Francine Z. Carlin, Principal

Francine Z. Carlin, MA

Francine Z. Carlin, founder of the Business Harmonizer Group, is a Certified Family Business Advisor and seasoned business leader who has held senior management positions in communications, public affairs and marketing for a variety of industries across North America.

Ms. Carlin knows first-hand how interpersonal dynamics and emotionally sensitive issues can affect decision-making and organizational well-being. Her keen business insight and exceptional communication and facilitation skills makes it possible for her to make sound assessments, focus on critical needs, and keep on task, so that emotionally charged issues, the silent barriers, do not disrupt family and business decision-making.

Relocating in 1998, to Vancouver, BC, from Washington, DC, Ms. Carlin has been able to apply this valuable experience, energy and dedicated focus to her work with dozens of business families to help achieve individual and collective goals related to succession planning; communication and conflict resolution, business-family harmony, business family governance; strategic business planning; leadership development, successor coaching and team building.

As a Certified Family Business Advisor, Francine has completed professional trainings in the Business Families Foundation Course for Professionals, the BDO-SuccessCare - Most Trusted Advisor Program; the RoadMap Course for Entrepreneurial Families and the Family Council Facilitation Course. She is a member of the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise now Family Business Association of Vancouver Island, for over 20 years.

Additionally, Francine has served as Senior Consultant for BDO, primarily working with farm family enterprises. BDO is a leading advisory and accounting firm with over 90 years serving communities across Canada.

Practice Areas

  • The Business-Family Issues Audit
  • Determining Next Steps for the Family Enterprise
  • Succession Readiness for the Family-Enterprise
  • Preparing for the Future Today
  • Governance Creating Structures That Support Family Harmony & Business
  • Continuity Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Moving Past the Silent Barriers
  • Strategic Planning for the Family Enterprise
  • Positioning the Business for Continued Success
  • Leadership 360° Assessment and Next Generation Leadership Coaching

Published Articles

Professional Presentations & Workshops

Farm Credit Canada

  • Preparing for Succession – Options & Opportunities

Canadian Association of Farm Advisors

  • Engaging The Farm Succession Conversation :‘We Focused’ Succession Readiness

BDO Canada LLP

  • Demystifying The Shareholder Agreement
  • Farm Transition Roundtable

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, Webinar

  • One Day Your Farm Will Change Hands

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, National Symposiums

  • CAFE National Symposium; Personal Advisory Group Best Practices
  • CAFE National PAG Leadership Conference

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, Vancouver Chapter

  • Communication Barriers and Breakthroughs
  • Personal Advisory Group Training
  • Embracing Change As A Family Business Tradition
  • Leadership Challenge for Families In Business
  • Power and Tradition in Business Families
  • Tools for Practical Family Business Conversations

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, Vancouver Island Chapter

  • Building the Best Strategic Pathways – A Practical Approach to Strategic Planning for Business Families
  • Challenges To Sibling Teams

Canadian Association of Family Enterprise, Okanagan Chapter

  • Challenges to Sibling Teams

The Succession Network

  • Business Transition Seminar – How To Buy A Business: Addressing The Silent Barriers
  • Succession Seminar – Exit This Way: Addressing The Silent Barriers
  • How To Sell Your Business – Addressing The Silent Barriers
  • How To Buy A Business – Addressing The Silent Barriers

Pacific Business and Law Institute

  • Promoting Family Business Harmony
  • Succession Planning for the Family Business

Retail Confectioners Institute, Regional Conference

  • Going For The Gold Metals of Leadership

Purdy’s Chocolates, Inc.

  • Practical Leadership for Managers

Featured Interviews

Professional Affiliations

  • Family Business Association of Vancouver Island, 2016- Present
  • Family Firm Institute, Boston, 2007 – 2016
  • Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE), Board, Vancouver Island, BC, 2012
  • Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE), Vancouver Island, BC, 2008 – 2016
  • Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE), Vancouver, BC, 1998-2008
  • Canadian Association of Family Enterprise (CAFE); National Personal Advisory GroupLiaison, Toronto, Ont., 2004 – 2005
  • Succession Network, Vancouver, BC, 2008 – 2010
  • Business Transition Group, Vancouver, BC, 2007 - 2009
  • Associate Faculty, Centre for Leadership and Management, Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC, 2002 – 2008

Education & Training

  • Transitions East • April 2012; Transitions West • November 2012, Stetson University
  • SuccessCare – BDO Canada – Most Trusted Advisor Program, Toronto, 2012
  • Leading Family Councils, CAFE, Vancouver, BC, 2003
  • Family Business Advisor Training, Business Families Foundation, Montreal, QC,1999
  • Family Business Facilitator Training- The RoadMap Course for Entrepreneurial Families, Business Families Foundation, Montreal, QC, 1999
  • Core Competencies of Organizational Learning, EDS Corp. Dallas, Texas, 1997
  • Educational Administration Doctoral Program, SUNY Buffalo, NY, 1976
  • Masters of Arts, SUNY Buffalo, NY, 1973
  • Bachelor of Arts, SUNY Buffalo, NY, 1971