A franchise development manager for Smoothie King, Tramuta is dedicated to his brand’s healthful mission.
1851’s Young Ones to Watch month is all about movers and shakers in the business world who are conquering professional mountains, and doing so with a youthful twinkle in their eyes that may leave some of the old guard muttering under their breath. Let them mutter.
The men and women who made our list are entrepreneurs, business owners, investors, tech geniuses and everything in between. While some are reinventing the wheel, others are making sure the existing ones spin smoother. The one thing they all have in common? Names you’ll be hearing for many years to come (and their iPods typically feature cooler music than their older counterparts, but that’s neither here nor there).
We kick things off with 36-year-old Chad Tramuta, franchise development manager at Smoothie King, a trail-blazing brand that is primed for huge growth in the months ahead. Check back in for part two of this interview tomorrow, when we switch gears and focus more on how Smoothie King is gearing up for world domination.
How did you end up in your current role?
It’s always interesting looking back, as I essentially stumbled upon the franchise development industry. I always thought I would end up in the pharmaceutical or medical sales industries. Like most of us, I had no prior knowledge of this industry nor did I ever think I would find myself entrenched in it. My franchise development journey began in January 2006 as a franchise sales recruiter at Planet Beach Franchising Corporation - a Louisiana-born tanning salon franchise. I was basically given three months to sink or swim. Not only did I find a way to swim but quickly realized I had a true passion and love for the industry.
Anyone who knows me can attest that I have been a huge Smoothie King fan my entire life. As a child I lived just blocks from the original Smoothie King location. It’s safe to say I grew up on Smoothie King, so when the opportunity presented itself to join Smoothie King’s franchise development team I jumped at the opportunity.
What have been the biggest challenges you've faced?
The recent recession and the financing issues it caused. Franchise financing came to a halt toward the end of 2008 and although the recession technically ended in 2009, the lingering effects and lack of financing continued on for several years.
What has been the most important lesson you've learned?
To always be open to change and have a willingness to adapt in order to achieve a common goal. Never be afraid to fail. Failures fuel creativity and are opportunities to learn and grow as a professional and human being. Never let the fear of the unknown get in the way of success.
Did you have any mentors along the way?
I’ve had several mentors along the way who have been, and continue to be, influential in my growth as a franchise development executive. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and I have always tried to emulate the positive attributes I’ve witnessed from my mentors while also learning how to improve or handle my weaknesses. I highly stress the importance for young professionals to have positive role models and mentors. Always be willing to give back by mentoring others.
What do you most want to accomplish?
To continue to grow as a professional and create a lasting legacy as a respected and successful leader. To play an important role in helping Smoothie King achieve our long-term development goals toward establishing ourselves as one of the top franchise brands in the world. I want Smoothie King to become a household name across the globe while inspiring the world to live a healthy and active lifestyle.
What would your advice be to the next generation of young men and women hoping to make their mark on the business world?
Find something you are passionate about and pursue it. Be a sponge and always remember that every day is a lesson to learn and grow as a professional and, more importantly, as a human being. Chase your dreams and never let anyone tell you otherwise.
In your own opinion, what is the formula young executives should follow in order to mature into established business leaders?
Display a strong work ethic. Come in early, stay late, be a sponge and have passion and belief in what you do. Find mentors who you respect and do not be afraid to ask questions. I am a firm believer that nothing replaces dedication and hard work. Take pride in your profession and never have a sense of entitlement. Respect is earned, not given.