A Publication of WTVP

You might be surprised to learn how large a role family businesses play in the economy. Thirty-five percent of Fortune 500 companies are family-owned, meaning that family-based operations are represented across the full spectrum of American companies, from small businesses to large corporations. In addition, family-owned companies are responsible for 60 percent of the nation’s employment and 78 percent of new jobs created.

As the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2011, we in the business community have much to be grateful for. The Peoria area is unique in many ways, among them its wealth of distinctive, family-owned businesses. Have you ever thought about the many long-standing family businesses thriving in this community? We would like to share some snapshots of these successful entrepreneurs.

The Ideal Troy Co. was founded in 1914 by Carl O. Triebel. In the early 1900s, the majority of its business was household laundry and linens. As times changed and technology allowed people to have washers and dryers of their own, Ideal Troy shifted away from being just a laundry service. Triebel had the foresight to see that dry cleaning would be a good way to provide for the Triebel families of the future.

A. Lucas & Sons was founded in 1857 by Adam Lucas. Today this company holds the distinction of being the oldest manufacturing business in Peoria. Its doors have remained open every day since 1857.

Cathy Craig has always enjoyed working with family, but with that comes the understanding that running a family business, or any business for that matter, can be quite difficult. She observes that she never stops thinking about the business—that it is a constant force in her life, for good and bad. Her father, Jim, started Craig Upholstery in 1976, and it remains a dependable service for many Peoria homeowners today.

Founded by Samuel “Saul” Hagerty, Hagerty Brothers opened its doors in 1860. The company remains locally owned, managed by the fifth- and sixth-generation descendants of the original founder, including Susan Flora Fellerhoff, Saul’s great-great granddaughter, and her husband and current company president, Randy Fellerhoff. Over the years, Hagerty Brothers has grown to include a transportation company, machine shop, and warehousing and fulfillment operation, in addition to Hagerty Industrial Supply, the largest and oldest continuing segment of the company.

Born Paint Company is an independent paint and sundry dealer. They have been family-owned and operated since 1920. They were the first retailer in Peoria to sell and stock automotive paint.

After 69 years and three generations, the Winklers consider each employee of Peoria Charter Coach a “member” of the family. Since 1941, this company has served the people of central Illinois with the utmost integrity. The Winkler family is very dedicated to the community and their faith, with a well-earned reputation for reliability and confidence.

We are fortunate to witness so many family-owned businesses become successful and remain so over the years. This is an important complement to any economic development effort, and its importance cannot be underestimated. Many of us are deeply rooted in this area and have a major stake in the success of these businesses—and the entire business community. iBi