2020 FOX Rising Gen Virtual Forum Presenters

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Bill Lyons
Senior Director, Institute for Family Culture, Abbot Downing

Bill Lyons is the Senior Director of the Institute for Family Culture at Abbot Downing. Bill works with families to clarify their vision and values, understand their historical legacy in the context of forward looking planning , and align communication, education, mentoring, and family governance to help enhance their impact on family well being, business objectives, and philanthropic endeavors. Bill also helps family and business leaders develop transition and legacy plans that include engaging the rising generation and other inheritors in the development of their financial and legal literacy as future wealth owners and beneficiaries.
Prior to joining Abbot Downing, Bill was an independent consultant to entrepreneurs, family leaders, philanthropists, and family offices. He served in senior leadership roles with a single family office, the multifamily office Asset Management Advisors, and the philanthropic advisory firm Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors. He also served as a trustee and advisor to several foundations, trusts, and donor collaboratives.

Bill is a graduate of Boston College, Georgetown University Law Center, and has a masters in Family Studies from Loyola University of Chicago. He brings an interdisciplinary perspective as well as experience working with diverse leaders from deeply held identity and faith based communities to help individuals and families leverage their unique perspectives when working on generational succession, leadership development, and high impact systems change. Bill is co-chair of the Nexus Working Group on Family Prosperity and has been a speaker at the Council on Foundations, Attorneys for Family Business, Family Firm Institute, Creating Change Through Family Philanthropy, and the FRA Family Office Symposium. Bill taught a course on family philanthropy as an adjunct professor at New York University and he provided editorial assistance to James E. Hughes, Jr. for the second edition of his classic book, Family Wealth.

Michael P. Hotz, CFA
Vice President, Asset Consulting Group

Michael P. Hotz is the Vice President of Asset Consulting Group, an investment consulting firm. Michael works with multi-generational ultra-wealthy families. In his role as their consultant, Michael helps his clients build investment programs that are designed to meet their return and risk objectives and reflect their personal goals and values.  Prior to his role as consultant, Michael spent more than seven years as a research analyst at ACG evaluating private equity and real estate strategies. Before joining ACG in 2010, Michael was a Manager in KPMG’s Transaction Services group specializing in financial and operational due diligence for private equity firms. Michael received a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A in Finance from the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University. He is a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Society of St. Louis and the CFA Institute.   

Katherine Kroll
Senior Institutional Sustainable Investing Specialist, Brown Advisory

Katherine is a Senior Institutional Sustainable Investing Specialist at Brown Advisory, working primarily to assist the building of the institutional business’s approach to sustainable investing. She also helps to lead the firm’s engagement efforts with companies, issuers, and municipalities to promote deeper adoption of ESG. In 2019, Katherine was named to the SRI Conference’s list of “30 Under 30” sustainable investing professionals. She is currently an M.B.A. candidate at the University of Texas and was previously a Chapter Leader of WISE (Women Investing for a Sustainable Economy) in Boston, MA.
Prior to joining Brown Advisory, Katherine helped lead the shareholder advocacy efforts for Green Century Capital Management, engaging with fortune 500 companies and serving on two advisory boards for the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI).

Stockton Rush
CEO & Founder, OceanGate

Stockton Rush, founded and leads OceanGate Inc. and is dedicated to opening the oceans to direct human observation and exploration through the development of state-of-the-art 5-person submersibles. For most of his life Stockton planned to become an astronaut. He obtained his BSE in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University with this goal in mind and went on to join the McDonnell Douglas Corporation as a Flight Test Engineer on the F-15 program. He then went to U.C Berkeley Hass Business School and worked in venture capital and private equity investing still with the hope of one day going to space. Along the way, he realized that being among the first humans to descend to the ocean depths on our own planet and opening those oceans to exploration is an equally compelling and important challenge. He pivoted to ocean exploration by first building his own 2-person submarine in 2006, and then founding OceanGate in 2009, with the goal of expanding access to the deep ocean by marrying adventurers like himself with researchers and scientists. This hybrid business model is designed to create a self-sustaining business which also makes meaningful contributions to deep sea science and technology.

Stockton conducts all significant test dives of OceanGate’s submersibles as well as the first dives on all new dive sites. Throughout 2019, he piloted a series of test dives of Titan, culminating in a solo dive to 4000 meters. In 2021, he will pilot OceanGate’s Titan submersible on its inaugural Titanic Survey Expedition, taking citizen explorers 3,800 meters below the surface of the North Atlantic to the wreck site of the RMS Titanic. Throughout this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the citizen explorers, known as Mission Specialists, will play an active role in digitally documenting and preserving the historic site.

Stockton has served on the Boards of several small businesses and The Museum of Flight in Seattle. He maintains and flies a Glasair III high performance airplane that he built from a kit in 1989.

FOX Presenters

Heather Abramson​
Director, Relationship Manager

Heather Abramson is the Director, Relationship Manager for Family Office Exchange (FOX). In her role, Heather works with business-owning family members to understand their objectives and provides guidance to help address their unique needs through the resources available at FOX. Heather also runs FOX’s Rising Gen Community, which is designed to provide next-generation family members an opportunity to learn, share experiences, and develop skills as future leaders. Heather has held multiple roles at FOX including membership development.​

Before joining FOX in 2008, Heather served as Strategic Marketing and Events Manager at Aon Corporation. While at Aon, Heather planned and executed more than 100 large-scale events and created the marketing and project execution for Aon’s South America Division. Earlier in her career, she worked on Capitol Hill for a U.S. senator and in the foreign policy department at a lobbying organization. She also has previous experience working in a Chicago-based family office.​

Heather has a B.A. degree in Journalism, Public Relations, and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She graduated with honors from DePaul University with an M.A. in Organizational and Multi-cultural Communications.​

Mindy Kalinowski Earley, CMP, CFBA ​
Chief Learning Officer, FOX Family Learning CenterTM​

Mindy Earley is Chief Learning Officer for Family Office Exchange (FOX). In her role, she works to foster integrated learning programs for enterprise families and is responsible for developing the family learning community. She also provides support to the Family Learning and Experience Council and FOX Family Learning Network (FLN). Mindy is inspired by helping people learn, grow, and discover the way that they will make personal and productive contributions by using their strengths and talents. ​

Mindy has held various roles in small and large family offices and has been responsible for creating and stewarding professional learning networks in support of human and intellectual capital. She has designed learning experiences that increase the knowledge base and enhance the life path of individuals while providing personalized support and coaching to help them meet their goals. As a Certified Meeting Professional with a certificate in Family Business Advising, she enjoys helping families and rising generation members navigate the unique world of enterprise family and family relationships by understanding that responsibility and intention pave a path to personal achievement and satisfaction.​

Ruth Easterling​
Managing Director, Member Services

Ruth Easterling is Managing Director of Member Services for Family Office Exchange (FOX). In her role, she works with family and advisor members to understand their objectives and provides guidance to help address their unique needs through the resources available at FOX. Ruth also moderates the Private Trust Company Network and works with the team at FOX to develop programming and insights for the Network. Ruth has held multiple roles at FOX including leading FOX member services, supervising the delivery of learning programs, and overseeing marketing to drive the redesign and brand initiatives that differentiate FOX today.​

Prior to joining FOX, Ruth worked with the professional services firm Smith, Bucklin & Associates, which provides management and consulting services to more than 180 associations. She served as executive director to professional associations ranging in size from 300 to 4,000 members, re-engineering membership structures and planning processes to better enable organizations to maximize their potential through efficient governance structures and member participation. In addition, Ruth often consulted with international and national organizations on strategic planning and governance design. ​

Ruth holds a B.A. degree in Management and Leadership from Judson College.

Nate Hamilton, CFA
Advisory Board Member

Nate Hamilton, CFA, is currently Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Heritage Partners Group, a private equity investment and operations platform focused on the acquisition and roll-up of consumer retail and information services businesses. Nate has significant experience in partnering with and investing alongside private family capital and family-owned businesses. Prior to founding Heritage, he worked in investment banking, sales and trading and private equity across several institutions including Goldman Sachs, UBS and as a co-founder of FDX Capital, a direct-investment platform built for FOX family offices. Nate currently sits on the Advisory Board of Family Office Exchange and is a consultant to the Direct Investment Network. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Vanderbilt and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Sara Hamilton​​
Founder & CEO​​

Sara Hamilton is the Founder and CEO of Family Office Exchange. Sara is a recognized visionary in the private wealth community. While a trust officer at Harris Bank in Chicago in the late 1980s, Sara witnessed the emergence of family wealth management as an industry. Hundreds of U.S. families became centi-millionaires overnight through leveraged buyouts that spawned private financial offices commonly called family offices, to manage family assets and educate wealth owners. Sara was the first professional to recognize family offices as a complex market segment in wealth management.​

Sara founded the Family Office Exchange (FOX) in 1989 as a peer network for family office executives. Within 10 years, FOX could see that families needed help with their enterprise vision and managing financial transitions. As a result, FOX evolved into a strategist for family enterprises, a platform for sharing family wealth best practices, and an industry advocate for the importance of private capital in a global economy.​

Today, Sara provides strategic direction for FOX and leads the development of new programs and services supporting family enterprises, family office executives and wealth advisory firms in more than 20 countries. She was named one of the Top 50 Women in Wealth Management by Wealth Manager from 2010-2012 and 2019 Outstanding Thought Leader for Wealth Management by Family Wealth Report.​

Sara is the co-author of Family Legacy and Leadership: Preserving True Family Wealth in Challenging Times and serves on the executive education faculty of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where she is an adjunct faculty member for their Private Wealth Management course, offered twice per year in Chicago. She is on the founding boards for the Private Directors Association in Chicago and the Foundation for Gender Equality in New York.​

Kent Lawson
Technology Advisor

Kent Lawson is a key resource for FOX and leads endeavors focused on technology among other important deliverables to clients of FOX. Kent has spent over 25 years serving the wealth management community in a variety of roles. He has run his own organizations providing strategic leadership as a trusted advisor and has more than a decade of technology, vendor experience, and over 10 years at the executive level within a single family office.

Jonathan Tunner​
Director, Private Investment Opportunities​

Jonathan Tunner is the director of private investment opportunities at FOX. Jonathan serves as a relationship manager and thought leader helping to develop and execute strategies designed to meet the needs of families across all markets active in direct investing. In his role, Jonathan builds and supports the strategic network of families who desire to share their industry expertise and to collaborate with others to acquire interests in companies and/or real estate. In addition, he oversees the Direct Investing Network (DIN), is a member of the FOX leadership team, and is the Co-Chair of the Owner/Operator Council.​

Jonathan brings over twenty-five years of broad business, direct investment, and family office experience to FOX and its members. Jonathan started his career in the international coal industry working in the US, Latin America and Europe for Massey Energy. Jonathan transitioned to oversee daily management of a complex, inter-generational family office. As CFO, Jonathan had senior financial, wealth, and management responsibilities with particular emphasis on sourcing, structuring, funding, overseeing and exiting privately held businesses and real estate interests across a spectrum of sizes and industries. Jonathan also held extensive operational and executive duties within portfolio companies including CEO, CFO and COO, while also serving on numerous boards. Most recently, Jonathan was CEO of Constellation Partners; a business performance consultancy providing strategy, leadership and business intelligence related services to drive enterprise value in lower and middle market businesses. ​

Jonathan earned a B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College majoring in Spanish and minoring in Economics and History, and an M.B.A. majoring in Finance from the University of Richmond. ​