Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner Peter Cancro
Founder and CEO
Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems
First presented in 1982, this award is conferred upon an individual who is currently building a successful business venture. The recipient must exemplify the “entrepreneurial spirit” that franchising represents. He or she must demonstrate innovative management skills and be a risk taker in a franchise that has been in operation for at least three years, while remaining active in his or her community.
Peter Cancro, IFA’s Entrepreneur of the Year, is the founder and chief executive officer of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, which operates more than 600 restaurants in 32 states from New Jersey to California. Cancro was a 1975 graduate of Point Pleasant Beach High School in New Jersey where he was captain of the football team and class president. Cancro began his business career in 1971 where his first job was at a place called Mike’s Subs. In 1975, at the age of 17 and a senior in high school, he gave up a potential college football career to buy the sub shop. Cancro credits his football coach and area banker Rod Smith with making it all possible. In 1987, Cancro changed the name of the original Mike’s to “Jersey Mike’s” and began his national expansion.
Today, Cancro eyes the goal of 1,000 units within the next five years, expanding nationally and internationally, a lesson in entrepreneurship. One of his secrets to success is his philosophy of giving to the community in which he lives and works. Charities, hospitals, school systems and numerous individuals have benefited from his support.
During March 2012, Jersey Mike’s celebrated its 2nd Annual Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving, a fundraising campaign supporting 74 local charities with a mission to help children. Together with its generous customers, Jersey Mike’s raised more than $864,000 for these charities. From June 30 through July 29, 2012, Jersey Mike’s and its customers raised $218,282 for Wreaths Across America and its mission to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and their families, and teach children the value of freedom. The contribution helped WAA lay more than 225,000 wreaths—one for every fallen hero’s headstone—at Arlington National Cemetery on National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 15, 2012. ⎯
Special Thanks to the 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Sponsor
2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Sponsor IFA member companies nominate the franchisor, franchisee or supplier who they believe is a highly-successful franchise entrepreneur and is currently managing or building a successful business venture. The association honors the recipient during its annual convention. The 2012 IFA Entrepreneur of the Year Award presentation is made possible by a generous contribution from The Entrepreneur’s Source and its FranchiseSource Brands family. The Entrepreneur’s Source (E-Source) is one of the nation’s leading franchise business coaching organizations. It is committed to helping people and businesses grow through self-employment options, franchising information, education and training. E-Source offers a full range of services to individuals seeking alternate career options and to franchise businesses looking to increase performance. Its Zor Source division serves as a one source, resource for franchisors needs. Zor Source specializes in providing coaching to franchisor organizations looking to improve franchise development results, marketing and operational effectiveness. The company, whose motto is “Your Success Is Our Only Business,” is represented in IFA by Brian Miller, CFE, chief operating officer.