PORTLAND, Ore. – A wood products company, nursery wholesaler, food distributor, a taproom and a college student with an interest in serving family businesses will be honored May 7 at the Excellence in Family Business Awards presented by the Oregon State University College of Business.

The award winners are:

  • Lyons-based Freres Engineered Wood, one of the premier veneer and panel manufacturers in the world.
  • J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. of Boring, one of the country’s leading producers of ornamental and shade trees.
  • Pacific Coast Fresh Company of Portland, one of the Northwest’s largest independent distributors of fresh produce and other foods.
  • Ale and Cider House, a traditional English-style public house operated by 7Bev Corporation in West Linn.
  • Oregon State student Viri Rodriguez-Medrano, an accounting and business administration major with an option in family business and a minor in Spanish from North Powder.

OSU’s College of Business launched the awards program in 1988 to celebrate the accomplishments of Oregon’s family-owned businesses, regardless of industry, size or revenue. Award categories reflect sound family business practices and achievements.

“We are always honored to celebrate Oregon family businesses and the ingenuity and innovation that makes them thrive,” said Tim Carroll, the Sara Hart Kimball Dean of the College of Business. “We’re proud to be connected to so many excellent family businesses and to help strengthen them through the work of our Center for Family Enterprise.”

Freres Engineered Wood will receive the Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership. Over three generations, the company has grown from a single portable timber cutting operation above the Little North Fork of the North Santiam River to three locations in the Santiam Canyon.

J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. will receive the Generational Development Award. Members of the Schmidt family have led the company since its inception more than 75 years ago. The company, which also has farms in Canby and Milton-Freewater, harvests and ships more than 1.5 million trees each year.

Pacific Coast Fresh Company of Portland will receive the Business Renewal Award. The company was founded in 1977 by Emil and Kathleen Nemarnik and remains family owned and operated. Pacific Coast Fresh employs more than 450 people across three facilities in Portland and Kent, Washington.

Ale and Cider House is the recipient of this year’s Family Harmony Award. The public house, which is operated by members of the Chay family, also serves Queen Orchard, 7Bev’s in-house cider brand.

Student award winner Rodriguez-Medrano, whose extended family owns and operates a store in Mexico, plans to advise family businesses after she completes her degree. She is on track to graduate in 2026.

“This year’s award winners highlight family businesses that have thrived over multiple generations and have made an impact in their communities,” said Ted Paterson, an associate professor of management and director of the Center for Family Enterprise.

Founded in 1985, the center provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses.

The awards ceremony will be held at noon Tuesday, May 7 at the Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront, 1401 SW Naito Parkway. Tickets are $75. Register online at: https://beav.es/cu7.

Bank of America, Alterman Law Group and Madden Industrial Craftsmen are award sponsors and Summit Bank and Commerce Bank of Oregon are event sponsors.

College of Business

About the OSU College of Business: The College of Business educates students for success in managing and developing sustainable, innovative enterprises in a dynamic economy. With strong graduate and undergraduate programs, internationally recognized scholarly research, and an emphasis on experiential learning, the college helps students and businesses succeed.

Story By: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784, [email protected]


Ted Paterson, [email protected]

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