The Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University’s College of Business awarded Atiyeh Oriental Rugs the esteemed 2012 Dean’s Award for Leadership in Family Business. Former Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh accepted the award on behalf of the family rug businesses – Atiyeh Bros. and Atiyeh International.
Beginning in 1900, the Atiyeh rug business maintained retail showrooms located throughout the Pacific Northwest and an importing and wholesale arm based in New York City. In the late 1970s, Atiyeh’s famous Persian Kerman deLuxe production stalled due to the Iranian revolution. Throughout the decades the Portland, Ore.-based Atiyeh Bros. expanded to multiple showrooms in the metropolitan area as well as establishing an innovative cleaning plant in SE Portland after WWII. A second cleaning plant in Eugene was acquired in the 1980s and by 2001 the retail showrooms were consolidated into one large showroom in Tigard, Ore.
Tom and Leslie Atiyeh formed Atiyeh International and transferred hand-knotted carpet production from Iran to China in the mid-1980s continuing the legacy of the traditional carpets while updating the color palette to suit the ever-changing design trends of the last century.
The Atiyehs involved their whole family in community endeavors in such non-profit organizations as Salvation Army, Royal Rosarians, Portland Rose Festival Foundation, Rotary International, and Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, to name a few. The second generation in the family business in Oregon consisted of brothers Edward, Richard and Governor Victor Atiyeh; all of whom contributed countless years in public service. Transitioning to the third generation, the Atiyeh family named David Atiyeh and Tom Marantette to lead the Atiyeh Bros. firmly into the 21st Century. Tom and his wife, Leslie, guided the wholesale business back to the forefront, allowing the family businesses to celebrate a successful centennial year filled with special events including a year-long exhibition at the Oregon History Museum in 2000.
The Dean’s Award for Leadership in Family Business highlights leadership in industry and/or community. It is given to a family business that demonstrates excellence in business practices, a strong family focus, commitment to their community, and in particular, provides leadership in all of these essential family business elements. The award recognizes the success of an entire family over several generations. Ilene K. Kleinsorge, dean of College of Business at Oregon State University, said, “It is my opinion the Atiyeh family is most deserving and models excellence in family business.”
A short video with the Atiyeh Oriental Rug story may be found by visiting atiyeh.com or atiyehbros.com.