Growing family business

Growing family business

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Sokol Blosser received the Director’s Award for Family Business in 2011.
// Photo by Austin Family Business Program

All finalists prepare a presentation for the required interview by a panel of previous winners, business professionals and an OSU faculty member. Nonfinalists receive feedback reports that help them benchmark their progress against other family business applicants.

“It is an application process families use as a guide for working on their business operations and governance,” Noxel says.

The annual ceremony serves as an opportunity to engage and educate family members, some of whom don’t work in the business day to day. Past winners support family business education serving as classroom and program speakers, judges for future awards and advisory council members.

It also offers sponsors a chance to get in front of potential clients, says Ken Madden, family business executive and Austin Family Business Program advisory council chair.

“The awards celebration is the showcase for Oregon’s great family businesses and an event that provides business consultants an opportunity to support a growing educational program,” he says.

This year’s event reflects the program focus on the value of its educational resources. Eric Allyn, a fourth-generation family member of Welch Allyn Inc., will address the challenges faced when family members work together. Even for those not selected as winners, the experience could be life-changing.

“While we went through the nomination process a few times before we won, the process itself was a powerful experience,” says Webb-Grimmett. “The journey was transformational to our business and heartwarming for our family.”