CORVALLIS, Ore. - Reser's Fine Foods of Beaverton, Nosler of Bend and Solar Summit of Philomath are among the Oregon companies that will receive the 2008 Excellence in Family Business Awards at a ceremony to be held Nov. 20 at the Oregon Zoo in Portland.

The awards are presented by Oregon State University's Austin Family Business Program.

Six Oregon companies and three individuals will receive the 2008 Excellence in Family Business Award. Eight additional companies will be recognized as finalists at the awards event. More than 140 companies have received this recognition since the awards were first presented in 1988. Earlier this year a reunion of past winners and judges was held in Portland to mark the 20th anniversary of the program.

Robin Klemm, director of the Austin Family Business Program, said the event inspires new family businesses.

"The judges' selection of our annual winners and finalists in the Austin Family Business Program's Excellence in Family Business awards is not only a well-deserved honor for the winning family businesses, but an important educational event, as these businesses represent key role models for all fledgling, challenged, and hard-working family businesses," she said.

The awards recognize the achievements of family businesses in innovation, entrepreneurship, commitment and community involvement. The Austin Family Business Program, in OSU's College of Business, serves family-owned companies through workshops, seminars and family business management courses.

Family businesses are nominated for the award by employees, advisers, and owners. More than 100 family businesses were nominated in 2008.

This year, two new awards are being given: The Dean's Award, for leadership in family business, will be presented to Reser's Fine Foods for its leadership in industry, business, community and family. The Director's Award will focus each year on a category, which in 2008 is community involvement. This year's winner, Azumano Travel, has been involved with the communities it serves, both in Oregon and around the world.

Healthy Pets Northwest of Portland won the award in the micro category, which is open to businesses with nine or fewer employees. The company was honored for its innovative work, brand differentiation and its knowledge of its products and customers.

Olufson Designs LLC of Corvallis and Solar Summit of Philomath were finalists in the micro category.

Glass Alchemy of Portland won in the small category, which is open to businesses with 10-24 employees. The business was recognized for its succession planning, its eco-friendly focus with recycled glass and clean power and its excellent family interactions.

The finalists in this category were Old Dominion Collision Repair of Eugene and Reece & Associates of Albany.

In the medium category (25-99 employees), R&R King Logging of Florence took the top prize. The company's leadership, diversification, and its community service were noted among the judges.

Shonnard's Nursery, Florist & Landscape of Corvallis and Naturebake/Dave's Killer Bread of Milwaukie were the category finalists.

The top large business (100 or more employees) this year was Nosler, Inc. of Bend. Nosler was chosen for its professional work, its respect for its history, the employees' passion for their work and the company's model of diversifying the business.

There were two finalists in this category: Airefco, Inc. of Tualatin and Umpqua Dairy Products of Roseburg.

Also honored at the event will be OSU professor Clay Dibrell, OSU graduate student Alexis Crawford and undergraduate student Shawn Hillyer.

The judges were chosen by the Austin Family Business Program and included board members and past winners.

The Austin Family Business Program at OSU began in 1985 at the suggestion of Joan Austin of Newberg-based A-dec, Inc., and was endowed by Ken and Joan Austin in 1994.

For information about the Family Business Awards or the Austin Family Business Program, go to


Robin Klemm,

Click photos to see a full-size version. Right click and save image to download.