Running one’s business and being one’s own boss is a dream that is quintessentially American. Both presidential candidates have alluded to the importance of these types of small businesses as job creators and community pillars. But making that dream real, and then maintaining the business, requires many struggles. For businesses run not only by entrepreneurs but their families, the challenges aren’t solely operational—they’re interpersonal, often complicatedly so.
Twin Cities Business’s coverage of the Minnesota Family Business Awards takes a close look at how five noteworthy Minnesota companies are responding to the challenges and joys of building and maintaining a family-owned, family-run company. How do these businesses prepare the next generation for leadership? What roles do various family members play in the business? What values do these companies seek to impart to the family members, and how are those values expressed within their communities?
The panel of judges for the 2012 Minnesota Family Business Awards were Brian Adams, senior vice president, Bremer Bank; Sally Grossman, principal, Gray Plant Mooty; Tom Hubler, founder, Hubler for Business Families; Farley Kaufmann, partner Lurie Besikof Lapidus; Paddy McNeely, chairman and CEO, Meritex Enterprises; Ritch Sorenson, academic director of the Family Business Center at the University of St. Thomas; and Dale Kurschner, editor in chief, Twin Cities Business.