It takes a special family to start a business together. Combining the joys but also the pressures of one’s home and work life is no easy task, but the rewards often go beyond either on its own.
This year Oregon State’s Austin Family Business Program is once again honoring the best family enterprises in the Northwest with the Excellence in Family Business Awards Nov. 21 at the Governor Hotel in Portland. In conjunction, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber officially proclaimed the day Family Business Day in the state.
This year’s honorees have a diverse range of talents and industries, but all show a commitment to family, community and being good stewards of ventures being passed down the generations.
Learn more about the award winners below, and join us Nov. 21 to help honor them and all family enterprises.
2013 Excellence in Family Business Awards honorees:
Micro (Nine or fewer employees)
Started by Oregon State alumni Norman and wife Judy Kujala in 1978, Skipanon Brand Seafood of Warrenton is being honored as the Micro Family Business of the Year. Skipanon is now run by Krujala’s sons, Mark and Paul, with siblings Andy and Marie also working with the business.
Hanson Family Singers of Veneta and TnT Builders, Inc., of Albany will be recognized as finalists.
Small (10-24 employees)
S. Brooks & Associates, Inc. or Brooks Staffing of Portland was started by Sam and Margaret Brooks in 1981. In that time the couple has grown the business and their role in the community. Sam founded the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs and is active with the National Small Business Development Center and the National Business Incubator Association, among others. Daughter Simone is now president of the company while Marion serves on the board.
C.M. & W.O. Sheppard of Hood River and Rose City Label Company of Portland were finalists.
Medium (25-99 employees)
Springfield-based Aggregate Resource Industries, Inc., started in 1978 when Bob “BJ” Jeremiah and his wife Sandy started the business as a used logging and construction equipment provider. The company expanded to drilling and blasting in the 1980s, and BJ continued to push the business forward until his passing from ALS. The company is now led by the next generation as son Kris, president of ARI, and Katie, vice president and general counsel, have joined the business.
Medium category finalists are BedMart of Wilsonville and Hagan Hamilton Insurance Sales of McMinnville.
Large (100 or more employees)
Reliance Connects & Day Wireless Systems of Estacada traces its history back more than 100 years to the founding of Estacada Telephone in 1905. The business is now the largest Motorola Outlet in the USA, serving school districts, universities, federal agencies and 57 Fortune 100 companies.
Also recognized in the large category as finalists were Portland’s Andina Restaurant and Enterprise’s Chrisman Development, Inc.