Date: November 3rd, 2017

ZAK Family Foods Supports PHS Scholarship Program

Jason Zakaras, CEO of ZAK Family Foods that owns the Platteville Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell franchise and members of his administrative team of Joe Rechtfertig and Noah Jenkins met with representatives of the PHS Scholarship Fund to present a check of $1000 in support of scholarships for PHS Class of 2018 graduates.

From left: Noah Jenkins, Joe Rechtfertig and Jason Zakaras – all with ZAK Family Foods, Platteville Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell – are congratulated as the most recent business donor to the PHS Scholarship Fund, represented by Sheila Kelley, Eileen Nickels, and Andy Custer.

ZAK Family Foods acquired the Platteville Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell restaurant in late 2016, thereby expanding its operations to four states – including Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.  ZAK Family Foods operates 31 restaurants employing 650 people.  Their goal is to develop great leaders.  They help their employees not only find but also leverage their passions in life through practical work application while providing training in requisite life skills.

Zakaras noted both his company’s and the franchises’ commitment to youth development, “We are committed to providing not only employment but also education in management, finances, and leadership for our employees.  To that end, a partnership with the community and particularly with this group – working so hard to provide financial assistance for post-secondary education to local students – is both natural and necessary.”

Zakaras and the team at the Platteville restaurant are particularly proud of Hillary Line, a PHS graduate and a 2017 recipient of the $5,000 Taco Bell “Live Mas” Scholarship.  Zakaras indicated that the donation for the PHS Class of 2018 scholarship is in honor of Hillary, who is pursuing a degree in art education.  Further he said, “Her statement – don’t let others limit your potential by telling you what you’re capable of – mirrors our company philosophy of maximizing human potential through leadership development training.  We are extremely proud to offer so many of our KFC and Taco Bell team members scholarships and grants of $2,000-$5,000 multiple times each year.”

Sheila Kelley, chair of the PHS Scholarship Fund advisory board, noted, “We are pleased to welcome ZAK Family Foods to our family of donors.  This company is investing in the youth of our community.  Their leadership in both education of employees and community philanthropy is noteworthy and appreciated.  We are hopeful that other area businesses will follow the example set by ZAK Family Foods.”

The PHS Scholarship Fund is a component of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, a 501(c)(3) public charity.  For additional information contact Sheila Kelley (608-348-2615) or CFSW Donor Services Rep Barb Daus (608-778-3344 or [email protected]).  Donations may be made online at or by mail to PHS Scholarship Fund, PO Box 46, Platteville WI 53818.