How Can a Family Council Promote Unity and Longevity? 

Cristina Carvajal
The Family Business Voice
The Family Business Voice
How Can a Family Council Promote Unity and Longevity? 
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Cristina Carvajal remembers exactly what it was like to visit her family’s printing business with her father when she was a little girl. The sights, sounds, and smells of the printing presses left a life-long memory that later, she confesses, shaped her involvement in the family’s enterprise. Now serving as the council’s president, Cristina continues to work on the unity among the more than 300 family members and to embrace the transformative change she believes will benefit the family’s future generations. 

We spoke to Cristina about the importance of the Carvajal family council, how international family members get involved and contribute to the different sectors of the council, and what the family council is doing to evolve and change as younger generations start to get involved with Carvajal. 

-Carvajal’s family council is in its sixth generation with around 322 family members and growing. Cristina was the first family council member to be appointed who didn’t live in the region, which opened the door to other family members joining from around the world. Today, Carvajal family council members live in Mexico, Miami, and Panama, in addition to Colombia — all committed to attending meetings and making contributions. 

-The family council was initially established to create a family protocol but has developed into an integral piece of Carvajal’s organisation. The council interacts closely with the company’s leadership and often acts as an information funnel for Carvajal’s executive team where they can ask questions or communicate concerns. 

-In 2018, Carvajal’s family council began a process of strategic planning to determine the programs that would be most beneficial to support. The council’s areas of focus are communication, education, family unity, and legacy, while also overseeing the family protocol. Many of the council’s programs are designed to inform, unify, and engage Carvajal family members. The council also acts as a pipeline for finding and cultivating new talent for the business within the family. 

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