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Grandview firm earns family business honors

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Members of Powell-Christensen were on hand for an awards ceremony in Seattle last week honoring family-owned businesses. Pictured from left are Justin Christensen (VP Sales and Marketing), Jessica Christensen, Quentin Christensen, Bill Betterton (CFO), Annette Christensen (Controller), Gary Christensen (CEO), Amy Christensen, Tony Christensen (COO), Travis Paulson (GM Wholesale) and Tanya Paulson.

SEATTLE - Grandview-based Powell-Christensen was one of three finalists in the Large Business Category during an awards ceremony held last week in Seattle at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center.

Seattle Business magazine honored the impact and legacy of Washington state's top family-run companies at the 2012 Washington Family Business Awards ceremony last week. Thirteen family-owned and run businesses from across the state were honored.

In addition to Powell-Christensen, the other finalists honored in the Large Business Catgory were Oak Harbor Freight of Auburn and Baker Boyer Bank of Walla Walla.

Powell-Christensen's family of companies includes Seaport Petroleum in Seattle, Mid-Valley Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Grandview and R.E. Powell Distributing, which has offices in Grandview, Pasco, Walla Walla, Toppenish and Yakima.

Powell-Christensen was founded in 1980 when Gary and Annette Christensen purchased R.E. Powell Distributing, but its roots go much deeper than that.

The original company, R.E. Powell Distributing, was founded by Ray Powell in 1935. Now with more than 400 employees, the company has grown to be one of the largest distributors of fuel, lubricant and propane products in the Pacific Northwest.

The Puget Sound Business Journal ranked them earlier this year as the 14th largest privately-owned company in the state of Washington.

The second generation of the Christensen family has now entered the business.

"I am proud of our family as my three oldest sons-Brandon, Tony and Justin- and our 400 other family members work tirelessly to build on our legacy of outstanding service and integrity," said Christensen.

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