Georgia Family Business of the Year winners announced

Kennesaw‚ Ga. (Feb. 14‚ 2007) – The Cox Family Enterprise Center‚ based at the Coles College of…

Georgia (Feb 14, 2007) — Georgia Family Business of the Year winners announced

Terri Thornton

Abstract

Contact: Director of University Relations
Frances Weyand Harrison
770−423−6203
fharris4@kennesaw.edu

Writer/Contact: Terri Thornton‚ 404−932−4347 or territhornton@mindspring.com

Kennesaw‚ Ga. (Feb. 14‚ 2007) – The Cox Family Enterprise Center‚ based at the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University‚ has announced the winners of the 2007 Georgia Family Business of the Year Awards.

Fred Gretsch Enterprises of Savannah‚ which makes world−famous Gretsch guitars and drums‚ has won the Cox Century Award. This award goes to a Georgia based business that has been in operation for at least 100 years.

The winners and finalists in the individual categories are:

Large Business

Winner:
Southwire‚ Carrollton

Finalists:
J & J Industries‚ Dalton
Eagle Group International‚ Atlanta

Medium Business

Winner:
Bowen Family Homes‚ Duluth

Finalists:
Pull−A−Part‚ Atlanta
Nioxin Research Laboratories‚ Lithia Springs

Small Business

Winner:
Blalock Machinery‚ College Park

Finalists:
Ocmulgee Fields‚ Macon
Parkers Heating and Air Conditioning‚ Americus

“For sixteen years‚ the Cox Family Enterprise Center has honored the best in Georgia−based family businesses‚” says the Director of the now twenty−year−old Cox Family Enterprise Center‚ Joe Astrachan‚ Ph.D. “Once again we have a great group of winners and finalists who have withstood the test of time‚ and flourished due to strong values and savvy business sense.”

The Georgia Family Business of the Year Awards ceremony‚ co−hosted by Georgia Trend magazine and the Cox Family Enterprise Center‚ will be held Wednesday‚ May 23 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. This year’s keynote speaker is Howdy Holmes‚ President and CEO of the Chelsea Milling Company‚ makers of “Jiffy” brand baking mixes.

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

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A member of the 35−unit University System of Georgia‚ Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population approaching 20‚000 from 132 countries. The third−largest university in Georgia‚ Kennesaw State offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degrees‚ including a new doctorate in education.


Information about the winners:

Fred Gretsch Enterprises‚ Savannah
Cox Century Award
When German immigrant Friedrich Gretsch opened a small Brooklyn music shop in 1883‚ he had no idea his company would grow to become one of the most recognized brands in the music industry. After his unexpected death‚ his teenage son took over‚ and the company began to grow. In 1964‚ when The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show‚ the demand for Gretsch guitars and drums soared. A few years later‚ in 1967‚ the family sold the business‚ but Fred W. Gretsch‚ the founder’s great−grandson‚ returned the firm to capable family hands in 1985. Today‚ four generations after the firm was founded‚ Savannah−based Fred Gretsch Enterprises still makes the guitars and drums that deliver “that great Gretsch sound.”

Southwire‚ Carrollton
Large Business
In 1950‚ when a shortage of wire slowed electricity’s arrival to rural Georgia‚ Roy Richard‚ Sr. founded Southwire. His grandmother had never sat under an electric light‚ and he decided the only way to remedy that was to manufacture wire. Today‚ the company has 4‚300 employees‚ and makes more than a third of the cable in U.S. homes. The family’s community work includes helping establish Tanner Medical Center‚ renovating a soup kitchen‚ sponsoring economic development initiatives‚ participating in Toys for Tots‚ collecting school supplies for needy children‚ and much‚ much more. The firm also gives employees time off to volunteer for good causes.

Bowen Family Homes‚ Duluth
Medium Business
Bowen Family Homes‚ which started with only $1‚500 in equity‚ has become one of the top 50 homebuilders in the country. Inspired by his father Rudy Bowen‚ David Bowen formed the company with his brothers−in−law in 1993. Six years later‚ the successful firm hired outside managers which spurred rapid growth. Today‚ thirteen family members are directly involved in the business‚ which includes its own mortgage company. With 236 employees and millions of dollars in equity‚ the company also cares for the community. The family is active in its church and donates time‚ money and effort to many community projects‚ including constructing a new building for a children’s shelter and adding an addition to a home for medically fragile children.

Blalock Machinery‚ College Park
Small Business
Blalock Machinery‚ founded in 1927 by D.B. Blalock‚ Sr. is in its third generation of business. The firm‚ which sells power lawn equipment in College Park‚ believes in selling top quality products and providing top quality service. It also considers its employees family. When the owners realized the employees weren’t investing in their 401(k)s‚ they switched to an IRA−SEP; this let the company invest in the plan so that everyone was funded. They also brought in experts to give employees information about money management. When it comes to profit−sharing‚ it makes sure that each shareholder gets the same amount‚ regardless of rank or job description‚ since each contributes to the company’s success.


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. 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, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu

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