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PYSK: Cameron Dunafon

CEO, DVERSE Holdings LLC, 20 Under 40 Alumnus


Years lived in Columbia
38 years on and off.

Job description
Restaurant and property management.

Bachelor of business administration from the University of Michigan.

Professional background
Performed audit and consulting services for PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Detroit market, specializing in manufacturing and consumer goods. For the past 20 years, I have developed and operated Taco Bell restaurants in the Midwest.

Favorite volunteer activity
I have been involved with the Boys and Girls Clubs for over 15 years. It’s exciting to see their growth in the community and the impact they have on youth.

Favorite recent project
DVERSE Holdings recently completed a new office building in partnership with Little Dixie Construction in the Cross Creek development at Stadium Boulevard and Highway 63.

A Columbia businessperson you admire and why
Jerry Taylor. He cares about people and takes time to understand and provide sound dialogue and advice.

Why you are passionate about owning a Taco Bell franchise
I love the food! The franchise provides the flexibility to identify and develop new properties while having marketing and new product development support. It allows my focus to be on people and finance — two things I enjoy!

Why you are passionate about Taco Bell
Taco Bell has maintained a great executive team for many years and continues to drive growth through innovation like the Doritos Locos Taco and investment in youth via the Taco Bell Foundation and Live Mas Scholarships.

What people should know about owning a Taco Bell franchise
The franchisee is independent of Taco Bell — there is no operational or financial support.

The next challenge facing the fast-food industry
Labor markets. The service industry overall is dealing with a shortage of qualified workers. We continue to engineer the kitchen to provide more efficiencies. We are also partnering with schools and universities to supplement degree programs and scholarships for our team members.

If you weren’t doing this for a living, you would . . .
Farm, golf, and triathlon.

Your next professional goal
My permanent goal is to develop the people around me and provide opportunity. We cannot be successful without dedicated and capable people. Coaching others and providing a career path for them within our business or wherever they may land is fulfilling.

Biggest lesson learned in business
Surround yourself with good people that are experts at what they do and delegate to them.

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