Although the name Dave Thomas likely is most closely associated with the smiling red-haired girl in pigtails who serves as the icon for his chain of Wendy's restaurants and the burgers and Frosties the outlets serve, the restauranteur also was a passionate advocate for adoption. Himself an adoptee at age 5, Thomas spent most of his adult life championing adoption and making inroads with employers to provide adoption benefits.

Now, even 10 years after his death, Thomas' spirit still lives on in the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and the organization's annual listing of the nation's 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. And no doubt, he's smiling down with pride at his own The Wendy's Company topping the list, offering adoptive employees a combination of up to $24,300 in adoption assistance and up to six weeks paid adoption leave.

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