Willamette grads honored for successful family business

VanNatta Public Relations, which was founded by Fred VanNatta '60, was recently named one of Oregon State University's Excellence in Family Business award-winners. 

VPR is a Salem-based association management, public policy consulting and event planning company. The award recognizes success that, according to the judges, can be attributed to the fluidity of the management of the company in light of changing audiences and shifting focus as the company changed hands over generations.

Many of those hands at VPR belong to Willamette alumni. Harvey Gail MBA'88 and Mary Louise VanNatta '86 currently manage VPR.  Also involved in the business is Mariel (Fahlstrom) VanNatta '60. They are part of a long line of family members to attend Willamette.

More than 100 family businesses were nominated for this year's award.

"We are honored to be recognized for something that we value. Family is a critical part of our business," says Mary Louise VanNatta, the company's CEO. "Fred and Mariel VanNatta built something amazing and we're proud to be able to continue what they started."

Members of the VanNatta Public Relations team will receive their award at a ceremony on Nov. 18 at the Hilton Portland and Executive Towers.