Family-owned businesses represent 70% of new jobs created in the U.S. and 57% of the country’s GDP, according to statistics delivered by Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks as part of her keynote address at the 23rd annual Family-Owned Business Awards ceremony on June 2.
Vlahakis-Hanks knows firsthand the value of family businesses as the chief executive of ECOS, a Cypress-based provider of sustainable cleaning products founded by her father in 1967.
The Business Journal event celebrates distinguished OC-based family-owned firms who have made noticeable community contributions and business accomplishments.
Nearly 350 people attended the ceremony at the Irvine Marriott. It was the third of six in-person Business Journal events scheduled this year.
The events’ five honorees, selected from nearly 50 nominees, were:
• Pinnacle Petroleum, a Huntington Beach-based fuel supplier, in the Small Business category;
• Tax & Financial Group, a Newport Beach financial services firm, in the Medium Business category;
• Montage International, a Laguna Beach-based hospitality management company, in the Large Business category;
• Zesty Olives Mediterranean Grill, an Irvine fast-casual restaurant concept, in the Up and Coming Award; and
• Theodore Robins, a Costa Mesa ford dealership in its fourth generation, earned the Longevity Award.
The Business Journal’s next event is the Innovator of the Year Awards on Sept. 8. The deadline to nominate individuals is June 29.
Tony Smith, co-founder and CEO of Irvine-based software firm Restaurant365, will be the keynote speaker.