Merrill Gardens Named Family Business of the Year

SEATTLE, Washington –Merrill Gardens, a Seattle-based owner and operator of senior housing communities, has been named the Family Business of the Year, sponsored by Pacific Lutheran University’s Family Enterprise Institute.

Merrill Gardens and parent R.D. Merrill Company were chosen in the large business category from over 300 nominees in the Northwest Family Business Awards sponsored by Pacific Lutheran University. The company was honored for innovative business strategies, business performance and contributions to the community. The company was also honored as Family Business of the Year in 2004.

“This award is a great honor because it is a tribute to the strength of the Merrill family’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to quality. We share this honor with our extended family, especially the team members who work hard every day to make our communities a great place for our senior residents to live,” said Charlie Wright, company chairman.

The Family Business of the Year Award was presented at a recent ceremony in Seattle. As Washington State winners, the company will now go on to compete in the 2007 National Family Business Awards.

“R.D. Merrill and Merrill Gardens represent the best of family business success,” said Catharine Pratt, Dean, Pacific Lutheran University. “It is a challenge for any firm that has existed for over 100 years to be proactive about a prosperous future. R.D. Merrill and Merrill Gardens are very successful in building onto the family’s spirit of entrepreneurial thinking.”

As many of you know, the Merrill companies began in the 1890’s when R.D. Merrill formed timber partnerships in the Pacific Northwest. An aggressive businessman, Merrill was also compassionate and forward thinking. He led the way in providing improved living conditions for loggers and was the first to value the relationship between the forest and its environment. Under his leadership, the company grew to become a successful business as strong as its magnificent forests.

In 1993 Merrill entered the senior housing market to diversify the company in an industry that could extend Merrill family’s long-term commitment to quality. The company purchased its first retirement community that year and fourteen years later Merrill Gardens is now a respected industry leader with 53 communities in 8 states.

For More Information Contact: Loree Wagner (206) 676-5335 loreew@merrillgardens.com

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