Skip to main content

Yavapai County WDB Honored at NAWB Forum - W.O. Lawton Award

Friday, April 29, 2022
Local Area: Yavapai County

041222_NAWB Award Photo

Each year, the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) hosts a national conference – The Forum, during which they present the coveted W.O. Lawton Business Leadership Award. The W. O. Lawton Business Leadership Award honors businesses and business organizations that have made the commitment of time, investment and leadership to make their community’s workforce and economy more vibrant. With the goal set by Yavapai County WDB Chair Anita Payne, WDB Executive Director Teri Drew set out to identify a premier business organization to nominate in 2022. Teri recognized the talent, vision and leadership of Founding Fathers Collective and nominated them – here is their story:

Grant Quezada started his career path as a Hairdresser in a top salon in Springfield, Missouri. Three years later, Grant heard the patriot call during the War on Terrorism and enlisted in the United States Army, spending the next 8 years in active duty serving his country. After completing his tour of duty in the summer of 2014, he completed extended male barbering training and obtained his barber license. Grant, his wife and two sons and a daughter moved back to their hometown of Prescott, Arizona in fall of 2014 with the vision of opening the best barbershop in town.

Grant began his business venture when he opened the John Hancock Barbershop in 2014 with a vision to create a work environment to benefit his fellow Veterans and provide a unique, signature experience for his community at the same time. Leveraging the “perfect storm” of a large Veteran community and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) workforce training opportunities, Grant worked with the WDB to begin and secure his talent search and placement. The WDB was able to contribute substantial resources through WIOA to support recruitment, training and placement. Grant has trained and hired his management team – including co-owner Jesse Burke – through his partnership the Yavapai County WDB, offering an average wage that well exceeded the Yavapai County average wage.

Founding Fathers Collective (FFC) was born from its premier anchor business, John Hancock Barbershop, as a way to give back to the Veteran Community, contributing to the thriving hospitality and tourist destination that is Prescott, Arizona. FFC continues its partnership with the Yavapai County WDB and has been a leader within the Prescott community by delivering an outstanding shared experience through caring and connecting the citizens of our community. Grant took his barber shop to a whole new entertainment level with the addition of the City Tavern Taproom, the largest self-serve beer taproom in Arizona, the Merchant Coffee for local specialty coffees, as well as creating the Seven-Six, an exclusive and nostalgic 20’s-style “speakeasy”. The business has grown and expanded service offerings to include the Liberty Mercantile shop for men and the Founders Gym, a functional fitness center. FFC has now grown to 65 employees.

Out of more than 300 nominations submitted nationally, Grant Quezada and Founding Fathers Collective was the 2022 recipient of the W.O. Lawton Award, receiving the honor on April 12, 2022 in Washington, DC. Grant was accompanied at the Award Presentation by his business partner, Jesse Burke, and his assistant, Jacob Tibi, as well as Yavapai County WDB Chairman Anita Payne and WDB Executive Director Teri Drew.