CIE Legacy Leadership Program

CIE Legacy Leadership Program

“Tradition is like a bow. The more we stretch the bowstring, the farther we can throw the arrows of modernity and innovation.” — Giovanni Ferrero, third-generation CEO of Italian chocolate maker Ferrero International SA (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 9, 2016).


Our Mission

Sustaining and protecting generational wealth can be challenging, however, family businesses are essential to local, regional and global economies. The Ole Miss CIE Legacy Leadership Program is an invaluable resource that encourages the continuity of family business leadership in the state of Mississippi and throughout the Southeastern region.


Our Vision

Through various initiatives, we foster generational continuity by inviting family business leaders from diverse industries to share their experiences and challenges to inspire, learn, and connect with other family business leaders, owners and employees.

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It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium 2024


The It’s All Relative Family Business Symposium aspires to be an open forum where leaders, family members, and employees from family businesses from a variety of industries can share their concerns and questions in order to learn best practices from knowledge leaders, enabling them to grow and to continue their businesses across generations.



Family Owned: A Legacy Leadership Podcast

By MPB Think Radio

Family Owned: A Legacy Leadership Podcast is a podcast brought to you by Ole Miss, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Mississippi Public Broadcasting that explores the challenges and opportunities of family business leadership. Listen Now!



The Family Forum Newsletter

The Family Forum Newsletter is a central hub for essential news, event information and opportunities unique to Mississippi family business owners, leaders and employees. Subscribe by clicking this link!



Social in the ‘Sip Tour

Discover the significance of preserving family business customs and traditions during the Social in the ‘Sip Happy Hour Tour! Come along for a captivating adventure as we share the impactful initiatives of the Legacy Leadership Program through various cities in Mississippi.

Program Committee

The Legacy Leadership Program is led by an experienced group of family business leaders from a variety of industries.

Committee Members
  • Jeff Conley, President of Conley Buick GMC Subaru and 662 Customs
  • Dr. Clay Dibrell, Co-Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Mississippi and Professor of Management
  • Melanie W. Dowell, Morgan Stanley Executive Director, Family Wealth Director, Financial Advisor
  • Wesley Goings, President of Telapex, Inc.
  • Steve Grantham, Jr., President of J & R Restaurant Group
  • Liza Cirlot Looser, Founder, Chairman and CEO of The Cirlot Agency
  • Tong Meng, Director of Programs at the Ole Miss Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Abb Payne, CEO of The Payne Companies
  • Lex Taylor, President of The Taylor Group
  • Benton Turnage, Partner at Gulf Point Advisors, LLC
  • Amy Walker, Area Sales Manager for Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.

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