Five Southern Nevada firms were selected for top honors at the first annual 2001 Nevada Family Business of the Year Awards Gala, held on September 8 in Las Vegas. The event, hosted by the Nevada Business Journal and supported by corporate sponsors, was held at the conference center at the Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel. A separate event to honor Northern Nevada businesses was held later, and will be featured in our November issue.
Award recipients were selected in three major categories and two special categories. The major categories, divided by company size, were: fewer than 50 employees; 50-250 employees; and more than 250 employees. The special categories included “Most Unique Family Business of the Year” and “Humanitarian Family Business of the Year.” These awards were based on nominations from the business community and from readers of the Nevada Business Journal. Honorees were selected by a panel of judges for their innovation, record of growth, contributions to the community and financial stability, as well as quality of life for their employees. Emcee of the gala affair was Lillian McMorris, director of public affairs for KVVU-Fox 5 TV and host of the television show “AM Southern Nevada.”
“Nevada enjoys one of the nation’s strongest economic environments, and we feel it is in no small part due to having some of the best family businesses in our country,” said Connie Brennan, co-publisher of the Nevada Business Journal. “While we salute the five honorees selected by our distinguished panel of judges as the best of the best, all of the companies nominated should feel proud to be among a group of entrepreneurs with such a long list of incredible accomplishments.”
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley addressed the crowd of approximately 250, calling small businesses and family-owned businesses “the backbone of our nation’s economy.” Each honoree was also presented letters of congratulations from Sen. John Ensign and Congressman Jim Gibbons. All finalists were given plaques celebrating their achievement.
For businesses with fewer than 50 employees, the honoree was J.A. Tiberti Construction, established in Las Vegas in 1950. Since that time, it has built a significant amount of the infrastructure in Southern Nevada, including projects at the Las Vegas Convention Center, McCarran International Airport, UNLV and the Clark County School District. It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2000 with the completion of several major projects, including the NASCAR Café, the Suncoast Hotel & Casino and the expansion of the Texas Station Hotel & Casino. The firm has also been involved with a wide variety of community services and charities.
Other finalists in this category were: Burke & Associates, general contractors and builders; Manpower of Southern Nevada (staffing service); RAFI: Planning, Architecture & Urban Design; and SR Construction.
The winner among firms with between 50 and 250 employees was The Molasky Companies, an umbrella organization encompassing several family-owned businesses, including Paradise Development, Paradise Homes, Pacific Properties and Ovation Development. Founded in 1951, The Molasky Companies, headed by Irwin Molasky, has been responsible for developing real estate along most of Maryland Parkway, including Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and the Boulevard Mall. It also built the Bank of America Plaza downtown, the Best on the Boulevard and Best of the West shopping centers, and the new SunMark Plaza in Green Valley. Irwin Molasky was a key figure in the development of UNLV and founding chairman of the UNLV Foundation.
Other finalists in this category were: Haycock Petroleum, Kalb Construction, Rainbow Medical Centers and Palm Mortuaries, Cemeteries & Crematories.
Among firms with more than 250 employees, the honoree was Martin-Harris Construction, founded in 1976. The company has constructed and/or remodeled over 100 schools in Southern Nevada, and has built many other projects, including Embassy Suites Convention Center, Ford Motor Credit Center, Flynn Gallagher Office Park, United Brotherhood of Carpenters Training Center, and numerous office buildings and warehouses throughout the Valley. It recently completed the City Centre Place office highrise in downtown Las Vegas and has over 45 active job sites. Founder and President Frank Martin has been extremely active in civic, charitable and political causes and was awarded the 2000 Community Achievement Award by the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce.
Other finalists in this category were: Findlay Automotive Group, Gaudin Automotive Group, MRCGroup Research Institute, Roel Construction and Station Casinos.
The Most Unique Family Business of the Year was RoseAnnie’s LLC, also known as Hubcap Annie’s. This firm, which sells new and used hubcaps and wheels, was started by Nancy Utley in Tennessee 30 years ago, and brought to Las Vegas in 1990 by her daughter, Rose Bowe. The business, which has two locations in Las Vegas, recently acquired the rights to more than 30 hubcap stores, making it the largest franchise organization in the hubcap and wheel industry. Besides marketing an interesting product, the firm is unique because it is owned by two generations of women working in the male-dominated world of auto parts.
Other finalists in this category were: El Mundo Hispanic Newspaper; Expressions in Words, a specialty shop featuring greeting cards, artwork and gifts for the African American and Latino markets; Looking Glass, a glass and glazing contractor; MRCGroup Research Institute; and TussCorp, which assists people in placing family members in long-term nursing care.
The winner in the category of Humanitarian Family Business of the Year was Rainbow Medical Centers, founded by Dr. Anthony Pollard in 1988. The Anthony L. Pollard Foundation, headed by Diane Pollard, sponsors the Rainbow Dreams scholarship program, which awards funds to college-bound students in need of financial assistance. Mrs. Pollard organized the first annual Juneteenth Festival in cooperation with the city of Las Vegas, celebrating the end of slavery. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Academy of African-American Studies, which is developing a curriculum of after-school studies for the youth of West Las Vegas.
Editor’s Note: Congratulations to all the nominees from the management and staff of the Nevada Business Journal. As a family-owned business, this annual event holds special meaning for us. Many thanks to our judges, who donated their time to choose “The Best of the Best.” A special note of appreciation to our generous sponsors, who provided the support needed to make this event possible. Look for an article in next month’s issue about the gala in Reno for Northern Nevada companies. And remember – next summer we will start accepting nominations for the 2002 awards.