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Texas Restaurateur Atour Eyvazian to serve as the National Restaurant Association’s 2017 Convention Chair

Restaurateur Atour Eyvazian will serve as chairman for the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show 2017, which will take place May 20-23 in Chicago. Eyvazian owns 107 Jack in the Box restaurants in the Houston and San Antonio, Texas, area.

After escaping war-torn Iran and 40 days in a Turkish prison, Eyvazian fled to the United States in 1984. Just two weeks after his arrival to Los Angeles, he secured his first job as a maintenance worker at Jack in the Box, where he quickly taught himself English, according to release from the NRA. Within two years he became a Jack in the Box restaurant manager.

As Eyvazian continued to rise in the ranks at Jack in the Box, he used the company’s tuition-reimbursement program to attend night classes and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998 and an MBA in 2001. In 2005, Eyvazian became a franchisee of 10 Jack in the Box restaurants in Sacramento, Calif.

“Atour Eyvazian’s perspective on the hospitality industry as an immigrant and successful restaurateur aligns with our programming goal to feature powerful messages on current day topics,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Eyvazian’s 25-year journey from his arrival to the United States, unable to read or speak in English, to now owning 107 Jack in the Box restaurants is a real life story about the achievement of the American dream and will serve as inspiration and provide insight for our attendees.”