As you read this column, the editorial crew at Pizza Today is finishing up the process of poring through the scores of entries for our second annual Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. We’re scrutinizing every nomination form, reading every pitch and watching the videos with a keen amount of respect for the men and women who took the time to make submissions.
Just like last year, the videos have been uplifting and have showcased a wealth of enthusiasm for and pride in our industry. Let me tell you: narrowing it down to three finalists is no easy task!
But it’s a task we must nonetheless undertake. With that said, the finalists will be announced on Pizza Today’s social media channels and Web site in just a few weeks. We’ll then get them squared away for their big presentation at International Pizza Expo 2019 in Las Vegas!
If you are attending the show, be sure to sit in on the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Finals on Wednesday, March 6 from 3:30-5 p.m. You’ll be inspired by what the finalists have to say about their pizzerias and their take on the industry. And you’ll also get the chance to vote for the Award winner!
Meanwhile, last year’s winner — Sammy Mandell of Green Avenue Pizza Company in Dallas — will be giving an entertaining keynote address that same morning from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Sammy continually injects creativity and ingenuity into every aspect of the business. He has developed signature products and revolutionized his employee culture by creating the trademarked persona of the Pizza Slayer. He has harnessed technology and content creation to attract and retain top talent. He pushes boundaries to lead not only his team, but also to inspire the pizzeria industry to rethink how to approach operations, employee management and growth.
Suffice to say, you’ll want to hear what Sammy has to say. I know he’ll blow you away just like he did at last year’s Inaugural Young Entrepreneur of the Year Event!
Lastly, Happy New Year to our readers and advertisers! As the calendar turns, let’s all approach 2019 with a renewed enthusiasm and vigor. This is the best industry on the planet. Let’s celebrate and grow it.
Editor in Chief