PORTLAND – Family businesses appear in all configurations – from natural beef producers to roofing companies, from the trucking industry to bakeries to janitorial services.
To honor their diversity and contributions to Oregon industries and communities, seven family-owned businesses were selected by Oregon State University's Austin Family Business Program to win Oregon Family Business of the Year Awards.
The awards, given annually by OSU's Austin Family Business Program, were presented to firms from Hillsboro, Aumsville, Cornelius, Portland, Tigard and Mt. Angel at Family Business Day on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Oregon Zoo.
"Family business awards recognize the contributions that family-owned businesses make to their industries and to their communities," said Pat Frishkoff, who chairs the Austin Family Business Program. "In Oregon, more than 90 percent of businesses are family owned," she said, adding that nationally, family businesses employ more than half the country's workforce. As Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber proclaimed Nov. 15 Family Business Day, Frishkoff said, "I think that this official proclamation emphasizes the importance that the state of Oregon places on the contributions of family businesses."
Award criteria include business development, family-to-business linkage, contributions to community and industry, innovative business strategies and practices, succession preparedness, and except for the "new" category, multi-generational family business involvement and longevity.
Winners of the "Old Family Business of the Year," are the Henningsen family of Henningsen Cold Storage in Hillsboro. The award honors firms in operation for 75 years or more.
New Family Business of the Year went to the Enger family of J.L.E. Enterprises, a truck cleaning and detailing firm headquartered in Aumsville. The award recognizes firms operating for 10 years or less.
The Davis family, owners of Stewart Stiles Truck Lines headquartered in Cornelius, earned the Large Family Business of the Year honors. The award honors firms with more than 250 employees.
Medium Family Business of the Year honors went to the King family, which operates Snyder Roofing & Sheet Metal, headquartered in Tigard. The award recognizes firms with 50 to 250 workers.
Lonely Lane Farms in Mt. Angel, operated by the Kloft family, earned Small Family Business of the Year honors, which honors firms with fewer than 50 employees.
Minority Owned Family Business of the Year recognition went to the Booker Family of Courtesy Janitorial Services, Portland. Another Portland firm, Teeny Foods, won the Women Owned Family Business of the Year Award. The Teeny family enterprise is a commercial bakery specializing in breads, including Pocket Bread and pizza crusts.
Keynote speaker for the awards event was John Ward, presenting "Lessons from the Old Stars: Long-Lasting Families in Business." Ward is founder and chairman of The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc. and clinical professor at Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois. After the talk, family business owners participated in discussions on topics such as fairness, commitment, balance, and change.
Sponsors for the event included: U.S. Bank; DeLap White Caldwell & Croy, LLP; MassMutual Financial Group, and P.C.RossGroup.
The mission of the Austin Family Business Program is to foster healthy family businesses. For more information about the program, call 800-859-7609 or 541-737-3326 or visit the website.