Where it all started

One business family’s dream led to thousands having a forum to share, learn and grow as a family

Who we are

Business Families Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to support, help and empower business families to ensure their sustainability and harmony for generations to come.

Phillipe de Gaspé Beaubien
Co-founder, Business Families Foundation

What we stand for

Business Families Foundation believes in inclusive learning, staying close to your roots both in values and legacy and creating supportive lines of communication for the success of the next generation.

Margaret-Jean Mannix
Chairman of Loram 99 Corporation
Board member for Business Families Foundation

What we do

Business Families Foundation delivers relevant, interactive and engaging education on important topics relevant to business families around the world both online and through face-to-face settings. The foundation also nurtures a network of partners that help make our learning accessible globally and trains academics & advisors to better cope with business family issues.

Olivier de Richoufftz
President, Business Families Foundation

Our history

Meet our founders

Nan-b & Philippe de Gaspe Beaubien

Nan-B and Philippe II de Gaspé Beaubien

As the founders and funders of the Business Families Foundation (BFF) and co-chairs of the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, Nan-B and Philippe devote their time and energy to the advancement of family enterprise. Pioneers in their field, they continue to break new ground supporting global enterprising families, women’s issues, public health and environmental causes. True to their mission, Nan-B and Philippe are focused on involving their own children and grandchildren in their Foundation as they transmit their values, wisdom and lessons learned to multiple generations of business families worldwide.

Beyond business

Philippe founded Telemedia in 1968 and the company soon grew to become a leader in the media communications industry in Canada. Involved in publishing, radio, TV, satellite broadcasting and cellular telephones.

However, it was through their work together going beyond the quantitative and purely business aspects of their company that the de Gaspé Beaubiens came to appreciate the importance of transmitting the right values, establishing a “soul” to their company and managing their employees to develop an ownership mentality. Telemedia was named one of the best 100 Canadian employers for three consecutive years, and Nan B and Philippe continued to grow the business before eventually turning over control of the company to their three children.

Family: the central and defining organization for sustainable success

Having successfully lived the experience firsthand, Nan-B and Philippe decided that they had vision and wisdom to share with others in similar situations. They had developed and refined a philosophy extolling the family unit as the organization central to creating sustainable enterprise and bettering one’s community. In fact, family enterprise had such power to impact the community at large and the greater social fabric of a nation that familying became a full-time pursuit.

In the early ‘90s, Nan-B and Philippe founded and funded the Business Families Foundation (BFF), a pioneering non-profit devoted to helping family businesses address and resolve their issues. It empowers enterprising families to understand and address ongoing challenges by offering specialized education on family-owned businesses, providing a network of regional educational hubs on a global basis.

Imparting knowledge, wisdom and serving others their special passion is devoted to helping the next generation of women family members succeed and thrive. Through BFF, Nan-B and Philippe travel the world as educators and speakers, presenting on various topics and helping establish additional partnerships with like-minded organizations. They have given workshops at many international events including the world Economic Forum at Davos; YPO-WPO, Universities, and numerous national and international organizations such as banks and accounting firms. Bringing together professionals, academics and experienced family entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge, Nan-B and Philippe partner with top universities worldwide to advance the cause of family enterprise.

Decorated with numerous individual honours belying their continuous complementarity, Nan-B and Philippe are proud to have had their partnership recognized with awards including:

  • Philanthropy Merit Award from the Quebec Chamber of Commerce
  • Canadian Business Hall of Fame (where they were the first to be inducted as a couple).
  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia
  • Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame
  • Citizenship Price from the McGill Faculty of Management

Business Families Foundation is graciously supported by the
De Gaspé Beaubien Foundation

and by the consistent and passionate commitment of the many experts,
families and faculty in the field of family business

Meet the board of directors

Margaret-Jean Mannix & Alex Adelaar

Co-chairs, Business Families Foundation

Currently, she is Chairman of Loram 99 Corporation where her responsibilities tend to the strategic planning of the family office and the family council. With ongoing involvement in her own family business since 1995, she has gained valuable experience managing teams and adapting to cultures around the world when exploring opportunities for growth. Outside the family business, she has also held positions at Global Private Banking and The Royal Bank of Canada as well as continued her ongoing education at Loyola University’s Next General Leadership Institute.

Patricia Annino & Robert Carr

An Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), an acclaimed author and renowned lawyer, Patricia Annino has been inspiring men and women on the topics of wealth management and retention for over 20 years. She chairs the Estate Planning and Probate Practice Group at Prince, Lobel and Tye LLP and is also a member of the firm’s Media and Intellectual Property Group. Additionally, she is committed to her community and is a member of multiple boards and foundations that give back to causes including special education, health and alumni associations.

Minu & Sajen Aswani

Sajen Aswani is a third generation member of a family-owned enterprise, Tolaram Group. His role has developed his knowledge and understanding of food manufacturing, paper and textile, marketing and distribution, financial services and real estate developments in six countries. Asides from his leadership in the family business, he also serves as Director of FBN Asia, as a member for Resource Panel, SINDA and as a member of the Nanyang Business School Industry Advisory Council.

Sumitra Aswani & Pramod Nair

Sujata & Sach Chandaria

Sach Chandaria is a 5th generation member of a large family that has interests in a diverse group of businesses across base materials processing and manufacturing, media, technology and electronics. The family began from modest origins in East Africa almost a hundred years ago.

Sach and his family’s core focus is on nurturing entrepreneurial talent in sectors with global dynamic growth potential. A core part of their philosophy is also to reinvest the majority of wealth created through these activities into philanthropic objectives.

Sach was born in Kenya and grew up mostly in North America. He is currently based in Geneva, Switzerland prior to which he spent time in Singapore, Shanghai and Nairobi. He completed his Masters in Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA and has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.

John A. Davis

Trained in business management, psychology and economics, Professor Davis consults to family companies and speaks globally on a wide range of family business topics. He has been recognized as one of America’s leading wealth advisors and is the Founder and Chairman of Cambridge Advisors to Family Enterprise. With many academic degrees including a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, he has been part of the university’s faculty since 1996 and has contributed to writing several books, journal articles and cases over the years.

Robert Frances & Mary del Papa

The Founder, Chairman and CEO of the PEAK Financial Group Inc. PEAK administers $8 billion in assets and looks after the needs of over 150,000 Canadians through its 1,500 financial professionals and employees.

Beyond his firm’s activities, Robert dedicates much of his time to the finance community and industry. Robert is an active member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), of which he held the position of International Chairman of the Board from 2011 to 2012. Robert is recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for services and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Award.

Robert and his wife, Mary, are the proud parents of four children.

Paulina Garza Lagüera Gonda & Mauricio M. Brittingham

Paulina Garza serves as a Director of FEMSA and Coca Cola FEMSA. She leads her Family Council and Board, and participates in the administration and investment committee in the family office. She holds a Business Administration degree from ITESM (Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey). Currently, she lives in Vancouver, Canada with her family.

Brigitte & Antoine Mayaud

Antoine Mayaud is a 3rd generation member of AFM (Association Familiale Mulliez) whose business interests include Auchan supermarkets, one of the world’s principal retail distribution groups. Antoine founded the Association’s ‘intrapreneurship’ program, CreAdev, which promotes and supports entrepreneurial spirit in young family entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is at the root of the family business model and has been instrumental in developing the AFM portfolio and creating long-term value, in both new ventures and established companies.

Tinah Tanoto & Sukanto Tanoto

Tinah B Tanoto is the Deputy CEO of RGE International, a global resource-based Group with corporate offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Beijing and Nanjing. Before joining her husband’s family business, she worked from a very young age for her father’s company and collaborated with her three brothers other the years. In addition to her many business implications, Tinah B Tanoto has also contributed to society philanthropically as a supporter of the Tanoto Foundation’s donations for education, health case, poverty alleviations and disaster reliefs.

Meet the Team

Olivier de Richoufftz


With over a decade of experience with organizations supporting business families as well as growing and solidifying their networks, Olivier de Richoufftz is well seasoned in the important issues business families face from generation to generation. An MBA from HEC Paris, paired with his extensive experience in marketing, sales and development for organizations such as Euro Disney Resort and the France Tourism, bring strategic perspective and innovation to his Presidency at Business Families Foundation.

Thomas Clark

Content Development

An extensive background in International Development and Development studies cause Thomas to have in-depth insight and understanding of the education and management process of content related projects. His many travels around the world have enhanced his cultural sensibility and been applied in his work with organizations such as the Institute of Social Studies and even in his current philanthropic contributions in working with Hockey Helps the Homeless in Montreal.

Olivia Szczerbickyj


Olivia is an energetic, open-minded and efficient young professional, with a Bachelor of Commerce, Major in Marketing from Concordia University. With a background in photography, she has a creative eye, extreme attention to detail and a passion for telling stories through her work.

Emilie Gaudet

Intrapreneurial Initiative, Quebec

Gabriel Ethier

Intrapreneurial Initiative Quebec

Chris Dohnal

Intrapreneurial Initiative Toronto

Background in International Development with a passion for creating positive change both locally and globally. Chris has in-depth knowledge and experience working with charitable organizations with a focus in sponsorship and corporate partnerships. Throughout his career in both the private and the non-profit sectors, Chris brings a wealth of knowledge working with businesses, both small and large in scope.