Meet Your Advisors

About Doug Gray, Ph.D.

Doug Gray, Ph.D. is a consultant and champion for next gen leaders who specializes in leadership development, succession planning and building family unity in enterprising families. He assists family-owned firms and leadership teams with assessments and strategic solutions that leverage his expertise in positive psychology, outcome-based consulting, executive coaching, conflict resolution, family meeting facilitation and succession planning. Doug particularly enjoys developing collaborative relationships between generations of leaders so that those inside and outside the family can perpetuate the processes and systems required for continued growth. As an author and expert presenter, Doug often coaches newly promoted family business leaders on executive presence, communication skills and conflict resolution.

Doug’s personal history of family-owned businesses includes farmers and agri-business in Minnesota and South Dakota, electricians in Virginia, and consultants. Since 1997, Doug has worked with thousands of clients in multiple business sectors including manufacturing, retail, healthcare, finance, energy, safety, technology and insurance. His family business clients represent a wide variety of business sectors.

He has presented at international conferences and regularly leads seminars and workshops on Objectives and Key Results, positive psychology, leadership development, managing relationships, and preventing conflict in business and asset owning families. Since 1997 Doug has been a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation.

Doug has published articles in academic and business publications and written two books. He has served as an adjunct faculty member and guest lecturer at Vanderbilt University, Owen School of Business, Belmont University, and he co-founded and led the Leadership Development Institute at the University of Maryland at College Park for seven years.


Doug studied at Hamilton College, in Clinton, NY and received a B.S. in Education from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. His master’s research at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH included a longitudinal study of risk-taking behavior. His Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology explored how positive psychology coaching protocols provided competitive advantages for global leaders.


Doug and his wife, Sue, live near Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee. Their two adult children live nearby, so their tradition of Sunday family dinners continues as a lively, noisy invitation for nearby friends and family. Doug serves on local boards in leadership activities. He is an active traveler and athlete.

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About Kent Rhodes, Ed.D.

Senior consultant Kent Rhodes is a leading expert in the field of conflict management in family-owned businesses. He brings firsthand experience equipping executives and sibling/cousin management teams with leadership skills that build value, reduce discord and leverage personal capacities for success. He works with some of the most successful family-owned companies in the world, helping them plan for change and implement ownership and management continuity strategies.

Kent also maintains a successful executive coaching practice for a variety of privately held and family-owned enterprises, both domestically and internationally. A politically savvy guide, Kent is an Organizational Development expert who cultivates emotional, social and business intelligence, helping senior-level leaders become more effective. He’s lead author of Managing Conflict in the Family Business: Understanding Challenges at the Intersection of Family and Business, published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

Kent founded and served as Chief Executive Officer of OnCourse Network, Inc., an Internet Education Company. He negotiated the sale of the company to a Silicon Valley publicly traded corporation and subsequently, served as managing director with that company in San Jose, California until successfully completing its acquisition and integration growth strategies in 2001.

In addition to consulting, Kent serves as core faculty with Pepperdine University’s Doctoral Programs in Organization Leadership and the Master of Science in Organization Development. He served as an Ombudsman for Pepperdine for more than a decade and is a guest lecturer for the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution with the Pepperdine School of Law in Malibu, the Institute for Conflict Management with Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee and numerous Family Business Centers across the U.S.


  • Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, Pepperdine University
  • Master of Education in Counseling, Texas Tech University


Kent has a unique appreciation of the links between personal development, giving back to the community and fulfillment in life and work. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for several organizations, including Shanti OC, an AIDS services organization based in Orange County, California, and Lamukani, a community-based organization in Kenya that focuses on sustainable crop and water source development.

Raised in Lubbock, Texas, Kent currently makes his home in Orange County, California.