As the Chair of the Institute for Family Business (IFB), I recently had the distinct honor of emceeing the 27th Annual California Family Business Awards (CFBA). While the IFB is housed at Fresno State’s Craig School of Business, this is the first time the university has hosted the event on campus. With the university’s support, the CFBA is poised to grow into a signature event for our community.
Why does all of this matter? Whether you realize it or not, family owned and operated businesses are truly the backbone of the American economy:
- They comprise 80 to 90% of all business enterprises
- They represent 64% of U.S. gross domestic product
- They account for 78% of all new job creation
Clearly the role of family business is critical to our economic success, yet only 13% of family-owned businesses successfully transition to the third generation.
So for those family businesses that have grown and thrived for generations, the IFB believes it’s important that we recognize and honor them. This year we had nearly 50 nominations, and ten moved through the process to the interview stage.
From these ten, one family business was awarded the Rising Star Award. This award recognizes a well-deserving family business that has exceeded expectations in all scoring categories except longevity. The 2016 Rising Star recipient was Occu-Med and the Johnson Family! Occu-Med is in the business of helping employers to substantially reduce worker injuries through medical evaluations, and is committed to its core values that include quality and integrity.
The most coveted award of the night was the 2016 California Family Business Award, and this year’s recipient was Duncan Enterprises! The Duncan Family has led the crafts and DIY industry for decades. You probably know Duncan Enterprises as ILoveToCreate, which has craft brands like Tulip, Aleene’s, Puffy Paint and more. Larry Duncan, third generation business owner-operator, tearfully accepted the award acknowledging his grandmother, uncle and parents who set the path for the company’s success. You can read about the Duncans in The Business Journal’s article.
With so many deserving family businesses here in Central California, I encourage you to participate in the nomination process next year! In the meantime, remember that where you choose to spend your dollars can help a business grow, and I suggest you choose a family business.
–Jane Olvera Quebe, President