published on May 26, 2016 - 9:01 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Fresno’s own Duncan Enterprises, parent company of arts and craft powerhouse iLoveToCreate, is the 2016 winner of the California Family Business Award.

Duncan Enterprises was honored Wednesday evening out of nearly 50 nominees for the award, bestowed for the last 27 years by the Institute for Family Business at Fresno State.

The fourth-generation family business traces its roots to 1946, when matriarch Erma Duncan outgrew her home ceramics business, opening her first official Duncan Ceramic Studio on Blackstone Avenue.

The company incorporated nearly 10 years later, and moved into its distinctive location near Clovis and Shields avenues in 1961.

Today, Erma Duncan’s grandson Larry Duncan is chairman of the board of one of the largest ceramic arts, crafting adhesives and fashion art manufacturers in the world, employing 183 people in Fresno.

Duncan’s son and daughter, Hawk and Summer, are also involved with the company. In fact, Hawk Duncan is taking the lead in rolling out a new line of chicken coops tied to the family’s expanding urban farming business,

There were four other finalists for the California Family Business Award that were evaluated by a trio of out-of-state family business experts. The finalists include:

• Poindexter Nut Co. of Selma
• Haron Jaguar/Land Rover in Fresno
• Arthur & Orum Well Drilling in Fresno
• California Controlled Atmosphere in Dinuba

Another firm, Fresno-based Occu-Med, was the recipient of the new Rising Star award for successful family businesses that are relatively new. Founded in 1979, the second-generation family business is a global provider of health care services and human resources consulting, providing deployment, pre-placement, periodic and return-to-work medical evaluations for employers.

Several other nominees were also recognized Wednesday evening for taking part in the first phase of judging with volunteers from the Institute for Family Business. These include:

• Deli Delicious
• Fresno Acura
• Joe’s Steakhouse & Grill
• ServiceMaster by Benevento

Last year’s winner of the California Family Business Award was Bakersfield’s A-C Electric.

See related story: A-C Electric wins 2015 California Family Business Award

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