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UT-nominated Businesses Win National Recognition

Published: November 24, 2003

For the second straight year, UT’s John H. Sykes College of Business has nominated a winning company in the National Family Business of the Year Awards. Columbia Restaurants, the 2002 winner, and the Graham Companies, the 2003 winner, both first won Florida Family Business of the Year awards.


The Sykes College hosts the state awards, and has been a sponsor of the program for three years.


Mass Mutual started the national program in 1993. Sykes Dean Joe McCann nominates one winner from the state awards each year for the national award.


“Family business continues to be the solid foundation for the Florida and U.S. economies,” McCann said. “While other economic sectors suffer, family-owned, family-controlled businesses are healthy and growing. This program is dedicated to making sure that growth continues.”


Evidently, the governor agrees.


In recognition of the importance of family business to the state’s economy, Gov. Jeb Bush proclaimed May 16 to be Florida Family Business Day, and issued the proclamation to coincide with the 2003 state awards. The national awards were held in Miami in November.


“These annual awards are designed to bring recognition to the thousands of family-owned and controlled businesses in Florida that form the foundation of the state’s economy and of the communities in which they operate,” McCann said. “Nationally, it is estimated that 85 percent of all businesses are family owned or controlled, ranging from small ‘mom and pop’ operations to the very largest Fortune 100 companies.”


Criteria for choosing the winning nominees include, among others, the innovation of the business’s strategies and practices, expression of positive family values in the business, the quality of the link between the family and the business, contributions to the community, and overall growth and viability.


Six categories are awarded: large (more than 250 employees), medium (50-250 employees), small (fewer than 50 employees), heritage (more than 50 years), new (less than 10 years), and community service.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Information at