JANESVILLE, WI. (September 28, 2022) – Blain’s Farm & Fleet is honored to announce they have been named the Good Neighbor award recipient of the 2022 Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Awards for their outstanding guiding principle of treating their associates like family and their customers like neighbors, in addition to being true partners in the communities they serve. Pleased to be among award winners at the banquet sponsored by BDO and the UW Family Business Center, this is the first time Blain’s Farm & Fleet has received this prestigious award.
“To receive this award is a true honor for the Blain’s Farm & Fleet organization, but most importantly, for our family and our incredible associates,” said Jane Blain Gilbertson, Blain’s Farm & Fleet CEO, Owner, and President. “Blain’s Farm & Fleet has been a proud family-owned business for over 67 years, and it all started with Bert and Claude Blain serving the great people of Wisconsin. The qualities, values, and traditions we hold dear are the foundation for our associates and the company that our customers, whom we treat as dear neighbors, value in our business.”
The Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Awards serves as an effective way to celebrate the accomplishments and valuable impact that family-owned businesses have on the Wisconsin economy and communities. A panel of former award winners and leaders in business carefully determined 2022 winners based on content and quality of completed nominations of standout applicants. Judging criteria included:
- Contribution to community and industry
- Positive links between family and business
- How family values influence the business
- Business performance and innovative practices
- Challenges overcome
- How the business addresses strategic planning and risk management
- How the business is preparing the next generation
For this specific award, it has a different name each year, uniquely named based on who is chosen as the winner. Judges are asked during the review process to look for applications that really stand out and then decide the applicable name.
To be considered for the Wisconsin Family Business Awards, nominees must be a Wisconsin family-owned business, must have intentions of passing ownership to the next generation, and must have at least $1 million in revenue. Award nominees were asked to describe the qualities that make the family and business exceptional, as well as articles about the business or family, sales, historical photos, photos of family members or staff, and photos of the business location, along with the completed nomination form to paint a complete picture of the company. Additionally, applicants were encouraged to submit a short video explaining what it means to be a part of a family business.
Blain’s Farm & Fleet was chosen among nominees for their exceptional customer service, community involvement, and the lasting foundation of guiding principles on which the company was built and continues to grow. While their values and company culture have remained the same over time, the goods and services that Blain’s Farm & Fleet provides have expanded to fit their customers’ growing needs. Being very selective about the communities they choose to be a part of, they have never left a community where they have opened a store. With that, each store manager is empowered to seek out opportunities with local organizations that best support their community and highlight what is important to their neighbors.
“It’s a real honor to receive this award. We truly strive to treat our associates like family and our customers like neighbors. My great uncle and grandfather gave us the foundation from which we have built, and for that, we’re grateful and honored to be considered among so many outstanding family-owned businesses,” said Nicole Gilbertson, Jane Blain Gilbertson’s Daughter.