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Pacific Lutheran University

PLU Family Enterprise Institute

Washington Family Business of the Year Awards

Previous Winners - 2005

New Business
Barker Road Collection, Tacoma

Barker Road Collection opened its doors August 12, 2000.  Employing four generations, owners and sisters Linda McElroy and Ginger Shorey named the establishment after the place where their parents met in Hong Kong.  Barker Road Collection reflects the diversity of cultures and lifestyles in which McElroy and Shorey were raised.  While carrying clothing, furniture, antiques and gifts, Barker Road Collection offers interior design and wardrobe consultation, “wish list” registries for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, as well as personal shopping services.  Barker Road Collection strives to be known for the unique and excellent experience and services offered to shoppers.

Small Business
Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys, White Salmon

In 1973 Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys started as Phil’s Guide Service, a steelhead and salmon guided fishing service.  Phillip Tracy Zoller, founder and guide, raised his sons on the river.  His son Tracy Zoller received a guide’s license for his sixteenth birthday.  They quickly gained a reputation as premier fishing guides for Southwestern Washington.  With the eruption of Mt. St. Helens and needing to look elsewhere to guide, Tracy discovered a new possibility for the company while visiting the White Salmon River – white water rafting.  The firm moved to White Salmon and has enjoyed steady growth especially since Mark Zoller bought the firm from his father.  Both Zoller brothers have children actively involved in the business and guiding trips.

Medium Business
Rainier Connect, Tacoma

Since 1912, five generations of the Haynes family have contributed to Rainier Connect with three generations now actively involved.  The business is rumored as won in a game of pinochle by founder “Grandpa Pete” Christiansen.  Rainier Connect is known as the first company in Washington to provide cable television, local phone and high speed Internet to its customers through its own facilities.  The firm advocates community involvement for their employees and is a proud supporter of local school education.  Skip Haynes has served as Chair of the US Telecom Association Board and worked to directly involve more small, mid-sized and large firms in policy and strategy making.

Large Business
Janicki Industries, Inc., Sedro-Woolley

Originally known as Janicki Machine Design, Janicki Industries was incorporated in 1994.  Peter Janicki formed the company to design milling machines capable of translating Computer Aided Design files into plugs, patterns, models and molds.  Early innovation led to success and paved the way for the three generations of Janicki’s now involved in operations to change the way that composite tooling is built.  In 2002, Janicki Industries Inc. hit the sailing map of the world when it produced composite molds for two America’s Cup Teams, BMW Oracle and One World.  Staff and family members serve various charitable organizations and community groups.

Heritage Business
McLendon Hardware, Inc., Renton

McLendon Hardware started in 1926 as Dale & McLendon, a second hand store.  The McLendon family quickly began exploring the “Do It Yourself” movement.  As the firm grew, more family members joined.  McLendon Hardware Inc. now has six retail hardware stores, a commercial lumberyard, two distribution centers, and over 500 employees.  Fourth generation family members are currently in management positions.  McLendon Hardware Inc. feels a responsibility to the communities in which it has stores.  They participate with Chambers of Commerce, the Children’s Miracle Network, and donate time, supplies and money to various causes.  

150th Year Heritage Award

In recognition of seven generations of successful family business, Pacific Lutheran University is pleased to present Laird Norton Company LLC with the 150th Year Heritage Award.

Laird Norton Company LLC is a 150-year old family-owned business headquarted in Seattle.  The company cultivates family continuity and financial success by investing and actively participating in the governance of its subsidiaries.

A Legacy of Accomplishment

Beginning with the Laird & Brothers partnership in 1855, the Laird Norton family business has grown for seven generations to become one of the longest-standing family-owned companies in the western United States.  Launched as a lumber business, the company’s operations have encompassed a diverse array of industries, locations and partners.  Here are a few of the accomplishments.


The company moved its headquarters to Seattle expanded beyond forest products.  Industries in which the company has invested include building material distribution, financial services, engineering, aircraft, construction and recreational properties.

The first investment in the Pacific Northwest was 900,000 acres of timberland, purchased from the Northern Pacific Railway company, in association with Weyerhaeuser, Other investments ranged from farming to securities, and the company’s first philanthropic was created.

In Winona, Minnesota, the company incorporated and established a growing business in lumber, including retail yards.  The Laird Norton family’s association with the Weyerhaeuser Company began, including jointly investing in timberlands.