Georgia Family Business of the Year winners announced

The Cox Family Enterprise Center and Georgia Trend magazine have announced the winners of the 2003…

Georgia (Feb 17, 2003) — Georgia Family Business of the Year winners announced



The Cox Family Enterprise Center and Georgia Trend magazine have announced the winners of the 2003 Georgia Family Business of the Year Awards. The winners and finalists are:

Small Category

Winner: Harold A. Dawson Company‚ Inc.‚ Atlanta

Finalists: Fat Man's‚ Augusta

Ocmulgee Fields‚ Inc.‚ Macon

Medium Category

Winner: Systems & Methods‚ Carrollton

Finalists: PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services‚ Alpharetta

The R.A. Siegel Company‚ Atlanta

Large Category

Winner: The Paradies Shops‚ Atlanta

Finalists: White Electrical Construction Co.‚ Atlanta

Kleen−Tex Industries‚ Inc.‚ LaGrange

Adams Transfer and Storage Company Inc. received the Cox Century Award‚ which goes to a Georgia business that has been owned and family−operated for more than 100 years.

"These companies all show tremendous persistence‚ flexibility and willingness to change‚" said Cox Family Enterprise Center Director Joe Astrachan‚ who holds the Wachovia Chair of Family Business. "The winners were chosen on success‚ their ability to combine work and family‚ and their contributions to the community."

The winners will be profiled in the May issue of Georgia Trend magazine‚ which co−hosts the competition‚ and honored at a banquet Tuesday‚ May 20.

Sam Johnson‚ Chairman Emeritus of S.C. Johnson Company will be the guest speaker‚ delivering the Milton & Virginia Saul Family Distinguished Lecture in Family Business. He is the fourth generation of his family to lead the 114−year−old privately held company. Johnson joined the company in 1954 and spent more than 30 years as Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership‚ the $171 million wax company grew to a family of four thriving businesses with sales over $6 billion. Today‚ an S.C. Johnson company flag is planted in over 65 countries on six continents and Johnson products are sold in more than 100 countries around the world.

The banquet will begin with a screening of the film "Carnauba: A Son's Memoir." The film follows Johnson as he retraces his father's 1935 journey to Brazil to see palm tress prized for the wax that helped make the family famous.

For more information or to order tickets‚ call the Cox Family Enterprise Center at 770−423−6045.

The sponsors of the Georgia Family Business of the Year Awards include Grant Thornton LLP; J. Smith Lanier & Co.; the MBA for Experienced Professionals program at the Coles College of Business at KSU; the Raymond Family Business Institute; and Wachovia Bank.


Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 15‚600 from 118 countries. The fifth largest out of 34 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Cox Century Award: Adams Transfer and Storage Company Inc.‚ Gainesville and Tucker

Adams Transfer and Storage Company Inc. has survived and thrived through a depression‚ recessions‚ natural disasters and three wars. John Loubannon Adams founded the moving and storage business in Athens‚ Georgia in 1903. When he lost his sight‚ his son Hyram drove the delivery wagon. Hyram began managing the business at age 15. His son Bob‚ who started working at 14‚ expanded the business to Gainesville and Atlanta. Bob's son Al is now President of Adams Transfer and Storage‚ while son Jimmy is President of Adams Data Management. Now in its 4th generation‚ the business has diversified to include electronic data storage‚ document management and destruction‚ and commercial leasing. A family member leads every division of the company. Its offices are located in the historic Gainesville Mill‚ a turn of the century building which the firm renovated. In the past five years profits are up 23% and assets have increased 83%.

Winner‚ Small Category: Harold A. Dawson Company‚ Inc.‚ Atlanta

Harold A. Dawson Company‚ Inc. (HADCO) develops mixed−used developments‚ which help create jobs and revitalize underserved communities. Since 1997 HADCO's portfolio has included $1 billion in projects. Its developments include Museum Tower at Centennial Hill‚ City Plaza (across from Atlanta City Hall) Cascade Citi−Center‚ and Centerpoint‚ a $78 million dollar development in Baltimore‚ Maryland. Chairman and CEO Harold Dawson Sr.‚ who grew up in public housing‚ became an entrepreneur at age 9. He entered real estate in 1957‚ founding his own company in 1969. HADCO President Harold Jr. attended Princeton University‚ the London School of Economics and Harvard Business School. The company's projects have expanded tenfold since he joined the business ten years ago. The firm also operates the Dawson Family Foundation‚ which supports educational‚ religious and civic organizations‚ and endows several scholarships.

Finalist‚ Small Category: Fat Man's‚ Augusta

In 1949 Carolyn and Horace Usry opened a grocery store. Horace' nickname was Fat Man‚ so it was known as Fat Man's Corner. Fat Man's is now a specialty florist‚ holiday toy and gift shop. Horace' motto was "Almost Anything‚ Almost Anytime − Fat Man's Got 'em!" During holidays shoppers can expect haunted houses‚ animated displays and even train rides in the store. President and founder Carolyn Usry still works 50 hours a week even though she is 71 years old. Her son Brad Usry is Vice−President of Fatsville Enterprises and President of Fat Man's West.

Finalist‚ Small Category: Ocmulgee Fields‚ Inc.‚ Macon

Ocmulgee Fields‚ Inc. is a commercial retail leasing and development firm founded in 1951 by Charles H. Jones‚ who remains the Chairman and CEO. He began building shopping centers in the late 1950s‚ which turned out to be a visionary move. The firm's commercial and retail space provides jobs and offices for more than 400 businesses employing 8 million people. Its projects include Riverside Plaza‚ Rivergate Shopping Center‚ the Macon Conference Center and many more. The company's president is Charles' son‚ Dwight Jones who carries on the family's mission.

Winner‚ Medium Category: Systems & Methods‚ Inc.‚ Carrollton

Systems & Methods‚ Inc. focuses on systems and services for child support enforcement and state social services. Its goal is to offer exceptional child support disbursement and financial management systems to every state and county in the nation. CEO and Chairman Bob Stone started an accounting business in 1971‚ partly because it was hard to support his growing family on a college professor's salary. For 25 years‚ his core business was direct mail issuance of food stamps‚ but five years ago the federal government decreed that food stamps must be issued electronically. Bob's sons Joe‚ the president‚ and Bill‚ the CFO‚ helped change the core business. The company's sales have doubled in the past two years despite the complete change in focus. In addition to its many volunteer efforts‚ the company donates 10% of its earnings to charity.

Finalist‚ Medium Category: PBD Worldwide Fulfillment Services‚ Alpharetta‚ Duluth and Exton‚ Pennsylvania

In 1976‚ Chairman and CEO Jim Docktor established Professional Book Distributors‚ Inc. to provide storage and distribution services to professional association and book publishers. The company moved to Georgia in 1986. PBD processes all the schoolbooks for kindergarten through 12th grade in Georgia‚ and serves dozens of nationally known organizations. Jim's sons are also in the business. Scott is President and Chief Operating Officer‚ while Greg is Vice President of sales and marketing. Since 1997‚ sales and the number of employees have almost doubled.

Finalist‚ Medium Category: The R.A Siegel Company‚ Atlanta

"Pop" Siegel was Vice President of Sales with a flooring company when he decided to buy its Atlanta‚ Chattanooga and Knoxville branches. He opened his own stores in 1950. By the time he passed away in 1983‚ the business had grown three−fold and won many industry awards. R.A. Siegel is now the nation's 25th largest flooring wholesaler‚ and serves 30 top markets. Five family members have worked for the company‚ including Pop's son Chip‚ who is now the CEO.

Winner‚ Large Category: The Paradies Shops‚ Atlanta

South African emigrant I.J. Paradies was already a successful businessman when he opened a toy shop at Hartsfield Airport in 1960. The Paradies Shops grew to 325 stores in 59 airports in the U.S. and Canada − that's more shops in more airports than any other company in the industry. I.J. Paradies has passed away‚ and his son Jim is now Executive Vice President. Son Gregg is Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer. Another son‚ Dan‚ is now retired. Jim's daughter Jill Paradies Nagel manages Corporate Human Resources. The company has overcome much adversity‚ including the slow down in the travel industry after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Even though air traffic dropped 20%‚ operating profits were comparable with 1999. Paradies actively contributes to‚ and stages fundraising events for dozens of charities.

Finalist‚ Large Category: Kleen−Tex Industries‚ Inc.‚ LaGrange

In the 1960s‚ Ralph W. Howard Sr. and Jr. started a business to make washable floor mats. The mats would help control the dirt that's tracked into offices and industrial plants. They started Kleen−Tex‚ which became the largest company of its kind. It was one of the first companies with Georgia ownership to begin manufacturing in Japan‚ and its exports are used worldwide. In 1985‚ the firm bought Wikit‚ Inc.‚ which gave it a complete line of washable dust control products for the industrial laundry industry. Eight family members now work for the business.

Finalist‚ Large Category: White Electrical Construction Co.‚ Atlanta

White Electrical is the oldest family−owned electrical contractor in the Southeast. K.D. White founded the firm with Ralph Walker in 1910 in Rome‚ GA. It played a large role in the electrification of textile mills across the Southeast. It was also the electrical contractor for Ft. Benning‚ Camp Gordon‚ Rich's department store on Broad Street‚ the Hilton Hotel in downtown Atlanta‚ the Fox Theatre‚ and the oldest synagogue in Atlanta − The Temple. K.D.'s son−in−law Rembert DuBose and grandson Sam have served as presidents. The DuBose family treats its employees like family‚ including current president and CEO Gary Clodfelter‚ who is not a blood relative.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit