Nominations open for WI Family Business of the Year award

Wisconsin State Farmer

MADISON - The 2018 Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award program is underway and accepting nominations from businesses throughout the state.

Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award

The award, now in its 15th year, celebrates the accomplishments and the impact family-owned businesses have on our communities.

Last year’s group of family business nominees was a very diverse field representing many different industries. Dairy farms, Realtors, manufacturers, contractors, veterinarians, dentists, and plumbers.

Six nominees were businesses over 100 years old. Nearly half of the 32 nominees have made it to the third or greater generations.

Last year's Grand Award winners were Brakebush Brother Inc., Westfield; Crave Brothers Farm & Farmstead Cheese, Waterloo and Wiedenback Inc., Monona.

According to The Family Firm Institute, only 12% of family businesses make it beyond the second generation. This award celebrates the innovation, impact and resilience of family businesses in Wisconsin.

Three Grand Awards will be given to family businesses in small (under 25 employees), medium (25-99 employees), and large (100 or more employees) company categories. Special Awards will also be given to businesses excelling in a particular area.

Self-nominations are encouraged or nominations can be made on behalf of the business by consultants, vendors, clients, or friends. An independent panel of judges will select the award recipients.

The deadline for nominations is March 30, 2018. Awards will be presented at a banquet to be held at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison on May 3, 2018.

The awards program is sponsored by CPA firm Smith & Gesteland, LLP, First Business Bank, and the Husch Blackwell law firm.

Additional information about the program including a list of past winners, nomination forms, sample nominations, and video clips from past banquets can be found at You can also request information at 608-836-7500.