by Ray Newton | Photos courtesy of NACOG
Grant Quezada, creator of Prescott’s Founding Fathers Collective (FFC), received the National Association of Workforce Boards’ 2022 W. O. Layton Business Leadership award this spring in Washington, D.C.
He and the collective were selected from among more than 300 nominations from across the U.S. The workforce boards group represents about 12,000 U. S. business members in individual communities.
They were nominated by Teri Drew, regional director of the Northern Arizona Council of Government and executive director to the Yavapai County Workforce Development Board.
Drew’s nomination said, “Grant worked with the WDB and WIOA (Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act) to support recruitment, training and placement and hired a management team, including co-owner Jesse Burke, through his partnership with us.”
Originally, Quezada opened the John Hancock Barbershop in the fall of 2014. It was the first of a collection of businesses that now employs 67 full and part-time employees — and continues to expand.
He and co-owner Burke worked with the Northern Arizona Council of Governments Yavapai County ARIZONA @Work Workforce Development Board to use grants and create opportunities to give back to the veteran community.
Other businesses are:
- City Tavern Taproom, the largest self-serve beer taproom in Arizona.
- Merchant Coffee, featuring local specialty coffees.
- Seven-Six, an exclusive and nostalgic ’20s style speakeasy.
- Liberty Mercantile Shop selling items for men.
- Founders Gym, a fully equipped fitness center.
- Mountain Tribe Jiu-jitsu Studio, which includes youngsters as well as adults.
Quezada and FFC also were recognized June 1 by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors. They noted it is the first time the national award has ever gone to an Arizona recipient.
Quezada said he was genuinely surprised when FFC was nominated: “All of us associated with FFC are honored. But the honor belongs to everyone who has helped support us and our growth.”
Expansion continues. Quezada and colleagues spent several million dollars acquiring property just east of FFC and a large building just west of FFC. They’ll spend several million more remodeling the smaller property into a wine bar/event center.
“We’re developing plans for the larger five-story building and will start on it in 2023-24.
But our mission will remain the same — creating opportunities for veterans and encouraging the