As we head into the Independence Day weekend, we can celebrate a lot about our great nation — including the tremendous opportunities it gives us all to pursue the American Dream.
There are those who will tell you that the American Dream is dead, but all you have to do is look at our clients to know that the American Dream is very much alive and well.
Tariq Farid, Founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements
No one exemplifies that more than Edible Arrangements Founder and CEO Tariq Farid. Tariq is living proof that the Dream is still alive and well. Tariq moved to America with his family as a child. They arrived not knowing the language or the customs, but they arrived with the belief this this was the country of opportunity.
Tariq’s story has been told many times — how a teacher took him under her wings, how he started his first business (a flower shop) as a teenager, how he developed Edible Arrangements and continued to pursue the idea when everyone around him told him it was a bad idea.
Today there are more than 1,300 locations worldwide and Edible Arrangements is the undisputed global leader in its industry. His franchise has given others the opportunity to pursue their own dream.
In addition, Tariq has founded or acquired numerous technology companies such as Naranga and Netsolace as well as other businesses.
In addition, he has created his own Tariq Farid Foundation as a way to give back by supporting causes both at home and around the world. The Foundation’s contributions total almost $1 million annually, and have benefited dozens of programs, including hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, food pantries, and organizations addressing childhood cancer, assisting refugees, and promoting leadership opportunities for youth. Tariq also started the Edible Cares® Fund, which provides financial assistance to Edible Arrangements® store employees in times of extreme need.
“Don’t let all the negativity and naysayers try to convince you otherwise,” Tariq said recently. “This land of opportunity has not been diminished. However, it’s how you take advantage of the opportunities that only America can offer that matters.”
Need more proof?
If you can’t stand the heat…
… invent a kitchen appliance that launches an industry.
Skip Woodall, CEO of Vent-A-Hood
Founded in 1933, Vent-A-Hood got its start in Texas when Carr P. Collins, a Dallas financier, financed a family-owned business to manufacture a new-fangled kitchen appliance called a range hood. He recruited his nephew, Miles Woodall, Jr., to run the business. And today, 83 years later, the range hood has become a universal standard, as well as luxury brand for the most discerning customers who opt for custom-made designs. Now a fourth-generation success story, Vent-A-Hood is a shining example of manufacturing prowess and American pride, with products that are found in homes across all 50 states and throughout Canada.
And the technology that has advanced alongside the legendary status of the Vent-A-Hood name continues to propel the business to the forefront of the industry. When Vent-A-Hood first opened, door-to-door salesmen sold the products and returned to the plant where each hood was made by hand. Fast-forward to the brand new 3D Build-A-Hood debut, whereby customers can now visit ventahood.com and design their own range hood online.
Only in America!
From 9th grade to CEO and billion-dollar-deal-maker
If you are still not convinced, consider one of our newest clients. His story is the stuff of movies.
Tony Aquila, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Solera Holdings, Inc.
Stemming from an idea he had while sweeping floors in an auto garage as a young teen, Tony Aquila still finds himself working in a garage – this time powering the Digital Garage behind his multi-billion-dollar company, Solera. And while he still works out of a garage, his title today is founder, chairman and CEO. Most notable of all is that this innovative leader with only a 9th grade education has taken an idea and transformed it into a technology company that went private this year in a $6.8 billion transaction.
Aquila saw the inefficiencies in the auto insurance process and knew he could create a better way. Fast-forward to today; Aquila oversees one of the largest technology enterprises in the automotive industry, as Solera handles 7 transactions per second. Going way beyond an insurance claim company, Aquila has led Solera to assemble a digital platform that covers the lifecycle of your vehicle and home.
Today, the company operates with 5,500+ employees in 80 countries around the world.
These, and other BizCom clients, are the reason we love what we do. They are three completely different type of businesses in completely different industries but all have a common bond — all were started by individuals who were convinced that America is the land of opportunity.
And we get to help them tell their inspiring stories!
To these entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs everywhere, we salute you!
Have a safe and happy 4th of July.