I am so excited to be joining the Papa John’s family as a member of the Board of Directors, a soon-to-be investor in nine Papa John’s franchises in Atlanta and an ambassador for the brand! For nearly 20 amazing years in the NBA, basketball and family were the biggest parts of my life. However, shortly after I retired, I decided to commit the same level of hard work and passion into other things, including business, which is what brings me here.
One key component of my success is only investing in companies and products that I believe in – I’m a big fan of Papa John’s. I love that they are committed to making pizza with high-quality ingredients – something I got to see firsthand when I met CEO Steve Ritchie and made my own pizza called the Shaq-eroni earlier this year as part of the Shaq’s Fun House Event in Atlanta. Beyond the taste, Steve was able to help me understand what truly makes the Papa John’s family so special – great people; fresh ingredients; and the vision for the brand going forward. Steve sounded like a player preparing for a big game – his passion for the company and its people is authentic and exciting.
Because of my background, I know that behind every large company, there are thousands of people that put their heart and soul into the business. Papa John’s is no different, and it struck a chord with me that the company is putting in the work to do better within its walls and in the communities it serves across the country. After spending time with Steve and some of the leaders at Papa John’s, I know the company is destined for great success – and you know how I feel about winning!
As a soon-to-be investor in Atlanta Papa John’s restaurants, I am looking forward to engaging our customers and community members, and, as a board member, sharing my other experiences in business, marketing and teamwork.
Meanwhile, I am looking forward to sharing Papa John’s pizza with you soon, perhaps in an Atlanta area store. Please share your thoughts/feedback with me on Twitter @SHAQ.