2012 Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Induction Event
We are proud to announce the induction event for the class of 2012 into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame which is located in the EPICENTER in downtown Atlanta was a huge success, as one entrepreneur said "This was the Academy Awards of Entrepreneurship. This inaugural event was held in front of packed house of over 170 on Saturday, December 1st at "The Estate". With this event, we definitely did "Illuminate the past, Empower the present and Inspire the future" (™).
We appreciate the tremendous input from all of those that submitted their nominees for the class of 2012 into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. They included, Sara Blakely, Harris Rosen, Truett Cathy, Tom Chappell, Elon Musk, John Portman, Russell Simmons, Dave Anderson, Phil Knight, Henry Aaron, Bernie Marcus, Arthur Blank, Ray Anderson, Tom Chappell, Madame CJ Walker and James M. Cox.
This induction event honored those individuals who have made a significant impact and achieved a remarkable level of success in their respective fields, plus share the importance of philanthropy and innovation in their lives.
Among this year's inductees were: Harris Rosen, Don Dwyer, Sara Blakely, Dave Anderson, Truett Cathy. There will also special awards presented in the areas of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship to Steve Mariotti, plus youth entrepreneurship winners Dave & Catherine Cook, and Veteran Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame winner Ray Margiano of Foot Solutions.
If that is not enough, we also honored Subway Co-Founder Fred Deluca, who is a past inductee and received his "E" award created especially by lamp work glass artist, Hans Godo Frabel.
To kick off the event this video was played which really captures the Entrepreneur.
If you weren't able to attend please take some time to view photos of the event.
If you'd like to have a voice in the inductees for the class of 2013, please submit your nomination.
Read some testimonials from those who attended the event.
|Fred Deluca||Sara Blakely||Dave Anderson|
|Truett Cathy||Don Dwyer||Harris Rosen|
|Catherine Cook||Steve Mariotti||David Cook|
At no time in my 24 years in franchising, do I ever remember being so moved as I was when I had the privilege of attending the Class of 2012 Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Induction Awards on December 1, 2012, at the Estate, plus the celebration of the birth of the EpiCenter, Home of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame you founded a decade ago. There are simply no words that can adequately describe the energy emitted, when so many founders of so many successful brands like Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Spanx, Famous Dave's BBQ and others, were joined together in the beautiful "Estate", celebrating the very backbone of the American Dream: Entrepreneurship. Truett Cathy, Famous Dave Anderson, Fred DeLuca, Sara Blakely, Harris Rosen and dozens more of all ages from all over the world, all together, celebrating a way of life shared by far too few. Entrepreneurship: "Spending a few years of your life doing things that most won't, so that you can spend the rest your life living like most people can't." That said, we also know that more start-ups crash and burn, than actually reach the pinnacles of success that were celebrated at this landmark event. That is what makes this EpiCenter so vitally important!. You see, in addition to housing the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, the EpiCenter is "the" place for "Illuminating the past, Empowering the present , and Inspiring the future". As you clearly articulated to all of us in attendance for the Class of 2012 Inaugural Induction event into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, and that is the EPICenter's overarching purpose is to not only become the resource center to inspire the next waves of the world's entrepreneurs; as a true Ground Zero for those who have yet to take the leap and stake their claims, but to be at the "Epicenter" of shining a spot light and beacon on the unacceptable high failure rates of businesses. Year in and year out, decade in and decade out, we all see these alarming statistics yet we really do nothing about this, until now with the EpiCenter. Yes Mitch, you are right, we need to start a revolution and really attack this very serious issue, so in the future these alarming statics dramatically change one day and therefore one day many more business succeed than fail especially during the first two to five years. As many who have built a business and have seen it fail, knows that most times it feels much more like a death vs just a failure as you and your company are one. The EpiCenter has long been your vision, and I know you as a social and serial entrepreneur, plus the host of your widely acclaimed "Let's Talk Business" radio over the last 12 years. It is clear your life and its mission and purpose is to really make a significant difference in the lives of entrepreneurs of all ages, all over the world . As we know, your original vision has now already developed into something much more, than just one your original dream. Those few, who like me who had the pleasure of attending this monumental event, heard you close the Awards Ceremony with the following quote: We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will". Together, we can leave a real legacy, especially for future entrepreneurs around the wold. That's why this message has found you!. I pray everyone in that ballroom at the Estate, and who reads this letter, will please now take the time to learn more about the EpiCenter and what Mitch envisions for its future, and will now contribute in any way that you can toward making this ultimate and much needed resource a significant reality for the world to benefit from. Fiscal, intellectual and emotional capital are just three things that it will take to move this project forward, so Mitch can continue to lead us as the best is yet to come. Single handedly, Mitch has already moved the EPICenter and its Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame from his mind, to a real place of business, as it's current temporary quarters is at the Marquis I Tower, in downtown Atlanta, which acts as its headquarters while the next phase begins in the journey. It will take a lot more help though, to build and permanently house this incredible EpiCenter and its Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, therefore I hope you will join me now as I am totally in and will support it everywhere possible as there is no better time for it as proven by your Class of 2012 Induction event which really was the "Academy Awards" of Entrepreneurship. Congratulations Mitch! and as you say at the end of every Let's Talk Business radio show, " Long Live The Entrepreneurial Revolution!"
(IFA) International Franchise Association - First Vice Chair and Founding Member, Diversity Institute
(IFA) International Franchise Association - FranShip Mentor
(PAFI) Pro Athlete Franchise Initiative - Chairman, Advisory Board
(IIFE) International Institute of Franchise Education - Nova Southeastern University: H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship - Advisory Board Member
(SEFF) Southeast Franchise Forum - Member of the Board and Program Committee, Chair
The Importance of the EpiCenter in "Illuminating the Past, Empowering the Present, and Inspiring the Future" to Create a National & Global Movement to Boost Our Global Economy
In our interconnected and globalized world, economic maladies ignore borders and national identities. After the 2007-2008 financial crises, the world's economy endured fiscal turmoil. In the United States, the world's largest national economy, recent economic demise has negatively affected millions of members of our larger global community.
As politicians search for solutions to avoid other economic crises, United States citizens must contribute to the full recovery of our nation's economy. Mr. Mitch Schlimer, an ordinary citizen who is a serial and social entrepreneur, visionary, and my mentor, launched the EpiCenter: home of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame (EHOF), in order to develop effective solutions to grow our economy. Mitch believes in pragmatic, collaborative approaches to addressing the origins of economic malaise. For example, he created a comprehensive plan to drive economic growth by empowering a diverse group of entrepreneurs to launch successful businesses, thereby creating more jobs.
The EpiCenter is the mecca of information and resources for current and future entrepreneurs. This year, as the founder of the EpiCenter, Mitch inducted some of our nation's most innovative entrepreneurs into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, which is located within the EpiCenter. The group includes Harris Rosen, President and CEO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts; Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx; Fred DeLuca, Subway, founder; Steve Mariotti, CEO of The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE); Dina Dwyer of The Dwyer Group, accepting on behalf of her father, Don; Dave Anderson of Famous Dave's BBQ; and, S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A founder.
The stories and testimonies of Harris Rosen, Dave Anderson, Dina Dwyer, and the other inductees were beyond motivating; for me, their words were a significant, powerful call to action. Surrounded by all of these remarkable pioneers and successful entrepreneurs was incredibly inspiring to me as a young promising entrepreneur. I was particularly touched by Harris Rosen, whom I was shadowing, for his philanthropic works in my native land, Haiti. Mr. Rosen has been working with the Haitian President Martelly on "The Little Haiti House" project, which will provide housing villages to millions of homeless Haitians who have been affected by the earthquake. I admire Mr. Rosen's work, not simply because I am a survivor of the earthquake in Haiti and had barely survived, but because I know the difference that these homes will make in the lives of my Haitians brothers and sisters.
After spending the entire night conversing with Mr. Rosen, I was amazed by his humility and his passion. Before Mr. Rosen left, he gave me his business card, and told me to keep in touch with him, and that I should not hesitate to contact him if I were to need his help. I believe that Mr. Mitch connected me with Mr. Rosen because he has envisioned a brighter future for me; perhaps Mr. Mitch felt that Mr. Rosen could help me accomplish my dreams in life and actually orchestrated all this at his costs, therefore me being in Atlanta to spend quality time and build a relationship with Mr. Rosen. And as a result of this strategic "orchestration" Mr. Rosen has shown me perhaps the greatest act of kindness in my life.
Since I am currently interning in the U.S. Senate and going to school full time at Georgetown University, I am not able to work to cover my living expenses because of my intense schooling workload. It is even more difficult since I am alone in the U.S. and do not have any parental support
Still, I always have hope regardless of my condition and belief that "everything is possible". With this mindset, I contacted Mr. Rosen and told him about my situation. Mr. Rosen agreed to sponsor my living expenses every month during my senatorial internship this semester, my study-abroad program for the Fall 2013 semester at Sciences Po Paris in France, and my second study-abroad program for the Spring 2014 at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. There is no way that I would be able to live my dreams and learn about the different kinds of political systems and humanitarian structures across the globe if it wasn't for Mr. Mitch as I call him, and now Mr. Rosen's extraordinary generosity. I shall forever be grateful of the EpiCenter and the support of Mr. Mitch and now Harris Rosen who is such a special entrepreneur as we all learned, and that included why he was inducted into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame on this special December 1st event.
Also, that evening at the Class of 2012 Induction event into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, was one of the most memorable moments in my life. The EpiCenter gave me the confidence to become more entrepreneurial, for the mindsets and skill-sets that successful entrepreneurs possess will help me deepen my appreciation of wisdom, broaden my perspective, confirm my confidence and elevate my vision into a reality. Now, I can confidently say that I have a greater appreciation for the lifestyle and work ethic of small business owners. As a result, I have started working tirelessly to create and implement a collaborative business plan for a computer company with my twin brother Ally, of which Mitch has been "pinching" me to do for all kinds of reasons.
The EpiCenter's tag is to "illuminate the past, empower the present, and inspire the future," are words our country's leaders should look to follow. Now more than ever, our national and global communities need this sense of hope and rejuvenation. Community leaders must bring awareness to organizations like the EpiCenter that have convening power and the potential to improve our economies—and, more importantly, to create avenues for ordinary citizens to acquire the skill-sets and mindsets of successful entrepreneurs.
As we pursue our dreams and purpose in life, let us always remember Mr. Mitch Schlimer's wise words, "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will."
The time is now we all join in and support the EpiCenter in any way we can, especially financially, and therefore make sure the EpiCenter reaches and even surpasses Mitch's incredible vision. Like never before, the EpiCenter is so needed for entrepreneurs of all ages, sexes and religions from all around the world.
Georgetown University (C15')
From one social entrepreneur to another, it gives me amazing pride and honor to praise you for going the extra mile(s) in creating the very first EpiCenter, which is the home of Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame (EHOF). While this has been a lengthy and well planned work in progress, Mitch has been able to establish a fabulous cutting edge strategy to expand the EpiCenter into "the" Global place for entrepreneurs of all ages, especially our youth which is near and dear to my heart. No where in my 25 years of global travel have I found one central location, and a "one stop shop", where both aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs can gather to explore, innovate and share their entrepreneurial DNA. For certain the EpiCenter and its EHOF will become a leader in fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems that will influence and impact the entrepreneurial spirit in all of us! And by the way, in my 25 years in the world of entrepreneurship, I have never seen or been part of an event like the Class of 2012 Inaugural Induction Event into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame as it was truly " A Legendary Event" is now the "Academy Awards Of Entrepreneurship" for the years and decades to come
Juan P. Casimiro
Excent Ultimate Life Institute
Magic Wand Foundation
Casimiro Global Foundation
As an entrepreneur I am supporting the EPICenter in every way I can financially, time to volunteer and with time to support others. I encourage all entrepreneurs and business owners to support the EPICenter even if it is just a small donation to continue to bring this to . The Inaugural Induction of Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame held on December 1, 2012 in Atlanta hosted by Mitch Schlimer of The EPICenter was a night to remember. With a room of 170 plus entrepreneurs....Leaders...Visionaries and Honorees and associates it was intimate enough that the conversations were euphoric. The event was from 6pm to midnight and most did not want it to end. As a serial entrepreneur it was just fantastic to rub elbows and openly talk with some of the giants in our industry. I am personally involved with a number of educational programs at the college level and also supporting retiring veterans, encouraging and advising veteran owned businesses and Buy American. At no time in my 35+ years of franchising, do I ever remember being so moved as I was when I had the privilege of attending and being part of the induction committee the 2012 Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Awards and the celebration of the birth of the EpiCenter, Home of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. There are simply no words that can adequately describe the energy emitted, when so many founders of so many successful brands, were joined together in the same room, celebrating the very backbone of the American Dream: Entrepreneurship. Truett Cathy, Famous Dave Anderson, Fred DeLuca, Sara Blakely, Ray Margiano, Dina Dwyer-Owens, David McKinnon and dozens more, all together, celebrating a way of life shared by far too few. Single handedly, Mitch and his team has already moved the EPICenter from the drawing board, to its current temporary quarters at the Marquis Tower, in downtown Atlanta. It will take a lot more help though, to build and permanently house this resource center. We all have to pitch in continue to make this dream come alive. If the EPICenter can help become an incubator or even better through educational programs and advisory councils keep new entrepreneurs from failing, how great would that be?
Jerrydarnell And Associates
On behalf of myself, the Dwyer family, all of us at The Dwyer Group, and more than 1,600 franchisees around the world, I want to commend you on a fantastic job with the EPICENTER and the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. It was an incredible honor to accept the award bestowed on my father, Don Dwyer Sr., the late founder of The Dwyer Group, being inducted into the Hall of Fame. You have given a great gift of recognition to his good works alongside a wonderful list of fellow, accomplished inductees. At the awards ceremony, I could have listened to the valuable lessons from all of the inductees well into the next morning. And to that end, I hope you have many more days on the horizon to inspire countless more audiences that will benefit from your organization. You have put the spotlight not only on some of the most incredible men and women in our business world, but also you have ignited the encouragement and creativity of our next generation of entrepreneurs through your endeavors. I cannot stress enough what an important role that is for our future business landscape. At The Dwyer Group, we hold annual reunions for our service brands, our franchise family, our vendors and associates for collaborating, sharing, honoring excellence and continued learning across all levels of our organization. One of my all-time favorite annual reunion themes was "Dare to Dream." That's what our founder did. In fact, that's what we all do in the quest to pursue that next level in our careers and in our lives. Those who excel are so often those who dare to dream. You are following that same fantastic vision for the EPICENTER and the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. It is very much a dream come true. I wish you the very best of success in the people you continue to reach, the minds you continue to inspire and the permanent home that your business will one day occupy. Here's to many more entrepreneurs in our lives and can't wait until next year!.
Chairwoman & CEO The Dwyer Group, Inc.
It was both an honor and a privilege to attend the inaugural induction of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame at the EpiCenter in Atlanta! This was a historic event that paved the way of recognizing some of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time. I enjoyed be part of something so very special! Thank you. This country was built on entrepreneurship and we will only continue to prosper as a result of more entrepreneurs. Your idea of creating the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame is nothing less than brilliant. Furthermore, I think it is critically important that a physical facility be established to further promote and create visibility around the importance and essential need of entrepreneurs! The Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame at the EpiCenter will serve as a landmark that recognizes entrepreneurs in our country who have created wealth, jobs, and have strengthened the communities in which we live. Entrepreneurship is the solution to all of our problems. I solute you Mitch and congratulate you for your innovation and creativity in founding/launching the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame at the EpiCenter in Atlanta.
My very best,
Former CEO, Entrepreneurs Organization
Former CEO, Chief Executive Organization
Board Member, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)
I want to really thank for your kind invitation in order to be at the Inaugural Induction of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame -EHOF- last december 1st,2012. Since I initially visited the EPICenter, you shared with me your vision about both EPICenter and EHOF and I was fascinated and instantly matched with my passion about entrepreneurship and the great importance of having a physical place in which entrepreneurs could visit and value the past, be challenged by current complex world and visualize great opportunities while designing the future, due they are the real agents of change in our society. What the EHOF Inaugural Induction left to me was a great learning experience while witnessing direct testimonials from great people who, based on a vision, transformed the world for them, their families and the world. It was very impressive to listen how they started and overcome challenges, turning them into opportunities. It was also very relevant for me to realize that no matter how successful those entrepreneurs had been, they always keep in mind how to give back to society, certainly a great open eye experience and learning. Another great benefit from the Inaugural Induction was the amazing networking you are able to start and generate toward entrepreneurial initiatives that every attendant is looking forward to develop. Due their long view -EPICenter & EHOF- being a witness of the inaugural induction certainly place you in a position of responsibility due its historic meaning. My sense is that everyone who witnessed the event, but specially everyone who is related to entrepreneurship (from the academic,social, govermental and/or business perspective) must promote the EPICenter & EHOF in order to make it grow in the near future. Mitch, it had been a great honor and a pleasure to be with you and recognized entrepreneurs, and my commitment now is to keep communicating that entrepreneurs worldwide are the real world changers and that they have a home at the EPICenter & EHOF. Entrepreneurs will accomplish what one time was only a dream, with more philantropy related initiatives the world will overcome its challenges and with innovation the world will face new levels of development and wealth, welcome to the EPICenter & EHOF!!!
Jorge Olmos Arrayales
Author "Your Entrepreneurial Potential"
As a journalist who has covered small business news for more than 20 years, I completely support Mitch Schlimer's effort and vision to create the EpiCenter, which is the home the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame (EHOF). The men and women recognized by the EHOF represent everything that is great about the 'American dream.' Chronicling their lives and achievements of these business leaders in one place, for posterity, is the best way to provide them with the recognition they deserve. I urge you to support our efforts in building the EpiCenter, which is "the" place to house this important legacy.
The Applegate Group
The Inaugural Induction of Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame held on December 1, 2012 in Atlanta hosted by Mitch Schlimer was a night to remember. With a room of 150 plus entrepreneurs and associates it was intimate enough that the conversations were euphoric. The event was from 6pm to midnight and most did not want it to end. As a serial entrepreneur it was just fantastic to rub elbows and openly talk with some of the giants in our industry. I am personally involved with a number of educational programs at the college level and also supporting retiring veterans, encouraging and advising veteran owned businesses and Buy American. The EPICenter represents a physical place that people will be able to go to to actually learn about some of the greats but also have access to information and advice. Entrepreneurship has always set our country apart, we need to encourage and support these programs. Educating younger people so they better understand the world of entrepreneurship, the successes as well as the heartache and struggles. If the EPICenter can help become an incubator or even better through educational programs and advisory councils keep new entrepreneurs from failing, how great would that be? As an entrepreneur I am supporting the EPICenter in every way I can financially and with time to support others. I encourage all entrepreneurs and business owners to support the EPICenter even if it is just a small donation.
R. J. Margiano
Founder & CEO - Foot Solutions, Inc.
The Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame inaugural induction was like attending the Academy of Awards ceremony. Having the opportunity to meet and converse with such business greats as Founder and CEO of Subway, Fred DeLuca and Founder of Spanx, Sarah Blakely is something that I'll never forget. As the global expert on talent maximization, I can appreciate the amount of talent that was under one roof that evening. Mitch has unveiled just a fraction of what he has in mind, as he works with the business community to create the center where world class entrepreneurs will go to meet and share their ideas with others. I'm excited to be a part of this community and look forward to continuing my involvement.
"The Talent Maximizer"
I write this letter of Congratulation to you on the opening of the EpiCenter, Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. I had the privilege of attending the Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2012 in Atlanta earlier this month. The evening was momentous. As a 25 year Entrepreneur myself, I know firsthand, the challenges of being in business for oneself. I know the rewards and I know the sacrifices. I also value the importance of the more experienced sharing their energy with those starting out. With a scholarship that you made possible, my son, David, a graduate of The Ultimate Life Summit, came back from Florida and started his own first business at age 20. You are a great example of what you teach. Practicing the "everything is possible" mindset, you turn dreams into reality. You are truly a Wizard that creates magic. With the pieces on the table you work tirelessly and with great patience to assemble the puzzle, always referring to the box cover which today is building a permanent home for the EpiCenter. I know it being a reality is only a matter of time. I look forward to future endeavors and programs with great anticipation and continue to marvel at the difference you and the work you do, makes in our World.
Barbara Chinsky Cohen
I can't think of a cause that is more worthy of support than the EPICenter and Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. For all the accolades and tributes the nation's entrepreneurs receive, it is astonishing there's no one place where entrepreneurs are honored for their contributions and accomplishments. Entrepreneurs are such a diverse lot, and have taken so many different routes to success, that it would only serve to help current business owners (as well as those aspiring to be) for there to be a central place for entrepreneurs to gather and learn.
It is astonishing really that no such place exists. How helpful would it be to have a facility that offers access to information about how entrepreneurs achieved success, about their motivations, aspirations as well as the tactics and strategies they used to reach their goals? It stands to reason that the more we know about the factors that helped others attain success, the more successful future entrepreneurs will be.
While it is important to honor high-achievers in the world of entrepreneurship, both the well-known and the not-so-famous, it is even more important to know more about their accomplishments, their failures and how they overcame the odds to find success.
Entrepreneurship is about changing lives, about building businesses, sometimes from nothing more than a fleeting idea, about creating something from nothing, about impacting the world. The country (the world actually) needs a place to gather where they can be inspired by and learn from the brave men and women who transformed dreams and ideas into businesses.
As someone who has been advocating on behalf of entrepreneurs for more than thirty years, I wholeheartedly support your cause. We can only benefit from an EPICenter where we can more easily access the tenets of entrepreneurship, understand the principles of entrepreneurial success and honor those whose ideas have transformed the world.
I wish you the best of luck in achieving this dream, and will do what I can to promote this noble cause.
CEO, GrowBiz Media
Former Editorial Director, Entrepreneur Magazine
GrowBiz Media* 4067 Hardwick Street #296, Lakewood, CA 90712
Mitch I want to thank you for the wonderful evening on December 1st at the Estate, as Lilly and myself greatly enjoyed the entire event, including you sharing your vision for the EpiCenter in Atlanta. We were so inspired by the many impressive individuals you celebrated and were able to get there live to this memorable and Inaugural Induction Event into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. It warmed our hearts to hear stories of these extraordinary individuals, the challenges and triumphs they faced, and most importantly the wonderful things they are doing to improve the lives of others and the world around them. It is entrepreneurs like Truett Cathy, Sarah Blakely, Harris Rosen, and others you honored that have made our country and the world a better place. It will be the spirit of entrepreneurship that will create a brighter future for all our children (including mine). We so desperately need a place to celebrate these true heroes, to foster the next generation, and to ensure the spirit of entrepreneurship not only survives but thrives for centuries to come. At no time is this more needed, and there is no better place than your EpiCenter, and its Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Please let me know of anything I can do to assist in your wonderful vision for my city of Atlanta.
Co-author- " 7 Mindsets To Live Your Ultimate Life"
Co-Founder- Ultimate Life Institute and 7mindsets.com.