Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ, Cal State Fullerton Honor Family Owned Businesses

Jerry Sullivan Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What do hardware, healthy food, patio furniture, literature and liquor have in common?

Those are the business lines of the five honorees at the 12th annual Family Owned Business awards luncheon hosted by the Business Journal and California State University, Fullerton’s Family Business Council today at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.

A crowd of more than 500 attended the event. They got a lesson from Ganahl Lumber Co. Chief Executive Peter Ganahl and his son, Mark, who is general manager of the company’s Anaheim operation.

Anaheim-based Ganahl Lumber is a past recipient of a Family Owned Business Award.

The father and son discussed the Ganahl family’s succession planning in a keynote address, offering several pieces of advice learned during a years-long process that continues.

The Ganahls told the crowd that they and other family members weren’t as good at communicating with each other as they thought prior to starting the process of succession planning. They said they realized that they needed new communication skills that would require constant practice. The father and son said they realized that more than an asset changes hands in a succession, with the sense of a common mission and common values even more important. And preparing for succession is a lifelong process, they said.

This year’s honorees included:

Up & Coming: Susan’s Healthy Gourmet, Lifespring Nutrition, Xan Confections, in Irvine.

Small Business: Anaheim Patio & Fireside in Brea.

Medium-Sized Business: Teacher Created Materials Publishing in Huntington Beach.

Large Business: Crown Ace Hardware in Huntington Beach.

Longevity: LeVecke Corp. in Mira Loma

Profiles of the honorees will be featured in the Dec. 5 edition of the Business Journal