Ten multi-generational family businesses were honored recently by the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University during the institution’s 24th annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards. The event, held at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, recognized the significant contributions to the economy and community made by those businesses and families.
Master of Ceremonies Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co., commented that the gathered companies represent a broad range of industries, but they all have one thing in common: “They share a consistent focus on family values, history, culture, community involvement and philanthropy.”
Glick said that more than 50 percent of US GDP is from family businesses and that these companies account for 78 percent of all new jobs created. She added, “Most family businesses thrive because, unlike other corporations, they embrace the long-term approach; they investment in business today to benefit the generations of tomorrow.”
The profiles of the 5 honorees in the “Businesses with Annual Sales/Revenues of $10 Million and Over” category are below. Click here to see the winner and honorees for the “Businesses with Annual Sales/Revenues up to $10 million.”
Category Winner: Mannington Mills
Mannington Mills, located at 75 Mannington Mills Road in Salem, is a four-generation-old family business which traces its roots back to 1915. The company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of luxury flooring, producing residential and commercial sheet vinyl, laminate, hardwood and porcelain tiles floors as well as commercial carpet and rubber.
The company was founded by John B. Campbell. Today, it is led by his great grandson, Keith Campbell, who is Chairman of the Board. Other family members include Keith’s nephew Zack Zehner, who is senior vice president of distributor network and customer service. Ian Campbell, the grandson of Neil Campbell (who headed the company during the second generation) serves as manager of commercial sales analytics in Calhoun, Georgia. John Campbell III, Keith’s son, is manager of enterprise analytics in Salem.
According to Betsy Amoroso, senior director of corporate communications at the company, Mannington thrives due to a commitment to the concept of “family owned, yet professionally managed.”
In 2014, the Campbell family developed a “Family Council” to guide the company through future generations. Now, the fifth generation of the Campbell family is in place to run Mannington Mills.
Established in 1981 and based in Flemington, Magna-Power Electronics designs and manufactures innovative and robust high-power DC products for a wide range of applications. Founded by Ira Pitel, a former engineer for Bell Labs and Exxon, Magna-Power began as a contract research and development company. Magna-Power soon began manufacturing DC power supplies, which it private-labeled to larger companies. When Ira’s son, Adam, joined the company, he began developing direct sales and marketing channels. This allowed the Magna-Power brand to emerge from behind its private-label partners. Today, there are two generations of the Pitel family working at Magna-Power.
Montrose Molders Corporation
Founded by William Bruce Wilson in 1996, Piscataway-based Montrose Molders Corporation offers customers intelligent and creative solutions to their injection molding, tooling, part decoration and assembly needs. With just 20 employees when it was established, the company today has 220 workers who operate from three locations in Piscataway and Plainfield. Five members of the Wilson family are active in the company (two generations). Montrose has a fleet of 51 injection molding presses ranging in size from 50 tons of clamp force to 1,000 tons, and serves a broad range of industries, including food service, point of purchase display, aerospace, consumer goods and more.
East Hanover-based My Limo was founded in 1983 and has grown into a complete ground transportation service company with more than 130 vehicles on the road. Its fleet consists of sedans, stretch limos, SUVs, vans, mini-buses and motor coaches. The company was established by Howard and Stewart Gogel, two brothers whose own parents (Philip and Marie) were long-time business owners who operated Gogel Tire and Gogel Auto Repair. The brothers soon established Gogel Auto Rental and East Hanover Auto Sales. Howard would take control of the latter two businesses as well as My Limo, while Stewart would operate the other companies. Third generation members of the Gogel Family today work at these various companies.
Triangle Manufacturing Company
Willie Strohmeyer founded Triangle Manufacturing in 1955. The company, with 240 employees at its Upper Saddle River facilities, manufactures devices for all facets of the medical industry, including medical instrumentation and implantable devices (hip implants, knee implants and spinal and trauma devices). Willie’s son, Neal, is CEO of the company, and grandson Dax is president. It was Neal who spearheaded the company’s transition from focusing on the aerospace industry to medical devices, which resulted in significant business growth. Triangle supports several local programs and encourages its employees to be involved in their communities.
Click here to see the winner and honorees for the “Businesses with Annual Sales/Revenues up to $10 million“