On Thursday, September 7th, a group of about 50 volunteers from Heartland Beef Incorporated—including teams from Construction, Operations, Accounting, Human Resources, and Marketing—spent the day Giving Back at Camp Rock run by the Boys and Girls Club Bloomington. Teams of two to eight lopped saplings from shorelines, cleared trails and culverts, cleaned the various facilities on campus, posted fences, secured buildings, cleaned boats, sanitized safety equipment, organized the archery range, and more in a massive cleanup project as part of HBI’s ongoing efforts to Make a Difference in the communities wherein they live and work. HBI’s volunteerism saved the Camp Rock and BGC staff over 100 hours of work they otherwise would have had to perform themselves.
September 6, 2017 marked the Annual Huse Inc (now Heartland Beef) General Manager Awards. This year’s event was held at the historic Buskirk-Chumley Theater in downtown Bloomington, IN. 33 of HBI’s 34 stores were represented. See here for the list of awards and winners. The night doubled as a celebration of Stephen Huse’s 50th year with the Arby’s brand. Steve bought his first Arby’s restaurant in 1967, just three years after the now-global brand was founded making Huse one of its pioneering franchisees. Tom Browne, long time mentee of Steve and current CEO of Heartland Beef Inc, spoke briefly about the enormous impact Steve has had on everyone around him, within his companies, and around the community. His influence is best described and witnessed in a tribute video seen below:
On Wednesday, September 6, 2017, the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Crestmont club location to unveil the Huse Culinary Lab. Heartland Beef Incorporated and its owners donated, with a generous contribution from the Arby’s Foundation, $100,000 to build said teaching kitchen. Newly appointed Unit Director Jon York spoke at the ceremony Wednesday, sharing a bit about his challenging childhood that lacked any healthy role models. Jon at a very young age became the caretaker of his younger brother. When he came to his local club, Jon had zero cooking skills—feeding himself and his little brother cereal for their two at-home meals before and after school until venturing out to boxed mac ‘n cheese mixed with peas and canned tuna in his early teen years. Many take basic cooking skills for granted, but just like Jon so many of our youth struggle to overcome this hurdle often in addition to being food insecure. The Huse Culinary kitchen will ensure that area kids don’t go without for lack of know-how. The kitchen will host cooking demonstrations, cooking clubs, community events, and more.
The $100,000 gift was made in honor of Stephen M Huse as part of a celebration of his 50th year with the Arby’s brand. Throughout those 50 years Steve has made sure to give back to his communities and all of those around him, changing lives and otherwise making a difference. Within his own company, Steve has created a culture of cultivating and empowering the ordinary to become something extraordinary.
After 25 years of operating on 2,100 sq ft, the new Crestmont Boys and Girls Club will expand the location’s footprint to a whopping 21,000 square feet with a full regulation gym—a facility able to serve up to 200 kids a day. In addition to the Huse Culinary lab, the Crestmont club will include “a library, technology lab, art studio, teen club, entertainment room and more. The Club will still feature extensive program options for members including Indiana’s Kids tutoring, cooking, drama, computer programs, gardening and more.” (http://bgcbloomington.com/crestmont)
Today we have cause to celebrate! Two of Area Supervisor Karen Cundiff’s stores have recertified as [top-notch] Nationally Certified Training Restaurants. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am ALWAYS impressed with these two stores. Both have older facilities and lower volumes, yet Teams 6971 (Rock Falls) and 7539 (Jacksonville) make their stores the absolutely exceptional ones they are by working hard day in and day out to make it clean and pleasant for everyone who walks through their doors. Any Op Partners (or other stores) looking to become NCTU’s can look to either of these two stores as examples.
WELL DONE RENEA, MARISA, TEAMS 6971 & 7539, AND KAREN CUNDIFF!!
TERRE HAUTE, IN (August 17, 2017)– Mrs. Mona Higginbotham from Terre Haute South, Unit 970, celebrated thirty years with the Arby’s brand this past Wednesday. The elite Club 30 at Heartland Beef includes the likes of Mike Todd and Craig Truelock, who both celebrated their 30 years in 2016.
Mona started at the old Wabash Ave location (that has since burnt down) on August 16, 1987 looking for part time work when her kids went off to school. Since then, Mona went on to become a successful General Manager before stepping down upon the birth of her oldest granddaughter–who, as it happens, turned 18 years old on Aug 16. Mona also celebrates 45 years of marriage with her best friend this weekend. Cheers to Mona and her three decades of hard work and top tier guest service. We at Heartland Beef Incorporated send a heartfelt “Thank you!” and “Congratulations!”
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.