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Perkins & Marie Callender’s recognized its Franchisee of the Year, Dan Esmond, owner/operator of four Perkins Restaurants & Bakeries in Lawrence, Topeka, Great Bend, and McPherson, Kansas.
Hailed by Perkins & Marie Callender’s president and CEO Jeff Warne as the “franchisee who best exemplifies overall excellence in operations and brand standards; a leader who inspires others and contributes to the improvement of the system while positively representing the Perkins brand both within his restaurants and the community,” Esmond was presented with the company’s most prestigious award at the annual conference in Washington, D.C.
Esmond began his career with Perkins & Marie Callender’s in Minneapolis as executive vice president in 1989 and became a franchisee in 1994.
“It has been an honor to have such a long association with the Perkins brand,” he says. “I am humbled to be recognized amongst such a group of talented, committed, and loyal contributors. May I express to those who supported me in this honor that I appreciate their confidence and acknowledgement. It has affected me deeply and I cannot be more proud and excited to be part of Perkins.”
Ed Lechner, franchisee of the Perkins Restaurant & Bakery in Clearwater, Florida, was paid tribute for his contributions and dedication to supporting Perkins Corporate charity, Give Kids The World (GKTW).
Bob Winters, senior vice president of development at Perkins & Marie Callender’s and the company’s liaison to GKTW, says Lechner—a franchisee since 1979—and his staff have “tirelessly dedicated themselves to annually raising money for the Gingerbread House, a one-of-a-kind whimsical 300-seat restaurant located in the heart of the 70-acre, nonprofit, storybook resort.”
Likewise, the Coca-Cola Company, presented with Perkins Give Kids The World Business Partner award, has “helped support our fundraising activities that have allowed us to serve over 4 million meals to children with life threatening illnesses and their families.”