About GEM Talks:
Designed for the Entrepreneur, these events are patterned after "TED talks" and are called "GEM Talks" - Gilbert, Entrepreneurial, Motivational. Each GEM Talk will feature an interactive session with a successful and motivational entrepreneur who will share his/her success story and provide insightful tips on how others can succeed in business and life. Attendees will have the opportunity to mingle, network, and interact with the featured speaker.
Students, the public and Gilbert Chamber members are encouraged to participate.
About the Speaker:
Raised on hospitality, Sam Fox spent much of his childhood in his family's restaurant, treasure hunting for change under the seats at night, and later, waiting tables and helping in the kitchen. Today, having opened over 100 restaurants of his own (with a dozen more openings cooking for 2021), Sam is a 11-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Restaurateur of the Year, a New York Times best-selling cookbook author, and was named one of the 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry by Nation's Restaurant News for five consecutive years. In 2019, he announced the sale of his restaurant group, Fox Restaurant Concepts (FRC), to The Cheesecake Factory. Fox remains as the CEO of FRC, forming a one-of-a-kind partnership never seen in the restaurant industry.
Drive by FRC's Phoenix corporate headquarters (lovingly called the "Big Kitchen"), and the first and last light you'll see on is in Sam's office, from which he continues to direct one of the most successful restaurant groups in the U.S. FRC employs more than 6,000 people across 10 states, with plans for continued significant growth in years to come.
Not too shabby for a college dropout. At age 20, Sam dropped out of the University of Arizona and used his tuition money to open his first restaurant. He launched that first FRC concept, Wildflower, in 1998, but became a household name after putting healthy dining on the map when he partnered with Dr. Andrew Weil to open the first True Food Kitchen in Phoenix in 2008. (Today, Oprah is a partner.) Sam has now developed over 20 unique concepts, 10 of which currently operate under the FRC umbrella, including Flower Child, Culinary Dropout and The Henry. Next up: Look for Sam to open his first Phoenix hotel driven by food and to partner with a celeb for a Nashville restaurant we'll all want a VIP pass to.
Sam generously gives back to the communities his restaurants serve through FRC's charitable arm: Feed the Soul and the Fox Family Foundation. And in his spare time, Sam enjoys travelling with his wife and children, sipping on various libations, and thinking up new concepts. (See for yourself on his Instagram.)