March 2007 Issue
World Class Champion
Favorite food: Pizza. Even after years in the industry, he still loves it.
Personal: He lives south of Kenton in Belle Center with his wife Diana and their sons, Aaron, 11, Elijah, 6, and Ethan, 3.
Where you've seen him: The Food Network, ABC-TV and the Discovery Times Channel.
Background: Shepherd studied computer programming but didn't enjoy sitting at a desk all day. After working at a computer store and delivering pizzas to make ends meet, he had the opportunity to buy a "run-down pizza place" in Kenton. He and his wife remortgaged their house to open Michael Angelo's Pizza, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last month.
Tossed about: In 2002, the U.S. Pizza Team was created. Team hopefuls had to attend a pizza show and compete in categories such as biggest (dough ball) stretch and team acrobatic dough throwing. Top scorers traveled to Italy with the team. Shepherd joined them for a few years, but then he and three other members left to form the World Pizza Champions.
Looking forward to: This month, he'll be back in Italy to compete, and he's negotiating a fourth Food Network show.
Achievements: Shepherd's awards include three gold medals. Although winning the gold in 2005 for the Team Acrobatic Event in Italy was exciting, he says, "My proudest accomplishment is my family."