President & CEO, Hamra Enterprises
Mike Hamra is the President and CEO of Hamra Enterprises which develops, owns and operates Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Panera Bread bakery-cafes and Noodles and Company restaurants spanning from the Midwest to the Northeast.
Mike is a former attorney who practiced law in Washington, D.C. both on Capitol Hill and as a political appointee in the Clinton Administration and later with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P. representing telecommunication clients on regulatory and legislative matters.
In 2001, Mr. Hamra was commissioned by the U.S. Department of State to represent the United States in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia where he assisted the new Yugoslavian government in rewriting the telecommunications law inherited from the Milosevic regime.
Mike is the Chair of Family Enterprise USA, which is a Washington, DC based non-profit membership organization that provides education to the public, policymakers and the media about the collective issues facing family enterprises. He serves as a director of OakStar Bank and is a member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Professional Advisory Board and is on the Boston Children’s Hospital Philanthropic Board of Advisors.
Founder & Chairman, Policy and Taxation Group
Patricia M. Soldano has spent over 30 years providing family office services. She developed Cymric Family Office Services into a multi-family office in 1996, and sold to GenSpring Family Offices in January 2009, where she was Managing Director of Western Region for GenSpring for 5 years and then a Family Office Consultant to GenSpring until December of 2017.
Ms. Soldano is President of Family Enterprise USA; its mission is to promote the growth of family businesses in the US, and she is President of Policy and Taxation Group, dedicated to reforming/repealing the gift, estate, and GST taxes. She is Principal Advisor to the Drucker School Global Family Business Institute, and a member of CSUF Family Business Center and on Family Business Editorial Committee for Trust & Estate Magazine. She serves on the Investment Committee, Comp Committee and Audit Committee for Alzheimer’s Orange County. Ms. Soldano received an MBA from Claremont Graduate School, The Drucker School and a BA in Business Administration from Cal State University Fullerton.
Root Glass Company
Preston Root has spent 35 years in family enterprise. He is a 4th generation steward of Root Glass Company. Root Glass Company designed, patented and manufactured the original Coca-cola bottle in 1913, the company who would eventually become one of the largest bottlers of Coca-Cola in America.
A natural communicator from a 30 year career in network radio for a Fortune 500 company.
He worked for MRN Radio, “The Voice of NASCAR” for 13 years before rejoining the family business in 2010.
Preston serves as the Chairman of The Community Foundation of Volusia and Flagler.
He has been a Board member of The Museum of Arts and Sciences and served as YMCA Board President.
In 2010 Preston was honored by The Arc as the Top Volunteer in Florida.
He has been a certified SCUBA instructor for 23 years and was a Nationally Certified EMT.
Fourth Generation McKee Foods; Little Debbie’s Cakes
Lex is a fourth generation business owner of McKee Foods. Currently working to fulfill the outside requirements established for family members, he plans to work in the family business within the next two years. Already wanting to get involved at McKee Foods, he has served on committees and currently serves on the Family Contribution Committee.
After graduating from University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, Lex lived just outside the Washington, DC area for a little over a year, soaking up the political scene and getting a feel for the government in action. He has recently relocated to the Tennessee where he is currently working with another family owned business in metal plating.
Having a thirst for cultures and travel, Lex spent a full year of his college career in Italy where he learned to speak the language, has traveled to over 40 countries, and served on several mission trips around the world.
After visiting Capital Hill with other organizations, Lexington is looking forward to being involved where he feels he can help make a real difference.