16 Families Will Be Honored at The Fifteenth Annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards
MADISON, NJ (September 5, 2007) — Sixteen family-owned businesses will share the spotlight at the Fifteenth Annual New Jersey Family Business of the Year Awards presentation on Tuesday, October 2 at the Crystal Plaza Caterers, Livingston, NJ.
All of the finalists and semifinalists in each category—those companies with annual revenues up to $10M and those over $10M—will be honored during the ceremony. The names of the winners, selected from among the finalists, will be revealed for the first time at the luncheon.
The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, PNC Bank, and New Jersey Monthly magazine sponsor the awards program. It represents the only statewide effort to specifically honor family-owned companies for their significant role in the economy and contributions to the community. Camares Communications, Crystal Plaza Caterers, The Green Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, PSE&G., and Schenck,Price Smith and King, LLP are co-sponsors.
Elizabeth Christopherson, Executive Director of New Jersey Network (NJN) Public Television and Radio and President of the NJN Foundation for Public Broadcasting, Inc., will be the 2007 program emcee and Nina Moseley, Director of Business Services, NJ Commerce Commission, will be the guest speaker.
Companies that will be honored are:
OVER $10 MILLION CATEGORY
Burgess Steel, Englewood. Burgess Steel began in July 1976 as a company catering to a distinctive market: specialty steel equipment and accounts. Company founders Eugene Guerin and his partner were former competitors who partnered to call on an elite collection of customers they had previously serviced separately. Together, they worked the "inside track" to successfully grow the business. Today Burgess is a household name among the most prestigious and savvy metro area building professionals who are looking for creative ideas that answer technical challenges, complete with the know-how to fabricate and render the solution in reality.
Knowles Restaurants, West Orange. When Harry Knowles, a former soda-jerk and newspaper delivery person, opened his three-room restaurant on New Years Eve, 1956, he never thought his dream of creating a fine dining establishment unlike any in existence would culminate in an institution that, according to the New York Times, is “as close as one can get to perfection.” Today it is a third-generation family restaurant concern that employs over 600 people and owns some of the state’s finest restaurants, The Manor, The Highlawn Pavilion and the Ram’s Head Inn.
Manufacturer’s Reserve Supply, Irvington. In the midst of the Great Depression, Robert A. Boyd, Sr. rented a warehouse in Paterson, NJ, and began selling wood from southern mills on consignment. He called his business Manufacturers Reserve Supply, Inc. (MRS) and built a reputation with suppliers and lumber dealers based on trust and service. Now in its 75th year, MRS has honored Robert Boyd’s legacy by surviving turbulent times, market changes and fluctuating supply sources to develop into one of the region’s premier distributor of specialty building products.
The Phillips Companies, Harrison. The Phillips Companies has been in business since 1885, servicing Northern and Central New Jersey's building material needs .The first Phillips Company, founded by Edward Everett Phillips, was a lumber yard on the Morris Canal in Newark to provide his building supply needs. The lumber yard burned down just after the turn of the century and he moved the company to the present site in 1904. As construction methods changed and the demand for better products became the norm, the Phillips family quickly adapted their business to meet this demand. The company’s focus on the customer, and the quick introduction of innovative products to the marketplace are key reasons for the company’s success over the past 122 years.
Planned Companies, Parsippany. Planned Companies is comprised of three professional real estate service organizations: Planned Building Services, Planned Security Services and Planned Specialized Services. These organizations provide ownership groups, management companies, boards and associations with professionally trained personnel. Planned was launched in the late 1880s by Bernard Francis and is a company focused on bringing accountability, professionalism and responsiveness to their clientele. Through their experience, Planned Companies, currently led by Michael D. Francis and his son Robert, has earned the positive reputation and word-of- mouth that comes from a company whose culture is focused on accountability and caring.
Ronetco Supermarkets, Ledgewood. Company CEO Dominick Romano literally grew up in the supermarket business, bagging potatoes for his parents in what eventually became Romano’s Market. The Romanos joined Wakefern Food Corporation in 1954, Today, under two generations of Romano family leadership, the company operates seven upscale ShopRite supermarkets located throughout northwest New Jersey, employing approximately 1300 full- and part-time associates. From the founders’ first days, a belief in giving back to the community has been a priority. Dominick Romano and his sons continue that tradition through their business philosophy: “We are Partners in Caring for our Neighbor’s Families, Homes and Communities.”
Terra Momo Restaurant Group, Princeton. In 1982, the Momo brothers, Carol and Raoul opened a restaurant in New Brunswick named Theresa’s, in honor of their mother, who inspired their love of food from a very young age. Since then, they have been credited with launching the dining environment and restaurant culture of downtown Princeton. While the dining flavors and themes of their dining experiences vary at each of their properties, from Pan Latino to Mediterranean, they all share the Terra Momo vision of quality, craftsmanship, and service.
Verrex Corporation, Mountainside. Verrex Corporation is a leading audio visual systems integrator. Founded in 1947 by the late Thomas Berry and his wife Maxine, Verrex is the only AV company in the country with a history spanning 60 years that has been family owned. The “Verrex story” is not simply a story about a company, it is the story of a family, their relationships with the people and places in New Jersey and the commitment to their communities. The Berry family conduct business based on two core principles, quality of life and quality of work. By giving equal balance to these two principles, Verrex does not simply have clients, they have decades of relationships forged with the people behind the industries and communities that make New Jersey what it is today.
UP TO $10 MILLION CATEGORY
Bill Pryer Private Disposal Services, Florham Park. This three- generation company was founded by Bill and Louise Pryer in 1968. Moving to Morris County from New York with five children in tow, the couple purchased half the residential accounts on an installment plan and they were on their way! Today, along with all of the residential accounts in the area, they have over 85 commercial clients throughout Morris, Essex, Union and Somerset counties. Sons Anthony, Michael, William and Robert have followed their parents into the business, as well as grandsons William IV and his brother Anthony Jr. are keeping the tradition of superior quality and service Bill and Louise instilled in them, ensuring that the family business will prosper and provide superior service in the years ahead!
Cooper Pest Solutions, Inc., Lawrenceville. The second- generation company, which was founded in 1955 by Theodore Cooper, has a unique management theory. Their “WOW” mission is simply this: “WOW our clients, WOW our teammates, WOW our community, WOW our service providers and WOW our bottom line”. This philosophy permeates every aspect of their business, and is reflected in the every-day life of the company. Each employee is encouraged to follow this, the “heartbeat” of the company, and is recognized for doing so on a regular basis.
Delia Associates, Whitehouse Station. Delia Associates is a full- service advertising and marketing firm. The firm focuses on strategic marketing and brand development, employing a proprietary system that takes clients through a detailed process that results in the creation of a unique brand identity. The company was founded in 1964, by Michael A. Delia and is currently led by the second generation, Michael’s son Ed. The family values of loyalty and a pioneering spirit are what the company was founded on and what has clearly been passed from the first generation to the next.
Massey Insurance Agency, Newark. The late Raymond Massey founded this agency in 1975 with his wife Emma, after having worked for the Merit Agency for many years. He opened the doors to his office on Bergen Street in Newark, determined to meet the insurance needs of the community and was well on the way to realizing this dream until his unfortunate death at age 49. Emma took over the reigns and continued to build on the strong foundation left by her husband. For the next 22 years she enhanced the reputation of the firm, forging strong client relationships built on confidence and respect. Today, Massey Insurance is included in NJBIZ’s list of the top 50 insurance brokers in the state, a feat that Emma achieved with her own drive and with the assistance of her daughter Ramelle, who joined her in 1999.
Old Monmouth Candy Company, Freehold. This business, founded in the back of a luncheonette by Lou Dey and Warren Prest (current company Vice-President Susan Gunther’s father) has been a fixture in the Freehold Community for 68 years. This is a business that believes in treating their employees as their own. Over time, employees have been with company for more than 45 years and in several cases, the children of these employees have become long-term employees themselves. The company’s recipe for their famous peanut brittle has remained unchanged since inception; not only are the ingredients the same, but the production process is also the same. The peanut brittle is made completely by hand!
Rainbow Academy Child Care Centers, Edison. Following a career at Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), Guy Falzarano started a small childcare center with his wife and three sons in 1997. Falzarano did his research in building his center; he visited many of it’s kind, identifying what he liked and more importantly what he did not like about the way other centers were serving their customers. In its short eight-year history, Rainbow Academy has grown to a family of nine childcare centers, employing over 250 people and serving some 1500 families. The Falzarano’s philosophy of a successful balance between customers, employees and investors is the cornerstone of their success.
Roman Jewelers, Flemington. The story of this company begins at the end of the 19th century when founder Roman Shor’s grandfather, Jacob, began working as a jeweler in Russia. Jacob enjoyed creating exquisite pieces and people greatly admired his talents. Shor’s father followed in his footsteps, but unfortunately World War II interrupted his artistic quest. As a child in Russia, Shor was always interested in and had a passion for his family’s trade, and realized this passion when he started his retail business in Flemington, NJ, in 1989. The fourth generation has emerged with Shor’s daughter, Lucy. She, along with the well- trained staff of jewelers, gemologists, and designers, has brought the family’s tradition to a higher level than Jacob could have ever imagined.
Singer Nelson Charlmers, Teaneck. Since the company’s founding by Al Singer in 1987, this full service insurance brokerage firm has grown from two to forty-two employees by providing innovative service to the industries that they serve. The way that Al, and now his son David, run the company reflects their family values; treating others as they would like to be treated has resulted low company turnover. The business also extends this value to community service, and makes the goal of serving those less fortunate. The family has founded and the business supports several organizations, including The Drive For Rebecca, an organization inspired by granddaughter Rebecca, who has a rare disorder that causes autism. Funds raised by this drive resulted in the opening of a school for autistic children and continues to provide funds for autism education and research.
Contact: Kim Dennison
Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies
Fairleigh Dickinson University