Franchise Update Magazine Issue II, 2013 - Page 23

Each year, Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine honors a select group of franchisees who have demonstrated outstanding performance in building their businesses, growing their brands, and serving their communities. This year’s MVP winners were selected in eight categories. The awards were presented at one of the general sessions. “We congratulate these dedicated and outstanding franchisees,” said Therese Thilgen, CEO of Franchise Update Media Group. “These are the kinds of business operators who inspire others with their vision, leadership, and success.” David Akers Grow Market Lead MVP Awards Honor Franchisees The 2013 winners are: • Noble Cause Award: William Ray Bruce, COO at Abundant Brands; franchisee of Subway, Costa Vida, Roxberry Juice, and Big Al’s BBQ; • Noble Cause Award (Hurricane Sandy): Steve Baliva, part- Peter Guber, keynoter For the past decade, this conference has supported the Little Rock Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of the blind and visually impaired from early childhood through adulthood. This year, the charitable effort has grown. Gary Gardner, chair of Franchise Update Media Group, took the stage to introduce Franchising Cares, a new franchise charitable giving initiative. As chair, Falk was encouraged to name a charitable organization to add as a beneficiary of this year’s fundraising efforts. He chose the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance to wounded Marines and their families as they recover. Gardner reported that the previous day’s charity golf tournament raised almost $5,000. The conference also featured its regular Silent Auction, with about $50,000 of donated items this year. And Thursday night’s Chairman’s Dinner raised an additional $15,000, boosting total charitable donations at the conference to about $65,000. Day 1: Annnnd they’re off! Wednesday morning’s general session kicked off with a keynote from Hollywood and sports mogul Peter Guber. The former studio chief at Columbia Pictures and co-chair of Casablanca Records today heads up Mandalay Entertainment. The fast-paced talk by the New York Times number-one best-selling author (“Tell To Win”) focused on the importance of “reaching your customers’ hearts,” and he spoke like a man who has learned how to do just that. He gave the crowd several tips for identifying what their customers are looking for—and how to give it to them. “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm,” he said. Speaking of his own many failures, he said “Success and failure are handmaidens on the journey.” To illustrate, he told a story ner at Metz Culinary; franchisee of T.G.I. Friday’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and Wolfgang Puck Express; • Influencer Award: Samantha Goldsmith, founder of Goldsmith Companies; franchisee of Red Mango; • Innovation Award: Joe Hertzman, founder of the Radcliff Group; franchisee of Rally’s; • American Dream Award: Guillermo Perales, founder of Sun Holdings; franchisee of Burger King, Popeyes, Arby’s Golden Corral, and CiCi’s; • Role Model Award: Spencer Smith, founder of the Smith Group; franchisee of Aaron’s, Rimco, and Big O Tires; • Spirit of Franchising Leadership Award: Danny Sonenshine, founder of Far West Restaurant Group; franchisee of Wingstop; and • Veteran Entrepreneurship Award: Kevin and Laurel Wilk- erson, franchisees of Marco’s Pizza. Franchiseupdate I ssue I I , 2013  21