While the Fort Worth area is home to a number of exemplary family enterprises, the story behind Harris Packaging intrigued us. The more we learned, the more we knew that Harris Packaging Corporation had to be the Business Press’ 2021 Top 100 Family-Owned Business of the Year.
Joe and Joyce Harris founded the company in 1976 after Joe had worked successfully in the industry for almost a decade. They opened their own sheet plant in Haltom City, working tirelessly and successfully for 15 years to grow the company before Joyce passed away in 1991. In 1992, Joe decided to expand and started American Carton Company in Mansfield, based on the concept that customers who buy folding cartons also purchase corrugated boxes.
The American Carton addition diversified the offerings to the existing customer base as well as opened new opportunities. Joe continued to invest in staff, equipment and building expansion at both companies over the next 15 years. In 2006, Joe asked his daughters, Jenise and Jana, if they were interested in joining the family businesses.
They accepted and by December of 2009, they became majority owners in what are now certified Women-Owned businesses. During the first 15 years of the daughters’ involvement revenues have grown 300% and staff has doubled. Jenise and Jana are excited that the Harris legacy may not stop with them thanks to the interest of several members of the third generation in learning the family business.
The Harris family has always attributed their success to an experienced and dedicated team of employees. When picking leadership teams, both first and second-generation owners have made it a point to look not only for managers who knew the industry but also for individuals who would lead with the core values that the Harris family expects – putting employees and customers first.
Harris Packaging and American Carton were founded on customer service and continue to be driven by customer satisfaction. From concept to delivery of each order, the entire organization works together with the same goal in mind: exceeding customers’ expectations.
Harris Packaging and American Carton were selected the 2012 Small Business of the Year by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, in addition to being named outstanding vendor of the year by customers on seven different occasions.
The University of Texas at Arlington honored its 100 fastest-growing Maverick-owned businesses at the MAVS100 UTA Business event earlier this year with Harris Packaging ranked No. 17 and American Carton ranking No. 19.
Jana Harris and her sister, Jenise Cox, have partnered with UTA as the only university in Texas collaborating with the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation. They work closely with the Visual Communication Design program at the university to provide scholarships and internships to students, as well as sponsoring a sales competition through the College of Business.