HOUSTON, July 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- EY today announced that CEO and Owner of Smoothie King Wan Kim received the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 Award in the Consumer Products category in the Gulf Coast Area. The award recognizes entrepreneurs who are excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities. Kim was selected by an independent panel of judges for his leadership of Smoothie King, the nation's originator and innovator in creating "Smoothies with a Purpose®," with more than 890 units worldwide. The award was presented at a special gala event at the Marriott Marquis on June 15.
"I am so humbled to be chosen to receive this award," said Kim. "It means so much to me to be recognized for the work I have accomplished since becoming the CEO of Smoothie King. I am passionate about growing the company and bringing our purposeful smoothies to new guests across the world that want to live healthy and active lifestyles. I truly believe that our smoothies are a great addition to everyone's regimen no matter what nutrition goals they want to accomplish."
From January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017, Smoothie King boasted a 9.1 percent increase in same-store sales, building on the company's momentum of the past four years of record growth. The average annual sales per Smoothie King store has increased by 51 percent comparing 2016 to 2011. The innovative purveyors of "Smoothies With A Purpose®" also inked 111 franchise and development agreements—deals that will yield an additional 172 stores in the brand's growing 890-unit system.
Since 1986, EY has honored entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, spirit of innovation and discipline have driven their companies' success, transformed their industries and made a positive impact on their communities. Now in its 31st year, the program has honored the inspirational leadership of such entrepreneurs as:
- Howard Schultz of Starbucks Coffee Company
- Pierre Omidyar of eBay, Inc.
- Mindy Grossman of HSN
- Robert Unanue of Goya Foods
- Reid Hoffman and Jeff Weiner of LinkedIn
- Andreas Bechtolsheim and Jayshree Ullal of Arista Networks
- Hamdi Ulukaya of Chobani
- James Park of Fitbit
As a Gulf Coast Area award winner, Kim is now eligible for consideration for the Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 18, 2017. The awards are the culminating event of the Strategic Growth ForumTM, the nation's most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.
Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored in the US by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
In the Gulf Coast Area, regional sponsors include Colliers International, DLA Piper, ADP, Solomon Edwards, Chatham Financial, Pierpont Communications and Houston Business Journal.
About Smoothie King
Smoothie King Franchises, Inc. is a privately held, New Orleans-area-based franchise company with over 890 units worldwide. By creating each smoothie with a purpose, Smoothie King helps to make it simple and pleasurable for guests to achieve their individual health goals as part of a low-calorie diet and regular exercise routine. The franchise also offers a number of nutritious retail products, including sports beverages, energy bars, vitamin supplements and more.
Smoothie King was founded in 1973 by Steve Kuhnau, whose mission was to help others achieve better health in a tasty way. In 1989, Smoothie King became the first franchised smoothie bar/health food store in the U.S. and currently operates in 34 states, the Caymans, Trinidad and Tobago, the Middle East, and the Republic of Korea. In 2017, Smoothie King was ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the juice bar category for the 24th year and No.123 overall on the 2017 Franchise 500 list. In 2014, Smoothie King partnered with the New Orleans Pelicans to launch the Smoothie King Center, a multi-purpose indoor arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Smoothie King offers veterans and first responders a 20 percent discount off the initial franchisee fee. Visit www.smoothieking.com or www.smoothiekingfranchise.com; engage on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SmoothieKing; follow on Twitter at http://twitter.com/smoothieking.
About Entrepreneur Of The Year®
Entrepreneur Of The Year®, founded by EY, is the world's most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and the local community. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries. ey.com/eoy
About EY's Growth Markets Network
EY's worldwide Growth Markets Network is dedicated to serving the changing needs of high-growth companies. For more than 30 years, we've helped many of the world's most dynamic and ambitious companies grow into market leaders. Whether working with international mid-cap companies or early stage, venture-backed businesses, our professionals draw upon their extensive experience, insight and global resources to help your business succeed. For more information, please visit us at ey.com/sgm or follow news on Twitter @EY_Growth.
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