Former Bucks star Junior Bridgeman to be featured in next episode of the 21st Century Business Forum

Former Milwaukee Bucks star Junior Bridgeman will talk about his rise to incredible success as a business owner during the December episode of the 21st Century Business Forum webcast.

This webcast, Nothing But Net: Scoring Big in Business, will broadcast at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8. Registration is free.

Bridgeman played 10 seasons for the Bucks from 1975-84 and from 1986-87. His jersey number (#2) was retired by the Bucks.

As an entrepreneur, Bridgeman was able to turn his NBA earnings, which peaked at $350,000 a year, into $600 million.

To prepare himself for life after basketball, Bridgeman spent his offseason working at a local Wendy’s drive-through to learn the business model of fast-food restaurants. It was the beginning of a franchising empire: By the time he retired, he had already purchased three Wendy’s.

Bridgeman was the owner and chief executive officer of various companies operating over 450 restaurants in 20 states, including 263 Wendy’s restaurants and 123 Chili’s restaurants.

His companies received several awards during his tenure including the Diamond Award (most effective neighborhood marketer), the Wendy Award (exemplary performance by a franchisee), the Founder’s Award (recognizing operational excellence by a franchisee), the Jim Near Legacy Award (for employer of choice) and the Hall of Fame Award (for overall achievement) from Wendy’s International, and the Franchisee of the Year Award (2012) and the Chili’s Sales Award (2015) from Brinker International.

Bridgeman is now a bottler for The Coca-Cola Company, serving as the president and CEO of Heartland Coca-Cola, running a production plant in Lenexa, Kansas, and 18 distribution centers with his son, Justin.

He also recently purchased the iconic Jet and Ebony magazines.

The 21st Century Business Forum debuted earlier this year, featuring a lineup of successful top executives, experts, and global thought leaders to share ideas and insights as business executives, entrepreneurs, owners and managers navigate the new year ahead. It airs on the second Wednesday of each month, interviewing guests in a Q&A format.

The 21st Century Business Forum is presented by BizTimes Media and is sponsored by Johnson Financial Group.Registration is free; sign up at https://biztimes.com/annual-events/business-forum/.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin