Family business experts
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View our profiles below.
Karen Collingsworth-Crusse, JD
Karen Collingsworth-Crusse is a Vice President and Senior Relationship Strategist of Hawthorn, PNC Family Wealth®, a business dedicated to serving the needs of individuals and families with investable assets in excess of $20 million. As a Senior Relationship Strategist, Karen serves as a primary point of contact and is responsible for the overall client experience – coordinating communications, Hawthorn and PNC resources, other advisors and all our efforts on behalf of clients. Karen works closely with Hawthorn Investment Advisors, Wealth Strategists, Fiduciary Advisors and other advisors to deliver the Hawthorn integrated wealth management experience to a limited number of families and individuals.
Prior to joining Hawthorn, Karen spent nine years in private practice specializing in Probate and Estate Planning in the tri-county area (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb) of southeastern Michigan. She left the practice of law and entered the banking industry in 2007, working for U.S. Trust, and then Comerica Bank before joining the team at Hawthorn.
Karen is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, League of Women Voters, and is a Planning Commissioner for the City of Troy. In the past she has served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, and past member and Chairman of the Trust Counsel Committee for the Michigan Bankers Association.
Karen earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Oakland University, where she was a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and a Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
Karen Collingsworth-Crusse, J.D.
Vice President/Fiduciary Advisor
755 West Big Beaver Road
Troy, MI 48084
Jeffrey F.L. Smith
Mr. Smith's background includes being with CBS Broadcast Group, CBS News and WCBS-TV New York. In addition, he was part of the start-up team for Crain’s New York Business. He was also fortunate to work with The Henry Ford, The Detroit Historical Society and Crain Communications as President of the American Automobile Centennial Commission, a nonprofit that helped celebrate the centennial of the American automobile industry.
Most recently, Jeff owned Woodworth Financial and Exit Management Institute. Woodworth was a full-service wealth management firm specializing in strategic investment and financial planning for business owners. EMI was a succession planning firm that helped financial advisors and business owners with succession planning. EMI also had a multi-year relationship with Munder Capital running workshops on succession planning using it’s 12 Step Exit Planning process.
Jeff currently works with clients as a Conversational Intelligence C-IQ Coach. In this capacity he helps talent- based companies use a neuroscientific framework to leverage the full intelligence and skills of their senior executives so they can innovate, adapt and grow. He is also trained in the Heart & Science of Living, and helps people to live with optimal health, joy and fulfillment.
Jeff is also the co-founder of FB2FB Detroit – an initiative to support family businesses in Southeast Michigan.
Jeff and his wife Lisa (Lisa Vallee-Smith, CEO of the Airfoil Group) are very fortunate to have an active volunteer life in Metro Detroit as well as their own family foundation. As a result, Jeff is also a member of the Association of Foundation Professionals, Greater Detroit chapter.
Jeffrey F. L. Smith
Donald Levitt, Ph.D.
Donald Levitt, Ph.D. is President of Levitt Consulting, Inc. Dr. Levitt is a recognized expert in helping leaders, teams and organizations to reach their goals. He has provided consultation in a variety of industries including pharmaceutical, financial, engineering and construction, manufacturing, and professional services. In addition to corporate consultation, Dr. Levitt has consulted with the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and several state universities. His work has been referenced in such widely read publications as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and was featured on the cover of HR Magazine. For two years he shared his enthusiasm for the new world of work in a live television segment entitled The Changing Workplace which was broadcast weekly on a local CBS television station. For 8 years Dr. Levitt served as an internal consultant regarding employee and organizational effectiveness at Ford Motor Company, and then served a similar role at Owens Corning for 6 years.
Dr. Levitt, a licensed psychologist, is a graduate of the Human Resource Executive Program at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, and has been awarded the Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute. Dr. Levitt is the founder of Family Business Wiki, which was recognized by the Wall Street Journal as a premier online resource for family businesses. Dr. Levitt currently writes the Family Business blog for Crain’s Detroit Business. Dr. Levitt is also the co-founder of FB2FB Detroit – an initiative to support family businesses in Southeast Michigan.
Donald Levitt, Ph.D.
President, Levitt Consulting, Inc.
1880 Robert St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Sean H. Cook, JD
Sean Cook’s practice encompasses many diverse areas of law: tax, mergers and acquisitions, closely held businesses, trusts and estates and general corporate and charity law. Sean works with businesses on a variety of complex tax matters. He is well versed in the application process for tax-exempt status for startup companies and has also converted many for-profit organizations to nonprofit status. Sean represents both buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions and provides due diligence counsel all the way through structuring and closing sale agreements. Sean’s knowledge and versatility in many practice areas allows him to be especially valuable to his clients. He’s a problem solver, positions himself in the client’s seat and works with a sense of urgency towards favorable outcomes. Sean is the chair of the Warner Norcross Tax Practice Group, the chair of the MiCPA M&A committee task force, is a former MiCPA board member (1999-2015) and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
2000 Town Center, Ste. 2700
Southfield, MI 48075-1318