Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Issue III, 2017 - Page 10

BY KERRY PIPES & EDDY GOLDBERG 2017 MVP WINNERS S These multi-unit franchisees set the bar high electing the winners for our Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards means analyzing applications submitted on behalf of many of the best multi-unit franchisees in the business. This year we declared 11 winners, who were recognized on stage in front of their peers at the 2017 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, held this April at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To qualify, multi-unit franchisees must have at least fi ve op- erating units and have been in a franchise system for at least two years. This year’s recipients demonstrated outstanding perfor- mance in growing both their organizations and their brand—or brands. Here’s a preview of the 2017 MVP Award winners, whose full profi les grace the following pages. AMERICAN DREAM AWARD • Anand (Andy) Patel. Since buying a fl ailing IHOP in 1992 and doubling its volume within a year, Patel has experienced soaring multi-brand growth, today managing more than $220 million in revenue and 4,500 employees. “My defi nition of the American Dream is the ability to be successful through hard work and determination,” says Patel. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT LEADERSHIP AWARD • Karen Morse is an 18-year franchisee of Ben & Jerry’s, pioneers in the socially responsible business movement. Her ongoing ef- fort to support the community that supports her seven shops is just part of who she is. “We don’t know how to do it any other way,” says the Washington, D.C.-based operator. PRO ATHLETE INFLUENCER AWARD • Brendon Ayanbadejo. This former NFL player operates 20 Orangetheory Fitness locations in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties—already halfway to his goal as franchisee and area developer in just 4 years. The son of interracial parents, he is known for advocating for marriage equality, including same- sex marriage, and brings the same energy, passion, and leadership to franchising he was known for as a Baltimore Ravens captain. INFLUENCER AWARD FOR HUSBAND & WIFE TEAM • Todd & Audra Fetter operate 8 Buffalo Wings & Rings, with 2 more on the way. Three of their fi ve children work in the busi- ness. They earned this award for demonstrating growth, perse- verance, and excellence as a team—which mirrors Todd Fetter’s advice to other franchising couples: “Stick it out. It is extremely hard work, but the rewards are phenomenal.” INNOVATION AWARD • Mitchell York traded in his corporate career for the Ha- waiian shirts and laid-back culture of Maui Wowi. That was 15 years ago, when the brand’s business model was based on selling smoothies at public events. “I got my fi rst location at Yankee Stadium. A few years later, I saw an opportunity to cre- ate a catering model,” he says. He not only created the model, he wrote the ops manual and trained new franchisees on this high-margin part of the business. 8 MULTI-UNIT FRANCHISEE IS S UE III, 2017 MEGA GROWTH LEADERSHIP AWARD • Eddie Rodriguez has been in franchising for 43 years, 23 as a franchisee. His company operates 179 Wendy’s that generate nearly $300 million in annual revenue. Recently inducted into Wendy’s Hall of Fame, he says, “When you run a restaurant a lot of the cost of your business is in a two- or three-mile radius. The way you deal within that radius and serve those customers day in and day out determines how successful your restaurant is going to be.” MULTI-BRAND GROWTH LEADERSHIP AWARD • John Ponczoch is senior vice president of food operations and marketing for TravelCenters of America. “I think it’s important to point out the uniqueness of our company,” says Ponczoch. The company operates more than 25 franchised brands at 800- plus locations in 43 states, and parent company TA-Petro also operates 9 brands as a franchisor. NOBLE CAUSE AWARD • Bret Stewart. A multi-unit franchisee with 17 Auntie Anne’s, 2 Schlotzsky’s, and 1 Cinnabon, Stewart’s creative commitment to his employees and community knows no bounds. He created his own Dream Builders program to help fund the goals and aspirations of his team members. Two of his Auntie Anne’s are owned by the social enterprise organization Washington Voca- tional Services (WVS). SINGLE BRAND LEADERSHIP AWARD • Johnny Weber has been franchising for 8½ years and operates 56 Sport Clips locations as a franchisee and area developer. Sport Clips founder and CEO Gordon Logan, who nominated Weber for the award, calls him a superstar franchisee: “We couldn’t have a better brand ambassador than Johnny Weber.” SPIRIT OF FRANCHISING AWARD • Mark Friedman traded in his career as a management con- sultant XYHH[[܈[\[\YK8'HX[^YBX[Hو[Y][]HX[HݙY X\XZ[˜HX]\X[Y\[H[[x&\]\^H[YH[XK8'B^\YYX[\ []ˈ[]Y\ H[[\ۈ܈YHX[ZYHZ[[˂UTSSTSUTTUT(][[K\ܛY\Kˈ]HH\[ \B]\ NH[]]\][ۜ\H[\^[\Hو[Z[]\HZ[[[]\[\[ˈ8'[[H\H[BZ[]\H[H[\[H\]HۈY[\[][\š[H\[\\Y\]\[K8'HH^\ˈ8'ۜY\\[B]\[H[]H]XX\[YH[H۸&]Yܙ]] 'Bۙܘ][][ۜ\H[[XXH[\Y\^ B[\YHH\و][\[\ٙ\[\\YKH[XۛX]ܘ[[[ۋ[ٚHB[[\L[\YK[۸&]Z\\[X[][KU[] L[[Y[B[ۈYH N