'People who have a dream and follow their dream are the most successful people I know'

'People who have a dream and follow their dream are the most successful people I know'

Honor roll

We'll introduce you to this year's big C-U Schools Foundation award winners leading up to Saturday's 6 p.m. ceremony:

Where: Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign.

Tickets: $75. Call 217-398-2873 for info.

A 2002 graduate of Centennial High School who grew up helping in his parents' business, Scott Miller will receive one of two awards being given to graduates of local high schools who went on to make an impact on the local community through their philanthropic, volunteer and service work. The awards will be given in a program at the Hilton Garden Inn, Champaign.

Here are 15 things to know about the 31-year-old Miller, courtesy staff writer Debra Pressey:

1. He is single, lives in downtown Champaign and has a dog named Mosby, named after the character Ted Mosby in the long-running TV series How I Met Your Mother.

2. He is a 2006 Purdue University graduate who majored in selling and sales.

3. He grew up the son of entrepreneur parents, Dwight and Alice Miller, who own and operate a group of McDonald's restaurants, and began helping out in the family business at age 12. His dad wanted him to work from the ground up, and he cleaned bathrooms and lobbies before he was allowed to start helping behind the counter. When he was 14, though, he went to work for a company-owned McDonald's, to avoid any special treatment.

4. He and his parents now co-own and operate 12 McDonald's restaurants in the Champaign and Decatur markets through the family business, DASH Management Inc. Scott Miller is the president of DASH, and is also the full owner of one Champaign McDonald's, at Kirby Avenue and Duncan Road, and owns parts of three others. He bought his ownership stakes from his dad, but not before his mom upped the price tag on the one he owns 100 percent.

"She's one tough cookie," he recalled with a laugh.

5. He's close to his family and talks to both parents every day. He drops in to see his mom at the office every day, and they spend 10 minutes catching up before starting their work days. They work well together as a family by keeping business and family matters separate, he said.

"My parents are my friends," Miller said. "They don't pry, but they listen."

6. He spends 15-20 percent of his week serving local community organizations and talking to local students. He is on the boards of the Champaign Park District Foundation, Presence Covenant Medical Center Foundation and Parkland College Foundation, helping raise money for park programs and scholarships, hospital improvements and Parkland College's unfunded needs. His business also donates food and toys to kids served by local organizations.

7. He has always hated public speaking, but his dad taught him to conquer his fears, and he now speaks to students frequently.

8. Three pieces of advice he gives to students:

— If you want to know something, go to an expert, not your friends and family. That's something he learned from his parents, who go to experts for advice themselves.

— Associate yourself with positive, successful people, and by successful, he doesn't necessarily mean wealthy.

"People who have a dream and follow their dream are the most successful people I know," he said.

— Avoid "dream-busters" — drugs, alcohol and letting your friends and family discourage you from following your dream.

9. He works Monday through Saturday, and gives himself Sunday off. He also works the holidays his employees work, because if they're going to work, he said, he should too.

10. He is a Minnesota Vikings fan and his favorite leisure activities are golfing and going to movies.

11. He runs three miles a day and works out about five days a week.

12. He loves McDonald's food and has never tired of it. He eats it once, often twice, a day and would eat a Big Mac every day if he let himself. The McCafe Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie is his go-to snack for late afternoon hunger attacks.

13. One of his own personal rules for staying positive: Don't waste time dwelling on things you can't control and move on to the next thing.

14. Who's had the biggest influence on his life: His dad, who took a risk and followed his own dream and also set an example for being involved in the community.

15. What he loves a lot about his work: The variety.

"Every day is random," he said.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (2):Education, People
-