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Private Company Priorities 2019 and Washington Fly-In

Conference Agenda

Agenda topics, timing and speakers subject to change.


Tuesday, April 2 | 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm


12:30 pm - 12:45 pm



12:45 pm – 1:00 pm

Welcome and Opening Remarks
Arlene Schwartz | Chair | Committee on Private Companies
Andrej Suskavcevic | President & CEO | Financial Executives International (FEI)


1:00 pm – 1:50 pm

Private Company Recession Playbook
Storm clouds are forming as the chances of a U.S. economic downturn increase. Whether it’s market metrics or economic consensus, many traditional warning signs are pointing towards recession either later this year or early 2020. William Dunkelberg, Chief Economist for the National Federation of Independent Business will share his expertise on how private companies can prepare to weather the economic storm.

William Dunkelberg | Chief Economist | National Federation of Independent Business


1:55 pm – 2:45 pm

Planning For Pass Throughs
Internal Revenue Service rules that govern implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 will upend not only how many private companies report income, but potentially how they operate their businesses and compensate workers. IRS guidance tied to the new Section 199A deduction for Qualified Business Income (QBI) issued in late December will impact all types of private companies; from REITs to S-Corps to partnerships.

This session will review the most common ways that private companies are planning to adapt to the new pass-through rules and some of possible IRS landmines if done incorrectly.

David Kirk | Partner, National Tax- Private Client Services | Ernst & Young LLP


2:45 pm – 3:00 pm

Networking Break


3:00 pm – 3:50 pm

Building a Private Company at Scale
A private, middle-market company starts out with two strikes against it: no access to the resources small businesses are offered (start-up money, grants, etc.) and shut out of the vast capital available to public companies. That leaves financial executives looking for creative ways to scale their business. A panel of professionals will walk through traditional and non-traditional paths that private companies can explore to grow.

Dan DeNisco | Senior Vice President | Robert Half Management Resources

Gary Callaghan | Managing Director | Protiviti
Steve Murray | Managing Partner | Revolution Growth


3:55 pm – 4:45 pm

Raiders, Clans and Wizards: The Middle Market M&A Game of Thrones
Whether it’s a raid from private equity player, an invitation from a wealthy clan’s family office or call from a Silicon Valley VC wizard, 2019 is being positioned as “time to sell” for many mid-sized private companies. During this session gain insight into when a deal makes sense, when it doesn’t and if time is running out.

Mike Adhikari | President | Illinois Corporate Investments, Inc.

Champ Davis | Managing Director | Davis Capital
Jerry Wolf | Founder | Midwest Acoust-A-Fiber Inc.


5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Networking Reception
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