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Youthful energy on the Latin American trade mission

It was our idea to pose Sergio Orozco next to a Lego man on the trade mission to Latin America. At 25, Orozco, international manager for Signal 88 Security, was the youngest member of our band of merry franchisors, and thereby, willing to combine work with play. On trade missions, you have plenty of downtime while traveling from airport to airport to get to know the other participants, but not as well as when you give them the Franchise Times Personality Quiz. Here’s how Orozco answered our probing questions:

Dental Fix CEO learns lessons one sip at a time

At age 34, David Lopez has seen success and failure. Dental Fix RX is a prime example of the former; Froots not so much. He’s developed strong points of view along the way. Read on for his particular flavor of Kool-Aid.

Franworth aims to help small franchisors grow

Mentorship comes in all shapes and phases—sometimes you’re the mentor; sometimes you’re the mentee. It all depends on where in the ride you’re picked up.

Why restaurant owners fear the beard

‘Beards are hip,’ says one restaurant owner, stating the obvious. Facial hair used to be verboten in foodservice, but no longer, and many are scrambling to rewrite policies. At least one holdout, though, forbids the beard.

Arby’s do-or-die moment

Paul Brown had never led a fast-food franchise in his life when new investor Roark Capital picked him to run Arby’s—a concept so out-of-touch with today’s tastes it was the butt of comedians’ jokes. But Brown and his team punched back, proudly embracing its meats, and today can boast a fast-food revival against the odds.

Cotti Foods’ CEO embraces the weird

Peter Capriotti, CEO of Cotti Foods, this year added a couple of Pieology restaurants to his stable of 62 Taco Bells and 43 Wendy’s. Thus he joins the slim ranks of multi-unit operators who also take a chance on something new.

How 6 hotshots aim to change the world

Six of the world’s most interesting young entrepreneurs are using franchising to make their mark. Jennifer Kushell is the organizer of a new industry-wide effort called NextGen to connect budding franchisors with established power brokers to help their businesses take off. Meet the group that is debunking myths about young people in business and franchising—and in some cases saving the world.

New concept for Famous Dave’s founder: Jimmie’s

With ties severed to Famous Dave’s, the barbecue franchise he founded, Dave Anderson is back as head pitmaster for Jimmie’s Old Southern BBQ. Can he avoid the mistakes that soured his former experience?

Liberty Tax founder aims to beat namesake firm, now his rival.

When Dave Prokupek, above left, joined Smashburger, it had zero stores. When he left it had 275. Can he apply his golden touch to Jackson Hewitt, where he’s CEO?

College athlete chooses Juice It Up!

Here’s one ‘zee who figures Portland, Oregon, is ripe for more juice-bar competition. A former marketer for Nike shoes, she plans to take on a local chain and the national giant, Jamba Juice, with a three-store deal.

For Curves pioneer, everything’s different at EnVie

He may be back in the fitness business, but former Curves President Gary Findley’s latest brand is operating in a brave new world. Can he make EnVie (pronounced on-VEE) into the next big thing?

Can Potatopia make the potato sexy?

Behold the potato, to some a humble starch. But for the founder of Potatopia, spuds are the main event, and he’s trying to build a franchise around it. Now if only it were easier to pronounce.

Must-answer question: Who’s the boss?

Mike and Linda Boyd discovered the hard way they can’t both be in charge of the same thing at Instant Imprints.

Snap Fitness teams with NASCAR driver, plus more

It may seem as if stock car drivers are pseudo-athletes, but controlling a 3,300-pound car at speeds of up to 200 mph takes strength, stamina and the heart of a marathon runner.

BoeFly aims to finance the masses

BoeFly’s mission to match every borrower with lenders willing to make a loan, and that’s the core service they’ve offered since starting four years ago.

New Orleans QB Drew Brees delivers

Drew Brees has five Jimmy John’s stores, soon to be 20, that are going head to head with New Orleans’ iconic muffulettas and shrimp po’boys.

Marlu’s CEO seeks American dream

Sent to America at age 16 to avoid fighting his own countrymen, Tony Lutfi landed a job at a Jack in the Box. “I loved the speed and the movement,” the son of Palestinian refugees recalls.

Volleyball pro gets a raw deal

Effective April 1, Erin Gray became the Juice It Up franchisee for the Rancho Santa Margarita, California, location.

PizzaRev founders try for bigger slice

Meet the 2014 Franchise Times Dealmakers—the daring dozen who move the money that builds empires.

Family Business

Three falafel balls or two? That’s just one of the potential conflicts the husband-and-wife founders of Amsterdam Falafelshop faced.