~From the desk of Tom Browne~
For decades, many of our Arby’s restaurants have been owned by Steve Huse, CEO of Huse Inc. and Beef Corporation of America (BCA). This year, Steve celebrates 50 years in the restaurant business. We are excited to recognize Steve for his remarkable service and success as we transfer ownership to three long-time Huse lnc./BCA employees – myself (CEO), Craig Truelock (COO), and Mike Todd (VP Construction) – under the ownership name Heartland Beef, Inc. (HBI).
I’ve worked with Steve for 27 years, and the thing that impresses me the most about him is how much joy he draws from the success stories of the Arby’s employees. Many of our employees have gone on to become teachers, FBI agents, lawyers, bankers, judges and business owners. The success of others is Steve’s legacy.
About 20 years ago, we discussed how we would continue that legacy when Steve eventually retired. At that time, a new corporation was created to begin the succession of ownership in the future. That company is HBI and was set up as a new Arby’s franchisee. Steve identified key employees who he felt would steward the company well in its next chapter. The HBI ownership in the beginning consisted of Steve Huse, Craig Huse, Mike Todd, Craig Truelock and myself. We grew the HBI business to 22 restaurants, operating alongside BCA (Steve’s original Arby’s franchise company).
During the past year, discussions have taken place regarding the timing of Steve’s retirement from Arby’s and the best way to structure the company upon his departure. Earlier this year, an agreement was reached and a plan put into place. On June 30, Steve sold his interest in BCA and HBI to Mike, Craig and myself.
Over the years, there have been some questions about which company does what – Huse Inc., BCA and HBI – and how they are all connected. This should become much clearer now. By the end of the year, all Arby’s operating under BCA, and HBI will become one company – Heartland Beef, Inc. All Huse Inc. employees associated with the administration of Arby’s, including marketing, accounting and human resources, will be HBI employees.
So, you might be asking yourself, “How will this impact me?” The answer is that there will be no impact to your day to day activities. You will still work at the same Arby’s with the same management team. Those in management will still be working with the same area supervisors, accountants, marketing and human resources team. Except for those plaques at some of our Arby’s restaurants stating they are operated by BCA (those will be updated to HBI) – you will find almost no evidence of any change.
The “new” ownership team is by no means new to Arby’s or our company. Craig Truelock has been an employee for more than 30 years. He started at one of Steve’s other restaurants, Mustard’s, when he was hired as a dishwasher at age 16! Mike Todd began behind the counter at our East 3rd Street Arby’s in Bloomington also at the age of 16. To think his youngest daughter is now working at that same Arby’s 30 years later gives me chills. I doubt either one of them dreamed on their first day of work that they would eventually become owners.
As for myself, I started working at an evil competitor that starts with the letter M at age 16. It wasn’t until I finished my MBA that I saw the light and joined the Arby’s team almost 27 years ago.
Craig, Mike and myself are committed to continue building onto the legacy that Steve Huse has been working on for 50 years. We will continue offering those same opportunities for each and every employee who works for our organization to become that next teacher, lawyer or even Arby’s franchisee.
Thank you to Steve for building a company we can all be proud of, and thanks to each of YOU for your continued hard work and commitment to taking care of our customers each and every day.
We have the meats!
CEO, Heartland Beef, Inc.