Pizza, long a favorite with kids and college students, is also in demand in the Middle East. “Pizza is very popular over there,” says Richard Page, vice president of franchise development for Salem-based Figaro’s Italian Pizza. The national chain known for its baked and take-and-bake pizzas, signed a franchise agreement with Sense Gourmet, a subsidiary of Abu-Dhabi-based Foodco Holding. The agreement calls for a minimum of 50 franchises in eight countries including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Although Pizza Hut already has locations in the Middle East, the Al Dhahry family, owners of Foodco Holding, felt strongly that a niche product like Figaro’s would do very well. Figaro’s currently has 114 locations in 20 states and Canada. The first of the Middle Eastern locations will open in the summer.
The JELD-WEN Foundation of Klamath Falls pledged $2.5 million to Willamette University at the end of January. The donation will create an endowed chair in Free Enterprise at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. It is the largest donation in the graduate school’s history. Willamette’s is one of two MBA programs in the United States dually accredited for Business Administration and Public Administration.
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