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2024 Hall of Fame Inductees

Presented By: Lockton


Lori Brewer
LBA Ware

Developer of a data integration software designed for mortgage lenders and retail bankers.  

  • Lori Brewer is an accomplished entrepreneur and technology leader who has manifested her forward-thinking visions into the development of award-winning fintech applications including CompenSafe, the premier incentive compensation management platform and LimeGear, a revolutionary business intelligence platform. As an officer in the U.S. Air Force, she designed an inaugural website for the C-130 Hercules, organizing and presenting crucial information for troops around the globe. As a civilian software developer, she was hired by a mortgage lender and found similar challenges: disorganized and disparate data, a clear need for improved processes, and the opportunity to show high returns on technology investments. Now with over 20 years of mortgage banking experience, Brewer is an indispensable technology leader in the industry founder and CEO of LBA Ware, an Inc. 5000 company, and recipient of the prestigious Tech All-Star award by the Mortgage Bankers Association.


Tariq Farid
Founder & CEO 
Edible Brands

Provider of fresh fruit bouquets.

  • An outstanding example and supporter of American entrepreneurialism, Tariq Farid is Founder of Edible Arrangements, LLC, the pioneer and worldwide leader in high quality, artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements. Tariq is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction and licensing new franchises across the United States and internationally. Edible Arrangements, LLC is headquartered in Wallingford, CT, and will mark its 17th year in 2016.
  • Tariq was born in Pakistan in 1969 and immigrated to the United States when he was 11. He grew up in West Haven, CT, and became a U.S. citizen in 1986.
  • As a teenager, Tariq worked in a local McDonald's for several years, and it was there he learned the power of business systemization. His own entrepreneurial experience began in the late 1980s when, at age 17, he used a $5,000 loan from his parents and family friends to purchase a local flower shop. Within two years, Tariq was operating four highly successful stores.
  • He launched the first Edible Arrangements, LLC store in 1999 in East Haven, CT. He was inspired by the convergence of three trends: Americans' growing consumption of fresh fruit, the robust growth in the specialty foods market, and the increasing amount of money Americans were spending on gifts.
  • The first Edible Arrangements, LLC franchised location opened in 2001 in Waltham, MA. The company has since grown to more than 1,200 stores worldwide, and Tariq’s personal support for franchisees has been a hallmark of the Edible Arrangements, LLC success story. He regularly spends time in the stores to stay connected with owners and guests, and to understand the unique challenges each store faces in an ever changing marketplace.
  • Edible Arrangements, LLC has been recognized as an industry leader since its inception. The company has ranked first in its category in Entrepreneur magazine’s annual “Franchise 500” for the past nine years and also places regularly in Entrepreneur’s Top 50 of “Fastest-Growing Franchises” and “America’s Top Global Franchises.” Edible Arrangements, LLC was named one of the Top 5 businesses in Connecticut by Inc. magazine’s first Hire Power Awards in 2012 and also ranked in Inc.’s Top 5,000 fastest growing privately-held companies for eight consecutive years.
  • The same year Edible Arrangements, LLC opened its first franchise, Tariq founded Netsolace, Inc., a computer software distributor for the franchise industry. A self-taught computer whiz, he designed all the computer systems Edible Arrangements, LLC franchisees use in their day-to-day operations, including order processing, training manuals, production and profitability tracking, and supply chain management. In 2014, Tariq acquired software provider Emaximation and rebranded the company as Naranga, which provides a wide range of technology solutions designed to help franchise companies market themselves and manage their operations.
  • Tariq was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the International Franchise Association (IFA) in 2009, and was elected to the IFA Board of Directors in 2016. Tariq has been designated a Certified Franchise Executive by the Board of Governors of the Institute of Franchise Executives. He was inducted into the Connecticut Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Junior Achievement of Southwest New England’s Business Hall of Fame in April 2016. In June 2016 he was honored with an Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award.
  • In 2013, Tariq established the Tariq Farid Foundation as a way to support causes both at home and around the world. The Foundation’s contributions total almost $1 million annually, and have benefited dozens of programs, including hospitals, schools, homeless shelters, food pantries, and organizations addressing childhood cancer, assisting refugees, and promoting leadership opportunities for youth. Tariq also started the Edible Cares® Fund, which provides financial assistance to Edible Arrangements, LLC store employees in times of extreme need.


Fred Lee
Chairman of the Board
Progressive Lighting

Lighting manufacturer that’s been in business for OVER 50 years.

  • Fred Lee has worked at the company since 1965
  • Founded by Fred and his father in 1965, Progressive Lighting is the largest chain of family owned and operated residential lighting showrooms in the Southeast.
  • Fred started out as a developer and custom home builder in Atlanta, Georgia. With little or no selection of home lighting at that time, there was a need and opportunity to open a lighting showroom.
  • They attribute their success—as well as that of their subsidiaries Lee Lighting, Savoy House, and—not only to their family-business roots, but to their loyal customers and steadfast commitment to offering superior merchandise, as well.

Conference Location

1930 Bobby Jones Drive
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Tel: (770) 448-2166