Titan Brands VP of Operations named Restauranteur of the Year

On November 8th 2012, our own Operations Manager Michael Jasilewicz Jr. (“MJ”) was awarded the “Restaurateur of the Year” award by the Nevada Restaurant Association for his overall contribution in the hospitality industry.

By MJ’s own words, this is absolutely a team effort: “The people I work with who make my job easy… our family at Hussong’s Cantina, Slice of Vegas Pizza and Titan Brands, we did this together.”

Many reasons for why this is a tremendous honor. Let’s start with the most obvious few: an accredited association recognizing the efforts of our team member and acknowledgement by peers being at the top of that list.

Beyond these reasons, and without taking any importance away from those, we have our on list of why this award means a lot to all of us.

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From Left: Tony Cordovana, Slice of Vegas General Manager; Susan Perkins, Hussong’s Las Vegas General Manager; Scott Frost, Titan Brands President & Founder; Noe Alcala, Titan Brands Corporate Chef; Michael Jasilewicz, Titan Brands VP of Operations & Founder; Brian Mangino, Titan Brands Operations Manager & Founder; Natalie Gula, Titan Brands Events Coordinator; Kim Repetti, Titan Brands Financial Controller.

First off, Titan’s path wasn’t straight forward, or made easy by family wealth, lucky timing or really, much of “lucky” anything. We are grateful to each and every investor from the big ones to the small ones, grateful to those who believed in our potential and our talents. Every building brick of Titan’s properties have been fought for, handled and laid with extreme effort, dedication, labor and discipline. There were several personal challenges including but not limited to the most severe one, Scott Frost’s dirt bike accident; there have been arguments, battles, let downs and disappointments, but mainly, there have been plain hard work filled days. All through this, we have been committed to upholding moral codes, honoring few simple rules and acting according to our core values. Recognition of this caliber validates not only our blood and sweat, but also our strength and faith in ourselves and the direction we chose.

Second, who are we kidding – Titan Brands was the under dog in the line up of nominees, and who doesn’t love a good under dog story? Titan, although undoubtfully an accomplished management company with a great deal of success, still younger than many companies up for the award. Our list of currently operated restaurants is, well – briefer. With a strategic focus on casual concepts, our resume is absent of the sexiness, loudness and extravaganza, often connected with steep but short term profits. And yet, none of this ever served as an excuse to compromise our values – good quality of food, great service and – the most noteworthy reason this award warms our hearts: employee happiness.

Employee happiness is a long-term investment. Its lack of instant return is why many companies choose to ignore it or somewhere down the road abandon it as their core value. Titan didn’t and will not.

We live and work in a city whose lights are often in stark contrast to its own residents’ emotional states. The money made, invested and played with, could easily fill up the Mojave desert. Side by side with all tourists busy forgetting about their real lives, are hard working people with sadly too real of lives, with normal problems like broken down cars, sick children, heartbreaks and losses much more serious than roulette money. These realities though are not welcome in the fun lights of the Vegas night. Employees in these lit-up, energy buzzing buildings become shadows with seemingly irrelevant stories, unfit as a backdrop for everyone’s personal Hangover movie.

On a daily basis, MJ chooses to make these stories (and their characters) not only relevant, but also heard. Through providing each working family member with a sense of belonging and purpose, positive work environment and integrity in the work place, he’s built a dedicated and hard working team. He’s made it his goal to share this skill and mindset with all managers working under the Titan Brands umbrella; he’s also learning much from his staff and his partners. On any given day (some are harder, some easier) MJ is striving to live out his motto: “Be the difference you wish to see in the world.”

As a testament how well he’s done at this, this family comprised of Husssong’s, Slice of Vegas and Titan Brands employees and partners, has chosen to re-pay him the favor and took the actual step of submitting him for a nominee of the Restaurateur of the Year, voluntarily sharing genuine words about the impact MJ has made.

The fact that the Nevada Restaurant Association chose to recognize this as one the greatest successes a man can achieve is remarkable and a more optimistic forecast for Las Vegas than any anticipated economic upturn.

Congratulations to MJ!

With gratitude and pride,
The Titan Brands team.

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