowell Group at Morgan Stanley

9:45 am Coffee break with Sponsors

10:00 am Family Business Research w/ Dr. Clay Dibrell

10:45 am Coffee break with Sponsors

11:00 am Keynote Speaker II - John Stephenson, Vice President & Head of the Cathy Family Office at Chick-Fil-A Corporate Support Center

12:00 pm Departure (Lunch To-Go)

Early bird rate until Friday, August 9, 2024: $499/person (Additional guests in the same registration group: $399/person) CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

After Friday, August 9, 2024: $749/person (Additional guests in the same registration group: $399/person).

Sheraton Flowood – The Refuge Hotel & Conference Center

Book Online | Booking by phone: (769) 209-6981


The 2nd Annual It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium took place September 14-15 in Flowood, MS! Click the image above to view the 2023 recap.

The Inaugural It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium took place exclusively in person November 2-3, 2022 in Oxford, MS! Click the image above to view the 2022 recap.


The Host

Dr. Clay Dibrell

Dr. Clay Dibrell is the Co-Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at The University of Mississippi. Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Clay worked in the telecommunications industry, in small businesses, and as a small business advisor with an emphasis on new business creation in the US Peace Corps in Kenya. His interest in entrepreneurship and small business comes from his family, where both of his grandfathers’ either started or ran small businesses, his father in-law and mother in-law ran a successful small business before retiring, and his father founded and managed a successful radio station for 29 years. With the knowledge learned from his family and entrepreneurs that he has worked with in the past serving, Clay takes great pride and joy working with Ole Miss entrepreneurs through the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


“The conference was a unique and impressive mix of owners from first , second and some third generation.  They were honest in sharing their stories and journey to help those around them . What an amazing opportunity- we will definitely attend every year . Hats off to Dr. Clay Dibrell and his team on creating something educational and pertinent for family businesses.”

Monica Harrigill, Co-Owner of The Sunray Companies

“With bringing my family into the business, I learned how to handle the legal structure that comes with that. I met and spoke with many individuals at the symposium who have been in the family business industry for years!”

Ricky Myers, CEO of RAM Pharmaceuticals


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Become a Sponsor

Invest in the continuity of Mississippi family businesses by becoming a sponsor for the It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium. With your support, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship can continue to provide informational and networking opportunities for family business owners, leaders and employees in Mississippi.

Email ciefb@bus.olemiss.edu for more information on sponsorships.