Family business expert to speak Feb. 29 at FGCU

4 – minute read

Jonathan Tisch will deliver the keynote address at the third annual Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference on Feb. 29 at Florida Gulf Coast University.


Tisch is co-chairman of Loews Corporation, executive chairman of Loews Hotels & Company and co-owner of the New York Giants. He will speak on the conference theme — leading family businesses through critical crossroads.


The conference’s previous keynote speakers were Alan Hassenfeld, former chairman and chief executive of Hasbro Toys, and Steve Forbes, chairman of Forbes Media and editor-in-chief of the business magazine that bears the family name.


Like them, Jonathan Tisch is part of a successful, multi-generational family business.


He grew up watching his father, Preston Robert Tisch, and uncle, Laurence Tisch, create the Loews Corporation.

Jonathan Tisch
Jonathan Tisch

“Bob and Larry Tisch had very complimentary skill sets,” says Tisch. “My father was well versed in making his team members and guests feel welcomed and appreciated. And my Uncle Larry was a financial wiz. He could ask you five questions about your business and then know more than you.”


In 1946, Larry Tisch purchased a 300-room winter resort in Lakewood, New Jersey, with financial help from his parents. Two years later, Bob joined him and helped grow the business into a hotel and resort chain across North America. Their children continued their legacy into the 21st century, building on a successful family formula.

“My cousins Andrew and Jim and I have been running the company for the past three decades, and treat each other with respect and have skills that also work together well,” Jon Tisch says. “We don’t second guess, or place blame if something didn’t pan out as hoped. And there’s a tremendous amount of respect for each other’s roles and contributions.”


What advice does Tisch have for FGCU students interested in learning an industry from the ground floor?

“It’s important to know that you may not get the job you were hoping for or feel you’ve been studying for. But it is important to take a job — any job — as none of us know where we will end up.”


He reminds students who are just starting their careers that they’ll learn from every experience.


“Since I was 5 years old, I’ve worked in every position in a hotel, and learned the importance of all these jobs and how success is attained by everybody working together and contributing, no matter what you do.


“As you start to take on more responsibility in your various roles, it’s vital to understand and appreciate all aspects of the business if your goal is to end up in a senior role.”

He emphasizes the importance of networking and developing a relationship with a mentor. “Networking allows one to listen and learn, with the emphasis on listening. It is so important to meet people who do what you want to do, and learn from them and their various experiences. If you’re fortunate to find a mentor — and once again, watch and listen — you will learn a lot.”


Headquartered in New York City, Loews Hotels owns and/or operates 28 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada, including 12 in Florida. Tisch says the hospitality industry in Florida is unique.

“Florida’s lodging industry is incredibly dynamic and resilient. The growth of so many markets and regions in the state, and understanding that an expanding travel and tourism industry is a vehicle for economic development and job creation, is what makes Florida so unique,” he says. “Yet, there are many known and unforeseen challenges that will impact lodging going forward. It’s important that we continue to work together and support each other as we look to the future.”


The third annual Resnick-Wynn Family Business Conference is Feb. 29 in the Cohen Student Union. Tisch and conference panelists will share their perspectives, successes, failures and proven strategies to overcome the unique challenges family businesses face. The conference was founded by John and Billie Resnick of The Resnick Group and Michael Wynn of Sunshine Ace Hardware — both successful family businesses in Southwest Florida.


Learn more at the conference website,


John Resnick
John Resnick
Billie Resnick
Billie Resnick
Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn
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