Freddie Wehbe: Spirit of Gainesville nominee
Published: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 10:52 a.m.
Freddie Wehbe is the local franchise owner of Gator Domino's Pizza, an eight-store franchise in the Gainesville area. Gator Domino's is one of the top performing Domino's franchises in the world and has won numerous national and local awards for store performance and local community involvement. Freddie has two engineering degrees from the Florida Institute of Technology. Freddie is proudly married to Daurine and they have one child, Ronnie.
About Freddie Wehbe
Occupation: Gator Domino's franchise owner since 1995
Years in Gainesville: Over 16 years
Spouse: Daurine Wehbe
Civic involvement: Freddie is active in many community boards and organizations. Freddie is on the board of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, Keep Alachua County Beautiful, United Way of NCFL and Gateway Bank. He is also active with the March of Dimes, LifeSouth Community Blood Bank and the Alachua County Schools just to name a few.
In 1995, Freddie became manager of Domino's store #5150 in Gainesville. The year before, its weekly sales averaged $5,671. After a year under Wehbe's leadership, sales nearly tripled to $14,500. The effort won him Southeast Region Manager of the Year, plus a nomination for National Manager of the Year.
By 1997, store #5150's weekly sales averaged $30,880, which helped Freddie win his first National Manager of the Year award. Two years later the unit was the busiest conventional Domino's store in the U.S., and in 1999, he accomplished his five-year goal of becoming that store's franchisee. Both 2000 and 2001 saw even greater success for Wehbe. In both years he won the chain's National Manager of the Year award and was named Domino's Golden Franny (given to the company's top 1 percent of franchisees for excelling in 10 different critical areas).
Freddie, Daurine and Team Domino's are strong supporters of the community. Freddie is on the board of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, Keep Alachua County Beautiful, United Way of NCFL and Gateway Bank. He is also active with the March of Dimes, LifeSouth Community Blood Bank and the Alachua County Schools just to name a few. Freddie has been named the 2009 Alachua County Business of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce and the 2009 Gainesville Entrepreneur of the Year through the University of Florida.
Part of Freddie's successful business plan is his commitment to giving back to the community. Freddie is certainly as eligible for the community service award as the entrepreneurship award. He not only donates to countless causes in the community but he is also personally invested in the success of these non-profits. He shares his products but also his time and business expertise to assure greater success for the organizations.
In addition to his amazing business success and immeasurable philanthropic support, Freddie sets himself apart with his leadership capabilities. He is a mentor to many in the business community, helping to assure the success of other local businesses. He has shared his business plan and business techniques at numerous Chamber lunches and workshops. His latest presentations have included his own experience with employee theft and the steps he has taken to prevent this within his Domino's franchise. He has also traveled worldwide helping to open Domino's franchises in new world markets.
Freddie is extremely focused and concentrated. He has one point of attention to succeed and to help others succeed. His belief in giving back to the community, employee training and employee support are keys to Freddie's overall success. Without question, Freddie is an outstanding nominee for the Spirit of Gainesville entrepreneurship award.
Submitted by Betsy Trent