Gary A. Plaster

Gary A. Plaster



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Gary Plaster, principal with Baker Tilly, leads the family business strategy group in Baker Tilly’s private wealth practice. Gary has more than three decades of experience advising C-suite executives, shareholders of family-owned businesses and family offices. He leads the family business strategy group in Baker Tilly’s private wealth practice.

He is a published author and a nationally recognized thought leader in the areas of customer-driven growth strategy and family enterprise strategy. Gary is also founding member of Baker Tilly’s editorial board and Baker Tilly’s private wealth editorial board.

Gary’s clients have ranged from start-up companies to Fortune 500 industrial concerns with a focus on privately held and family-owned enterprises. He has worked with companies in the industrial products, automotive, paper and packaging, defense electronics, medical devices, airline, real estate development, architecture and engineering, software and IT services industries. He has also advised many Native American tribes as well as universities and not-for-profit organizations.

  • Strategy development and strategic planning
  • Market and competitive analysis
  • Customer value analysis
  • Family enterprise transition
  • Family conflict management
  • Exit planning
  • Operations and profit improvement
  • DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business Center for Strategy, Execution & Valuation, clinical professor
  • Family Office Exchange, Thought Leaders Council
  • Business Marketing Association, VP of strategic transformation
  • Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, founder and president, Midwest chapter
  • Columbia University Center for Entrepreneurship, featured speaker
  • Center for Corporate Financial Leadership, featured speaker
  • American Planning Association, featured speaker
  • Sand Lake Property Owners Association Fisher Management Committee

Gary co-authored two published books on the topic of growth strategies:

  • The Road to Success: How to Manage Growth (Wiley)
  • Beyond Six Sigma: Profitable Growth through Customer Value Creation (Wiley)

Other recent thought leadership includes:

  • “Preventing conflict in family-owned businesses,” January 2023
  • “Drivers of conflict in family-owned businesses,” January 2023
  • “Managing conflict in family-owned businesses,” January 2023
  • “Supercharge the sale of your business with a charitable remainder trust,” October 2022
  • “Recession or not, family businesses benefit from these strategic and tactical tips,” August 2022
  • “Are you prepared to transition your family business? Leverage Baker Tilly’s Value Architect model for exit planning,” July 2022
  • “Options for funding a buy-sell agreement: the case for life insurance,” March 2022
  • “PA chamber’s small business solutions series,” November 2021
  • “Preserving generational wealth through intergenerational storytelling,” July 2021
  • “Equal is not always fair in family businesses,” May 2021
  • Break through barriers to success with strategic growth planning,” April 2021
  • “Heading for the exit – A private company owners’ perspective,” March 2021
  • “Strategic growth plans,” e-book, March 2021
  • “Family ownership versus boards of directors: roles and responsibilities,” March 2021
  • “Exit planning for family-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” March 2021
  • “Family businesses should stay resilient during COVID-19,” March 2020
  • “Preparing your family business to weather this virus,” March 2020
  • “Reduce your family business anxiety with these 10 tips,” March 2020
  • Return Driven Strategy for family-owned businesses,” December 2019
  • “Should you fire your child from the family business?,” October 2019
  • “Seven keys to success for family business continuity and transition,” August 2019
  • “Thinking about selling? How to grow the value of a family-owned business,” January 2019


Milwaukee, WI


Master of Business Administration in finance

Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering

University of Wisconsin–Madison

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