From the basketball court to the business field, few have distinguished themselves like Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman.
That’s why Vermont Business Magazine will host Bridgeman for its monthly webcast at 12 p.m. Wednesday. Register for the event here: businessforumusa.jetwebinar.com.
The former National Basketball Association player will share about how he turned his $350,000 salary into $600 million.
To prepare himself for life after basketball, Bridgeman spent his offseason working at a local Wendy’s drive-thru to learn the business model of fast-food restaurants. It was the beginning of a franchising empire: By the time he retired, he had already purchased three Wendy’s.
Eventually, Bridgeman was the owner and chief executive officer of various companies operating over 450 restaurants in 20 states, including 263 Wendy’s restaurants and 123 Chili’s restaurants. His companies received awards during his tenure including the Diamond Award for most effective neighborhood marketer, the Wendy Award for exemplary performance by a franchisee and the Founder’s Award in recognition of operational excellence by a franchise, among others.
Bridgeman is now a bottler for The Coca-Cola Co., serving as the president and CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola, running a production plant in Lenexa, Kansas, and 18 distribution centers with his son, Justin. He recently purchased the magazines Jet and Ebony.