Central Ohio family businesses honored at annual program – The Columbus Dispatch

The Conway Center for Family Business and hundreds of business leaders honored leading Central Ohio family businesses at the 24th Annual Family Business Awards on Wednesday, November 16.

Thirty-five family businesses and individuals across seven categories were honored during the program at the Columbus Hilton at Easton. The popular program attracted more than 400 family business and community leaders to the award ceremony and pre-event Family Business Expo.

The Family Business Awards Program was established by the Conway Center in 1998 to recognize excellence in family business.

Family Business of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Recipients Revealed The Conway Center annually recognizes a family business and family business leader with its highest awards: Family Business of the Year and Lifetime Achievement. The 2022 recipients include family businesses and leaders who have reached more than 35 years of continued business shaping our region with significant contributions to the Central Ohio community in 2022. Each award winner continually demonstrates the values of family business and community.

Family Business of the Year: Equity. Founded in 1987, Equity thrives in their second generation of leadership and celebrates its 35th year in business in 2022. Equity CEO Steve Wathen said the company has made significant progress in their transition to the second generation and has an increased emphasis on community engagement. Wathen said Equity is building momentum by continuing to engage in projects that support and benefit the communities in which they will be located.

Lifetime Achievement: Joe Zanetos, President, Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. Joseph Zanetos is a third-generation candyman who started contributing to his family business at the age of eight years old. He has devoted his life to the Anthony-Thomas Candy Company and has been President and CEO for nearly 30 years. Joe’s forward-thinking mindset and faith in the company propelled the business into what it is today. Joe credits a lot of the company’s success to a ‘strong family connection,’ but his family believes it is due to Joe’s passion for chocolate and his innate ability to lead that has made him and the company so successful.

Other Family Business Award winners were honored by the Conway Center for Family Business as follows:

Succession Planning & ImplementationSmall (under 10 FTE) – A family business that developed or completed a succession plan or transferred leadership.   Connolly Companies
Succession Planning & ImplementationMedium (11-75 FTE) Modlich Monument Company
Succession Planning & ImplementationLarge (76+ FTE) Marker, Inc.
Rising Star – Recognizes a family or non-family employee who is an up-and-coming leader in a family-owned business. Nick Trifelos, Sales & Marketing Manager, Anthony-Thomas Candy Co.
Next Gen Leader – Recognizes a next generation family member employee who is a leader in their family-owned business and who is making an impact in the Central Ohio business community. Jessica P. Anderson, President, Anderson Concrete Corporation
Supporters of Family Business – Recognizes organizations or individuals that have shown support or demonstrated a commitment to the strength, success or longevity of a family firm. C&A Benefits Group W3 Financial Group

Twenty-six family businesses were honored for reaching significant business longevity milestones in 2022, including:

100-year anniversary R.N. Smith Heating and Cooling Skilken Gold Real Estate Development
75-year anniversary Connolly CompaniesCrane Group
70-year anniversary Anthony-Thomas Candy Co.Baseman Group
65-year anniversary Southeastern Equipment Company
60-year anniversary 2J Supply
55-year anniversary Insurance Agency of Ohio
50-year anniversary Grote CompanyMagnetic Springs Water CompanyMcGohan Brabender TriAd Marketing & Media
45-year anniversary Heiberger Paving, Inc.
40-year anniversary King Financial Services
35-year anniversary Equity
30-year anniversary Kaiser ConsultingSafex
25-year anniversary QuickStitch Plus, LLC
20-year anniversary Cherry Ridge RetreatGO-HRJorgensen FarmsPMG Employment Consultants
15-year anniversary Therapy Advantage
10-year anniversary Cloud CoverOutreach Promos

The Family Business Awards Program is made possible through the generous support of Columbus CEO, First Merchants Bank, Gryphon Financial Partners, Taft/ and Porter Wright.

The non-profit Conway Center for Family Business is Central Ohio’s only resource for educational programs, resources, and networking opportunities to support the growth and success of family-owned businesses. The Center celebrates the successes of family-owned businesses at its annual awards program and offers peer group opportunities for next-generation leaders, family business leaders, and women family business owners. The organization includes more than 200 family-owned businesses from Central Ohio ranging in size from three to more than 20,000 employees.

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