The Institute for Family Business at Fresno State honored Young’s Commercial Transfer with the award for 2019 Distinguished Family Business of the Year at the 30th annual California Family Business Awards on Sept. 4.

The event, held at TorNino’s Banquets, recognized nine local, family-owned businesses and announced one individual as the recipient of a lifetime achievement award.

“Each one of you brings a unique story that serves as a testament to being part of ‘something bigger’ here in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Dr. Fernando Parra, director of the Institute for Family Business. “You will hear two common themes throughout the interviews, a core set of family values and a commitment to serving above self.”

From almost 100 nominations, the following companies were honored with the 2019 Outstanding Family Business Award:

Jimmy Maxey, who grew up working in his father’s meat processing company and is a prominent member of the meat industry, received a lifetime achievement award for JD Food (video).

Fred Ruiz, chairman emeritus of Ruiz Foods and a founding member of the Institute for Family Business, presented Maxey with the award.

“What makes Jimmy special,” Ruiz said, “is that he doesn’t toot his own horn, but his accomplishments and contributions have been a monumental contribution to our community.  He is a quiet man who wears a big hat, has a big heart and he cares about his family, friends and our community.”

The celebration culminated with the announcement that Young’s Commercial Transfer had received the 2019 Distinguished Family Business Award.

In 1935, G.W. Young applied for a transportation license from the California State Board of Equalization. After 84 years, Young’s Commercial Transfer is still growing.

“The Youngs are an employment rock for the local community of Porterville,” Dr. Parra said, “helping their farm customers bring in harvest after harvest in good times and bad, drought and flood, freeze and heatwaves.”

For three decades, the Institute for Family Business of the Craig School of Business at Fresno State has provided education for family-owned businesses, as well as scholarships for the next generation of family-owned business students. Topics range from general business planning to more specific and critical issues that relate to the unique relationships within family businesses, such as defining roles, succession planning and conflict management.

The annual family business awards symbolize the importance of families, their businesses and the interrelatedness of success for both.

“Family businesses, like yours, both large and small, significantly drive today’s economy and the strength of where we live,” said Dr. Robert Harper, dean of the Craig School of Business. “The Craig School’s IFB does this work to help preserve and advance the family business heritage that has long lifted up our community.”

The keynote speakers for the evening were several members of the McCaffrey Group, Inc., the 2018 California Family Business of the Year.

The California Family Business Awards were presented by Chase in partnership with Ruiz Foods.