Preliminary Conference Agenda 2019

Our legendary business-and-broader discussion continues in this, our 20th anniversary, conference year.  As always, we’ll address important issues of business strategy, growth, financing and exit (for our kind of “leading closely-held companies, their owners and their Boards”).  As important, Camp David 2019 will include the stuff that gives us “perspective." Our 2019 Agenda includes…

  • Thursday Evening Welcome Reception - Adelphi Hotel
  • 3 Friday Business Sessions - Guideon Putnam Resort 
  • Friday Evening at Saratoga Polo - Saratoga Polo Club
  • Saturday Day at the Races - Saratoga Race Course

And, the following confirmed presenters:

Mayor Meg Kelly – There’s a ‘new sheriff in town, Mayor Meg Kelly.  Born and raised in Saratoga, Mayor Kelly worked for 17 years as an LPGA pro golfer, as Executive Director of Saratoga’s Children’s Theatre and, more recently, as Deputy Mayor under Camp David friend, former Mayor Joanne Yepsen.  A can-do executive, Mayor Kelly knows how to succeed in the business of government by bringing disparate parties together. What she really understands is community and getting things done. Mayor Kelly welcomes our group to Saratoga.

Curtis Ellis – On the other side of the aisle, there’s Curt Ellis.  Former Trump Campaign Senior Advisor and special advisor to the Secretary of Labor in the Trump-Pence transition team, Ellis is an expert on free trade and economic growth.  With decades of experience as reporter, writer, producer and communications expert, Ellis has produced stories for NPR, NBC, HBO, CBS’60 Minutes and written for publications including the Financial Times, TIME Magazine and many others.  You’ll find Ellis, these days, primarily traveling with Vice President Michael Pence… or at Camp David.

Davia Temin – Writer, speaker and Board advisor, Davia Temin is one of the deans of reputation/risk/crisis strategic communications.  Through her “Reputation Matters” column in, contributions to the Huffington Post and American Banker, among other publications, and her work with many of America’s leading companies and Boards, Ms. Temin has guided many-a-company through many-a-crisis and will share some of her best strategies and tactics for effective corporate communications with us at Camp David.

Andrew Mellen – “The Most Organized Man in America,” and Oprah’s favorite organizer, teaches us some of the best lessons from his research, writings, and teachings including from his own curriculum at “UnStuff U.”  Ways to simplify our lives. Ways to implement ‘mindfulness’ in the office. Ways to get more done, better, faster and with less anxiety. (And, by the way, a great way to remember every password you’ll ever use).

Deborah Midanek – Author of “The Governance Revolution: What Every Board Member Needs to Know,” Principal of Prevail Investments, Bryn Mawr / Wharton, trusted advisor/Director to The Biltmore Companies and many others, Trustee of Washington’s Committee For Economic Development, and all-around super-smart strategic financial advisor, Ms. Midanek is also personally re-developing and re-making the “sleepy” town of Grenada Mississippi.

 And others to be announced…


Prior Conference Agenda

8:00 am

Travel to Saratoga

3 hours from NYC and Boston, 30 minutes from Albany Airport, and a historic Victorian-small-town world-away from anywhere you've been.

4:00 pm


Gideon Putnam Resort, Saratoga Spa State Park. Secure your Saratoga Weekend credentials and registration materials. Welcome Reception follows. Sportcoats suggested.

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Welcome Reception

Toast your arrival to Saratoga with other attendees, presenters and Weekend Partners in the Garden Room of the Gideon Putnam with special guest Rich Johns, legendary USTA high school tennis coach (famous no-cut policy…and 85 consecutive wins) and Founder/President, “Act With Respect Always.”  There’s no better way to begin our Weekend discussion than with Rich Johns’ coaching wisdom and pay-it-forward philosophy.  Heavy hors d’oeuvres.  All delegates, spouses and children welcome.

  • Coach Rich Johns
    Founder/President, Act With Respect Always
8:30 pm


Enjoy informal dining and a late-night meet-up in downtown Saratoga.

8:00 am

Breakfast at the Gideon

Compare pre-session notes with other Campers over omelets, coffee, and the morning paper in the breathtaking Arches Room of the Gideon Putnam overlooking the 2,379 acre Saratoga Spa State Park.  Then, at 8:45 a.m. sharp...

8:45 am

Keys to the City

"Her-onor," Saratoga Mayor Joanne Yepsen welcomes our guests. Friday a.m. sessions are business casual. Joanne Yepsen, Mayor, City of Saratoga Springs.

  • Hon. Joanne Yepsen
    Mayor, City of Saratoga Springs; Principal, Coltivare
9:00 am

Private Equity for Private Enterprise

Private Equity (including its capital structuring counterparts, mezzanine and senior financing) is important to private company growth, acquisition…and exit.  Join leading PE professionals David Helgerson, Managing Director, Hamilton Lane AdvisorsJesse Reyes, Founder, J-Curve and "the father of private equity research"; Frank McEvoy, Senior Policy Analyst, NYS Common Pension FundDavid MacPhee, Chief Executive Officer, LeverPoint Management and others for a state-of-the-market, value-creating, private-equity-for-private-enterprise discussion.

  • David Helgerson
    Managing Director, Hamilton Lane Advisors
  • David MacPhee
    Chief Executive Officer, LeverPoint Management
  • Jesse Reyes
    Founder, J-Curve
  • Frank McEvoy
    Senior Policy Analyst, NYS Common Pension Fund
9:45 am

State of Readiness

Operational excellence is important to every enterprise.  Joseph Paris, author of just-published State of Readiness (the new bible of Operational Excellence); Chairman, XONITEK; and Founder, Operational Excellence Society shares the best of his new book – he’ll sign your copy  -- in an interactive and thought-provoking presentation.

  • Joseph Paris
    Author, State of Readiness; Chairman, XONITEK; Founder, Operational Excellence Society
10:30 am

Mid-Morning Networking Break

Mingle, marvel at the setting, and make room for more ideas.

11:00 am

Earth Day 2020

The first “Earth Day” on April 22, 1970 rang the opening bell of modern environmental awareness.  Earth Day’s 50th anniversary is upon us!  Whether you’re Red or Blue, the notion of cleaning-up after ourselves is a universal ideal and an important lesson for our children.  Meet Gerald Torres, Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law, federal Indian law, and Chairman, Earth Day (the largest organized movement on the planet, involving more than one billion people in 192 countries annually).

  • Gerald Torres
    Chairman, Earth Day; Jane M.G. Foster Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
11:30 am

The Family Business Advantage

Advantage (we think so) or not?  What sayeth the “deans” of family business including Bill Dake, Chairman, Stewart's Shops; Mark Ellis, Strategic Development, SC Johnson: "A Family Company"; John Dadakis, Co-Founder, NYC Family Enterprise Center / Ptnr., Holland & Knight co-founder of afhe (Attnys. For Family Held Enterpr.); David Deutsch, President, David N. Deutsch & Company and other leading family business thinkers and practitioners about the survival, growth, governance, financing, generational-transition and other issues of this important segment of the American and global economies.

  • David Deutsch
    President, David N. Deutsch & Company; Mng. Ptnr., Presidents Council
  • John Dadakis
    Co-Founder, New York City Family Enterprise Center; Partner, Holland & Knight
  • Mark Ellis
    Strategic Development, SC Johnson: A Family Company
  • Bill Dake
    Chairman, Stewart's Shops
12:15 pm

Next-Gen Tech Training

Steven Fink is one of the smartest and most effective educators we know.  Hear Steve’s story from public school music teacher to Founder/CEO, SummerTech and Coditum, whose objective is to “change the conversation in computer education pedagogy in every public and private school in America. “

  • Steven Fink
    Founder/CEO, SummerTech and Coditum