Small Business

Winners Announced: NJ Family Business of the Year Awards Luncheon

While family-owned businesses are perhaps stereotypically thought of as smaller firms, some 35 percent of them are actually Fortune 500 companies, and all family businesses combined account for approximately 50 percent of the United States’ GDP.  It was Sally Glick, principal and chief growth strategist at the accounting firm Sobel & Co., who regaled the audience with these and other statistics at yesterday’s 26th Annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards Luncheon, held at the Crystal Plaza in Livingston, and sponsored by: the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University, PNC Bank, Sobel & Co., the New Jersey Business & Industry Association (NJBIA), Coughlin Duffy, Crystal Plaza and NEW JERSEY BUSINESS magazine.

Glick added, “With all of their succession, managerial, operational, leadership challenges, [family businesses] are – nonetheless – the single biggest job creators, not just locally, but nationally.  The family business is responsible for 60 percent of the nation’s employment, and 70 percent of all new jobs created, overall.”

Keynote Speaker Dax Strohmeyer, president of Triangle Manufacturing, presented the notions that family businesses should devise and document plans, collaborate on them, establish goals and responsibilities, understand who in the business will have decision-making powers, and “divvy up the finances.”

While Strohmeyer extolled the virtues of family businesses, he added, “… family businesses can be tough; they can be really tough …Your No. 1 priority is the preservation of your family: Making sure that your family stays whole, no matter what, because I don’t think anyone gets into a family business thinking to themselves, ‘Well, 10 years from now, I probably won’t be talking to my brother or my father.’  But, I see a lot of family businesses [where] the stress can be very divisive. If you’re planning, make sure that your family is first and foremost, and then a very close second [is] the success of the business …”

Alan Sobel, managing member at Sobel & Co., said, “Family businesses have fulfilled the dreams and aspirations of your family, paid for college education, vacation homes, lifestyles, secured your retirements, helped you achieve your charitable giving goals, and, yes, provided the next generation with a head start on their adult lives … the family business is indeed the gift that keeps on giving.”

Sobel & Co.’s Glick said that throughout the 26-year history of the New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards program, it has nominated and recognized 1,071 companies, honored 250 semi-finalists, 130 finalists and 54 category winners, and generated event proceeds that are applied toward entrepreneurial scholarships at Fairleigh Dickinson University ($150,000 has been raised toward the scholarship fund).

“The Rothman Institute has really been the leading center in helping family businesses solve challenging issues for more than 26 years,” explained Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., executive director of the Rothman Institute at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “Our mission is to promote, support and research entrepreneurship, with a special focus on family businesses and veterans.”

The award-winning family businesses of the year, announced “live” yesterday, are listed below:

Sales Up to $10M

WINNER – Barth’s Market

Finalist: Parkway Plastics

Finalist: Seniors in Place

Semi-Finalist: All in the Family Dental Care

Semi-Finalist: Cloverleaf Tavern

Semi-Finalist: Suzi’s Sweet Shop


Sales $10M and Over

WINNER – Tingley Rubber

Finalist: Unique Photo

Finalist: Alfred Sanzari Enterprises

Semi-Finalist: My Limo

Semi-Finalist: Parker Interior Landscape

Semi-Finalist: Spectra Colors

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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