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Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Inducts Two Prolific Franchisors


 More than 330 people attended this year’s sold-out event at Atlanta's Entrepreneur Hall of Fame’s inductee ceremony in late November, including 100 up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

2013’s inductees included two franchisors: The late Anthony A. (Tony) Martino, founder of AAMCO Transmissions and MAACO Auto Painting and Bodyworks; and  David Mckinnon, CEO and co-founder of Service Brands International, the umbrella company of Molly Maid, 1-800-DryClean, Mr. Handyman International, and ProTect Painters.

Mitch Schlimer

Founder of the awards, Mitch Schlimer.

Jerry Darnell

Jerry Darnell, the winner of the Philanthropic  Award, left, with Greg Tanner of Aaron's.

Sandra Joseph

Broadway's Sandra Joseph performed.

Also honored were: Hubert Humphrey, founder of Hegemon Group International, World Marketing Alliance, Global Preferred Holding and World Leadership Group Inc.; Kay Koplovitz, founder of the USA Network, the first woman network president and chairman of Koplovitz & Company; and Donald Panoz, co-founder of Milan Pharmaceuticals (Mylan Laboratories) the inventors of the transdermal patch, Shop & Save and Bioneering.

This second year of honoring America’s successful entrepreneurs featured more entertainment than the inaugural year, according to Mitch Schlimer, founder and executive director of the EpiCenter, which is home to the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Schlimer calls the event, “a celebration of entrepreneurship (that will) illuminate the past, empower the present and inspire the future for entrepreneurs of all ages.”

Two other franchise notables were also recognized. Jerry Darnell received the Philanthropic Award for his work with the Magic Wand Foundation, which teaches entrepreneurship to youngsters, and Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter, was honored for her work with military veterans.  

Broadway star Sandra Joseph, who had the longest-running role as Christine in Phantom of the Opera talked about what it was like to succeed in the tough world of live theater and then sang, “To Dream the Impossible Dream” from Don Quixote. 

“It’s one thing to have a vision and another thing to see that vision become reality,” Schlimer said in a phone interview. “Two years ago I booked the Carter Center, because when I walked into the room I pictured the room filled with 100 young entrepreneurs. That vision became a reality.” 


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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