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Joe Zimmer honored by chamber and Culver himself

December 18, 2013 - By Meg Peters

Review Staff Writer

On December 5 Lake Orion's Joe Zimmer was honored with two prestigious awards.

First, the Orion Chamber of Commerce awarded the owner of Culver's on Lapeer with the Business Person of the Year Award.

Then, Craig Culver, owner of Culver Franchising System, flew in for the monthly chamber of commerce luncheon in which Zimmer was honored.

During the Chamber Dinner, a devout Culver's fan presented Zimmer with a road sign, by the name of Culver's Dr., which will be a future road name in a Pulte Homes subdivision along Lapeer Rd.

"We don't even have a street named after us in Wisconsin, in my home town," Craig Culver said. "It's pretty cool, isn't it? It's also kind of neat when you go by one of your restaurants and there's your name up there too. But I don't even think about that. What I think about is taking care of business, taking care of our team members and taking care of our guests."

Zimmer said he was brought to tears when Alaina Cambell, director of the chamber, notified him he was Business Person of the Year.

"When I walked into my first Culvers, I went by three other fast food restaurants, and they had hardly any cars there, and when I got to Culvers, the lot was full. Right then I said, 'hey, there's some magic going on here, and I want to be a part of it. That was the moment,'" Zimmer said.

Many people recognize Zimmer by his laugh, smile and genuine passion.

"When somebody says hospitality, that's Joe. That is Joe. That's his personality," Culver said. "I talk about customer service and hospitality. And they're different. Customer service is what I call operations. You can quantify it. You can attach numbers to it.

"Hospitality is something that comes from right here (pats his heart). Well he's over the top when it comes to hospitality, I mean he makes you feel so warm and welcome just being his over-the-top self."

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