Team Member Sam Piazza Honored as Community Hero

Jul 20

July 18th was a special day for our long-time Team Member Sam Piazza as the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office presented him with a plaque in recognition and appreciation for his continued service as a model citizen in Hillsborough County. 

Sam has worked at PDQ Carrollwood since 2013 and is an executive board member for the University of South Florida Best Buddies chapter. Sam, who has Down Syndrome, has helped deputies by explaining how many people with Down Syndrome prefer to talk with strangers in groups. The department uses his lessons as a guide when interacting with people in the community.

To make sure this was a big surprise for Sam, we rounded up our Executive Corporate team, including our Co-Founder Bob Basham, Co-Founder and CEO Nick Reader and COO Jeremy Brumley, as well as seven sheriffs from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and also local news crews at PDQ Carrollwood. His family was also in attendance to watch him receive his award. The first thing Sam did when he realized what was happening was hug his family.

“What you just did is very representative of the kind of guy you are," said Deputy Tyler Wilson. "Family is always first to you, and with that, everyone is family to you.

Wilson has developed a close relationship with Sam and came up with the idea to present him with the award.

“Really, we all have the same job," said Wilson. "Customer service is customer service, and we’re all out here to try and make the world a better place. Sam does that every day no matter what. No matter if it’s raining or he’s had a rough day, he’s always positive. Let’s all try to be more like Sam.”

Reader, Basham and the entire PDQ family have also developed a special relationship with Sam.

“The past five and a half years I can truly tell you that every one of us that has had the honor of working with you, we’re better people because of it," said Reader. "You are a Person Dedicated to Quality and we love you.”

Sam was overwhelmed by the day and was completely surprised at the honor.

“It felt so great," said Piazza. "I was very emotional. When I first got that plaque, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s just an honor to have that award. I can’t even describe it.”

Congratulations to our Person Dedicated to Quality, Sam Piazza!