After playing 12 seasons in the NBA for both the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, the Louisville native retired from basketball in 1987. While playing, Bridgeman also worked in public relations for Howard Johnson.
Upon Bridgeman’s retirement, he bought five Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) locations. Since then, Bridgeman has gone on to build a restaurant holding company with annual revenues of $511 million, operating 160 Wendy’s restaurants in five states and 103 Chili’s in seven states. So successful is Bridgeman that Manna Inc., his holding company, is listed by Black Enterprise magazine as the seventh-largest black-owned industrial/service company in the nation.