To borrow from—and contradict—Leo Tolstoy, every happy family business is not alike. The 2019 Minnesota Family Business Award honorees all offer evidence: Each is unique, reflecting the talents, interests, even quirks of each family.
To be sure, there are similarities. Each family takes a thoughtful approach to succession by not simply handing over the company to their children—and by not forcing the reins into their hands. Each weaves high ethical standards into their business models, standards often inspired by religious faith but always driven by a philanthropic impulse that manifests in their immediate communities and beyond. What’s more, the companies themselves are remarkably nimble and innovative, inventing valuable products, offering distinctive services, identifying and addressing business opportunities that set them apart from competitors (when there are competitors).
Twin Cities Business presents the stories of five remarkable family-owned, family-run Minnesota businesses. They offer insights and ideas that companies of all sizes, family-run or not, can benefit from.
In addition to the winners and finalists of the 2019 Minnesota Family Business Awards, Twin Cities Business is spotlighting the late Glenn Ayres, winner of this year’s Hubler Award for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Working with Family Businesses. The Hubler Award recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions to the betterment of Minnesota family businesses.
The honorees of the 2019 Minnesota Family Business Awards were chosen by this year’s panel: Tom Hubler, owner, Hubler for Business Families; Jessica Manivasager, shareholder, Fredrikson & Byron; Paddy McNeely, chairman and CEO, Meritex Enterprises; Ritch Sorenson, professor of entrepreneurship, Opus Endowed Chair in Family Business, University of St. Thomas; Michael Van Heel, vice president of business banking, Old National Bank; Allison Kaplan, editor-in-chief, Twin Cities Business; and Shelly Elmore, publisher, Twin Cities Business.
As it celebrates its 60th anniversary, this facility maintenance supplies distributor is looking toward a future of more automation, greater efficiency—and even floor-cleaning robots.
Twin Cities Business and its partners recognize these successful Minnesota family businesses and the values they perpetuate.
For the Wall family, communication is key to running a family business and weathering economic challenges.
From a small pool construction business, this second-generation family-owned company is swimming in opportunities for growth within the pool and hot-tub water treatment industry.
It’s a company that can never say no to new opportunities.
The Bames are engineering their “family of businesses” to stay in the family.
This highly regarded trust and estate planning attorney
was also a pioneer in family business consulting.