FOXCast CEO Series: Bringing Family Dynamics to Life Through the Power of Theater with Maryann Fernandez & Paul McKibbin

Bringing Family Dynamics to Life Through the Power of Theater with Maryann Fernandez & Paul McKibbin
Publish Date: Thursday, Mar 21, 2024


This week, I have the pleasure of speaking with Maryann Fernandez and Paul McKibbin, co-founders of Shaking the Tree Interactive Productions, an independent educational nonprofit that uses theater and interactive audience forums to teach family dynamics and to promote philanthropy. Maryann is currently Managing Director at Strategic Philanthropy Ltd. and has worked in wealth management and philanthropy for over 25 years, including at the UN World Food Program’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Harris Private Bank. Paul is a Managing Director in Ernst & Young’s Americas Family Office Advisory practice, and prior to that was a Managing Partner at Family Office Metrics and the Founder and President of Private Family Networks.

Maryann and Paul reflect on the challenge they perceived back in 2000, when they founded Shaking the Tree, with how families and their advisors were approaching and addressing family dynamics issues. They describe how and why they reached the conclusion to apply theater and dramatized productions to family dynamics and share the reasons why this creative approach is often more effective than more traditional ways of engaging family members during difficult or transitional times.

Over the years, Shaking the Tree has amassed an impressive online library of videos illustrating different situations and case studies. Maryann and Paul talk about how families and advisors can make use of this resource and apply these case studies in the work they do with their family members. Beyond simply using the existing inventory of online videos, Maryann and Paul also shed light on the other theatrical and creative tools and methods that families and their advisors can deploy to engage and educate family members more effectively, including creating their own original video content to utilize within their family structure and broader family enterprise.

Please enjoy this illuminating conversation with two of the most experienced and creative veterans in the space of engaging and educating multigenerational family members.