“A lot of employees that come to us never get to shine anywhere else. It’s an honor to give them a chance. When we talk about giving back to our community, they are front and center.”

– Tamra Kennedy, Taco John’s – St. Paul, MN

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Tamra Kennedy, Taco John’s – St. Paul, MN

Tamra Kennedy always wanted to own her own business.

That path started in 1984 when Tamra found a job in Des Moines, Iowa as a secretary for a gentleman that owned franchises – Taco John’s and Burger King restaurants. Tamra made it her mission to understand more about the restaurants and learn about how the business operates. In 1990, she was offered the opportunity to lead the St. Paul office. Her commitment to those she worked with, and her determination to learn every detail of the business, resulted in her taking ownership of the business in 1990.

Today, Tamra owns and operates seven restaurants in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and she is giving back to her community by investing in its people. The countless individuals Tamra has employed over the years often had no opportunity to shine anywhere else – and it’s an honor for her to be able to give them a chance to shine in their own community through selfless acts of giving.

“Giving back to our community is always going to mean something very special. We really believe that the very best contribution we give to our community is a beginning place of employment for young people.”

For Tamra, owning a business is about the opportunity to make an impact on her community and the people who live there: “America’s economy depends on the entrepreneurial spirit. And the economy, by and large, is driven by one person that wants to get up and work and start their own business to create jobs in the neighborhood. It’s about being a contributor to the future, working now to ensure the economy and our neighborhoods – and all the things that we think back fondly about – making sure they never disappear and that they’re still on Main Street.”

Tamra Kennedy is a local business owner, and she is Open for Opportunity.

Tracy Panase, Just Between Friends – Pennsylvania

Fourteen years ago, Tracy Panase and her husband John came across Just Between Friends, a semi-annual children’s and maternity sales franchise where families can buy and sell items that their children need at a very affordable price. Tracy started with just one sale and had no idea how much of a need they would fill and just how many families she could help.

Arnie Seyden – Your Pie – Georgia

When Arnie Seyden and his wife wanted to do something different with their careers that tied directly back to their local community, they turned to franchising. In 2019, their family opened their first Your Pie location in Canton, Georgia, and now have a second restaurant in Woodstock. Three out of their five children decided to join the family business helping run the two stores, eventually to make them their own one day.

Cheston C. Syma, Sport Clips Haircuts – Texas & Illinois

When Cheston C. Syma thinks about Franchising, he thinks about the people in his backyard. Franchising allowed Cheston to change lives by giving back employment opportunities, accelerating success stories and lifting up his community.