Mr. Hamra is an attorney and is the Founder & Chairman of Hamra Enterprises, which owns and operates 154 restaurants (Wendy's, Panera Bread and Noodles & Company) in Missouri, Chicago and Boston, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel (Lewisville, Texas), co-owner of the Comfort Inn Hotel (Springfield, Missouri) and various real estate projects in Missouri, Illinois, Massachusetts and Texas.
The son of a Lebanese immigrant, Mr. Hamra was born and grew up in Steele, Missouri, graduated from Gulf Coast Military Academy, earned degrees from University of Missouri, business (1954) and law (1959), served as an officer in the U.S. Army 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment in Germany and Ft. Meade, Maryland (1954-1956), appointed by the President to serve as U.S. Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Western Missouri, which included Fort Leonard Wood and Knob Noster Air Force Base (1997-2003).
Practiced with Miller, Fairman & Sanford Law Firm in Springfield, partnered with John Crow, before combining his law practice and business operations in his new 27,000 square foot Hamra Plaza Office Building (2002).
Served on the St. James Episcopal Church Seven Member Bishop's Committee and on the first St. James Episcopal Church Vestry (board) in building St. James Episcopal Church (1959) and Lay Reader (1959-).
Organized and served as general chairman of the annual Children's Christmas party sponsored by the Jaycees, Shriners and the Marine Corp Reserve, held at the Shrine Mosque with food, entertainment and gifts for several hundred underprivileged children ranging in ages from 2-14 (1961-66).
As Nixa's City Attorney (1965-1970), he was instrumental in building the City's Electrical Distribution System. As Branson's governmental relations attorney (1991-2005), he secured funding for widening to 4 lanes of 65 Highway from Christian County line to Branson, the four lane High Road from 65 Highway to 76 Highway, and the Branson Landing project.
As a Board Member and Chairman of the Highway Committee of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce (1971-77), he was instrumental in obtaining funding for the widening of 4 lanes of Chestnut Expressway from 65 Highway to Kansas Avenue (1978) and the South James River Freeway (1979).
While serving on the Cox Hospital Board, Mr. Hamra was the driving negotiating force, making possible Cox Hospital's purchase from Hospital Corporation of America, the Springfield Community Hospital and 40 acres north of Cox, allowing Cox Hospital to expand extensively.
Served as a delegate to three Democratic National Conventions (1972, 1980 and 1984) and presidential elector (1988).
Served on Boards of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (1985-Present), Cox Hospital (1986-2010) (President 1986-1987), University of Missouri Jefferson Club Trustees (Chairman 1988-1992), Harry S. Truman Library Institute (2003-2012), and Naples, Florida Bear's Paw Country Club (2009-2011) (President, 2010).
Served as Charter President of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast (1967), Founding Member of OakStar Bank (2005); serves on the Foundation Board for Ozarks Technical Community College, where the "Sam and June Hamra Family Library" is located (2008-).
The company maintains the Hamra's Employees Reaching Out (Hero) fund, with Hamra family matching dollar for dollar employees' contributions for emergency relief, having raised over $1 million dollars and paying employees over $450,000.
Named Springfield's Outstanding Young Man of the Year (1966) and Missouri's Outstanding Young Man of the Year (1967). Recipient of The University of Missouri "Faculty-Alumni Award," (1990). Recipient of the Missourian Award (2001). Recipient of the University of Missouri "Distinguished Service Award," (Outstanding Alumni of the Year) (2003), and The University of Missouri Law School "Citation of Merit Award," (The highest Alumni Award bestowed by the Law School) (2003). Elected to the "Missouri Academy of Squires (2004).
Recipient of Wendy's International "Dave Thomas Founders Award" for the Outstanding Franchisee of the Year (2009), Recipient of the Excellence in Business Award by Ozarks Technical Community College (2010), Recipient of the Springfield Business Journal Lifetime Achievement in Business Award (2010), Recipient of the Springfield Business Journal - Charter Class of the "Man of the Year Award" (2011), Recipient of the Springfield Missouri Bar Association (SMBA) "President's Award" (2013), Inducted into Wendy's International Hall of Fame (2013) and Recipient of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame President's Award (2014).
The dedication of the "Sam F. Hamra Center for Justice" new 11,000-square foot building honoring Mr. Hamra's organizing and serving as the First Board Chairman of Legal Services of Southern Missouri in 1976, which now serves 43 Southern Missouri counties with 18 full-time attorneys. (2012).
Instrumental, along with the Harmon-Meek Art Gallery of Naples, Florida, in donating over $600,000 of valuable original art paintings to several universities and colleges (2014).
The dedication of the "Sam and June Hamra Family Garden," Cox Hospital (2015), where Hamra Enterprises makes a large annual contribution to the Make A Wish Foundation.
Served as Chairman of the Committee, which raised $172,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital (2016).
Donated $800,000 for purchase of land for the construction of the Sam & June Hamra Support Services Building and The Kitchen Homeless Family Shelter (2017).
Missouri State University (MSU) dedicated the "June S. Hamra Recital Hall" in honor of Mr. Hamra's wife, June Hamra, for her MSU board services and her long-time singing career (2017).
Named 2017 Philanthropic Business of the Year by Springfield Business Journal.
In addition to spending time with his wife, June, their four children, Sam, III, Karen, Mike and Jackie; 10 grandchildren, Cindie, John, Robbie, Katie, Andrew, Gabrielle, Melanie, Brooke, Max and Zack; and three great grandsons, Kaiden, Sawyer and Scout, he enjoys playing golf, collecting and donating art.
The wisdom of Mr. Hamra's dear friend, Danny Thomas, has always resonated with him: "Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It is what you do for others."
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