CEO of Pasadena-Based Blaze Pizza, Among America’s Fastest Growing Brands, Will Talk About Disrupting Industries

Published : Monday, May 14, 2018 | 5:11 AM

Jim Mizes, President and CEO of Pasadena-headquartered Blaze Pizza, one of America’s fastest-growing restaurant brands, will speak at the Pasadena Rotary Club’s weekly luncheon meeting on Wednesday about “Building Disruptive Brands by Breaking the Rules.”

Now ranked as the number one overall fast-casual brand in FastCasual.com’s annual Top 100 list, Blaze Pizza is building momentum and developing a cult-like following as it expands across the country.

The company currently operates 260 restaurants in 40 states, Canada and Kuwait. Founded by Elise and Rick Wetzel, the concept is backed by investors including LeBron James, Maria Shriver, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Boston Red Sox co-owner Tom Werner and movie producer John Davis.

Before joining Blaze Pizza, Mizes served as vice president of brand development and VP of store operations for Jamba Juice, leading its growth from 50 to 350 stores over five years. Prior to Jamba Juice, Mizes served as president of Noah’s New York Bagels, where he led the company’s development and growth until it was sold to Einstein Bros. Bagels.

In an article he wrote for QSR Magazine last year after he was promoted to president and CEO, Mizes said working in food service “is all about being a great coach.”

“If you can lead others and help them become their very best, you can be incredibly successful in this business,” he said. “There are only three reasons people are in it: You love working with your team members, you love serving guests, and you love posting results on the scoreboard. Those three items are the only reason to be in this business; otherwise everything that can go wrong does and it will defeat you.”

Mizes has been President and CFO at Blaze Pizza since 2013. He had joined the company as COO a year earlier.

Internationally, Rotary is an organization of business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help to build goodwill and peace in the world. It is comprised of 1.2 million members working in more than 33,000 clubs in 200 countries and geographic regions.

The Pasadena Rotary Club has over 200 members that meet weekly. They are dedicated to contributing to the well-being and growth of the community, region, and world. Programs they support include Happy Feet (providing shoes at the start of a school year for PUSD elementary school students); Adopt-A-School; Dan Stove Music Contest; 4-way Speech Contest; Community Grants; Done In A Day; Toy Drive; RYLA -Teen Leadership; Project Corazon Super Build; and Teachers of Excellence.

Every week, Pasadena Rotary presents a speaker at its lunchtime meeting at the University Club. The speaker presentation starts around 1 p.m. and is finished around 1:25 p.m., with time for Q and A at the end. The presentation is free and open to the public, but there is a charge for lunch.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Pasadena, visit www.pasadenarotary.com or call (626) 440-0908.

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