The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

Meet the former Cold Stone CEO who wants to be Arizona’s next governor

“Ice cream brings people together,” according to Arizona state treasurer, Doug Ducey. “Of course, government is dramatically different from ice cream.”

But Ducey hopes he can parlay the lessons he learned as the chief executive officer of ice cream company Cold Stone Creamery into a job as the governor of Arizona next year.

Ducey is one in a crowded field of Republican hopefuls vying for the governorship next year, when current Republican Gov. Jan Brewer will leave office. For the past four years, he has served as Arizona’s state treasurer — but what he really wants to talk about is his time at the helm of Cold Stone Creamery, which he helped grow from a local store to a company with franchises all over the country and the world, before selling the company in 2007.

“I built a company, a team, and a brand that started right here. It was an American success story and it started right here in Arizona,” Ducey told The Daily Caller in a phone interview. He would like to the state of Arizona to have a similar success story, he said, and he thinks some of the same principles he used in managing Cold Stone would apply. He talks about a strategy called “search and reapply,” that he credits to Procter and Gamble, where he worked before coming to Cold Stone.

“If you saw a better idea or business anywhere in the world, and you could reapply it legally and ethically and with attribution, you were supposed to do that,” he explained. “And I used that learning in building Cold Stone. We looked at McDonalds’ franchise model, which is the finest franchise model in the world; we looked at Subway’s unit economic model; we looked at Starbucks’ branding model. And I think that governor’s in states should do the same thing: they should look at other states that do a better job than their states in whatever category they want to focus on.”

Specifically, he said he would like to move toward an income tax model like the one in Tennessee, Florida, and Texas, states with no income tax. He would like to create a business friendly environment to draw people away from California, which he believes has terrible taxation policies, in the same way that he sees Indiana drawing business away from Illinois. Louisiana, Indiana and Tennessee are models for “improvement in K-12 education.”