Congratulations to the 2015 Family Owned Business Finalists
As the fifth annual ceremony, this year marks an important milestone for the Family Owned Business Awards. With over 240 companies having been honored over those five years, this event provides much needed recognition to hardworking business owners throughout the state. However, without the support of the sponsors, the Family Owned Business Awards would not be possible. Nevada State Bank (NSB), the event’s corporate sponsor has a commitment to family owned businesses in Nevada. NSB, along with associate sponsors, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Springs Preserve are an integral part in honoring and supporting Nevada’s family owned businesses.
A special thank you to the distinguished panel of judges for their work in identifying this year’s finalists out of hundreds of nominees and for the unenviable task of choosing this year’s winners.
Dave Archer, Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology
Jana Benton, Nevada State Bank
Connie Brennan, Nevada Business Magazine
Cassaundra Johnson, Nevada State Bank
Stephanie Kruse, KPS | 3
Jeff Leake, City of Henderson
A business, less than 10 years old, in the first generation of succession
with expectations for future generations to run the company.
Mark & Dana Hatjakes
Having met while working at the Fox affiliate in Reno, Mark and Dana quickly learned they make a great team. The two married in 2011 and started SoSu.TV a year later. The company was founded to help small businesses. “Start Over or Start Up” – a phrase which inspired the name for SoSu.TV – is an acronym for their motto.
Madeleine, Rachel & Caleb McAdoo
A breakfast and lunch restaurant in downtown Elko, McAdoo’s was founded by husband and wife Rachel and Caleb. When asked why the business has been successful, Rachel said it’s, “because we delight in satisfying two basic human needs: food and companionship.” Since opening, McAdoo’s has evolved to include catering, private parties, retail items and community involvement.
Alanna Fitzgerald & Candace Alanna Powell
Swill Coffee and Wine
Enlisting the help of several family members, including the family pup as mascot, Alanna Fitzgerald and her niece Candace Alanna Powell purchased Swill Coffee and Wine in 2014. Since then the two have adapted the coffee and wine bar into a thriving community hub which has served as host to everything from knitting clubs to business meetings.
West, Shane & Fisher Huish
A much anticipated addition to Henderson’s entertainment industry, Cowabunga Bay Water Park opened last year after several years of planning and construction. Run by Shane Huish and his sons, West and Fisher, the park is located on more than 23 acres and features over 25 attractions. The Huish’s hope to expand the park even further with new rides each year.
Jean-Francois Chavenel, Sophia Iwatsubo, Zelma Hulet & Olivier Morowati
Born of creativity and an experiment gone right, POPPED LLC is a gourmet popcorn business. Founded by Jean-Francois Chavanel, Zelma Hulet and Olivier Morowati, POPPED has grown exponentially since its inception. In addition to the founders, Sophia Iwatsubo, Zelma’s daughter and Raelyn Tagai, Olivier’s girlfriend also work for the company. The company is currently working on providing franchising opportunities.
Jodi Pedri & Tonja Steel
Working Girls Design, Inc.
Jodi Pedri and Tonja Steel have turned witty repertoire into an art form by combining eye catching designs with clever phrases. Today their company, Working Girls Designs, has licensed over 800 designs. Helping with the family business are Jodi’s mom, Carmel Del Rossi, her husband Joe and daughters Jillian and Juliana as well as Tonja’s mom, Emily Vallin.
Don’t Forget to Share
A business that has made significant contributions
to the community and prides itself on giving back.
Merle Rose, JP, Valerie, John & Kelly Glenn
The Glenn Group
The statewide Glenn Group merged two long-time full service advertising agencies, whose owners, Valerie and John Glenn, also happened to be married. The result is the third largest agency in the state with 32 full-time employees and a history of community involvement. Valerie’s mother, Merle, along with the couple’s children, JP and Kelly are rooted in the business and the community.
Stephanie Bryant-Evans, Sue Alexander & Fran McCay
A Stitch of Country
A long held dream of Sue Alexander’s, A Stitch of Country is a result of her passion for sewing. Located in Fernley, Sue’s shop has become successful in the area. Consequently, Sue and her family, including daughter Stephanie and family friend Fran, have made giving back a conerstone of their business.
Karla Peters-Van Havel, Jon, Cecile & Gordon Peters
Institute of Management Studies
Founded by Gordon and Cecile Peters in San Francisco, the Institute for Management Studies (IMS) is a center for Reno citizens to learn more in the areas of art, culture, health and special needs. IMS moved to Nevada 25 years ago and, along with their children Karla and Jon, the Peters planted themselves in Reno, supporting schools and local groups and events.
Kristin & Jamie Cogburn
Cogburn Law Offices
Husband and wife team, Jamie and Kristin Cogburn, have a passion for the law. A native Nevadan, Kristin also has a passion for Southern Nevada which is shared by her husband. The two now make it a point to ensure that their firm gives back. They’ve done this in both traditional and creative ways, by donating themselves as well as incentivizing others to donate to local charities.
Brian Rouff & Alex Raffi
Founded by D.J. Allen and run today by Brian Rouff and Alex Raffi, Imagine Communications had its start in a local Henderson business incubator. From there the marketing firm has grown exponentially. As a company, Imagine believes that, “If you can give back, you must give back.” That motto is put into action through volunteerism and community involvement.
Shannon & John Bentham
Ivory Star Productions
An award-winning theatrical production company, Ivory Star Productions is run by husband and wife team, Shannon and John Bentham. The two have contributed to the community with both time and money. They also use ticket sales and their expertise to help assist Nevada’s non-profits.
When the Going Gets Tough…
A business that faced adversity and made changes to adapt to what was sure to be tough times.
Diana, David, Keri & Teresa Grillo
Grillo Landscape Solutions
A lawn and tree care company, Grillo Landscape Solutions is owned by David and Keri Grillo. Their children also work for the business, with daughters Diana and Teresa based in the Reno branch and son, Anthony heading up operations at the Santa Maria, CA branch. In 2006 the company expanded services and worked to maintain customers by sticking to their core values.
Tammi & Ron Santistevan
Located on the main street of Elko, BOOKSTORE is exactly what its name implies. Owned by Tammi and Ron Santistevan, the company has had to adjust in the face of e-Reader technology, among other challenges. Downsizing and instituting a customer loyalty program are just some of the ways BOOKSTORE has learned to adapt.
John Collier & James Kalicki
A law firm that learned to adapt through Nevada’s most challenging years, Kalicki Collier became the company it is today by remaining fluid. Surviving partner splits and various other challenges, Kalicki Collier has worked to evolve in a traditional industry through innovations in the way they practice law.
George & Katalin Racz
Las Vegas Distillery
A distillery seems like it would find an ideal niche in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case and Las Vegas Distillery, which is owned by husband and wife team George and Katalin, found a host of challenges when they looked to start-up in Southern Nevada. Regardless the two pressed forward, working to change legislation. They were succesful and in April of 2011, they made Nevada Vodka and became the first legal commercial distillery in Nevada.
Dustin & Russ Watters
Watters Aquatech Pools and Spas
Construction in this state has been hit hard; even harder hit was pool construction when new homes were stalled. Watters Aquatech, owned by Russ and Susan Watters experienced this downturn and diversified their business. Working with their son, Dustin, the company now offers a variety of services and works to stay current for customers.
Kate, Wendy, Daniel & Emily Gelbart
Yellow Bucket Janitorial
A stay-at-home mom at the time, Wendy Gelbart originally started cleaning homes as a way to supplement the family’s income and get some time out of the house. The service grew and in 2010 moved to exclusively commercial projects. When the recession hit they worked to evolve in order to help their business thrive.
A business that has made significant efforts to go green within their organization and to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
Brady, Isidro, Brenan & Heather Alves
Sand Hill Dairy
“If it is within our control to have an impact on our environment, we should take advantage of that,” says Isidro Alves who, along with wife Heather, owns Sand Hill Dairy. The dairy was established in 2003 and, in 2012, began milk and cheese processing in-house. It is now the only source in the state for non-homogenized and low-temp pasteurized milk.
Megan Holland & Alex Min
Bear Bums Diaper Service
Bear Bums is a diaper service that institutes a model ahead of its time. By its very nature, Bear Bums is environmentally friendly as it encourages re-use rather than disposal. Megan and her fiance Alex work with other Nevada businesses to provide cloth diapers to the area. The company is expanding and is working on launching an app.
Laura & Jason Perry, Joanne & Harry Fahnestock
Western Turf & Hardscapes
Harry and Joanne Fahnestock, owners of Western Turf & Hardscapes believe in the importance of being good stewards. Working alongside son Jason and his wife Laura, the family is actively involved in water issues in Northern Nevada. The company utilizes advanced farming methods in order to ensure their clients have beautiful landscapes that also benefit the environment.
Shawn & Racquel Toyozaki, Leroy Chung
Advanced Pro Remediation
With the goal of becoming the best restoration company in the area, Shawn and Racquel Toyozaki set out to form their own company. Today the husband and wife team run Advanced Pro Remediation with the help of Racquel’s father, Leroy Chung. The organization implements green practices both internally and externally by incorporating recycling and using environmentally friendly products.
Quinn Wynes, Peter Frigeri & Angela Harelik
Gaia Flowers, Gifts and Arts
Wanting to show that even small businesses can make a difference, Gaia Flowers, Gifts and Art is the brain-child of Peter Frigeri. Gaia is a eco-friendly flower shop providing Las Vegans with a place to buy sustainable floral arrangements and locally made gifts. Helping with the shop are Peter’s daughter Quinn and family friend Angela.
Service Max LLC
Founded 15 years ago, ServiceMax is a green commercial cleaning organization. Today, the business is owned by Jacob Hafter and has since merged with Clean Up Time and gained Rafael Schatz as president. Rafael has said that he wants the company to expand in green practices and help educate the community on the importance of utilizing green services.
A business that is minority- or woman-owned.
Lend-A-Hand Senior Services
Tammy Sisson founded Lend-A-Hand Senior Services, a home care agency which was the first of its kind in Northern Nevada. Tammy, along with her husband Paul and, prior to their retirement in 2007, her parents, has worked hard to ensure that home care for the elderly and disabled is safe and affordable.
“You want the best for your family, why not the same for your community,” asks Bertha Miranda, owner and founder of Bertha Miranda’s restaurant. Bertha has made a love of her community a cornerstone for her restaurants. Today Bertha works out of her newest location bringing quality Mexican food to Reno.
Verita Black Prothro
VERITAS Empowerment Boutique
With a passion to help women become more empowered in their lives, Verita Black Prothro founded Veritas Empowerment Boutique. Verita’s mother, Ella Black, came on as her business partner and helps Verita run the store. “I wanted to build a company that focused on the power of words and intention as well as have a venue that made it fun and nonthreatening,” said Verita.
Martin’s Grand McDonald’s
Running a franchise, especially one as well-known as McDonald’s, is a labor of love. Eva Martin started in the McDonald’s business with her husband in Chicago in 1989. The two moved to Las Vegas 21 years ago and purchased three McDonald’s franchises which Eva runs today. She is grooming her daughter, Roberta, to take over and also works with her sister, Cynthia Scott who serves as office manager.
Renee & Jessica Poole
Not Just Antiques Mart
An estate liquidation warehouse, Not Just Antiques Mart came about when Renee, who had been an estate liquidator for 25 years, sought to find a solution for some of the smaller estates she came across. Enlisting the help of her daughter, Jessica, Not Just Antiques Mart, was born.
Sheila, Zachariah & Luiz Oliveira
Quickly becoming a household name in Southern Nevada, Sambalatte is a coffee retail restaurant with two locations in town owned by Luiz Oliveira and his wife Sheila. Having been heavily influenced by brazilian cuisine and armed with over 28 years in the hotel food and beverage industry, Luiz has worked to make Sambalatte exceptional.
It’s Good to be on Top
A business that is at the top of its game, doing better than ever.
Britton Griffith-Douglass, Vince & Cami Griffith
A family with multiple generations born in Nevada, the Griffith’s founded Reno Engineering Corporation in 1993. After living in Las Vegas, Vince and Cami decided they wanted to raise their daughters, Britton and Samantha, in Reno. Today both Britton and Samantha are involved with the business which continues to thrive.
Dr.’s Timothy and Jennifer Janiga
Janiga Plastic Surgery & Dermatology
While attending the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Timothy and Jennifer began to realize how well they work together and how their future specialites complement each other. Their company, Janiga Plastic Surgery & Dermatology was formed in 2011. Christine Scholl, Jennifer’s sister serves as CFO for the organization.
Kent & Christina Young
A start-up gaming company, Spin Games was founded by husband and wife team Kent and Christina Young. The company has grown over 300 percent since its inception and now has 30 employees in the Reno area and five employees in Bangkok, China. Developing innovative products for commercial gaming, Kent and Christina continue to remain on the cutting edge of the industry.
After years in the food and beverage industry and with the support of his wife, Taraneh Bazzaz, Mehdi Zarhloul moved to Las Vegas in 2005 to try his hand at running his own restaurant. Today, 45 people are employed at their three Crazy Pita locations. Mehdi credits the restaurant’s success to his employees and to the engagement the restaurant has had in the community. He says it has, “built strong bonds and loyalty to Crazy Pita.”
Katherine Wiese, Madilyn Bravo, Mark, Terry & Derek Bryant
Micro Gaming Technologies
A software development company based in Las Vegas, Micro Gaming Technologies was founded by Mark Bryant. The company develops for the casino industry and has software installed in over 175 casinos in 25 states. Mark, along with his wife Terry, hopes to continue growing and eventually pass the business on to their children.
Jeff Grace & David Rounds
With a background in information technology and a dream, Jeff Grace founded NetEffect. Jeff, along with new partner, David Rounds, credits their success to a commitment to hard work, a positive culture and caring more about people than technology. The two work alongside thier wives, Dina Phayre-Grace and Shelly Rounds.
The More the Merrier
A business that has 50 employees or more.
Jeff Lynch, Dan Allen & Darryl Bader
With approximately 400 employees, ITS Logistics is a large, third-party distribution company. And yet, owners Jeff Lynch, Dan Allen and Darryl Bader have managed to keep a family feel within the organization. By maintaining a culture of openness and inclusion, ITS Logistics has managed to make their employees feel like part of a large family.
Matthew & Lydia Meyer
Bill Pearce Motors
A household name in Northern Nevada, Bill Pearce Motors was founded by Bill and Doris Pearce. The company was handed down to daughter and son-in-law Sandy and John Raffaelli who helped drive growth. Today, Sandy, along with daughter Lydia and son-in-law Matthew, work to carry on their family’s legacy. The dealership is responsible for 160 full-time employees.
Originally formed in Mountain View, CA, Server Technology was started by Carrel Ewing and his son, Brandon. After realizing they would need more space the two began to search for an ideal location. They found it in Reno and moved the company to Nevada in 2000. Today Server Technolgy is run by Brandon and employs 175 people in the area.
Kim Forbes, Matt Smith & Miriam Michaelberger
Matt Smith Physical Therapy
Currently the largest physical therapy provider in the area, Matt Smith Physical Therapy has 150 full-time employees. The company was founded by Matt Smith who expects to see even more growth in his business. He works alongside faithful employees, such as Kim Forbes, VP of business development and Miriam Michaelberger, VP of human resources.
MSA Engineering Consultants
A licensed engineer in over 40 states, David Melroy founded MSA Engineering Consultants due to a love of electrical engineering. Today David employs 63 people and continues to grow. He’s worked to find innovative ways to find quality employees and begins the recruiting process while they’re still in college.
Jon, Rachel, Debbie & Ryan Roxarzade
Named after owner Debbie Roxarzade’s oldest daughter, Rachel’s Kitchen is becoming the go-to location for healthy food. By allowing for franchising, the restaurant now employs 120 people over seven locations in Las Vegas. With the help of her husband Jon, son and daughter, Ryan and Rachel and father David Frankel, Debbie hopes to continue expanding.
Outside the Box
A business that offers a product or service that is unique to Nevada.
Laura, Guy & Susan Moreno, David Crumbley & Lindsey Moreno
The idea for CVirtual came from a road-trip brainstorm between Susan Moreno and her husband David Crumbley. The result is a full-service recruiting and placement firm. The company is unique in that, rather than utilizing traditional hiring methods, their services are offered virtually. Joining in the family business are the couple’s children, Laura, Guy and Lindsey Moreno.
Alma & Seth Sheck
Access Event Solutions
Providing credentials, technology and passes, Access Event Solutions was started by Seth Sheck 13 years ago. With customers located in other states, the company is unique. “Nearly all of the revenue we generate comes into the state from elsewhere,” explains Seth. In addition to their 25 employees, Seth’s wife Alma also works for the company.
Magnolia & Bill Serate, Barry Johnson & Vallery LaBarre
Having kids that went to the same school, two Reno couples with experience in information security, business and technology discovered their shared interests and formed Dara Security. Founded by Bill and Magnolia Serate and Barry Johnson and his wife Vallery LeBarre, the company stays on the cutting edge of security standards.
A technology development company specializing in software development, technology consulting, cloud-based asset management and three-dimensional modeling, INVIEWlabs is the tangible product of what can happen when great minds think alike. Founded by Dwayne Miller and Ken Gardner the company has since added owners Gary Siroky, Mark Eslinger and Steve Germano.
Dianne Schiller & Glynda Kahn
Renta-Dress and Tux
Founded by Marion Kahn and run today by her daughters, Glynda and Dianne, Renta-Dress and Tux was established to fill a specific need in Nevada. With 315 weddings a day in Las Vegas, the boutique provides wedding gowns, formal wear and tuxedos to those getting married. The innovative concept is the first of its kind in the state.
Ronna, Sarah & Stuart Timpa
Workplace ESL Solutions
After discovering a passion for helping non-English speakers learn English, Ronna Timpa founded Workplace ESL Solutions. The company is based on the concept that adults, especially those in need of jobs, require a specific English as a second language (ESL) education. Ronna’s husband, Stuart and daughter, Sarah are also involved in the family business.
Change is Good
A business that has moved on to the second generation,
or further, and has successfully utilized the
younger generation’s ideas.
Tom Williamson, Michael & John Kirsch & Kathleen Kirsch Williamson
Founded in Southern California, Sportif USA got its start from John Kirsch, Sr. selling tennis shorts from the family station wagon. Growing into a manufacturing company for comfortable sporting apparel, John moved his family to Reno in 1971. Today the business is run by John’s children, Kathleen, John, Steven, Michael and Jennifer.
Beau & Rebecca Dickson, Tom, Nancy & Harvey Fennell
Founded by Fianna Fennell Dickson Combs, Dickson Realty began as a way to create a level playing field for women in the commercial real estate field. Eventually purchased by other family members, the firm has become a market leader, providing residential and commercial services in Northern Nevada.
Bob & Joshua Barone
Universal Value Advisors
Established by father and son, Bob and Joshua Barone, Universal Value Advisors is a registered investment advisor. The company formed when the Barones wanted to find a way to better serve clients, utilizing a more focused business model with low fees and targeted client research. While Bob isn’t quite ready to retire, when he does Joshua is ready to take over the the reins.
Golden Gate Hotel & Casino
The land that is home to Golden Gate Hotel & Casino was originally purchased for $1,750. After years as Hotel Nevada, a group of Italian Americans, Italo Ghelfo, Roberto Picardo, Al Durante, Leo Massaro and Dan Fiorito renamed it Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. Italo managed the casino for 40 years before passing it on to his stepson, Mark Brandenburg. Today the company is managed by Mark and brothers Derek and Greg Stevens.
Founded by Orluff Opheikens in 1980, R&O Construction is a successful commercial construction company with 175 full-time employees. Today, Orluff serves as chairman of the board and the business is run by his sons. Chet serves as president and Slade serves as VP of business development.
Ginda, Hoot, Doris, Jody & Kate Jones
Ralph Jones Display
Ralph Jones Display began when Ralph and his wife Doris would sell greeting cards to hotel gift shops. When hotels began requesting Ralph’s help with Christmas decorating he recruited his son, Hoot, to help and the business took off. Hoot and wife Ginda, along with their children, Jody and Kate, continue the legacy established in 1962.
Wisdom of Age
A business that has been operating for over 25 years.
Standing: Chris & Becky Tucker, Cathy Gardner, Chrissy & Jerome Gilbert, Kari Fisher & Lindsey Gardner
Seated: Camden Tucker, Rick & Lisa Gardner
Private Party Cars
Rick Gardner founded Private Party Cars (PPC) when he was just 22 years old. Wanting to find a way to cut out the middle-man dealer in car sales, Rick established PPC as a “for sale by owner” public display lot. The concept allows sellers to connect directly to buyers without going through a dealership, while providing a safe environment for both.
Mario & Piero Bullentini, Ron Granata & Trish Bullentini Kuzanek
Martin Iron Works
After learning the ornamental iron trade from his brother in Germany, Martin Schwamb founded Martin Iron Works (MIW). With the aid of Bill Granata, the two turned the company into the largest steel fabricator and erector in Northern Nevada. After moving from Italy, Piero Bullentini came to work for MIW, eventually serving as president.
Mindy Pimpl Day, Pat & George Pimpl
Founded by Red Richardson, Reno Forklift, Inc. was purchased by Pat and George Pimpl when Red decided to retire. With some of the employees having been with the company for 30 years and having maintained all but five of their original customers, Reno Forklift has a legacy of family values and customer service.
Fran, Roger & Virginia, Ghormley & John Lopez
The Hush Puppy Restaurant
After moving to Las Vegas, Charles and Virginia Ghormley discovered that there was no quality Southern food, particularly catfish, in the area. Even after hearing that no one would want to eat catfish in the middle of the desert, the Ghormley’s decided to take a risk and a legacy was born. The Hush Puppy restaurants are run today by Virginia, her son Roger, his wife Fran and her brother John.
The Korte Company
Founded by Ralph Korte in 1958, The Korte Company employs over 130 people nationwide. Today the business is run by several members, including Greg Korte, Ralph’s son, who is president of the Las Vegas office. With 63 first cousins, Greg has no shortage of family members to assist in the business and nine relatives work for the company today.
Joey, April, Nancy, Jack & Polly Weinstein
Tower of Jewels
Well-known in Southern Nevada, Tower of Jewels is Nevada’s largest manufacturing jeweler and direct diamond importer and cutter. Founded by Jack Weinstein 50 years ago, the company is unique to the Valley because their jewelry is manufactured on site. Today, Jack works alongside wife Nancy, and children Joey, April and Polly.