2018 MN Family Biz Awards

Five stories of entrepreneurial success—family style.

The winners and finalists of the 2018 Minnesota Family Business Awards are a diverse group, representing an array of industries, from retail to manufacturing. Some have the third or fourth generations at the helm, while others are still led by their founders. Despite their range, all of these companies have learned to adapt to change to keep their businesses relevant and growing. They’ve also learned when to take risks and which opportunities are worth pursuing.

Maintaining their family businesses has been an expression of caring for the next generation. But it’s how this is accomplished that makes these companies so special—not only to the families who work there, but also to the employees, customers, and communities that have come to trust and appreciate them over the years. Family-led or not, businesses of all kinds can learn from the ways these family companies provide for their employees, give back to their communities, and confront challenges and changes.

On the following pages, Twin Cities Business looks at the lives and accomplishments of five notable family-owned, family-run Minnesota businesses. How do family members work together in the business? How do these families prepare the next generation for leadership? How do they keep their businesses not just surviving but thriving?

In addition to the winners and finalists of the 2018 Minnesota Family Business Awards, Twin Cities Business is spotlighting Dyanne Ross-Hanson, the winner of this year’s Hubler Award for a Multi- disciplinary 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 2018 Minnesota Family Business Awards were thoughtfully chosen by a committee comprising 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; Erin Steckler, vice president of business banking, Old National Bank; and TCB staff.

2018 Outstanding Director Awards photos can be found: here.