The R&R King Logging family: Bob King, Kay King, Claire Waggoner, Jennifer Waggoner and Dan Waggoner. (courtesy photo)
Besides managing a nearly 100-year-old family business, Florence residents Bob and Kay King have accomplished what no other logging company in Oregon has done: win an Austin Family Business Award.
“We’re very proud,” Bob King said. “We’re thrilled to death to be chosen, and we think it’s really great for our family and for the industry.”
Since 1988, Oregon State University’s Austin Family Business Program has awarded more than 140 companies with this recognition.
The Kings’ business, R&R King Logging, Inc., was one of six Oregon companies and three individuals selected to receive the 2008 Excellence in Family Business Award.
This award recognizes the achievements of family businesses in innovation, entrepreneurship, commitment and community involvement.
Other winners include Reser’s Fine Foods of Beaverton, Nosler of Bend and Healthy Pets Northwest of Portland.
“To have actually been awarded this is just such a nice honor,” Kay King said.
She said it was a fairly complex and complicated process to apply for the award, but it was worth it in the end.
In order to be considered for the award, family businesses had to complete an online interview and questionnaire.
More than 100 family businesses applied in 2008.
Once chosen as a finalist, businesses had three weeks to prepare a presentation about their company for a panel of judges, which included past winners and board members.
“It really takes time to put that together,” Kay King said about her family’s PowerPoint presentation.
The judges scored their presentation on five categories: their business plan, how they handle tough times, succession plan for future generations, commitment to the community and diversification.
“It was great to get that word out there and be able to tell our story,” she said.
Bob King, who is a third generation logging contractor, said it was exciting to have his entire family — including his 9-year-old granddaughter Claire — represent the business.
In July, the Kings were notified by letter congratulating the company for winning the award in the medium category (businesses with 25 to 99 employees). The other categories were micro, small and large family business.
R&R King Logging’s leadership, diversification and community involvement were noted among the judges.
“I can’t say we were surprised because we work really hard, but we were very pleased,” Bob King said.
Since the early 1900s, the King family has been a leading harvester of timber throughout western Oregon.
After graduating from Oregon State University in 1967, Bob and his father kept the family tradition alive by forming R&R King Logging. In 1980, he took over the company when his father retired.
“Logging is a very difficult occupation where you can’t really go to school and get what you need to know to be a logger,” Bob King said. “The only teaching that you have for logging is experience.”
R&R King Logging is currently composed of four owners: Bob and his wife Kay, their daughter Jennifer Waggoner and her husband Dan Waggoner.
The company, which is based in Florence, oversees 75 employees while running six tower-logging and one road-building operation. It harvests and processes nearly 1,200 tons of timber every day.
In 2002, the company received the Northwest Region Logger of the Year Award from the state of Oregon.
“When you’re in a community this size, a lot of people depend on us to help,” said Kay King, who received the 2006 Woman of the Year award from Associated Oregon Loggers for promoting the logging industry.
The Kings said they are extremely proud of their employees and feel honored that the company has been recognized for its work in the community.
A special evening celebration for this year’s Excellence in Family Business award recipients will be held Nov. 20 at the Oregon Zoo in Portland.
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