Approximately 480 guests gathered at the Signature Grand in Davie on April 13 to honor the Huizenga College of Business' 2011 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame inductees. Welcomed into the elite group this year were William E. Mahoney, Jr., founder and president of Mahoney & Associates; Beverly Raphael, president and chief executive officer of RCC Associates, Inc.; and John H. Schnatter, founder, chairman and co-chief executive officer, Papa John's International, Inc.
The five-star evening included guests H. Wayne Huizenga, namesake of the Huizenga College of Business; Mayor Judy Paul (Town of Davie); Davie Councilwoman Susan Starkey; Michael E. Maroone; Rick and Rita Case; Ronald M. Bergeron; Ronald G. Assaf; Joseph C. Amaturo; Jordan Zimmerman; Alan B. Levan; August Urbanek; Douglas J. Von Allmen; Thomas J. Miller; Ralph A. Marrinson; Steven J. Halmos; Mitchell W. Berger; Keith Koenig; Jack A. Smith; and of course, Chancellor Raymond Ferrero, Jr., J.D.; President George L. Hanbury, II, Ph.D.; Board of Governors President and Trustee, Paul M. Sallarulo, and many others.
All of the inductees have an incredible dedication to community and giving back to those who are less fortunate. Coupled with their entrepreneurial prowess, they have become worldwide successes in business.
William E. Mahoney founded an international compensation and benefits management firm specializing in employee benefits, taxation, and law as it relates to benefits, executive compensation, and estate planning. But he didn't get there the easy way. He started out as an independent broker at New York Life Insurance Company in 1963, where he recalled calling on potential customers door-to-door and "shuffling my feet to make sure I didn't leave with anything I didn't come in with." With offices in NYC, Springfield, Mass., and Ft. Lauderdale, Mahoney has certainly come a long way.
Beverly Raphael, who got her start selling fashion from the trunk of her car, built several businesses before taking the helm of RCC Associates, a company that her late husband founded. She told of the difficulties involved in taking over a business in the male-dominated field, construction. But in the first ten years as president of RCC, she increased the firm's revenues from a respectable $19 million to more than $105 million in 2007, counting companies such as The Cheesecake Factory, PF Chang's, Bongo's Cuban Café at Seminole Hardrock, Louis Vuitton, Victoria's Secret, H&M, Sun Life Stadium, and the Fisher Island Beach Club among its many clients.
And of course John H. Schnatter, better known the world over as "Papa John," who learned from an early age that "not quitting builds character." He sold his prized Camaro to bail his father's business out at an early age, and decided to follow his passion - making pizza. Schnatter installed a pizza oven in the business, a bar in Jefferson, Indiana, and has since grown the franchise to more than 3,700+ Papa John's restaurants in all 50 states and 32 countries. In 2010, the company surpassed $2 billion in online ordering pizza sales, achieving the milestone after becoming the first pizza company to offer national online ordering in 2001.
These three individuals join an esteemed group of South Florida entrepreneurs in the Huizenga College of Business Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, and will forever be part of Nova Southeastern University's legacy.