The Idaho Business Review
by Sean Olson
Published: May 15,2013
Dan Todd, president of Smoky Mountain Pizzeria Grill, has won the Small Business Administration’s Idaho Small Business Person of the Year award. Todd received the award after Smoky Mountain continued to expand even during the recession, adding new employees and raising revenues. It didn’t expand the number of its locations in Idaho and Utah.
Larry DeMirelli, a business opportunity specialist with the SBA’s Boise District office, said Todd’s success was impressive in a time when many companies were seeing declines. “It’s a brutal industry to survive in and they have shown sustained growth in sales,” DeMirelli said.
Todd received the award at a lunch ceremony May 15 in the Boise Centre. He said May 14 that the company’s secret was putting together a team of employees who understood the value of customer service. Loyal customers brought Smoky Mountain through tough economic times unscathed, he said, and they remained loyal because of his staff. He said Smoky Mountain always stressed forming real relationships with its customers. “If we do that and do it well, then our neighbors will continue to support us,” he said.
Since the beginning of the recession, Smoky Mountain has increased its sales about 15 percent, Todd said. It has also hired new employees, although Todd did not have exact numbers on job growth. The company relocated one location, in Eagle, after acquiring new property with the help of a SBA loan, Todd said. “The important thing for us is we knew if we reinvested in the communities we served that we would be supported. Thankfully we have been embraced by those neighborhoods and we have continued to thrive and grow and look towards the future,” Todd said.
Susan Holm, of U.S. Bank, nominated Todd. She said he had handled the recession with tact and integrity. “Through the years I have witnessed firsthand Dan Todd’s tireless efforts to lead his team through every imaginable challenge, especially those of the past few years, and not only survive, but thrive,” Holm wrote.
The SBA had about 30 nominations this year, DeMirelli said, which were evaluated by an independent company. Along with the state honor, Todd is still in consideration for the SBA’s National Business Person of the Year, he said.
Smoky Mountain was started by Todd’s family in Ketchum 21 years ago and has expanded throughout the state. It now has 260 employees. Todd took over Triple T Enterprises, the holding company that includes all the restaurant locations, in 2001.
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The Idaho Business Review