CORVALLIS, Ore. - Four Oregon companies received the 2005 Excellence in Family Business Awards presented by Oregon State University's Austin Family Business Program at a gala celebration Nov. 17 at the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski declared the day "Family Business Day" in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the Austin Family Business Program and the 18th year of honoring family businesses. In his remarks to the audience at the gala on Thursday evening, the governor stressed the critical importance of family business to Oregon and the nation as a whole in helping the economy grow.

The Austin Family Business Program for two decades has helped educate students and families about the realities of family business, Kulongoski said.

The awards recognize the achievements of family businesses in areas such as innovation and economic and community contributions and commitment. The OSU College of Business Austin Family Business Program offers service and support to such family-owned companies through workshops, training seminars and two family business management courses.

A panel of judges chose the winners earlier from businesses nominated by companies and individuals throughout the region earlier this year. This year's winners include companies from Albany, White City, Portland and Yachats.

Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast of Yachats won the award in the micro category, which includes businesses with nine or fewer employees. The company serves as innkeepers at the historic lighthouse on the cliffs of Heceta Head on the Oregon coast. Judges cited the firm's dedication to communication among family members and staff; involvement in and promotion of the local community; knowledge and work experience passed from generation to generation; and a continuous searching for ideas to expand services.

Cat Hospital of Portland and Roth & Miller CARSTAR Autobody Inc., also of Portland, were the finalists in this category.

Pro Weld Inc. of White City won top honors in the small category, which includes businesses with 10 to 24 employees. Pro Weld specializes in custom construction and technical welding. Judges chose this company because of its ability to involve family in all aspects of business, its innovative business direction, strong involvement within the community, and strong marketing plan.

The finalists in this category were Nesko Rock of McMinnville and Peninsula Glass Company of Vancouver, Wash.

The top business in the medium category (25 to 99 employees) is Tec Laboratories Inc. of Albany. The company makes a host of products, including Tecnu and CalaGel, designed to alleviate skin discomfort. Judges chose the company for developing new and innovative products; having a clear plan for growth; offering employees a family-oriented working atmosphere; and successfully expanding into the retail market.

Carl Greve Jewelers of Portland and C.C. Meisel Co. Inc. of McMinnville were the finalists in this category.

Consolidated Supply Co. of Portland earned honors as the top large business. This category includes companies with 100 or more employees. Consolidated is a wholesaler that distributes plumbing parts and fixtures. Judges cited the company's ease of succession after a death in the family, commitment to communication with family and employees, and business longevity.

The finalist in this category was Umpqua Dairy Products Company of Roseburg.

The panel of judges, assembled by the Austin Family Business Program, included board members, business leaders, faculty members, and past winners.

The Austin Family Business Program at OSU began in 1985 at the suggestion of Joan Austin of A-dec. The program has helped family businesses throughout the Pacific Northwest acquire the skills to manage day-to-day operations and plan for growth and succession.

West Coast Bank is lead sponsor of the program. Additional sponsors are Black Helterline LLP; Boldt, Carlisle & Smith LLC; DeLap White Caldwell & Croy LLP; Fullerton & Company; Mass Mutual Financial Group; and the Portland Business Journal.

For information about the Family Business Awards or the Austin Family Business Program, call 800-859-7609 or visit

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Thuy Tran, 541-737-6019