Family Business of the Year Award

Nominations close March 31!

14th Annual Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award is now open and accepting nominations!

The award celebrates the accomplishments and the impact that family-owned businesses have on our communities, our economies, and our lives.

Since the beginning of the program, the award has recognized department stores, lumber yards, funeral homes, grocery stores, coffee shops, auto dealers, and construction companies. Businesses as small as two employees to as large as 6000 employees have been nominated. Businesses that represent what we think of as family businesses.

Each nomination is reviewed in-depth by a panel of judges composed of independent business leaders. The judges consider the family business' contribution to its community and industry, its positive links between family and business, and innovative practices it may use, among other things.

An awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center in Madison for the nominees, their employees, nominators, family and friends. 

Join our mailing list and receive updates and news about the Family Business of the Year Award program.

Why Nominate Your Family Business?

A nomination alone is an honor to the business and the family. Award programs are an effective way to bring positive recognition to the good that you do in your community. A company's marketing and its employee's morale all benefit from being involved in recognition programs. And, the process of evaluating your company and putting your accomplishments on paper is a great exercise.

Size Categories

Small Under 25 Employees

Medium 25 - 99 Employees

Large 100+ Employees

Tips from the Judges



What Does a Winning Nomination Look Like? 

Several past winners have graciously offered to share their past nominations with perspective nominees. Go HERE to view and download them. 

View Brief Videos of Acceptance Speeches from Past Banquets

Tom Farley to Provide Keynote

We are thrilled to announce that our Keynote Speaker this year is New York Times Best Selling Author, Tom Farley. Tom will share stories of his family's enterprises, and his experience as the head of the Chris Farley Foundation. 

Tom is the brother of the late actor and comedian Chris Farley, who died in 1997 as a result of substance abuse. From 1999 to 2012, Tom Farley was the founder and president of The Chris Farley Foundation, which used humor to deliver prevention messages to teens and young adults. In 2008 he co-authored the New York Times bestselling book, The Chris Farley Show. 

An entertaining, funny and engaging public speaker, Tom is frequently asked to provide his knowledge and experience on substance abuse prevention, non-profit management, and building successful brands. He has been a keynote speaker and presenter at numerous conferences, conducted briefings on Capitol Hill and to state legislative committees and participated as a panelist at two branding conferences on the topic of developing a state brand for Wisconsin.

Tom's family business is currently comedy, as several of his brothers, and his son are professional stand-up comedians and actors. His grandfather and great-uncle were in the paving business until a family dispute sent them in two directions, competing against each other. 

Visit the Banquet Registration page HERE.  


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