Brothers David and Tom Hanson (far left, second from left), and brother-in-law Dana Carlen (second from right) owe a lot to dear old Dad. Though Hanson Carlen founder Dewey Hanson is 15 years retired, the owners still look to his example. “Dad was always successful and a hands-on guy,” David says. “Even with the changes we’ve made, he really put us in a position to succeed.”

Four years ago, the company moved to a design/build concept and hired architect Ryan Ruffcorn (far right). David adds that a 3,000-square-foot cabinet shop and trained carpenters from local trade schools allow the firm to focus on high-end, creative projects that “challenge the carpenters and designers with things that are a little out of their realm.” Such projects include a barrel-vaulted kitchen ceiling and an acoustically accurate music room.

Part of the company’s success comes from financial solvency. “We’re a mature business, so everything’s paid for,” David says. “Being financially sound is something that we have Dad to thank for. It means we’ll be able to weather tough times.” It also means the company paid cash for its 2008 renovation and relocation to a space in Spokane’s historic Montvale Hotel. Dad would approve.

- Lauren Hunter