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Hamra Enterprises executives Josh Sloan, left, Simeon Shelton and Randy Halterman are accountable as leaders in growth plans that include Wendy’s.SBJ photo by WES HAMILTON
Hamra Enterprises executives Josh Sloan, left, Simeon Shelton and Randy Halterman are accountable as leaders in growth plans that include Wendy’s.

SBJ photo by WES HAMILTON

2017 Dynamic Dozen No. 3: Hamra Enterprises

Posted online
SBJ: What has been key to your recent growth?
Mike Hamra:  Acquisitions. We’ve done smaller acquisitions leading up to 2015 and in the previous three years before that we had done a couple of smaller acquisitions, anywhere between six and eight locations in each of those acquisitions.

And, then at the end of 2015, we acquired part of the Wendy’s corporate market in New England, which includes stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and that was 30 locations. At the end of last year, we acquired part of the Wendy’s corporate stores in the Chicago market, which was 25 locations.

SBJ: What has the company’s growth enabled you to do?
Hamra: The most important thing is that it’s allowed us to support our employees through better health insurance and benefits. It’s also allowed us to increase the size of our employee assistance fund, which is the Hamra Employees Reaching Out fund. That fund now exceeds $1 million in total contributions raised. And we’ve been able to support more people, since we now have more people in our organization.

The other is that it allows us to take advantage of our scale. So, it allows us to reduce some of the cost of some of our supplies that we may have in the business and it certainly allows us to develop more people in our leadership. We can really go after the development of employees by being a larger organization, differently today than we have in the past.

SBJ: Is your fast growth sustainable?
Hamra: It’s sustainable as long as we have strong leadership in our organization. And that has a lot to do with how effective we are in developing people internally.

Our biggest opportunity is to develop people in their careers at Hamra so that they can move from an associate, who may at one point have worked as a cashier to working as a manager of a store location to stepping outside the stores to being a multiunit leader and to a market leader. So it’s really the opportunity to develop leadership inside our organization. As long as we have good, strong leaders, we can continue to grow.

SBJ: What are your top issues when it comes to managing growth?
Hamra: The biggest opportunity is integrating the new people into our organizations. The other issues flow off of that, which is integrating operating systems into our business and ensuring there’s consistency with all the different systems that are employed in each of the locations so that we’re getting accurate data from those different locations as well as making sure they’re being run smoothly.

SBJ: Is there such thing as growing too fast?
Hamra: Absolutely. We would be growing too fast if we didn’t have the leadership to sustain that growth. If we didn’t have leaders who were accountable for part of that growth, then I would consider that too fast. The first thing is making sure you have leadership. In our organization, we have to have strong leadership before we take over a market or an acquisition.

SBJ: What is the worst business advice you’ve received?
Hamra: When someone tells me that an idea, goal or dream is not possible. That’s the worst advice I’ve ever gotten. Anything is possible – always.
 

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