Russ DiGilio Named 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC

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Russ DiGilio, Founder and Owner of Duck Donuts Franchising Company LLC, has been named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC (Capital Region Economic Development Corporation).

Russ DiGilio, Founder and Owner of Duck Donuts Franchising Company LLC, has been named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC.

I would not be where I am today, nor would Duck Donuts be experiencing such growth, without the love and support of my family, the hard work and devotion of my Duck Donuts team, and the best donut fans in the world.

Russ DiGilio, Founder and Owner of Duck Donuts Franchising Company LLC, has been named the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC (Capital Region Economic Development Corporation).

“I am incredibly honored to receive this award from The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC,” says DiGilio. “It’s extremely humbling to be in the company of such an elite group of movers and shakers who impact our local communities in powerful and positive ways. I would not be where I am today, nor would Duck Donuts be experiencing such growth, without the love and support of my family, the hard work and devotion of my Duck Donuts team, and the best donut fans in the world.”

Each year, chamber member businesses and individuals are honored at the Catalyst Awards for their outstanding contributions to the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC and the community. In addition to Entrepreneur of the Year, categories include the Athena Award, Business Diversity Champion, Catalyst Award, Government Leader of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Small Business of the Year, and Volunteer of the Year. Recipients will be recognized at the annual awards event on Wednesday, November 30, at the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at 5:30 p.m.

“An entrepreneur, by definition, is a person who organizes and manages an enterprise with considerable initiative and risk. Russ DiGilio took an idea and added the initiative to open a freshly made donut shop at his favorite beach. He then created a franchise model and partnered with other entrepreneurs who understood his vision and business model to grow into an award-winning donut enterprise. From the original shop in Duck on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, to his new store and training facility on the Carlisle Pike in Hampden Township, Russ joins a notable list of successful, local entrepreneurs. Duck Donuts is proof that central Pennsylvania’s entrepreneurial spirit is a powerful engine for building businesses and creating jobs,” says David Black, president and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC.

DiGilio ignited his donut venture in 2006 in hopes of solving a family vacation problem: “Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, and made-to-order donuts at the Outer Banks, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own,” he says. “Our motto from day one has been Keep it simple. We sell donuts with a side of smiles and pride ourselves on making the perfect donut for every customer every time.”

In 2013, the first franchise location was opened in Williamsburg, Virginia. “We were approached so many times to consider franchising that we finally had to embrace the idea,” says DiGilio. Loyal followers begged for a Duck Donuts in their communities and now, as of October 2016, there are 28 open stores and 110 locations signed to contract in 13 states.

“It’s been an exciting journey working beside Russ as he developed Duck Donuts in the most organic way,” says Gary McAneney, COO and brother-in-law. “He is a leader who cares and genuinely wants the best for his communities and employees. Our team at Duck Donuts is thrilled to celebrate this well-deserved achievement of our friend and trailblazer, Russ DiGilio.”

A family favorite at beach towns across America and expanding to cities like Nashville, Orlando, Atlanta, Columbus, Houston and Austin, Duck Donuts is built on a fun family experience. “We love to see the smiles on children’s faces as they watch their donut being made, and we’re equally excited about the opportunity to provide 25-40 new jobs at every location,” says DiGilio. “When I see the impact that one idea can have on the economy, it’s motivating and humbling. To date, we’ve been able to create more than 1,200 new jobs.”

DiGilio and his wife, Christy, have five children, all of whom are integral to the family business. After raising his family in Mechanicsburg, DiGilio decided to locate the company headquarters in his hometown in 2016.

Before diving into the hospitality industry, DiGilio was Founder/President of The Autumn Group, a management company for long-term care facilities where he owned and operated senior and assisted living facilities. He has over 30 years of health care experience.

DiGilio holds a BA in Psychology from West Chester University. A member of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber, the West Shore Chamber, and the Mechanicsburg Chamber, Russ is passionate about giving back to the community. Franchise-wide, Duck Donuts has a program titled “Quack Gives Back” and each month Duck Donuts make a difference in every community they serve.

ABOUT DUCK DONUTS
Duck Donuts was founded in 2006 by Russ DiGilio in Duck, North Carolina. His intention? To solve a family vacation problem: “Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, made-to-order! donuts, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own.”

By 2011, Duck Donuts had expanded to four Outer Banks locations and the donut business was so successful that DiGilio was continuously approached about franchise opportunities and by fans who begged for a Duck Donuts in their communities. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, VA, in 2013 and there are now 28 open franchise locations.

Duck Donuts store openings are scheduled for:
Gaithersburg, MD – November 2016
Columbus, OH – November 2016
Stafford, VA – December 2016
Hilton Head, SC – December 2016
Jacksonville, NC – December 2016
Orlando, FL – December 2016
Knoxville, TN- December 2016
Charleston, SC – January 2017

THE DUCK DONUTS EXPERIENCE
“We discovered that the most powerful marketing advantage we have is the aroma of warm donuts wafting from every store. Our light vanilla cake donut is a little crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, made fresh right in front of you, hand-dipped in hot icing, and sprinkled with your choice of delicious toppings and drizzles. It’s that simple.”

Children love to stand on the strategically placed step in the waiting area, allowing them to see the entire process, as the donut machine cooks and carries their donuts down the line, where they are dipped, topped, packaged, and served warm in the box. Duck Donuts serves its own signature coffee blends—Riptide Roast, Light House Blend, and Sunset Pier Decaf with new special seasonal flavors changing throughout the year—and offers breakfast options, as well as catering services. Indoor and outdoor seating is available at most locations. For customers who don’t have a Duck Donuts in their neighborhood, or wish to gift a delicious box of Duck Donuts to someone far away, order specialty “Flash Frozen” donuts at http://www.DuckDonuts.com.

To learn more or to share your Duck Donuts experience, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, or send us a Tweet.

ABOUT THE HARRISBURG REGIONAL CHAMBER & CREDC
The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC serves as a catalyst for promoting growth and quality of life in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry Counties by providing a unique blend of business, community and economic development and advocacy services under one roof to boost our economic vitality and livability as a region. The Chamber & CREDC has been accredited with five stars from the United States Chamber of Commerce.

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