The 2014 Family Business Awards


Staid. Stuck in their ways. Resistant to change. Insular.  Family-owned companies have had those generalizations tossed at them more than once. But as the winners of this year’s Family Business Awards show, companies don’t survive through multiple generations of family ownership by clinging to those traits. They’ve had to adjust to economic downturns and sweeping industry transformations, all the while managing the internal dynamics unique to companies whose owners, managers and employees are also family members. How they succeeded in doing so is set forth in this fifth installment of Seattle Business magazine’s Family Business Awards.




Special Recognition

Legacy Award: Smith Brothers Farms

Best Practices Award: Nelson Electric

Transformation Award: Telect

Growth Award: Aegis Living

Large Firms

Winner: Harbor Wholesale Foods

Silver Award: El Gaucho Hospitality

Silver Award: Electric Mirror

Midsize Firms

Winner: Burkhart Dental Supply

Silver Award: Kenmore Air

Silver Award: Ecolite Manufacturing Co. 

Small Firms

Winner: Owens Meats

Silver Award: Burke Electric

Silver Award: Deeny Construction

2014 Family Business Awards Judges

Clarence Barnes, dean, Gonzaga University School of Business Administration 

Ronald Dohr, codirector, Pacific Family Business Institute

Sue Oliver, executive director, Seattle University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center

Catherine Pratt, associate dean, Pacific Lutheran University School of Business

Martha Sandoval, counsel, Perkins Coie

Christian Schiller, managing director, Cascadia Capital

Rich Simmonds, codirector, Pacific Family Business Institute

Joseph Williams, dean, Seattle Pacific University School of Business, Government and Economics

Bart Wilson, principal, Bader Martin


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Seattle businessman Joshua Green did a lot of things right when he built his fortune during the Gold Rush era. The shipping fleet he created was the precursor to the Washington State Ferries system. The insurance company he started became Safeco Corporation.

Heritage/Legacy award // Ensuring multiple generations of family leadership

Growth // Fostering a steady rise in new business

Transition // Identifying and embracing new opportunities