OKLAHOMA CITY - October 7, 2016 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - SONIC® Drive-In (NASDAQ: SONC), the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, presented nine achievement awards to franchisees and team members at the 2016 SONIC National Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Every year, SONIC awards exemplary individuals and groups to show appreciation to those who have a proven track record of strong leadership skills and have made a positive difference for their drive-ins and the brand.
Named after SONIC's founder, induction into the Troy Smith Hall of Fame is SONIC's most prestigious award, given to a franchisee who has worked with SONIC for a noteworthy duration and made a significant contribution in terms of leadership, growth, positive influence and brand image. This year, SONIC presented the Troy Smith Award to Joe Moore, SONIC franchise owner and leader of J-2 Enterprises.
"It is such an honor to receive this award that many of my fellow colleagues have received and who inspire me every day," said Moore. "I am very proud to be a part of the SONIC family for the last 27 years, and I look forward to making my organization one that would make both my family and Troy Smith proud."
Based in Pauls Valley, Okla., J-2 Enterprises owns and operates 37 SONIC Drive-Ins. Moore works with his team to continually push toward the goal of providing his guests with an amazing SONIC experience.
"Joe is a well-respected franchisee in the SONIC community and is a source of great leadership and inspiration to his fellow franchisees, colleagues and partners," said Clifford Hudson, chairman and chief executive officer of Sonic Corp. "Joe is known as Mr. Smalltown in the SONIC family due to his commitment to growing his franchise group differently by embracing smaller towns for his drive-ins. He captures the spirit of a Troy Smith Hall of Fame recipient and has contributed positive changes to the brand for many years. We appreciate everything he has done to make his business what it is today."
SONIC presented Gabe Pray, SONIC franchisee and leader of the Pray Group, with the SONIC Chain Leader Award. This award is given to an individual or group who has exerted both leadership and a positive influence on their organization and the SONIC brand. Based in Amite, La. and operating ten drive-ins, Pray is a second generation franchise owner who has made great investments in his people and has built a strong infrastructure within his franchise group.
SONIC presented Grey Simpson, SONIC franchisee and leader of GM Investments, with the Turnaround Operator Award. This annual award honors an individual or group who was responsible for turning around operations, sales and profit performance of one or more SONIC Drive-Ins. Based in Charleston, S.C., Simpson is using emerging technology to turn his business around in amazing ways. With an increase in average unit sales and controllable profit in 2016 with plans for further expansion, Simpson has proven that a whole business approach will create a remarkable turnaround.
SONIC presented Joe Zacher, SONIC franchisee and leader of Zacher Enterprises, with the SONIC Great People Award. This award is given to an individual or group who has made the recruitment, training, development and retention of people a top priority and strategy for growth. Based in Denver, Colo., Zacher is focused on building his team and is reaping rewards in his six brand-leading drive-ins.
SONIC presented Habib Javed, supervising partner for SONIC Restaurants, Inc. (the company's subsidiary of corporate-owned drive-ins), and Keven Briggs, partner for the Watkins-Briggs Group, with the Multi-Unit Leader Award. This honor is awarded to two individuals responsible for supervision of five or more drive-ins who have a proven track record of upgrading talent and growing sales and profits over a period of several years.
Based in Norman, Okla., Javed is one of Sonic Restaurant Inc.'s most valuable team members after serving SRI for 25 years. Javed proves that by building great people, you can build a strong business.
Briggs is the supervisor of eight drive?ins in a developing Florida market and he uses SONIC's values as a touchstone for creating a culture that focuses on superior operations. With a tremendous passion for the SONIC brand, Briggs keeps his drive-ins performing above the rest with increased sales over the last two years.
SONIC presented the Operational Excellence Award to Brian Markham, operating partner for the Cooper, Raynor, Young Group, and Stephanie Matthews, operating partner for the Cody Barnett Group. This honor is awarded to two individuals responsible for supervision of fewer than five drive-ins who have a proven track record of upgrading talent and growing sales and profits over a period of several years.
Based in Springfield, Tenn., Markham is a natural born leader with overall increased unit sales. Markham started his career with SONIC as a cook in 1993 and has worked his way up to now be an Operating Partner.
Matthews, based in Waco, Texas, is a tough competitor who loves to succeed and meet goals at her drive-in. She works hard to build loyalty, attract customers and is also dedicated to helping the local community.
The Mason Development Award was presented to Mike Irons, SONIC franchisee and leader of Boom, Inc. This award is given to an individual or group to recognize outstanding contributions to the development of new drive-ins and brand growth. Based in Columbia, S.C., Irons and his group have adopted key brand strategies including relocations, rebuilds and building multiple new drive-ins over the next 5 years.
SONIC, America's Drive-In is the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain, serving more than 3 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of SONIC's 3,500 drive-in locations are owned and operated by local business men and women. Over more than 60 years, SONIC has delighted guests with signature menu items, more than 1.3 million drink combinations and friendly service by iconic Carhops. Since the 2009 launch of SONIC's Limeades for Learning philanthropic campaign in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, SONIC has donated more than $6 million to public school teachers nationwide to fund essential learning materials and innovative teaching resources to inspire creativity and learning in today's youth. This year, SONIC announced a $15 million commitment over the next five years to making a difference in public school classrooms across the country. To learn more about Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ/NM: SONC), please visit sonicdrivein.com and please visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To learn more about SONIC's Limeades for Learning initiative, please visit Limeadesforlearning.com.
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