CORVALLIS, Ore. – Nominations are now open for the 2007 Excellence in Family Business Awards, presented by Oregon State University’s Austin Family Business Program.

Deadline for applications is May 1.

The awards program is one of many year-round activities of OSU’s Austin Family Business Program, an organization that works to support and encourage family-owned businesses.

The Excellence in Family Business Awards program was founded in 1988 to applaud the accomplishments and contributions of family businesses for their innovation, entrepreneurship, commitment, and community involvement.

Last year’s Excellence in Family Business Awards program drew 200 nominations and 60 submissions from family businesses across the United States.

“Families own and operate approximately 90 percent of all businesses in the U.S.,” said Mark T. Green, director of the Austin Family Business Program. “They’ve been the soul of the nation's economy for generations, providing jobs for more than half of the workforce.

“For almost 20 years, we’ve been privileged to have this opportunity to honor and recognize the unique contributions of these businesses to Oregon’s economy and culture.”

Any family business is eligible for the Excellence in Family Business award, regardless of size or longevity. Businesses may apply online by visiting

West Coast Bank is the lead sponsor for the program, joined by Austin Family Business Program sponsors Black Helterline LLP; Boldt Carlisle & Smith LLP; DeLap White Caldwell & Croy LLP; Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, Inc.; Mass Mutual Financial Group; and the Portland Business Journal.

The 2007 winners will be announced at an awards celebration scheduled for Nov. 15 at the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

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Margo Procopio,