This week was a very interesting one in my life, as I enjoyed some time in one of my favourite states, along with some of my favourite people.

The state is Colorado, and the occasion was the annual “Rendez-Vous” of the Purposeful Planning Institute (PPI). It was my second time attending the Rendez-Vous, following up on the 2014 edition last July.

The people that I met there in both 2014 and 2015 were without exception fantastic collaborators with whom I look forward to exchanging again and again going forward. Of course that doesn’t automatically qualify them all among my “favourite people”.

Last year I made the trip to Denver (actually Broomfield) solo, but this year, I travelled with my own collaborator, my 14-year old daughter. She also helped me celebrate my birthday the day before Rendez -Vous, which included a visit to the Broncos training camp in the morning and a Sam Smith concert at the Red Rocks amphitheater at night.

She also proved to be an excellent navigator using the maps on my phone, getting us everywhere with very few missed turns. But let’s get back to the PPI conference.

PPI has only been around since 2010, but already boasts over 350 members, including some 200 who were present this week, which is an impressive turnout. I recognized a few dozen names on the attendee list from last year, and a couple dozen faces as well.

Along the way I met even more interesting people, all of whom shared one common characteristic: A willingness to share and to learn from each other, about the subject of helping families plan their wealth and busness transitions, while focussing on the FAMILY.

As usual, the Rendez-Vous featured a couple of inspiring keynotes: Ian McDermott on Developing an Innovation Mindset on Thursday and Matt Wesley on the Power of Family Culture, on Friday. I heard nothing but positive comments about each of them.

On Thursday afternoon, we were also treated to a panel featuring Jay Hughes, Joanie Bronfman, and Stacy Allred, discussing Fiscal Unequals in Relationships, about couples that feature a woman with much larger wealth than the man. It was fascinating stuff, moderated by John A. Warnick, the founder and “heart and soul” of PPI.

Along the way, there were 4 rounds of break-out sessions, and the only complaint I heard was that it was so hard to choose which ones to attend, since there were so many interesting topics, put on by so many great speakers.

For my part, I truly enjoyed Buddy Thomas’ “Beyond Collaboration: Advisory Team Coordination as a Specialty Profession”, as well as my friends Karen Laprade and Kyle Harrison’s “Reveal or Conceal: a High Stakes Game for the Whole Family” in which we experienced the “Samoan Circle” method of discussing important topics in a large group.

As a student of (and big fan of) Bowen Family Systems Theory, I also got a lot out of Elaine King and Marianna Martinez’s “Establishing Family Governance Strucutures using BFST” on Thursday, before the final breakout session on Friday AM.

For the finale, I chose to attend Rodney Zeeb’s “Developing Leadership in the Rising Generation” which was a great choice for me, as it allowed me to hear and learn from someone who has been at it for a couple of decades longer than me, but whose ideas, methods, and philosphy are very much in line with my own.

I have now been to 2 Rendez-Vous events, and the combination of the high caliber of speakers, the fascinating topics, and mostly the spirit of sharing and collaboration of every last person with whom I engaged, all add up to the fact that I have already marked July 27-29, 2016 on my calendar.

I will not miss it, and I look forward to meeting many other great new people there too, as well as renewing and deepening relationships already begun in 2014 and 2015.