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Regional families recognized at record setting family business event

Posted in   |  May 4, 2021

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – May 4, 2021. On April 29th and 30th, Prairie Family Business Association hosted their 29th Annual Family Business Hybrid Conference both in-person at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Sioux Falls and virtually for attendees from 22 states, the U.K. and Belgium for a record attendance of 435 people. This was the largest-ever Prairie Family Business Association annual conference.

Keynote speaker Jolene Brown during her presentation “Stop Fighting on the Way to the Funeral Home!”

During the conference, Prairie Family Business Association recognized two exceptional families with the Heritage Award and the Vicki Clarke Family Business of the Year Award. The Heritage Award recognizes a family business that was founded more than 75 years ago while the Vicki Clarke Family Business of the Year is given in memory of Vicki Clarke, a former advisory board member of the Prairie Family Business Association.

This year’s recipient of the Heritage Award was the Redlinger Family of Redlinger Bros. Plumbing & Heating Co. headquartered in Watertown, South Dakota. On April 1st of this year, Redlinger Bros. celebrated their 75th anniversary. Jim Redlinger, second generation, and Adam Redlinger, third generation, accepted the award along with several family members.

The Redlinger family accepting the Heritage Award. Left to right: Ryan Seeman, Adam Redlinger, Jim Redlinger, Jeremy Seeman, Becky Seeman

The second family honored was the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Vicki Clarke Family Business of the Year Award, the Patnoe Family of Liberty Superstores headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota. Don Patnoe, second generation, and his wife Jane, along with Max Patnoe, third generation, and his wife Lacy, accepted the award. The late Vicki Clarke’s son Steve and his wife Whitney, of County Fair Food, presented the award to the Patnoe Family.

The Patnoe family accepting the Vicki Clarke award from Vicki’s son and his wife. Left to right: Lacy Patnoe, Max Patnoe, Don Patnoe, Jane Patnoe, Whitney Clarke, Steve Clarke

Other highlights from the conference include a virtual beer tasting with the fifth and sixth generations of the Leinenkugel Family of Leinenkugel’s and lessons learned from Eric Allyn, the former fourth generation owner and chairman of Welch Allyn. Keynote speakers included Jolene Brown, Dr. Gustavo Grodnitzky and Michael Allosso.

Plans are already underway for the 30th Annual Conference, scheduled for April 28-29, 2022.

Prairie Family Business Association was founded in 1993 as the South Dakota family business initiative through the University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business with the mission of enhancing the long-term survival and success of its family business members. The Association is the premier resource network for family business success helping family businesses thrive through generations.