TD&A Family Business Consultant Biographies

Thomas D. Davidow, Ed.D.

Dr. Thomas D. Davidow is founder and principal of Thomas D. Davidow & Associates. He also co-founded Genus Resources, which became a leader in the field of family consultation. Drawing upon his extensive background in psychology, family counseling, and individual therapy Dr. Davidow pioneered the interdisciplinary method in family business consulting. The Davidow Interdisciplinary Method™ is rooted in family systems theory and addresses the family issues that can interfere with sound business decisions.

Dr. Davidow has more than 30 years of experience working with hundreds of national and international family controlled enterprises. He has applied his method and expertise in working with businesses in diverse fields including retail, distribution, manufacturing, real estate, construction and more, as well as with family foundations and family offices.

A frequent speaker at national and international seminars, Dr. Davidow has conducted seminars for financial institutions on the “Psychology of Wealth” and “Best Business Practices for the Family Owned Business.” At the 9th Annual Family Business Network Conference in Paris he presented a major paper, “How Multi-Generational Family Firms Transfer Management Control Successfully.” He also addresses memberships of family business programs at academic institutions across the United States, including Northeastern University, University of New Hampshire, University of Southern Maine, Purdue University, University of Southern California, and the University of Vermont.

In addition, Dr. Davidow has served on a number of boards, including the Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises (AFHE) and the Family Firm Institute. He is currently serving on the Jewish National Fund Boston Board of Directors and the Advocacy Committee of the Jewish Family and Children’s Center.

His articles on subjects of critical interest to family businesses appear in professional journals and periodicals such as Family Business magazine.  He has been quoted as an authority on family business consulting by many publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Dr. Davidow received his Doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Boston University in 1976. He was a licensed Clinical Psychologist in Massachusetts from 1989 to 2005 and received his Certification of Completion from Mediation Works, Inc. in October, 2010.

Susan Y. Friedman

Susan Friedman is a strategy consultant with her own practice, serving both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. She began her career with the Boston Consulting Group, later becoming a founding partner of Telesis, Inc., a consulting firm since acquired by Cresap, McCormick and Paget. After several years working independently, including a year as Research Director for the Massachusetts Commission on Mature Industries for the Dukakis Administration, she joined Alliance Consulting Group, where she was promoted to Vice-President. She established her own practice in 1992.

A strategy consultant for over 30 years, Susan focuses on realistic assessments of an organization's internal and external environments as the basis for pragmatic recommendations. Her sector experience includes health care, consumer products, training and education.

Assignments typically address identifying and assessing growth opportunities, evaluating competitive dynamics, understanding the economic model underlying an organization's financial performance, assessing the internal alignment of an organization's operations and the "match" between the needs of a target market and the organization's capabilities. She has also developed business plans for a number of organizations.

Her national client base includes Unilever NV, Omnicom Group, Kaiser Permanente, Pepperidge Farm, and Warner Lambert. She has also worked with the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), and WGBH Educational Foundation. Most recently, she has been working in the fields of education and health care with Achieve, Inc., the Merck Institute of Science Education, The National Center on Education and the Economy, the Massachusetts Department of Education, Graduate School of Education at Harvard, American Red Cross and Children's Hospital Boston.

Ms. Friedman has an AB in economics from Brown University where she was commencement speaker, attended the London School of Economics, and has an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School.

George Burns

George Burns was born in Boston, Massachusetts, raised in Maine, and admitted to practice in New York in 1973 and in Maine in 1978. After practicing commercial, corporate, and securities law with Nixon, Hargrave, Devans & Doyle (now Nixon Peabody) in Rochester, New York, he moved back to Maine. In 1980, George and another partner started the law firm Burns, Ray, DeLano, Macdonald, which later merged with Bernstein Shur. With his move back to Maine, George's practice expanded to litigation.

George's trial and appellate experience has been wide-ranging, and has included business and construction litigation, probate and fiduciary duty disputes, insurance coverage issues, antitrust and securities claims, and product liability matters. After concentrating for the last 25 years on litigation, George has committed himself to offering mediation and counseling on avoiding and resolving such disputes. He has acted as mediator or arbitrator of over 100 cases.

George also serves as a trustee and counselor to several prominent Maine family businesses and has endeavored to apply his dispute resolution and business experience to family business environments.

George is a member of the Commercial Panel of the American Arbitration Association, and the Maine Superior Court has appointed him as an arbitrator, mediator, and early neutral evaluator for its Court Alternative Dispute Service (CADRES). He recently has served on Chief Justice Saufley's Business and Consumer Docket Advisory Committee.

George is recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his work in alternative dispute resolution, commercial litigation, corporate law, construction law, and timber law. He is AV-rated by Martindale Hubbell.

George has come to believe that many family disputes have non-legal causes and therefore require non-legal solutions. For this reason he has teamed with Thomas Davidow & Associates, experts on family dynamics in a business setting. With this help George is able to better advise families when the law can help, when it is not likely to help, and when a combination of legal and non-legal counseling will yield the best results.


JD, New York University, 1973

BS, International Affairs, Georgetown

University School of Foreign Service, 1969


Admitted to practice: States of Maine and New York


Maine State Bar Association

American Bar Association

Cumberland County Bar Association

Maine Bar Foundation, Fellow

American Arbitration Association, Commercial Panel

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Director

Massachussetts, New York & New Hampshire bars

Jonathan Katz

Jonathan’s management and organizational consulting practice is grounded in his extensive executive leadership experience in a number of companies. His industry experience includes technology, real estate, and economics consulting. His special focus is on identifying creative solutions to complex challenges that affect the business and mission objectives of the client. He has worked extensively on benchmarking and introducing best practices to companies.

Jonathan brings a unique perspective to family owned companies, having worked as an executive at three of these firms in Boston. He has also worked in management consulting as a Vice President for Integral, an offshoot of the Sloan School, and served as President and CEO of Open Orders, a software start-up company that he was instrumental in both building and selling to IBM.

More recently, through his own firm, he has provided a full range of strategy and management consulting services. Often working in-house for his clients, he has specialized in building organizational capabilities and improving business processes. He has recruited and led project teams and has had particular success in staff development and creating positive work cultures emphasizing transparency, clear communication, and accountability.

His current work includes:

The real estate companies he has worked for include The Beacon Companies, The Beal Companies, and The Davis Companies. He has also provided real estate and strategy consulting services to large non-profit institutions in health care and education through his own firm, Jonathan D. Katz Associates LLC. Representative clients include Partners HealthCare, Harvard University, Harvard Medical School, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brandeis University, and Emerson College.

Jonathan has a BA magna cum laude in Psychology and Philosophy from Tufts, a Masters in Social Education from Boston University, and a PhD from Brandeis University in Urban Economic Development where he was a Department of Labor Dissertation Fellow.

He serves on the boards of The Charles River Watershed Association, The May Institute, the Heller School at Brandeis and is  a mentor in the Venture Mentoring Program at MIT.

Back to Top