‘Hug Your Customers’ author will provide keynote at Virginia Family & Private Business Forum

A customer service expert will share proven methods for developing long-lasting business relationships and customer loyalty at the upcoming Virginia Family & Private Business Forum seminar.

Jack Mitchell.
Jack Mitchell.

Jack Mitchell, chairman of Mitchell Stores, will present “Hug Your Customers” on Wednesday, May 24, from 9 a.m. to noon at Snead Hall, 301 W. Main St., Room B1115, with a breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

Mitchell’s first book, “Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results,” was a Wall Street Journal best-seller and received a rave review in The New York Times. In April 2015, a revised and updated version was released. Mitchell also authored “Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees to Achieve Remarkable Results.”

A noted public speaker, Mitchell has given keynote addresses for corporations including Morgan Stanley, Conde Nast, Payless, Nike and Starbucks. Mitchell equates a hugging culture with providing over-the-top, unexpected service.

“A hug is not just a physical embrace,” Mitchell said. “It can be different things for different people at different times. We shower our customers with attention. There’s no doubt in my mind that our philosophy can be applied to selling just about anything — from aircraft engines to beanbags."

Sponsored by the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business Foundation, the forum features leading experts and family business owners who address current issues of importance to family-owned firms. The format of these seminars provides business owners the opportunity to benefit from the experiences of their peers.

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The Virginia Family Business Forum provides education and consultative services to dynamic and progressive family-owned firms throughout the region. The forum, housed at the VCU School of Business, focuses on many of the problems encountered by family-owned firms and is is sponsored by Ernst & YoungGenSpring Family OfficesHirschler FleischerMitchell Wiggins and Morgan Stanley.

Individual events are open to the public, but space is limited. To reserve space, contact Sam Davis III, forum director, at

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 217 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Thirty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center and Level I trauma center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, MCV Physicians and Virginia Premier Health Plan. For more, please visit and