Marco’s Pizza® Multi-Unit Franchisee Recognized by International Franchise Association with 2024 Franchisee of the Year Award
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Marco’s Pizza® Multi-Unit Franchisee Recognized by International Franchise Association with 2024 Franchisee of the Year Award

Franchisee Honored for Standout Performance and Philanthropic Efforts

February 20, 2024 // // Toledo - Marco’s Pizza, one of the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brands, announces multi-unit franchisee partners, Brandon Hudson and Damion Mason, as the recipients of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) prestigious Franchisee of the Year Award. The annual recognition honors a select group of franchisees who have demonstrated excellence within the franchise community as outstanding franchise establishment owner-operators.

The Franchisee of the Year Award recognizes leading franchise owners from IFA member brands whose outstanding performance and contributions help protect, enhance, and promote the franchise business model. Nominated by their parent company, individuals are selected for their involvement in their communities, embodying the entrepreneurial spirit, fostering a strong and healthy culture with their workforce, and assisting their fellow franchisees when called upon.

"As entrepreneurs, this recognition goes beyond personal achievement; it symbolizes the limitless possibilities for success and growth when you follow your dreams,” said Hudson. “We are truly honored to receive the Franchisee of the Year award and represent Marco’s Pizza. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of black entrepreneurs, and show that together, with passion, dedication, and a commitment to community, we can continue to achieve greatness."

After spending several years in their own ventures, college roommates, Hudson and Mason turned their 20-plus year friendship into a successful business partnership with Marco’s. As self-proclaimed pizza connoisseurs, Marco’s had already become a household staple with their families, and the decision to join the brand was simple. After six years, the duo and their team are on a path of rapid growth with seven locations open and eleven in various stages of development.

“Brandon and Damion’s journey with Marco's Pizza embodies the essence of our brand—passion, community, and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Tony Libardi, Co-CEO & President of Marco’s Pizza. “Their dedication to excellence, coupled with a commitment to community empowerment, has not only contributed to the success of their franchise locations, but also serves as an inspiration to us all.”

Key to the duo’s success is building relationships with the communities they serve, and giving back through empowering minority entrepreneurship. As black entrepreneurs, their hope is to demonstrate that successful black entrepreneurship is achievable.

“Franchisee of the Year exemplify what franchising is all about – providing opportunity, serving others, and fulfilling the American Dream,” said Matthew Haller, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “We are proud to recognize Brandon and Damion with the highest honor IFA awards to franchisees, and I have no doubt their work is changing lives and making a lasting community impact.”

In addition to franchisee acknowledgement, the brand’s impressive performance has earned multiple awards and recognition: Ranking in Newsweek’s 2023 America’s Best Customer Service in the pizza chains category, earning a spot on QSR’s Top 50, appearing on Nation’s Restaurant News’ prestigious Top 500 ranking, and most recently claiming the No. 48 spot on Entrepreneur’s 2024 Franchise 500® ranking.

These achievements have set the stage for considerable expansion in 2024 with company leadership identifying more than 4,000 potential U.S. locations in addition to vast international opportunity that is catching the attention of operators and the investment sector looking to grow and diversify their portfolios

For more information on Marco’s Pizza franchise opportunities, visit or contact Beth Heminger at, 866-731-8209.

About Marco’s Pizza

Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Marco’s Pizza is one of the fastest-growing pizza brands in the United States. Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian-born Pasquale (“Pat”) Giammarco and thrives to deliver a high-quality pizza experience, known for its dough made from scratch and its three fresh signature cheeses. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate over 1,200 stores in 34 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza was ranked No. 48 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2024 “Franchise 500” ranking. Other recent accolades include a high ranking on Newsweek’s 2023 “America’s Best Customer Service” in pizza chains list, earning a spot on QSR’s Top 50, and being featured on Nation’s Restaurant News’ prestigious “Top 500” ranking.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.

SOURCE Marco’s Pizza


Media Contact:

Marisa Beaumont
Fishman PR

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