Henry HutchesonHenry comes from two family businesses, Olan Mills Portrait Studios on his mother’s side, and Peerless Woolen Mill on his father’s side which was sold to Burlington Industries in North Carolina. As such he has seen and lived through many of the issues that are unique to family businesses. Henry has a strong background in Psychology and Business, both critical skills for effectively working with a family business. But it is “having walked a mile in your shoes” that uniquely enables Henry to empathize with the family business, and thus be more effective.


With 25 years of business management and family business consulting experience, Henry has successfully helped families across the US and internationally, and in a broad range of industries. Henry’s goal with every client is to get the Family and the Business to the next level. This is typically focused on succession from the current generation to the next, but can also be helping family businesses resolve conflict, improve communication,  leadership development, estate planning guidance, working with the exiting generation to define their role going forward, and, critically, business improvement from a revenue and profit perspective. The scope of his work with the family and business is all-encompassing.


Henry spent the first part of his life working for his family’s business, Olan Mills Portrait Studios, before launching an international management career with UPS, Sumitomo Electric, and IBM. As the Director of Business Transformation with IBM/Lenovo, Henry worked in Asia, Europe, and South America improving business operations. This background enables Henry to bring tremendous value to his clients as he can leverage the best practices learned from his family’s business, client family firms, and as a leader inside some of the world’s top performing companies.

He is a frequent speaker at professional, university, and corporate-sponsored events. Some recent presentations include:

  • North Carolina Association of CPAs
  • Estate Planning Association
  • Rotary Club
  • National Conference of Independent Garden Centers
  • Family Business Center, Wake Forest University
  • Exit Planning Institute
  • Garden Centers of America
  • Financial Planning Association
  • Kingdom Business Forum

Henry is the Family Business Correspondent with the News & Observer newspaper, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, serving all of eastern North Carolina, and the Family Business Columnist for Nursery Retailer Magazine with nation-wide readership. Henry also contributes to multiple other publications including North Carolina Construction News, Family Business Magazine, and Crain’s New York Business, and was recently quoted in the book “Kids, Wealth and Consequences” and “Sink or Swim: Family Business lessons learned from the Titanic.”


Henry attended the American College of Switzerland where he studied Psychology, and has a BA from the University of Texas at Austin. Henry earned an MBA in Management from Columbia Business School. Henry serves on the Board of Directors for the Carolinas chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants and is a Certified Management Consultant. Henry serves on the regional board of the Society of Financial Services Professionals. He is a member of the Family Firm Institute and is a Certified Family Business Consultant. Henry has lived in seven countries around the world and communicates in English, French, and Japanese.


Family Business Carolina is a proud sponsor of the Annual North Carolina Family Business of the Year Awardhosted by Business North Carolina and the Wake Forest Family Business Center.


Henry lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife Kay and two children Oskar and Avery. He is an avid tennis player, angler, traveler, and reader of the Economist magazine and books on history and biographies. When not in Chapel Hill he and his family can typically be found at Kure Beach, North Carolina.