CiCi's Pizza's fastest and most accurate pizza makers will compete for the title of "Ultimate Pizza Artist" in CiCi's first-ever Pizza Throwdown finals. In addition to a year's worth of bragging rights, CiCi's team members from across the nation will compete for cash, the coveted crystal pizza cutter, a flat screen TV, and gaming consoles.

The contest began in November with more than 300 contestants and eight regional competitions to determine four finalists who will compete in the Throwdown finals in Frisco, Texas, on January 10. To be named the Ultimate Pizza Artist, CiCi's competitors will exhibit mastery in multiple areas: quality pizza assembly (like dough stretching, seasoning coverage and even cutting), speed, accuracy and ability to keep CiCi's famous pizza, pasta, soup, salad and dessert buffet stocked with hot and fresh pizza while providing a welcoming atmosphere for guests.

Each finalist will be responsible for preparation of 21 CiCi's buffet favorites. Once judged, the freshly prepared items will be donated to the local Salvation Army.

"We know that we have some of the most attentive and talented pizza professionals in the business," CiCi's Pizza CEO Mike Shumsky says. "CiCi's Ultimate Pizza Throwdown gives us an opportunity to recognize their incredible work in a fun environment that highlights their skills."

The finalists for the competition are Martin Cabellero from Lynchburg, Virginia, a 12-year CiCi's veteran; Elizabeth Cruz from Roeland Park, Kansas, whose parents and siblings also work for CiCi's; Martin Gallegos from Terrell, Texas, who was recruited to join the CiCi's team by his brother who already worked for the company; and Alvaro Patino from Shreveport, Louisiana, who with his brother, joined CiCi's at the urging of his cousin who was a CiCi's manager.

Charitable Giving, Employee Management, News, Pizza, CiCi's Pizza