"Anyone involved with a family-owned business would benefit by being a member of the IFOB.  You will meet other family business owners who have had many of the same challenges.  And you will find the right expertise to successfully guide you and the development of your company."
- Adam Lee, Chairman, Lee Auto Malls



2022 Maine Family Business Award Criteria


Definition of family business: though there are many acceptable definitions of family business, for the awards' and Institute For Family-Owned Business (IFOB) purposes it is abusiness wherein one owner either shares ownership or works in the business with at least one other family member (contemporaneously or overtime) and has a commitment to the continuation of the enterprise.


Members and  future members of the IFOB are encouraged to apply for the awards.  You do not need to be a member of the IFOB to apply.  Self-nominations are welcomed and encouraged. The nominations are open to ALL family-owned businesses in Maine.


Family businesses can be nominated for one or more awards, simply pick from the list below for what categories would be the best fit.  Businesses can only win once in a category.  They can win in others.  For a list of past winners click here.

Maddy Corson Small Business Award: The Maddy Corson Small Business honoree is a company with fewer than 25 full-time (year-round) employees that demonstrates excellence in the following areas:

  • Positions and responsibilities
  • Family involvement
  • Succession
  • Use of external resources
  • Family communication
  • Value of being family-owned
  • Business communication
  • Business success
  • Community service

Renys Large Business Award: The Large Business honoree is a company with 25 or more full-time (year-round) employees that demonstrates excellence in the following areas:

  • Positions and responsibilities
  • Family involvement
  • Succession
  • Use of external resources
  • Family communication
  • Value of being family-owned
  • Business communication
  • Business success
  • Community service

Shep Lee Community Service Award: The Shep Lee Community Service honoree is a business of any size that demonstrates excellence in the following areas:

  • Commitment to giving back to the community
  • Monetary or in-kind giving (if applicable)
  • Employee service to the community
  • Volunteer board service
  • Volunteer leadership

Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award: The Customer Service honoree is a company of any size that demonstrates excellence in the following areas:

  • Commitment to continuous improvement of customer service
  • Commitment to exceeding expectations
  • Innovative practices or systems that result in improved service
  • Exceptional personal interactions
  • Diverse, customer-driven services and means of delivery
  • Easily accessible troubleshooting services and feedback systems
  • Satisfactory means to address customer issues
  • Efficiencies that contribute to quality customer service
  • Examples of compassion and care that go beyond typical expectations for customer service

M&T Bank Innovation & Technology Award: The Innovation & Technology Award honoree is a company of any size that demonstrates excellence in any or all of the following areas:

  • Development or creation of a new idea, method, or product which may solve a problem or improve a pre-existing solution to a problem
  • Demonstration of original, compelling ideas and/or innovation or technology
  • Significant benefit to and/or impact on others
  • Fulfillment of a market need or creation of a new market through a service or product
  • Use of applied science or innovative methods in product development or modifications

Holiday Inn By The Bay First Generation Award: The First Generation honoree is a company of any size, with at least one family member serving as an active equity owner and at least one family member active in the business on a regular basis. The business must not have transitioned yet from one generation to the next. The honoree will be chosen based on overall excellence among the awards listed above. 

Geiger Environmental Leadership Award: Environmental Leadership Award honoree is a company of any size that demonstrates excellence in any or all of the following areas:
  • Demonstrates efforts to reduce carbon footprint, by policies or actions
  • Demonstrates environmental stewardship
  • Engaging others to reduce, recycle, reuse
  • Demonstrates commitment to recycling or alternative power sources
  • Championed steps towards creating a sustainable/resilient local community through positive solutions that may include energy efficiency, renewable energy, local foods development and innovative modes of transportation.

BerryDunn Lifetime Achievement Award: Voted on by the IFOB board, the BerryDunn Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated sustained success, leadership and innovation in his or her own family business, to the IFOB, and to the broader community. 

To mark the Institute’s 25th anniversary in 2019, the IFOB presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Maddy Corson.  Maddy is the quintessential example of what it means to be a strong leader and advocate for Maine businesses. It only seems fitting that this award was given out on the 20th anniversary of the Maine Family Business Awards, which all started as an idea from Maddy two decades ago and has recognized 106 businesses and counting. Maddy was the fourth generation of her family business, Guy Gannett Communications.

In Memory of Harry Fraser, 1952-2021

The IFOB Board recently honored Harry Fraser with the 2nd Annual BerryDunn Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Maine Family Business Awards this past October. Shortly after, Harry passed away. 

Harry was the President of The H.G. Fraser Group, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in helping businesses move to the next level. Previously Harry held the positions of: CEO of Alcom, LLC, a premier trailer manufacturer headquartered in Winslow, ME; CEO of Johnny’s Selected Seeds, a 100% employee-owned company headquartered in Maine; CEO for Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers of Auburn, ME; Manufacturing Plant Manager of an $800M business segment of Digital Equipment Corporation in Augusta, ME. 

He always had a passion for family-owned businesses and was a student of ESOP’S. He sat on the Board of Directors for a number of employee-owned and family-owned businesses. He was also the past chair of the IFOB and was most recently on our Advisory Board.  He was an amazing man and he'll be forever missed.



Green Environmental Award:

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