2006 Family Business Awards
Combining family and business can be tough. Making a success of that combination is practically an art form. The winners of this year's Family Business of the Year Awards show how well it can be done.
The award winners were selected by the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University; the recognition program is sponsored by the center and Georgia Trend. Honors go to winners in large, medium and small categories and to a recipient of the Century Award, given to a family company that has been in business for at least 100 years.
National Distributing Company, Inc., an Atlanta-based wine and spirits distributor, is the winner in the large business category; Southern Orchard and Supply, which does business as Lane Packing Company and operates an orchard and packing house in Fort Valley, is the medium-sized business winner; and Mimms Enterprises, a real estate company in Atlanta, is the small business winner. Patten Seed Company, a sod and seed provider headquartered in Lakeland, is the Century Award winner.
This year's slate of winners is diverse, but all of the company leaders speak of a common commitment to family and community.
"Family is important," says National Distributing Company's John Carlos. "Honesty and integrity are important: working hard to build a business correctly and winning the right way."
"We all live within a few miles of each other and spend countless hours together outside of the many hours spent together in the day-to-day running of the business," says Southern Orchard's Duke Lane.
Lonnie Mimms of Mimms Enterprises says, "We believe the employees are an extension of our families. We like to say we are in the people business not the real estate business." And, from Patten Seed's James Roquemore: "It's always been about honesty, hard work and help for others."
In the following pages, writers Ed Lightsey, Patty Rasmussen and Terrell Johnson tell the stories of this year's winning businesses and the families that run them. - The Editors.
Small Business: Mimms Enterprises by Ed Lightsey
Medium Business: Lane Packing Co. by Patty Rasmussen
Large Business: National Distributing Company by Patty Rasmussen
Century Award: Patten Seed Company by Terrell Johnson