Tickets are on sale now for April 17 event at the Westin La Paloma Resort.
TUCSON, Ariz. – Feb. 21, 2015 – Sam Fox, CEO and Founder of Fox Restaurant Concepts, will be recognized as the 2015 University of Arizona Executive of the Year on Friday, April 17. The luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Westin La Paloma Resort, 3800 East Sunrise, in Tucson.
“Sam studied real estate at the University of Arizona, but food was always his passion,” said UA Eller College Dean Jeffrey Schatzberg. “Since opening his first restaurant, Gilligan’s Bar & Grill, in Tucson at age 20, he has earned an outstanding reputation as a creative visionary, savvy entrepreneur and philanthropist – values we share here at the Eller College. It is only fitting that we honor him as Executive of the Year.”
Fox’s restaurant group currently boasts 44 locations and 15 unique concepts spanning seven states. Tucson’s Wildflower American Cuisine was the company’s first concept. Now based in Phoenix, Fox Restaurant Concepts includes Blanco Tacos & Tequila, True Food Kitchen, Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace, The Arrogant Butcher, and Culinary Dropout. Together, his restaurant group employs more than 2,700 people.
A Sabino High School graduate, Fox is asix-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year and a New York Times best-selling cookbook author. He was recently named one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry by Nation’s Restaurant News for the second consecutive year and he was the 2014 recipient of the Richard Melman Innovator of the Year Award by Restaurant Hospitality magazine.
A Paradise Valley resident, he nourishes and grows talent through his “un-corporate” culture and shares his success by giving back to the communities his restaurants serve. He has been an avid supporter of the Boys & Girls Clubs since his company’s inception in 1998 and recently held the position of honorary chair for the American Heart Association’s 2013 Heart Ball. In addition, Fox Restaurant Concepts supports several non-profit organizations including notMYkid and UMOM New Day Centers.
The University of Arizona Executive of the Year program was established by the Eller College National Board of Advisors in 1983 to honor individuals who exemplify executive qualities in private enterprise and public service. Recent honorees include Janet Napolitano, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security and former Arizona Governor (2014); Larry Baer, president and CEO of the San Francisco Giants (2013); former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (2012); and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (2011).