About FBA

It takes hard work, determination and persistence for a family business to succeed.

It also means being willing to take risks. Family businesses face the same tough challenges every other business endures but they also encounter a unique set of personal and professional challenges that non-family businesses could never imagine.

Despite these obstacles, family businesses power Massachusetts’ economic engine and are the backbone of the United States economy. Family businesses provide significant employment opportunities, revenue generation, economic growth, and are also traditionally active within their local communities.

The Family Business Association is the leading independent, non-profit organization serving family business enterprises. It provides educational programming and a forum for these businesses to collaboratively exchange knowledge and experience. The Family Business Association is dedicated to the recognition and implementation of best business practices and ethical standards among these enterprises.

Founding Directors

Jeffrey S. Davis

Jeffrey S. Davis is the chairman and founder of Mage, LLC, a firm that provides business consulting and strategic advice to entrepreneurs and family businesses.  For more than 26 years, Davis has been instrumental to entrepreneurs in attaining their business vision and objectives, positioning organizations for rapid growth, market leadership and financial success.

Davis sits on several private and non-profit company boards, providing strategic and growth strategy. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Jewish National Fund. Davis is an internationally sought-after speaker and writer, regularly called upon by the media as a resource on strategy and managing the challenges faced by entrepreneurs trying to succeed in today’s shifting economy.  Davis also hosted two nationally syndicated business radio segments for The Business Radio Network and the Apple Canada Business Report; he currently co-hosts the daily entrepreneur radio show MYOB, syndicated locally over four stations.  Davis has also served as a columnist for the Boston Business Journal on issues faced by small businesses and has written a book on entrepreneurs.

Before founding Mage, Davis established his reputation as an entrepreneurial strategist, organizational change agent, and marketing and sales expert working for well-known international organizations and clients, including Doyle Dane Bernbach, Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon), Avis and Quaker Oats.

Davis did his undergraduate work at Concordia University in Montreal, where he majored in psychology and minored in commerce. He pursued graduate studies in marketing and organizational development at the University of Ottawa. Jeffrey has also been an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at the graduate level at Babson College.

Albert A. DeNapoli, Esq.

Al is a member of Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.  He concentrates his practice in all areas of civil litigation, having tried numerous cases before judges and juries. Al's focus involves complex business matters, primarily involving contract disputes and business governance issues. He also has a broad depth of experience in family and probate law. He is the chairman of the firm's Hospitality Practice Group, which offers legal assistance from leasing to franchising and licensing for a diverse clientele which includes local restaurants and lodging businesses as well as nationally known chains. He is in his seventh year as a member of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association’s Board of Directors.

Al has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine every year from 2004 to 2010 and was named the 2010 Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce Businessman of the Year.

Al resides in the Town of Walpole where he recently finished serving six years as a Selectman.  For seven years, Al had been on the Finance Committee, serving four of those years as the Chairman.  Al is presently a member of the Town’s Personnel Board.

Al is also Past National President of the Commission for Social Justice, the anti-defamation arm of the Order of the Sons of Italy in America.  Al served as President from 2003-2007 and previously served as National Treasurer and Vice-President.  From 1999-2003 he was the Chairman of the Massachusetts Commission for Social Justice, which office he has held now since 2009. Al was past President and is currently a Board member of the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame/New England Chapter.

In law school, Al was a member of the New England Law Review.  Upon graduation, Al was accepted and served as a law clerk for the Justices of the Superior Court of Massachusetts from 1984-1985. Al did his undergraduate work at Boston College, holds an M.A. from the University of Maryland, and holds a Juris Doctorate from the New England School of Law.

Brian P. Nagle

Brian P. Nagle is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager at First Republic Investment Management. In his role at the firm, he specializes in the design and management of equity and balanced portfolios for ultra high net worth individuals, trusts, endowments and foundations. 

Prior to First Republic, Mr. Nagle was a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager at BNY Mellon Wealth Management where he was responsible for managing large and complex family and trust relationships. In addition to his investment management responsibilities, Mr. Nagle was also a member of BNY Mellon's Closely Held Business and Trust Administrative Committees. The committees were responsible for reviewing non-publicly traded entities in portfolios to manage prudent investment processes and to provide for the fiduciary administration of accounts. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Mr. Nagle was a manager with Ernst & Young’s Personal Financial Counseling practice. In addition, he has taught an estate planning and wealth preservation course as an adjunct professor for the Masters of Science in Taxation program at Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management for more than a decade. 

Edward D. Tarlow, Esq.


Ed is the President of Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C.  As one of the Founding Partners of the firm, he has held a key role in the firm's development and increasing expertise in the areas of taxation, business law and estate planning. Throughout his years of practice, Ed has also developed a specialized practice area with family-run businesses, assisting entrepreneurial, as well as multi-generational businesses, navigate along their paths of economic growth, transition, succession, and has successfully navigated family disputes.

In addition to shepherding the growth of his firm, Ed has been a leading pioneer in the family business movement, creating educational platforms and networking opportunities for both family businesses and their advisors throughout New England.  Ed is both a founding member and a past President of the New England Chapter of the Family Firm Institute. 

In 2007, Ed was the recipient of the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) Community Service Award.  Ed has also been named as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer each year since 2004.  In 2003, Ed was honored as Estate Planner of the Year by the Boston Estate Planning Council.  He is also a former professor at both Suffolk University Law School and New England School of Law where he taught courses in various advanced tax and estate planning topics.

Ed received his Master of Laws in Taxation from Boston University and his Juris Doctorate from Boston College.  He also received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. Ed's education, professional practice and own family roots are deeply rooted in the Massachusetts community at large.


Catherine Watson, Esq.

Vice President

Cathy joined Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, P.C. as an Associate in 2011 and concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and probate litigation.  She formerly worked as private counsel for the Children and Family Law Panel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (“CPCS”).  In this capacity, she also worked as a Guardian Ad Litem in the Suffolk County Probate Court.  Cathy is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association and formerly served on its Juvenile and Child Welfare Section Council.  As Vice President of the Family Business Association, Cathy also enjoys working with family businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

Cathy graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross in 1997 and received her Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 2005. 

Jeffrey P. Foley, CPA

Partner Profile

As a key partner in Gray, Gray & Gray’s Family Business Practice Group, Jeff Foley combines extensive experience in accounting and taxation with a practical understanding of the challenges faced by family business owners today. This insight allows him to serve as a true, trusted advisor on most aspects of the business and to help clients take their family business to the next level. By going beyond simple compliance and advising on matters such as entity structure, benchmarking analysis and even banking relationships, Jeff provides timely and accurate information so that clients can make the best financial decisions for their organizations.

With the majority of Jeff’s clients being family-owned businesses, Jeff provides clients with a wide range of accounting services including annual corporate audits as well as tax planning and consulting. He has deep experience in a number of industries such as energy, architecture, engineering, design, professional service firms, and restaurants

Various industry associations, including the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association, the Maine Energy Marketers Association, and the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, have called on Jeff to share his expertise as a featured speaker at numerous events. He has also published several articles for industry journals, including Oil & Energy magazine.

Jeff joined Gray, Gray & Gray in 1999, and was elected partner in 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Family Business Association.



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It takes hard work, determination and persistence for a family business to succeed.

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