OSU searching for state's top family businesses


CORVALLIS - Oregon State University is looking for the state's top family businesses for the 1998 Oregon Family Business Awards.

Nominations, which may be made by anyone, are due by May 15 and awards will be presented this fall by OSU's Austin Family Business Program, said Patricia Frishkoff, Austin Family Business Program director.

For a nomination brochure, call the program at 541-737-3326 or 1-800-859-7609. Nominees will then receive application forms due by June 29. The awards are sponsored by U.S. Bank, MassMutual, Perkins and Co., Stoel Rives, Transition Dynamics and Merrill Lynch.

You won't have to go far to find a family-owned business, Frishkoff said. Family-owned businesses account for more than 90 percent of all companies in Oregon, ranging from small grocery stores to large construction firms.

Awards are divided into six categories: Large Family Business (over 250 employees), Medium Family Business (50 to 250 employees), Small Family Business (under 50 employees), Old Family Business (75 years and older), New Family Business (10 years or less), Minority or Woman-Owned Family Business.

Applications are judged by business owners and service professionals for criteria including business development, innovative business practices, succession preparedness, and contributions to community and industry.

Since 1985, the Austin Family Business Program has helped Oregon's family-owned businesses not only to survive, but to thrive under the leadership of future generations, Frishkoff said. The program offers academic courses, workshops and seminars, publications, videos, and other tools to assist families in their business operations and in planning for succession.