Vitals: Dezz Souvannasane, 26, is the general manager of Charley’s Philly Steaks in Rockford. Souvannasane is a native of Rockford with plans of growing his business to reward his employees, whom he views as family.
1. How frequently do you take advantage of the parks and natural areas around the Rock River Valley? I frequently spend time in places like Sinnissippi and Rock Cut State Park. These kind of places are great for our area, and we should look for ways to better promote these local treasures. The Rockford area is a beautiful place to grow up around. I know sometimes we all wish for more, but Rockford is making leaps and bounds. Just before long, we’ll be the next big thing.
2. What is your favorite warm weather activity? My favorite summer activity would probably just consist of pulling out the grill and doing a little barbecuing while hanging out with friends and shooting the breeze. I consider myself a grill-master, so I definitely like to entertain.
3. What has been the most challenging aspect of making Charley’s Philly Steaks a success? The most challenging aspect of making Charley’s a success would probably be doing your homework prior to opening the store. Everything ranging from site evaluations to seeing if the location is visible from the street, traffic count, demographics, recruiting, marketing, and etc.
4. What is the secret to bringing the taste of a Philly Steak to Rockford? The secret of bringing the taste of Philly would have to be joining an incredible franchise with the best corporate team around! They work hard to provide the company with premium products for a competitive price. A lot of people say this is the best sandwich in northern Illinois, and we appreciate the comments. We try to keep work fun and aim high at keeping the quality and service there, while providing a nice atmosphere to dine in.
5. Question from last week’s “This week in The Times” participant, Phillip Guererro: Have you attended the new Rockford City Market, and if so, what was your opinion? I have not attended the Rockford City Market yet, but would eventually like to experience it. It’s just another great thing for the area to have. Bringing people and food together is always classic. I wish this event much success, and would like to see our town support this type of thing so we’re able to grow and move forward. It’s a chain reaction when the traffic from other communities start pouring in. Visitors from neighboring cities will, in turn, provide this town with the extra revenue while spending in the local area.
“This week in The Times” is a weekly survey of people selected by The Rock River Times staff. The column does not accept unsolicited submissions.
From the June 23-29, 2010 issue