Excellence in

Family Business Awards

Every year since 1988, the Center for Family Enterprise has recognized family businesses that exemplify the values we foster in our work: harmony, generational development, leadership and growth.

Our Excellence in Family Business Awards program is the only one of its kind in the region. Each year, we’re proud to honor the tremendous work of family businesses and the positive impact they make on their communities and beyond.

Our award winners are proud and honored to be recognized, too, and grateful for the chance to take a moment to celebrate their success.

We hope you join us, whether you nominate a family business for an award or attend our annual Excellence in Family Business Awards celebration.

Save the Date

2022 Excellence in Family Business Awards

Help us celebrate excellent Pacific Northwest family businesses at our 2022 Excellence in Family Business Awards lunch in Portland, Oregon:

Friday, May 6, 2022
Hilton Portland Downtown
921 SW 6th Avenue
Portland, Ore., 97204

To learn more about sponsoring this event, contact: maria.schell@oregonstate.edu.

Business people at a party

Nominate a Family Business

You can help us celebrate family businesses in the region when you nominate one for our Excellence in Family Business Awards.

All family businesses who are nominated for an award will be invited to complete an application and participate in a judging day once their nomination is received. Our 2022 winners will be announced in early February 2022.

Any family-centric business — e.g., with multiple family members or generations involved in strategic direction, business continuity, succession, management or simply employment — is welcome to apply. Nominations are open year-round.

Nominate a business

Learn more about our past winners:


Lithia Motors, Inc.

Lithia Motors has been dedicated to making communities better places to live, work and play for 75 years, and earns the 2021 Dean’s Award for Family Business Leadership.

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Ausland Group

Husband and wife, Aaron and Kelsy Ausland, had a vision: a company that integrated architecture, engineering and construction.

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Green Acres Landscape

What began in 1992 with Rich and his best friend mowing lawns based out of a garage has evolved into a full-service residential and commercial operation with more than 100 employees.

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TEC Equipment

David Thompson started buying and selling used trucks out of a small building in Portland in 1976. From a single operator, TEC Equipment, Inc., has grown to one of Oregon’s largest private employers.

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Madison Ulven Buckley ‘20

Bring on the hot steel. 2021 Family Business Student Of The Year Madison Buckley is prepared for her new role.

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Heritage Specialty Foods

New beginnings, a chance meeting, an unlikely cast and tragedy make up the story of how two families came together to form a successful Portland specialty food business.

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Sisters Coffee Company

A lot of companies go through the motions without digging down to expose what they truly believe because they’re afraid of what they might find; but not Sisters Coffee Company. That’s one of the reasons the company was selected as the 2019 winner for Business Renewal.

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Award Categories

Family Harmony: Family members actively work to build connections and create a shared purpose with one another, and show a high level of trust, unity and well developed personal relationships.

Generational Leadership: The family demonstrates active and thoughtful personal and professional development of the next generation of both family and business leaders.

Business Renewal: The family works to ensure stewardship of the business that sustains growth and shareholders assets with future generations in mind.

Past award winners >