PORTLAND, Ore. — Several Oregon family businesses will be honored at the Oregon State University College of Business’ 2021 Excellence in Family Business Awards ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 7. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held virtually.

Lithia Motors, a family-owned enterprise that grew from one car dealership in Ashland, Oregon, in 1946 to more than 200 nationwide today, will receive the Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership. Sid DeBoer, chairman and founder of Lithia Motors, will speak at the event.

“We’re excited to celebrate the achievements of family-owned businesses in Oregon, especially in challenging times,” said James Coakley, interim dean of the College of Business. “Our goal is to fulfill our mission as a land grant university and become an important go-to for all family enterprises in Oregon.”

Founded in 1985, the Center for Family Enterprise, formerly known as the Austin Family Business Program, provides inspiration, education, outreach and research to support family businesses. The awards program was launched in 1988 to focus solely on the accomplishments of Oregon’s family-owned businesses, regardless of industry, size or revenue.

“This year’s award winners are a diverse group of dedicated families representing a number of different industries throughout Oregon,” said Ted Paterson, an associate professor of management and the center’s director.

The awards feature categories that reflect sound family business practices and achievement. This year’s honorees are:

  • Family Harmony Award: Ausland Group, Grants Pass.
  • Business Renewal Award: Green Acres Landscape, Salem.  
  • Generational Development Award: TEC Equipment, Portland.
  • Family Business Student of The Year Award: Madison Ulven Buckley, The Ulven Companies, Hubbard.

Pat Frishkoff, founding director of the Austin Family Business Program, also will speak at the event. Frishkoff will share her perspective on the history of the Center for Family Enterprise, its relationship with the Austin family and its longstanding commitment to supporting family enterprises in Oregon and beyond.

The ceremony is sponsored by KeyBank. Attendance is free. Register online at https://oregonstate.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Hx0Uh3j-QyGbxFhWbBWHDQ

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]


Maria Schell, [email protected]

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