Sam Fox, CEO and Founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, will be recognized as the 2015 University of Arizona Executive of the Year on Friday, April 17. The luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 East Sunrise, in Tucson.
“Sam studied real estate finance at the University of Arizona, but food was always his passion,” said UA Eller College Dean Jeffrey Schatzberg. “Since opening his first restaurant, Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, in Tucson at age 20, he has earned an outstanding reputation as a creative visionary, savvy entrepreneur and philanthropist – values we share here at the Eller College. It is only fitting that we honor him as Executive of the Year.”
Fox’s restaurant group currently boasts 44 locations and 15 unique concepts spanning seven states. Tucson’s Wildflower American Cuisine was the company’s first concept. Now based in Phoenix, Fox Restaurant Concepts includes Blanco Tacos & Tequila, True Food Kitchen, The Henry, Flower Child, North Italia, Culinary Dropout and several other popular restaurants. Together, his restaurant group employs nearly 4,000 people.
A Sabino High School graduate, Fox is an eight-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year and a New York Times best-selling cookbook author. He was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry by Nation’s Restaurant News for the second consecutive year and he was the 2014 recipient of the Richard Melman Innovator of the Year Award by Restaurant Hospitality magazine.
A Paradise Valley resident, he nourishes and grows talent through his “un-corporate” culture and shares his success by giving back to the communities his restaurants serve. He has been an avid supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs since his company’s inception in 1998 and recently held the position of honorary chair for the American Heart Association’s 2013 Heart Ball. In addition, Fox Restaurant Concepts supports several non-profit organizations including notMYkid and UMOM New Day Centers.
The University of Arizona Executive of the Year program was established by the Eller College National Board of Advisors in 1983 to honor individuals who exemplify executive qualities in private enterprise and public service. Recent honorees include Janet Napolitano, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor (2014); Larry Baer, president and CEO of the San Francisco Giants (2013); former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2012); and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (2011).
Tickets are $85 per person. Registration is at www.eller.arizona.edu/eoy. For more information, call (520) 621-0053.
David M. Bruggeman, President and Chief Operating Officer of Clinical Research Advantage, Inc. (CRA), was the recipient of two Stevie Awards at the 11th annual American Business Awards. Bruggeman received the Bronze Award for “Executive of the Year” in both the Pharmaceuticals and Health Products and Services categories.
Bruggeman was recognized for his ingenuity and leadership in building the country’s largest integrated network of clinical trial sites and partnering with Quintiles to create the first-ever therapeutic alliance for clinical trials in primary medicine. “David is an extraordinary leader whose work has improved the quality and efficiency of the clinical research process,” said Mark S. Hanley, CRA’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are happy to hear that David has received this national honor.”
The American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. Stevie Award winners were selected by more than 320 executives nationwide who participated in the judging process this year.
Nicknamed the Stevies for the Greek word for “crowned,” the awards were held on June 17th in Chicago, Illinois. This year, the judges reviewed more than 3,200 nominations from organizations of all sizes and virtually every industry.
Hiring and helping our veterans is as important today as it’s been at any other time in history. USAA’s chief executive officer will discuss how to assist veterans as they transition to civilian life when he’s honored for his achievements on April 25.
Ret. Maj. Gen. Josue “Joe” Robles served for 28 years in the U.S. Army. He now serves as president and chief executive officer of USAA, a Fortune 500 financial-services provider for members of the military and their families. This month, Robles becomes the 30th annual Executive of the Year chosen by the Dean’s Council of 100, a national group of prominent executives who advise the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
“Robles has set a superb example in serving both his country and his customers,” says W. P. Carey School of Business Dean Amy Hillman. “USAA is known for exceptional customer service and for aiding our active-duty military members, veterans and their families. We’re proud to honor these efforts.”
USAA provides insurance, banking, investment and retirement products and services to 9.6 million members of the U.S. military and their families. The organization is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. It was founded in 1922 and now employs more than 25,000 people at offices around the world, including one in the Phoenix area.
Robles was a USAA board member from 1990 to 1994, while he was still on active duty in the Army. His stellar armed-forces resume includes command and staff positions in Korea, Vietnam, Germany, and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in the Middle East. He has received many honors, including the Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He also served as commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division (the oldest division in the U.S. Army, also known as “The Big Red One”) and director of the Army budget prior to joining USAA in 1994 as chief financial officer. He became president and CEO in 2007. This new recognition adds to his full shelf of awards.
“I couldn’t be more honored, especially in a community that’s so important to USAA and our mission,” Robles said. “As a veteran myself, I am looking forward to discussing how we can help members of the military transition into civilian careers.”
Robles was named the “No. 1 Veteran in Business” by The Christian Science Monitor in 2009. Among other honors, he also received the Horatio Alger Award for being a dedicated community leader, committed to excellence. He serves on several boards, including the American Red Cross Board of Governors and the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ San Antonio branch.
The event to honor Robles will be held Thursday, April 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort in Scottsdale. The W. P. Carey School of Business Dean’s Council of 100 chose Robles to follow previous high-profile winners, including Michael Dell, chairman and chief executive officer of Dell Inc.; Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks Coffee Company; and Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company.
This event is part of the Economic Club of Phoenix speaker series. For more information about the club or to reserve seats, call (480) 727-0596 or visit www.econclubphx.org.