FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gainesville Area Chamber Names Freddie Wehbe 2018 Citizen of the Year
Wehbe Recognized for His Many Contributions to the Gainesville Community at the Chamber’s 94th Annual Meeting
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – January 31, 2018 – The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce today named Freddie Wehbe the 2018 Citizen of the Year. Wehbe, a successful businessman and active philanthropist, was recognized for his outstanding contributions and long-term positive impact to the community.
Each year, the Chamber honors one Gainesville area citizen who has actively advanced the Chamber’s missions to facilitate economic opportunity, business growth and community progress. This year’s honoree has been active for years – not only with his businesses, but also with many community organizations, including Keep Alachua County Beautiful, March of Dimes, Tyler’s Hope, LifeSouth, Children’s Miracle Network and the Santa Fe Athletic Advisory Board.
Wehbe turned a small struggling Domino’s franchise into a thriving 11-store business. He owned the top-selling Domino’s store in the world in 2000, and went on to become a three-time U.S. Manager of the Year and a regular winner of Domino’s Golden Franny Award for the top one percent of store owners.
Since selling that franchise in 2016, he has remained active in the business community, running a successful brand consultancy, and serving as a Director for CenterState Bank – in addition to remaining active in his many charities and organizations.
Wehbe has received numerous other accolades over the years. The Gainesville Sun honored him with their entrepreneurship award at their First Annual Spirit of Gainesville celebration in 2011. In 2014, Business in Greater Gainesville gave him an Impact Award for his many contributions to the community. He was recognized by the Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors® (GACAR) with the 2016 James Parrish Community Leadership Award. He was honored at the 2017 Gainesville American Values Dinner by the Boy Scouts of America for his efforts to instill values in youth.
“Thank you, Freddie, for the countless hours you have given to our community as a business leader, mentor, friend and role model to so many,” said Susan Davenport, President/CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “Your passion and perseverance are an inspiration to us all, and we’re truly honored to be able to count you among Gainesville’s business leaders and community members.”
Wehbe was joined by several other business leaders recognized for their contributions to the community at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 94th Annual Meeting, including:
- Outgoing 2017 Chamber Chairperson Rory Causseaux, who introduced Wehbe and the other winners
- Incoming 2018 Chamber Chairperson Kevin Monroe of Cox Communications
- Chic Holden of Holden, Carpenter and Roscow, who received the 2018 Chair’s Award from Causseaux
- The 2018 Gainesville Rotary Club Ethics in Business Award recipient Brian Scarborough of HUB International
- 2018 Chamber Diplomat of the Year awardee Theresa Glaeser of LogoKick
- 2018 Spirit of #GreaterGNV winner James Coats
About the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has been the voice of business in the Gainesville area since 1924. Representing over 1,300 members that employ more than 80,000 people, the Chamber is leading the effort to make the Gainesville region a global hub for talent, innovation and opportunity. The Chamber is 5-Star Accredited by the United States Chamber of Commerce, putting it in the top 1% of all Chambers nationwide. Learn more at www.GainesvilleChamber.com or call us at 352.334.7100.
Todd Van Hoosear