The National Restaurant Association and PepsiCo Foodservice created this award to shine the spotlight on the diversity of the restaurant industry and to inspire others, through stories such as Arvik's, to show that there are endless opportunities for success in the restaurant industry.
Arvik, a resident of Watertown, Mass., joined Uno in 2008 after more than a decade advancing through financial and management positions with Chuck E. Cheese, Applebee's and Chili's Bar and Grill. Born and raised in Iran, Arvik was 17 when revolution and war changed her life, closing off educational opportunities, imposing harsh rules on women and forcing some close friends and family members into prison.
When Arvik was 23, her parents sent her and her two younger sisters to Europe to explore a better life. Suddenly she was responsible for caring for her two sisters in a strange land, first Switzerland and then the United States. She persevered, learned the language and overcame early obstacles to build a solid career in restaurant management. Ultimately, she was also able to relocate her parents to America as well.
"Arvik reminds all of us that living the American dream isn't some vague platitude but the result of courage, hard work and perseverance. She is a testament to the notion that we can overcome any obstacle we face if we want it badly enough," said Frank W. Guidara, chairman and chief executive officer of Uno. "We are very proud to have Arvik, a person of great character, as part of the Uno family."