Washington Family Business Awards 2012: Small Firms (Fewer than 50 employees)

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GOLD WINNER:
Dynamic Language

City: Tukwila
Employees: 45

While Sandy Dupleich was studying communications at the University of Washington and working retail, her parents asked her to pitch in at their fledgling business, Dynamic Language, a translation and interpretation company they founded in 1985. Dupleich agreed, figuring she’d be there a couple years at the most. More than 20 years later, she’s running the company, along with her brother Rick Antezana (they are both executive vice presidents) and her mother, president and CEO Maria Teresa Antezana.  

“We can rely on each other, no matter what,” Dupleich says. “It’s about dedication and trust.” Qualities they’ve translated into one of the largest language service companies in the Northwest, with 3,000 linguists working in more than 150 languages.

Cofounder Ricardo Antezana has retired but still participates in family meetings. He and his wife began the process of handing over control of the company to their son and daughter about five years ago. Rick Antezana says he looks to the Nordstroms and Blethens (who own The Seattle Times Company) as examples for getting the transition right.

Antezana and Dupleich’s spouses also work for Dynamic Language, and Dupleich’s two daughters recently joined the team. One sign that relations are good: Even after all this working together, the clan often vacations together.

SILVER WINNER:
Parfitt Way Management Corp.

City: Bainbridge Island
Employees: 30

With a hyperlocal focus and a commitment to sustainability, husband and wife Jeffrey and Jocelyn Waite have created several Bainbridge Island institutions on the foundation of the Harbour Marina, which was hand-built by her parents in 1982. Today, the Waites’ Parfitt Way Management Corp. owns and operates the 50-slip marina, plus the Harbour Public House and Pegasus Coffee House—each in a restored historic waterfront building. They attribute their steady growth, in part, to their fundamental mission to support area producers with locally sourced menus and a Washington-only beer list.

SILVER WINNER:
Westport Winery, Aberdeen

City: Aberdeen
Employees: 12

After raising Norwegian Fjord horses on a farm near Leavenworth and growing oats, alfalfa and timber near Spokane, Blain and Kim Roberts set their sights on grapes and the Washington coast. They launched Westport Winery in 2008 at the nadir of the recession, and already this family-run winery outside Aberdeen is producing dozens of award-winning wines. Son Dana is the winemaker and daughter Carrie manages the tasting room, and a favorite family collaboration is selecting community organizations to benefit from a percentage of the profits. So far, Westport Winery has contributed just under $200,000 to 33 charities.

More information: Washington Family Business Awards 2012

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