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Craig School of Business

2017 California Family Business Award Winner

Excerpt from The Business Journal

Sanger-based Mary’s Chickens, and the Pitman family, are the 2017 winners of the California Family Business Award bestowed by the Institute for Family Business at Fresno State.

2017 Business Award Winner The Institute for Family Business (IFB) hosted the awards presentation Wednesday night at the Satellite Student Union at Fresno State, honoring 11 family businesses culled from 112 nominations submitted.

The third-generation family business traces its roots to 1954, when Don Pitman started raising turkeys in the Madera area. Son Rick Pitman took over the operations along with wife Mary, and today the couple’s sons David and Ben are also involved in the business, which has expanded rapidly with its line of organic, free-range poultry.

The California Family Business Award, now in its 28th year, honors local family businesses with a proven track record of success and community involvement. Last year’s winner was Duncan Enterprises, parent company of arts and crafts powerhouse iLoveToCreate in Fresno.

The Brownie Baker, a second-generation family bakery in Fresno, received the Rising Star Award, which goes to noteworthy family businesses run by a first or second generation that the competition’s out-of-town judges believe serve as a good role model for other family businesses.

There were nine other runners-up for the California Family Business Award who were awarded with plaques at the event. They include the Camp Family Businesses in Kern County; Fresno Equipment Co.; Fresno Truck Centers, Gar Tootelian, Inc. in Reedley; Maxco Supply, Inc. in Parlier; Mid Valley Disposal in Kerman, Munger Farms in Kern County; Svenhard’s Swedish Bakery in Exeter and Valley Wide Beverage in Fresno.

Published On May 25, 2017 - 1:40 AM
Written By Gabriel Dillard on Business Journal

2017 Family Business Award Finalists

  • Camp Family Businesses
  • Fresno Equipment Co.
  • Fresno Truck Centers
  • Gar Tootelian, Inc.
  • Maxco Supply, Inc.
  • Mid Valley Disposal
  • Munger Farms
  • Svenhard’s Swedish Bakery
  • Valley Wide Beverage

2017 Family Business Rising Star Award Winner 

  • The Brownie Baker

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

  • Gordon Webster, The Business Journal

Family Business Rising Star Award Winner:

  • 2016 Occu-Med
  • 2015 Snowflake Designs
  • 2014 David H. Salter – Salter’s Distributing, Inc.
  • 2017 - The Brownie Baker

 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

  • 1999 - Larry Shehadey
  • 2009 - Fred Ruiz, Ruiz Foods
  • 2007 - William Lyles, Lyles Diversified, Inc. 
  • 2017 - Gordon Webster, The Business Journal

This Year's Awards are brought to you by

Chase Logo

Thank you to our Award Sponsors

Business JournalRuiz FoodsMary's Chicken


Legacy Members

  • Fred & Mitzie Ruiz
  • Johanson Transportation Services
  • James G. Parker Insurance Associates
  • Steven Deis
  • J. D. Heiskell & Company