The International Franchise Association in San Diego announced 57 recipients of its Franchisee of the Year Awards, including Salem Najjar, CEO of Serve Hospitality Group in Novi as one of the recipients.
“Franchisee of the Year Awards are the highest honors presented to individual franchisees,” says Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the IFA. “These local business owners represent some of the best entrepreneurs in the country, and we are proud to recognize their contributions to their communities, their employees, and all those they serve.”
At 31 years old, Najjar currently owns and operates 14 Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in the Midwest with 19 more in the pipeline and employs nearly 400 people. He regularly mentors his employees and one of his mentees who started nearly five years ago as a shift leader and now is vice president of operations for Salem’s entire organization.
“Franchising has led our nation’s economic recovery over the past year, and these entrepreneurs have played a tremendous role in the growth we have seen in the business model and all it has done for the individuals it supports,” says Haller. “The future of franchising is bright, largely in thanks to hardworking entrepreneurs like those we are recognizing today.”