The Center's principal, Dr. Ralph Daniel, advises and assists closely-held business owners with conflict resolution, succession and strategic planning, board development and management restructuring. Dr. Daniel is a business psychologist and family business governance expert. 

When to Seek Help
 As soon as possible. Succession planning is best started at least 5 to 10 years before anticipating the final succession event. In actuality, succession---when managed best---is a process rather than a discrete event. Any family business owner can ask for help. Although full cooperation and participation is ideal, it is possible to conduct the advising process "working around" a non-cooperating family member. 



Geographic Range


Dr. Daniel is readily available to advise closely-held enterprises in the western U.S., particularly the San Francisco bay area, northern California, Nevada, and Oregon. Much--if not all--the advising and consultation occurs at your business location and/or nearby meeting space.

Additionally, the Center has comfortable conference space located in Larkspur, California and is easily accessible by car and ferry from San Francisco, Marin, Napa, the east bay, and the peninsula. Click for Bay Area conference center location map.


How to Get Help for Your Enterprise

The first step is to contact Dr. Daniel by phone or e-mail for a brief,  introductory call. (add free initial hour consult!!) Click here to learn more about the follow up steps.

Help for Active Business Owners

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The consulting and advising process typically consists of  an initial in-depth evaluation of your family business. Typically this entails a set of interviews, a review of key documents, and a tour of the business (if feasible). It culminates in a feedback session, during which Dr. Daniel presents his findings, what is working well, what is not working well. Dr. Daniel offers all possible solution paths with the pros and cons of each,  and makes his recommendations for the best possible outcome for the business, the family, and the individual family members.

Once the family owners decide which option to pursue, the strategic phase begins. This may or may not include advice and guidance from Dr. Daniel. It often requires assistance from a select group of advisors from different fields, including finance, legal, accounting, and investment bankers.

Resolution for estates in conflict

Dr. Daniel provides expert and sensitive assistance to family members who are facing difficult and challenging conflicts regarding the disposition of an estate. Mediation for this type of family conflict is much more likely to be successful if litigation has not yet begun. Dr. Daniel actively collaborates with the existing estate and corporate attorneys   and financial advisors selected by the family members. Click for more info on mediation services.