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Wisconsin Family Business of the Year

Madison, WI - May 5, 2005: Six family businesses were honored in the second annual Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award banquet held Thursday evening in Madison. Three grand awards were presented along with three special awards.

According to well-publicized studies, only strong family businesses survive. "Approximately 30 percent of family-owned businesses survive into the second generation, and 12 percent will be viable into the third generation. Only three percent make it to the forth generation and beyond," according to Jeanie Farmer, partner at Smith & Gesteland and Chair of the firm's Family Business Practice. "This award honors family businesses, some of whom are into their third, fourth, and fifth generations. They anchor their communities, provide jobs, support charities, and lead by example. We wanted to acknowledge those contributions with these awards," stated Farmer.

Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from nominations submitted by the companies. The award program is sponsored by Smith & Gesteland, a Madison-based CPA and consulting firm, Associated Bank, and the Madison-based law firm of Dewitt Ross & Stevens.

Grand awards were presented in three size categories: Large (100+ employees), Medium (50-99), and Small (under 50). Special awards were given by the judges to companies excelling in a particular area.

Grand Awards

Small Company - MacFarlane Pheasants, Inc., Janesville
Medium Company - Bay Tek, Inc., Pulaski
Large Company - Watry Industries, Inc., Sheboygan

Special Awards

"Compassionate Family" - Malcore Funeral Home & Crematory, Green Bay
"Longevity" - Kehl School of Dane, LLC, Madison
"Efficiency" - Sheehy Mail Contractors, Inc., Waterloo