Family Business 360The Austin Family Business Program has launched a new podcast series to complement their Family Business 360 education program. In Family Business 360, professional advisors come together with a family business client to lead discussions on topics of interest to family business owners. Over breakfast, attendees can learn about succession and estate planning, hosting family meetings, conflict management and more. The podcast extends the reach of the program by offering educational content in a convenient audio format.

Each episode of the podcast contains an interview with the professional advisor that delivered the Family Business 360 presentation and a recap of the audience questions from the event. While the podcast is tied closely to the live programs, they also stand alone as great sources of information on family business topics.

“We wanted to provide some of the highlights from the sessions for people that couldn’t attend the events in person, and the podcast has proven to be a very popular way to do that,” says Roger Anderson, AFBP program manager and host of the podcast.

The podcast also provides an opportunity to hear perspectives from different professional advisors that participate in the Family Business 360 program. “These advisors have worked with many family businesses and that variety of experience brings tremendous value to the listener,” says Anderson.

There are currently seven episodes of the Family Business 360 Podcast available online. They can be accessed either at the Family Business 360 webpage or through iTunes University.

Eric Allyn, a fourth-generation owner of medical device manufacturer Welch Allyn, Inc., will serve as the inaugural keynote speaker for the Austin Family Business Program’s Excellence in Family Business Awards, being held tonight at the Governor Hotel in Portland.

Allyn has been a strong advocate for family business throughout his career, and recently sat down with AFBP for a Q&A in advance of tonight’s keynote address.

Eric Allyn is the keynote speaker at the 2013 Excellence in Family Business Awards.
Eric Allyn is the keynote speaker at the 2013 Excellence in Family Business Awards.

Oldest family business owner: 78, third generation
Youngest family business owner: Due December 31
Number of family members working in the operating business: 2 Ownership generations: 3rd, 4th and 5th generations
Last family vacation destination: Skaneateles NY

Family business book that you recommend most often: John Ward and Jennifer Pendergast’s “Building a Successful Family Business Board: A Guide for Leaders, Directors, and Families” and any case studies of family businesses, such as the Mondavi family or the Busch family case.

Best advice you’ve given your children: I don’t expect them to be great managers of our business but I do expect them to be great stewards!

Best business decision you made as an executive in the family business: By far the best decision was to insist that we move the governance of our business from family management to family ownership with outside management.

How would you describe your work in family business education: Our company transitioned to a non-family CEO in 2007 and I stayed two years to help the transition. I was elected chairman by our board and now serve other families by speaking to leadership groups and in sit- ting on family business boards in the pharmaceutical and medical fields. What I enjoy doing most is sharing the Welch Allyn story to prepare the next generation, especially how to use succession planning tools to push the ownership down to the younger generations.

Why are you committed to this work? I think family business should be, and need to be, more competitive than public companies. They can make quicker decisions and ownership is close to management. I have no time for the big public markets and excessive regulations but I will always take the time for people of the next generation.

I love to compete against GE, Phillips and Siemens. There’s a big difference than working for these and for Welch Allyn, Inc. that has long term vision, values the brand and thinks generationally, not quarterly. That makes it more fun to compete against GE in winning a hospital bid. If the customer is really buying value and a long-term solution then we will help them do their work and solve their problems. It’s not transactional and it’s not a commodity. Family businesses can do that much more effectively.

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.

Pat Frishkoff reacts as it's announced the new AFBP director's office at AUstin Hall will be named in her honor.
Pat Frishkoff reacts as it’s announced the new AFBP director’s office at AUstin Hall will be named in her honor.

With the opening of Austin Hall in 2014, the Austin Family Business Program is taking the opportunity to honor one of the pioneers of family business at Oregon State.

For years, the advisory board of the Austin Family Business Program had wanted to find a way to honor the program’s founder, Pat Frishkoff.

Frishkoff worked to start the program in 1985, at a time when there was little emphasis on family business in universities. After retiring from OSU in 2002, she continued to help families through her Leadership in Family Enterprise organization.

“What she put together was the beginning of family business education,” AFBP Director Sherri Noxel said. “The only other program that existed was at Wharton, and that was very different, more consulting focused. Pat was able to develop family business education integrated into an existing college of business.”

The perfect opportunity finally presented itself with the construction of Austin Hall, the new home for the College of Business. The new building is named for Ken and Joan Austin, who provided a $10 million gift for the project and also supported Frishkoff’s efforts in 1985.

Austin Hall means a new home for AFBP as well, including a new director’s office. With that opportunity presented, a group of anonymous donors stepped forward to name the office in Frishkoff’s honor.

“That reflects the community we’ve built, with not just one but multiple people stepping up,” Noxel said. “I just couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to honor her than to have a space dedicated to future directors.”

The honor was announced April 19, the same day as the construction launch for Austin Hall, at a gathering at the current AFBP space in Strand Agriculture Hall.

The honor was kept secret from Frishkoff until Noxel raised a toast and presented her with a bouquet of roses.

“Her husband [Paul Frishkoff] was in on it,” Noxel said. “Only later I learned he can’t keep a secret. [Pat] said at the end of the day, ‘You mean Paul knew?’”

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Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh accepting an Excellence in Family Business Award for the Atiyeh Oriental Rugs family.
Former Oregon Governor Vic Atiyeh accepting an Excellence in Family Business Award for the Atiyeh Oriental Rugs family at the 2012 awards ceremony.

Looking back more than 10 years after her business received an Excellence in Family Business Award, Lori Luchak can still remember the feeling of the ceremony.

Luchak, President of Miles Fiberglass & Composites, said being named a Family Business of the Year by the Austin Family Business program in 1999 not only gave her sense of validation for her family’s hard work, but a chance to reflect.

“The Austin Family Business Award allowed our family to celebrate the joy of being a family business and forget about the hard work of balancing family and business for one special night,” Luchak said.

Fruithill, Inc., started in 1919 in Yamhill, Ore. The farm grows cherries, plums, hazelnuts, wine grapes and other crops, and last year was named the Small Family Business of the Year.

Linda Schrepel, a member of Fruithill’s third-generation, said participating in the awards helped the family connect with the history of the business and the family.

“I like that in a way we were forced to put together our family history because now it is together,” she said. “The history is down and it’s there for generations to read.”

The program is currently accepting nominations for the 2013 Excellence in Family Business Awards.  To nominate a business, fill out the online form, or visit the Excellence in Family Business Awards website for more information.

Deadline for nominations is April 1. Businesses may still apply for the awards without being nominated before May 1.

Now in their 25th year, the awards honor innovative family businesses from around the Northwest who demonstrate innovation, entrepreneurship and a commitment to community involvement.

More than 180 companies have been honored in this peer-reviewed competition since the awards were first presented in 1988.

 

Ballroom at Governor Hotel for Austin Family Business Program Excellence in Family Business Awards

In his opening remarks at the Austin Family Business Program Excellence in Family Business Awards, Oregon State University President Ed Ray noted how the family enterprises being honored all made a point to maintain strong traditions.

“Tonight’s horonorees reflect a vibrant sense of the importance of strong family roots,” Ray said.

From Atiyeh Oriental Rugs, which started in 1900 and only five years later advertised itself as “Portland’s Permanent Rug Store,” to the Anderson Family Farm of Ellensburg, Wash., which started in 2011, each family found success in applying a set a values which reflects the spirit of each family.

The ceremony, held Thursday Nov. 15 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, coincided with Governor John Kitzhaber’s proclamation of Nov. 15 as Family Business Day in the state of Oregon.

Honorees came from a variety of backgrounds and industries, including real estate, agriculture, waste disposal, wineries and even kite manufacturing.

 

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists:

Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership

Atiyeh Oriental Rugs of Portland

Micro Family Business (nine or fewer employees)

Coelho Winery of Amity

Andersen Family Farms of Ellensburg, Wash.

Small Family Business (10-24 employees)

Winner: Fruithill, Inc. of Yamhill

Finalists: Twelve-Mile Disposal Service of Portland, Gomberg Kite Productions International of Lincoln City

Medium Family Business (25-99 employees)

Winner: Melvin Mark Companies of Portland.

Finalists: Alan Brown Tire Center of Newport, Musgrove Family Mortuaries of Eugene.

Large Family Business (100+ employees)

Winner: Generations, LLC. of Portland

Finalists:Ulven Companies of Hubbard, Capitol Auto Group of Salem

Faculty Award

Bobby Garrett, assistant professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Oregon State University.

Student Award Winner

Christopher Thompson, a recent College of Business graduate who joined his family firm, TEC Equipment, Inc.

Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread speaks to an OSU family business class.
Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread speaks to an OSU family business class.

Dave Dahl, the recognizable face of the Dave’s Killer Bread line of baked goods, made a surprise appearance at Oregon State Tuesday night as part of the College of Business Austin Family Business Program.

Sherri Noxel, AFBP director, had invited Eugene Wallace of Family Business Advisors to speak at her class that evening. Wallace, who has worked with the Dahls — Dave’s father started the company, brother Glenn and nephew Shobbi Dahl are part of the business with other family members  — mentioned someone from the company might be able to attend, but wouldn’t know for sure becuase of busy schedules.

But Tuesday night there was Dahl, with bags of Dave’s Killer Bread flying around the classroom as students asked questions.

“Eugene was invited to class, and we had used Dave’s Killer Bread the first class as an example of how to construct a genogram,” Noxell said. “They’re a contemporary business [students] can relate to.”

Dahl, who also presents as a motivational speaker and has been open sharing his story of spending 15 years in prison before rejoining the family baking business, said the experience was an opportunity to share with the students get something back himself.

Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread speaks to an OSU family business class.
Dave Dahl of Dave's Killer Bread speaks to an OSU family business class.

“Mainly we talked about the family business, and I have a lot of experience with that,” Dahl said. “They were asking a lot of stuff about the family dynamics.

“The personal really takes a back seat with us,” Dahl said of his own family. “If we can stay in the same room and talk, that’s all I want.”

Dahl explained to students how he, his brother and nephew worked through early differences to build the company into what it is today, while Wallace provided lessons from working with the Dahls on how students could strengthen their own family businesses.