Captain D's announced yesterday that it celebrated its golden anniversary by honoring outstanding franchisees, area directors, restaurant crews and vendor partners at its 2019 Franchisee Convention in San Antonio last month. Among those recognized were Joe Springer of NuFish, LLC, who was named Captain D's Operator of the Year for his exceptional sales performance and high satisfaction from employees and guests, as well as Captain D's largest franchisee, Trident Holdings, LLC, which took home the award for Developer of the Year.
In addition to recognizing exceptional operators and development achievements, each year Captain D's honors a franchisee that exemplifies its mission of providing guests with affordable, high-quality seafood in a warm, family-friendly environment with its prestigious induction into the Captain D's Hall of Fame. This year's inductee was Robbie Copenhaver, who has been an esteemed member of the Captain D's family for more than 40 years. Copenhaver, who started with Captain D's in 1978 as a cook, moved up the ranks of the company from management to operations to, finally, franchisee 14 years ago. He now owns and operates seven Captain D's restaurants in Alabama and Louisiana, and is a pillar in his community, helping to raise more than $400,000 for Children's of Alabama's Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center.
Captain D's 2019 convention brought together more than 190 franchise operators, along with their families and teams for three days of educational and networking sessions, as well as a vendor trade show and awards dinner. In addition to its franchisee recipients, award categories and winners included:
- Area Director of the Year: Laticia Strozier of Montgomery, Alabama
- Director of Operations of the Year: Jay Bann, Georgia and Florida
- Captain D's Pride Cup: Bluefield, West Virginia for exceptional leadership and exemplary customer service.
- Presidents Club Induction of Restaurants that have demonstrated exemplary customer service, operations, and sales performance: Jasper, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; Meridian, Mississippi; Greenville Alabama; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Fredricksburg, Virginia; Scottsboro, Alabama; and Milledgeville, Georgia
- Vendors of the Year: Maritime International Products, out of Newport News, Virginia, and Sanderson Farms, out of Laurel, Mississippi.
- Top Equipment Innovation: Vulcan, for Captain D's new countertop electric fryers, and Traulsen of ITW Food Equipment Group, for the innovation of new freezer bases beneath the fryers.
- The Golden Hammer Award for Contractor of the Year: The Clayton Group, Inc./Ideal Construction from Clayton, Ohio, for its outstanding work on Captain D's new Mach I prototype.
"I am proud of our company, our employees and franchisees," said Phil Greifeld, president and CEO of Captain D's. "Our ongoing success is driven by very talented people and it was an honor to celebrate our 50th anniversary with all of these special individuals."
With more than 530 restaurants in 22 states, Captain D's is the fast-casual seafood leader and number one seafood franchise in America ranked by average unit volume.
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