Ms. Mitzi Perdue

Mitzi Perdue is a professional public speaker who talks on How to Make Your Family Business Thrive.

Mitzi Perdue draws on the experience of her family of origin, the Henderson Estate Company which dates back to 1840 and was the forerunner of the Sheraton Hotels (her father was co-founder of the chain). She also looks to her marital family (she’s the widow of Frank Perdue from Perdue Farms) that began in 1920.

As a businesswoman herself, Mitzi founded CERES Farm in 1974. Her sons manage the company today. CERES is a major supplier of wine grapes to Joel Gott, Robert Mondavi, Kendall Jackson, Gallo, McManis, Sutter Home, Diageo, and the Wine Group.

Mitzi is an honors graduate of Harvard and holds an MP from and the George Washington University, is a past president of the 35,000 member American Agri-Women and was one of the U.S. Delegates to the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi. While there, she participated in the historic 1985 repeal of the “Racism equals Violence” resolution.

Most recently, she’s authored HOW TO MAKE YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS LAST, Techniques, Advice, Checklists and Resources for Keeping the Family Business in the Family. She’s also the author of  TOUGH MAN, TENDER CHICKEN, Business and Life Lessons from Frank Perdue  The book made #5 on Amazon’s Business Biographies, out of a field of 20,000. She’s also the author of, I DIDN’T BARGAIN FOR THIS, her story of growing up as a hotel heiress.

She was a syndicated columnist for 22 years, and her weekly environmental columns were the most widely syndicated environmental column in the United States. Her columns were    distributed first by California’s Capitol News and later, by Scripps Howard News Service, to roughly 420 newspapers. For two years she was a Commissioner on the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

Mitzi also produced and hosted more than 400 half hour interview shows, Mitzi’s Country Magazine on KXTV, the CBS affiliate in Sacramento, California. In addition, she hosted and produced more than 300 editions of Mitzi’s Country Comments, which was syndicated to 76 stations. Her radio series, Tips from the Farmer to You, was broadcast weekly for two years on the Coast to Coast Radio Network.

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Mr. Morton Meyerson

Morton H. Meyerson is Chair of 2M Companies, Inc., a family-owned investment firm. Morton has been actively engaged in investment activities through 2M and its affiliates since 1985. Morton’s investment interests are diverse and have included financing, developing and managing real estate transactions, and equity and debt financing for early-stage technology and biotech companies.

Morton graduated from the University of Texas in 1961 with a B.A. in Economics and Philosophy. At UT Austin, he represented the College of Arts and Sciences in student government, was a member of the Texas Cowboys and sang 2nd Bass in the a cappella choir. In 1991 he was a recipient of the Pro Bene Meritis Award presented by the UT College of Liberal Arts and in 2005 he was a recipient of The University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award. He was also elected into The American Academy of Arts & Sciences 2007 Class of Fellows.

After serving two years of active duty in the Army, Morton began his business career at Bell Helicopter and then joined Electronic Data Systems (EDS) as systems engineer trainee.  During his nearly 21 years with EDS he ultimately becomes President and Vice Chair, leading 45,000 employees.  Morton was the Chair and CEO of DuPont Glore Forgan, a Wall Street brokerage firm (1971-1974). Later in his career, he joined Perot Systems as Chairman and CEO.

Morton pursues philanthropic endeavors through The David Nathan Meyerson Foundation, a family foundation named after his late son. Morton currently serves as the chair of that organization. Morton has two daughters, six grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.


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