Media Advisory: North Carolina Family Business of the Year Awards presented on May 3, 2012

The Wake Forest University Family Business Center and Business North Carolina recognized the community contributions and achievements of family-owned businesses during the North Carolina Family Business of the Year Awards on Thursday, May 3rd at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC.

Century Award Winner: Biltmore in Asheville, N.C.

Since its creation in 1895, the Biltmore estate has been one of the largest employers in Western North Carolina. Under the leadership of George and Edith Vanderbilt, Biltmore house was first opened to the public in 1930. The family continues to support the mission of preserving Biltmore as a privately owned, profitable, dynamic working estate. Biltmore has more than 1,800 employees and receives more than one million visitors each year.

Large Category Award Winner: Carolina Biological Supply in Burlington, N.C.

Thomas E. Powell Jr. began collecting plant and animal specimens for his students at Elon College in the late 1920s. When he found out that other teachers would pay for his surplus collections, Carolina Biological Supply was born. The Burlington-based company has more than 430 employees and supplies science supplementary teaching materials by catalog to 70,000 customers worldwide.

Medium Category Award Winner: Brady in Greensboro, N.C.,

Don Brady started Brady in 1962 with four employees and one truck. Fifty years later, the company employs more than 300 associates throughout the state. Brady is the exclusive Trane franchisee for commercial equipment in central and eastern North Carolina, and the company has grown their product and service partnerships to include HVAC equipment; controls and lighting systems; and life safety and access security technology. 2012 marks Brady’s 50th year in business.

Small Category Award Winner: Witherspoon Rose Culture in Durham, N.C.

Witherspoon Rose Culture designs and maintains rose gardens statewide. Begun in 1951 by Bob and Thelma Witherspoon as a backyard operation, the company has grown to include three shopping locations and six rose maintenance service hubs with 58 employees.

To be nominated, a business must have its headquarters in North Carolina. The nomination process runs from July through November each year. Nominations and competed applications for the 2012-13 awards can be submitted online at (

About the Wake Forest University Family Business Center (FBC) The FBC is a member-based organization that uses the educational resources of Wake Forest University to provide closely held and family firms the assistance they need to grow and succeed from generation to generation. As a program of the Office of Personal and Career Development, the FBC also provides family business education and experiential learning opportunities to WFU students, WFU alumni community and their families.

Family Business Center forums are only open to Family Business Center members, sponsors and their guests. For information on FBC membership and guest policies, please contact Rhonda Stokes at (888) 925.3622 or , or visit Nomination deadline is November 9, 2012. Application deadline is December 7, 2012.

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