Hall of Fame Banquet honors family-owned businesses

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Anil Puri, Ph.D., discusses the origins of the Center for Family Business, and how the center has changed since its creation. (Amanda Sharp / Daily Titan)

Four family-owned businesses were voted in Tuesday as the inaugural members of the Center for Family Business Hall of Fame.

The center is part of the Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, and aids family businesses in identifying and addressing issues in order to grow and develop.

Anil Puri, Ph.D., dean of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics said the majority of current members have committed to the program since its founding in 1995 and he has seen it grow throughout his 16 years of supporting it.

Seventeen family-owned businesses were nominated, a number that was whittled down to the four voted in as honorees.

States Logistics Services, a supply chain logistics management company, received the Excellence in Community Award. Employees organized services to house the homeless and completed over 2400 hours of volunteer work in 2014.

Cascade Pump Company, a custom pumping equipment manufacturer, has been operating for over 50 years and has been a part of the Center for Family Business since its inception. The business won the Strength in Succession Award for its efforts to grow and ensure successful business transitions for each generation.

Hydraflow, a company that manufactures fluid transfer components and fuel lines for the aerospace industry, was awarded the Commitment to Education Award.

Hydraflow not only educates its clients on the most effective ways to implement their products, but the company also provides job-related education and 100 percent tuition reimbursement for job-related education to full-time employees.

The final award was the Founder’s Vision Award, given to Hill Brothers Chemical Company.

The business, which provides industrial and construction chemicals, was awarded for managing to both grow as a business and maintain the same values it was founded with.

Jeanie Buss, president of the Los Angeles Lakers, shared her family business experience with the more than 200 guests as a guest speaker for the event.

“I thought I was alone and here, tonight, I see so much of my family in so many of you and it really made me feel not so alone,” Buss said.

Buss has been the president of the Los Angeles Lakers for two seasons, and was previously the team’s executive president of business operations for 15 years.

Buss discussed the strong connections her father had with players like Magic Johnson, and the tremendous amount of support the team has from the community.

“I don’t have all the answers and I have shared some things with people here tonight and I got great feedback,” Buss said. “That is why the center is so wonderful, because it is really a support for something that’s always in transition and always a process.”

During the event, Senior Vice President of City National Bank, Joe Hernandez shared how his four years of being a member of the center has helped him gain knowledge that bolstered his career.

“The biggest focus of the center is to assess the members in keeping harmony among the family while becoming stronger business entities at the same time,” Hernandez said.

Inductees will be permanently listed on a wall at the center and Director of the center, Ed Hart, is planning next year’s banquet for early 2016.

Votes and open nominations will take place late 2015, but this year’s honorees cannot be inducted again.

Alysha Del Valle, ABC7 eyewitness news reporter, emceed the event.

The Center for Family Business, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, focuses on providing services for family-owned businesses in Southern California.

These services include workshop meetings on wealth management, succession planning and next-generation development. The center aims to give its members the opportunity to discuss critical issues that occur in a family owned business.

for its successful growth and longevity while maintaining the same values as the two brothers who founded it in 1923. Hill Brothers Chemical Co. specializes in the marketing and sales of specialty and commodity products. It owns technical service labs in Southern California.

Buss told her audience she was initially hesitant on being special guest speaker of the center’s first annual Hall of Fame event. However, after being persuaded by Director Ed Hart, she agreed and, in the process, found many people she could relate to.

Buss said she was also grateful for the center and the support it provides businesses.

At the end of the event, Buss was presented a $2,000 check for the Laker Youth Foundation from Ed Hart.

City National Bank is the largest bank headquartered in Southern California and has been a partner of the center for four years. It was the event’s title sponsor and it is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Orange County.

Substantial support from alumni and sponsors has also allowed the Center for Family Business to thrive, said Anil Puri, Ph.D., dean of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

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