NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – Valley businessman Sam Covelli was honored Wednesday at Youngstown State University with the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship.
Covelli was one of only four business people in the country to receive the award this year. He is the owner of Covelli Enterprises, which owns most of the Panera Bread franchises in the U.S., along with some Dairy Queen and O’Charley’s restaurants.
Covelli used the opportunity to give some advice to young entrepreneurs at YSU.
“You have to enjoy what you’re doing, to begin with,” he said. “And you have to know what you’re doing, and whatever concept you’re in, you really have to do your homework and be associated with the right people.”
Covelli said he is most proud that his company employs about 35,000 people across the U.S. and Canada.
Covelli has an honorary doctorate from YSU.