2011 Minnesota Family Business Awards

Minnesota family

Five stories of entrepreneurial success—family style.

November 1, 2011

An estimated 90 percent of U.S. businesses are family owned. They represent 49 percent of U.S. GDP, and employ 80 percent of the work force. Yet rarely do the media examine the subject of families running businesses.

Twin Cities Business’s Minnesota Family Business Awards coverage delves into this subject by honoring five outstanding companies that demonstrate how family values, dynamics, idiosyncrasies, and traditions can help a business succeed; and how the emotional side of family relationships can help counter the sometimes cold, hard realities faced when making critically important business decisions. 

Each honoree has a positive family business structure with a strong record of success, family involvement, and community service. Each brings significant value to Minnesota’s economy.

The panel of judges for the 2011 Minnesota Family Business Awards consisted of Sally Grossman, principal, Gray Plant Mooty; Farley Kaufmann, CPA, Lurie Besikopf Lapidus; Rich Sorenson, professor of entrepreneurship, University of St. Thomas; Brian Adams, senior vice president, business banking, Bremer Bank; Tom Hubler, owner, Hubler for Business Families; Paddy McNeely, chairman and CEO, Meritex Enterprises; and Dale Kurschner, editor in chief, Twin Cities Business.

Family Business Awards Finalists

Twin Cities Business and its sponsor partners also recognize these successful Minnesota family businesses and the values they perpetuate.

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Pine Tree Apple Orchard

Pine Tree Apple Orchard

The close-knit Jacobson family holds hard work as its highest virtue.

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M. A. Mortenson Company

Though a national firm, M. A. Mortensson Company maintains many traditions. One of them: When they turn 15, the kids go to work in construction.

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Jones Metal Products

Jones Metal Products stresses risk and entrepreneurship—among not only family members but also their employees.

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Angie’s Kettle Corn

It’s not yet clear whether the children will take over the business. But the company’s focus now is on continued growth.

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AmeriPride Services, Inc.

It’s a family company spread across the continent, with a CEO who isn’t a member of the family. Communication is key.

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