Businesses that cultivate a culture of ethics and kindness will outlast the competition, according to executives at Tait & Associates, a family-owned civil engineering, environmental service, and architectural firm based in Santa Ana.
The multi-generation firm says it is a case study in living by those words. Founded by Ken Tait in 1964, the company once allowed a competitor to use its offices and equipment, for free, after a fire had destroyed its own headquarters.
Tait & Associates CEO Tom Tait, the former mayor of Anaheim, and Managing Director Trevor Tait, along with Chairman Emeritus Ken Tait, keynoted the Business Journal’s 24th annual Family-Owned Business Awards ceremony on May 31.
The family recounted Ken Tait’s journey from Montana to the Korean War, to discovering the first oil well in Libya in 1957, before ultimately making his way to Southern California to open a small civil engineering consulting firm that over the decades would grow exponentially.
Nearly 400 attended the lunchtime event at the Irvine Marriott.
The event celebrates distinguished OC-based family-owned firms who have made noticeable community contributions and business accomplishments.
This year’s five honorees, selected from over 40 nominees, were:
- Yorba Linda’s HomeQuest, one of the largest manufactured home retailers in the western U.S., in the Small Business category.
- Mountain View Services, a Newport Beach-based supplier of groceries, medical supplies, janitorial supplies, and other products to healthcare and other facilities, in the Medium Business category.
- Costa Mesa’s Crisp Imaging, which bills itself as the West Coast’s premier independent digital printing provider for construction and other industries, in the Large Business category.
- Restaurant operator Mutt’s, which counts a pair of Newport Beach locations, received the Up and Coming Award.
- The El Cholo Family of Restaurants, led by 2023 Business Journal Restaurateur of the Year Ron Salisbury, earned the Longevity Award.
The five winners will be profiled in the June 12 print edition of the Business Journal.
The Business Journal’s next event is the Innovator of the Year Awards on Sept. 7. The deadline to nominate individuals is June 14.
Kurt Busch, co-founder and CEO of Irvine-based semiconductor company firm Syntiant, will be the keynote speaker.