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Overnight Succession Planning ahead ensures business goes on--even when tragedy strikes.

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Morry Stein's fear of flying prompted him to leave writteninstructions with his sons about how to handle the family business,Camp Echo Lake, if he and his wife were ever to die in a planecrash. Ironically and tragically, Morry was one of 68 passengerskilled in the crash of an American Eagle plane in October 1994, enroute back from a camping association meeting where he had beenraising funds for inner-city children to attend camp.

Tony Stein, Morry's 32-year-old son, had been planning tore-enter the Warrensburg, New York, summer camp as co-director thefollowing month. Instead, he was cast into that position soonerthan expected. "It all happened so quickly, I forgot about thewritten instructions," says Tony. "It wasn't untilafter the funeral that I found the papers and realized we had doneeverything exactly as my father suggested."

The transition, though painful, was about as smooth as could beexpected under the circumstances because of Morry's diligencein regularly sharing "the state of the camp" with histhree sons, two of whom were interested in joining the business."About 10 years ago, we started having business meetingsaround the dining room table at my parents' house," Tonysays. "We talked about new program ideas, the future ofcamping, how we could raise tuition, when we would enter thebusiness, what our strengths were and what we liked to do . . .things like that. Dad, who had an MBA from the University ofChicago, was a big believer in preparing for succession."

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