SNJBP’s 3G Awards recoginizing 3rd, 4th and 5 Generation Family Owned Businesses
The South Jersey business community recently gathered at the Moorestown Community House to recognize third generation and beyond family-owned businesses at SNJ Business People’s 3G & Beyond Awards Ceremony and Reception.
Five families were honored at this year’s ceremony: the Gosik Family of Sensational Host Caterers, the Rizzieri Family of Rizzieri Salon, Spa & Schools, the Hirsch Family of Montreal Beach Resort, the Ravitz Family of Ravitz Family Markets and the Eastlack Family of ACE Ford. All of the families were celebrated for their commitment to their family-run businesses as well as for their dedication to the communities they serve.
“We are so proud to have these five families join the esteemed families who have received the 3G & Beyond Award in the past,” said Jenny Ryan, Founder and CEO of SNJ Business People. “SNJBP looks forward to continuing to champion our third generation and beyond family owned businesses that help make South Jersey the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
The five families honored with the 2016 3G & Beyond Award join many other distinguished families from South Jersey who have been honored with the award in the past, including the Rastelli Family, Hovnanian Family, Bellia Family, Faunce/Stockton Family, Hutchinson Family, Ragone Family, Zallie Family, Whitesell Family, Breaux Family, Campbell Family, Canuso Family, Goodwin Family, Harriett Family, Stevens Family and Wright Family.
In this economy, owning and operating a thriving business is a success story in itself. However, when one studies the statistics on the survival rates of third generation and beyond family-owned businesses, it becomes apparent why these families and businesses should be recognized and honored.
According to the Family Firm Institute, the leading association for family enterprise professionals, only about thirty percent of family businesses survive into the second generation. Twelve percent are still viable into the third generation and only about three percent of all family businesses operate into the fourth generation or beyond.
Sensational Host Caterers, a Presenting Sponsor of the 3G & Beyond Awards Reception, started as a retail outlet in Delran in 1979, and has transformed through the years to adapt to the demands of its clientele.
Henry Gosik, the founder and CEO, has owned and managed Sensational Host for over 34 years. During his tenure, Henry has grown and developed Sensational Host from a local retail deli outlet to one of the area’s premier event companies, now serving the Tri-State area. He has created and developed culinary, service, sales, and production departments, along with the coinciding management teams, with a combined 77-year of experience. The teams are able to supply consistently high quality products and services to numerous locations simultaneously. Henry’s years of executive experience in food service operations, finances and management has positioned Sensational Host to expand its facilities to meet and exceed the needs of its existing and potential clients. Through the acquisition of its current home office on Route 73 in Maple Shade in 1992, The Gosik Family was able to expand the company’s on and off premise business.
Cory Gosik, son of Henry, joined the family business full time in 2011, as its Director of Sales. Mr. Gosik brings with him some 7-years of diverse, on-the-job, experience including food-production, event-delivery all aspects of front of the house service. Cory graduated in 2011 from Rutgers University with a degree in Business Management and Economics.
When talking about the hard work and dedication needed to run a successful business, Henry focused on two quotes that he has hanging in his office that he refers to on a daily basis: “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning” (Robert Kiyosaki); and “Luck is a point where hard work meets an opportunity” (Firoz Thairinail).
“The final test in a father of a family business is how well he prepares his children for work and their family life and whether he can step aside and let them balance both to run the company and lead a happy and fulfilled life,” concluded Henry Gosik.
Rizzieri Salon, Spa & Schools is a third generation family business that started when Franco Cipriotti founded the first cosmetology school in the state of New Jersey in 1924. His daughter, Anna, took over the school in 1965 and helped it grow and thrive to the point where it outgrew its original space. Anna met her future husband, Sal Rizzieri, when he moved to America from Italy in 1959. He lived with his aunt and uncle, and Anna had an uncle that owned a salon across the street from Sal’s family. Sal was friendly with Anna’s uncle, who one day said that he needed to go to “his brother’s school”. Anna and Sal met at her father’s school, where she was his teacher. They fell in love and later married, and Sal naturally joined the family business.
Anna and Sal opened their first salon in Runnemede. When they outgrew the space in the 1980s, they moved to up-and-coming Washington Township. Today, one of the Rizzieri Spas is located at the Township’s Virtua Health & Wellness Campus.
Anna and Sal’s son, Frank, moved into a leadership role within the family business in the 1990s. He soon opened up a Rizzieri Spa in Marlton, and in 2014 moved the spa to the Moorestown Mall’s Boutique Row. The larger space allowed Frank to introduce new concepts, such as Franco’s Barber Shop, which pays tribute to his grandfather’s beginning of the company, as well as a blow dry bar.
The Rizzieri family believes its success is founded in good work ethic, vision, solid business practices and most of all, the dedication and loyalty of its employees. With an average employee length of service running around 18 years, the family has been able to add consistency and growth to its business plans throughout the years. Speaking about the business’ success, Sal commented, “I love the way it’s grown. I love the people who work with us, they are like family too. I know it’s going to grow even bigger. With Frank it will grow more and more successful.”
When asked for tips for families who may be embarking on a business together, Sal gave the following advice: “I would say you have to love the business, and it’s even better if you grow up in the business like Frankie did. Most importantly, you have to take care of your clients. You have to love the people, the customers, the service providers.”
The Montreal Beach Resort celebrates 50 years of memories in 2016. Standing prominently along the Atlantic coastline at Madison Avenue in Cape May, the property has been lovingly owned and maintained by three generations of the Hirsch Family. The fact that generations of the Hirsch Family exist today is nothing less than miraculous. Hotel founder, the late Harry Hirsch, was 15 when the Nazi army invaded Poland and he was imprisoned in Auschwitz. He and his wife, Sophie, survived Nazi Germany to eventually come to America and live the American dream.
In 1951, Harry and Sophie Hirsch arrived from Europe in a Philadelphia port via cargo ship. Having been raised in the isolated villages of Poland, neither spoke a word of English. With much perseverance, good fortune and the kindness of strangers, they began to build a life for themselves. Harry’s work often took him to the Jersey Shore and, at times, to Cape May – a town with which he and Sophie fell in love.
In 1965, beachfront property became available at the empty corner of Beach Drive and Madison Avenue. Planning to build a home for their family and generations to come, they purchased the land, only to discover that the property was zoned for commercial use. Harry quickly found a way to turn a mistake into an opportunity and began construction on a 27-room motel – named the Montreal Motor Inn in recognition of the many Canadians who visited the Jersey Shore, just as he and his wife did.
Over the next decade, visitors from around the country and the world flocked in increasing numbers to Cape May. The small motel simply couldn’t meet the growing demands of vacationers, so Harry and Sophie embarked on an expansion. A third floor was added, then a fourth – creating the 70-room hotel that is the present-day beachfront resort.
Sophie passed away in 1975. Shortly thereafter, son Larry joined his younger brother Joseph and entered the family business full-time. Larry’s son Jonathan joined the business after college. Today, half a century after its founding, the Montreal Beach resort is a family business spanning three generations. The Hirsches renamed the hotel the Montreal Beach Resort in 2013, to match the name with the hotel’s transformation into a complete resort destination. Harry, the Inn’s founder, passed away in 2011, leaving his American Dream in the loving hands of his family.
"We've been part of the Cape May community for 50 years, and we're committed to maintaining our long-time tradition of treating customers like they are members of our family. We also continually aim to keep up with trends and incorporate unique amenities that are found only at our resort,” added Larry Hirsch.
"We know Harry – my grandfather – would be pleased and proud of this recognition, and the changes and improvements we're making on an ongoing basis here at the resort,” said Jonathan Hirsch about receiving the 3G & Beyond Award. “He always encouraged the staff and the family to push our boundaries, and try new things to make the customer experience even better – we’re doing just that, and more, and invite everyone to visit and revisit our resort for the sheer enjoyment of it," he added.
As a Russian immigrant, Dave Ravitz came to this country looking for his American dream. And in 1901, he found it when he opened a small grocery store. His son Stanley joined him and together they grew their business. Looking for a way to lower prices without sacrificing quality, the Ravitz family joined Wakefern/ShopRite cooperative in 1984. Today, the third and fourth generations of Ravitz grocers operate five ShopRites: three in Burlington and two in Camden counties in New Jersey.
Ravitz Family Markets provides fresh and natural foods for families at five ShopRite and one Price Rite stores in Burlington and Camden counties. More than 1,100 associates carry on the family’s tradition of first-rate service. They consistently provide customers with superior quality products, excellent customer service, and a clean shopping environment.
The Ravitz Family also has a strong commitment to the communities that it serves. Whether it’s a clothing drive or funding for a local charity, they are dedicated to helping the community through our Company/Employee Cares Committee, The Ravitz Family Foundation, and their corporate philanthropy program.
Since 1984, Ravitz Family Markets has been a member of Wakefern Food Corporation–the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States. They are proud to work with more than 350 ShopRite, Price Rite and Fresh Grocer supermarkets located throughout New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts and Maryland to provide outstanding services and effectively deploy new technologies and processes to stay a step ahead in the marketplace.
For four generations, the Ravitz family has viewed its customers, employees and vendors as an extension of its own family. Their stores strive to provide the fresh and flavorful foods that they would want to serve at their own dinner tables. By supporting a variety of community groups, non-profits and charities, the company helps strengthen the communities where we all live, work, and raise our families.
“Owning and operating a family business generation after generation definitely has its challenges, but it is extremely rewarding to share success with the people closest to you, your family,” said Shawn Ravitz, who accepted the 3G & Beyond Award on behalf of his family. “Our family has worked extremely hard throughout the years to persevere as a fourth generation business, which is very rare nowadays. I know that the generations past would be proud to see our business and our family thriving today.”
ACE Ford, a fifth generation family-owned business, started out in 1913, when the late James L. Eastlack and his sons, Allen C. and Clayton N., obtained a Ford Franchise in Richwood, New Jersey. In 1920, the family was then granted a Ford Franchise for Woodbury, and business started at 27 Cooper Street.
The current CEO and owner of ACE Ford is Allen Eastlack, a fourth-generation Eastlack who was named after the ACE Founder. Since taking over the family business in 1980, he has grown and improved the dealership by implementing many structural and policy changes. In 1991, a state of the art body shop was built and the exterior and interior of the building was given a face-lift. The Service Department is now open on Saturdays, to accommodate the schedules of busy customers.
The fifth generation of the Eastlacks is Allen Jr., the current President, and Christopher, the current Vice President. Both Allen Jr. and Christopher continue to grow ACE Ford in sales and service. Within the last year, they oversaw the dealership’s complete renovation that turned the sales, service and parts departments into state of the art facilities.
Accepting the 3G & Beyond Award on behalf of the Eastlack Family was Christopher, who remarked, “When someone starts a business, they can only hope that it survives for their lifetime. For a business to continue through multiple generations is a greater feat. Through the years and generations, our family has been fortunate to have great employees and loyal customers. Without them, our business could not have survived. Each generation of Eastlacks has passed down the belief that happy, loyal employees will help create happy and loyal customers."
Pictured: Past 3G and Beyond Award Recipients: Ed Hutchinson; Michael Zallie, Jenny Ryan, Publisher SNJBP and Peter Hovnanian