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Top family business awards to be announced Sept. 21 (Released: 9/13/95)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- A Connecticut businessman who turned a potential disaster into a new product line will announce the winners of the first Nozko Family Business Leadership Awards competition on Sept. 21 during a luncheon sponsored by the Family Business Program, a center in the University of Connecticut's School of Business Administration.

Henry W. Nozko Sr., whose firm, ACMAT Corp., is co-sponsoring the annual awards, will announce the state's top family businesses in three categories -- small, medium and large family businesses -- and discuss how business owners can turn conflict into opportunity during the luncheon portion of a daylong seminar.

The seminar will focus on Roles and Relationships: Conflict Resolution in the Family Business. Registration for the event, to be held at the Farmington Marriott, begins at 8 a.m., with the seminar opening at 8:30. The awards luncheon will be held from noon until 2 p.m., when the seminar resumes. The day's events conclude at 4 p.m.

Nozko's building firm faced disaster when his insurance carrier gave him eight days' notice it was dropping coverage of the New Britain firm because it worked with asbestos. During a series of 14-hour workdays, Nozko talked to nearly 100 insurance carriers across the country, each time receiving the same answer -- no deal.

Rather than fold, however, Nozko took a personal crash course in the insurance business and, while maintaining his contracting company, began offering insurance to other contractors who worked with asbestos and other building materials that concerned conventional insurance carriers.

Surrounding the award presentations, Peter and Susan Glaser, who have devoted more than 15 years to researching business strategies to handle conflict and problem solving in the family business, will offer a presentation and interactive discussions that will give Connecticut's family businesses a helping hand in resolving their own conflicts.

Finalists for the award in the small (1-49 employees) family business category are: Kitchens by Deane Inc. of Stamford; Wolff-Zackin and Associates Inc. of Vernon; the O.L. Willard Co. of Willimantic; and Nutmeg Broadcasting Co. of Willimantic.

In the medium (49-150 employees) category, the finalists are: Simcroft-Echo Farms of Simsbury; Lyman Orchards of Middlefield; Connecticut Lighting Center Inc. of Hartford; and Diversified Technologies Corp. of North Haven.

The large (more than 150 employees) family business finalists are: Wayside Furniture of Milford; LaBonne's Epicure Markets of Waterbury; Tri-Town Foods Inc. of Colchester; and Integrated Industrial Systems of Wallingford.

Businesses were rated on five criteria: success, measured by growth in revenues, employees, and profits; a positive family linkage; ownership and management of the company by at least two generations; contributions to the community and industry through leadership, service, and financial support; and whether the family has developed innovative or creative business practices to enhance the company's longevity.

For more information or to register, call the Family Business Program at (860) 486-4483.

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