Speakers
Add to Calendar
SHARE:

Dr. John C. Maxwell
The Leadership Authority

John C. Maxwell is an internationally renowned leadership expert, coach, and author with more than 22 million books sold. Dr. Maxwell founded The John Maxwell Company and EQUIP, organizations that have trained more than 5 million leaders in 185 countries. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 and 100 companies, international government leaders, and organizations such as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the NFL, and the United Nations. A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell’s The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership has sold more than 2 million copies. Developing the Leader Within You and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold more than 1 million copies. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnCMaxwelland read his blog at JohnMaxwell.com.

JB Bernstein
Legendary Sports Agent and Marketing Pioneer and Inspiration for the Upcoming Disney Film Million Dollar Arm

As a 25+ year veteran of the consumer goods and sports marketing industries, J.B. Bernstein knows what it takes to receive positive results. As the CMO of Seven Figures Management, a sports marketing and athlete representation firm, Bernstein was the mastermind behind The Million Dollar Arm contest. This revolutionary reality TV show and talent search for baseball players in India yielded the first two Indian-born men to ever sign pro sports contracts in the United States, both signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bernstein’s story is now the subject of a Disney motion picture that will be released in May 2014.  Bernstein will be portrayed by actor Jon Hamm, of Mad Men fame.

Bernstein is the co-founder and president of the Access Group of Miami, and has represented some of the greatest athletes of all time including Barry Bonds, Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, and Curtis Martin.  Bernstein was responsible for creating ground breaking programs Like Smith’s “Run with History” which is now the standard deal in NFL milestone marketing.  He also orchestrated Barry Bonds’ departure from MLBPA group licensing, making him the first baseball player to successfully operate outside of their auspices.

Bernstein’s services were retained by MLS from 1995 – 97 to act as their head of licensing and to create the league’s and the players’ entire merchandise program. He secured over 50 partners and reached levels of licensed goods sales in 1997 of nearly $50 million.

Bernstein got his start in sports during the formation of The Upper Deck Company and as the director of Development for the memorabilia division, he developed over 250 products and is widely known as one of the godfathers of milestone marketing for his work on Wayne Gretzky’s 802nd goal program and Dan Marino’s all time TD record.

Bernstein started his career in brand management at P&G and as an account executive at Grey Advertising.

Bernstein received his bachelor's degree in political economics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and then went on to achieve his MBA from The London School of Economics.  Out of his personal interest, Bernstein has separately achieved a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Southern California and is currently pursuing his 2nd Ph.D. in a related field.

Bernstein lives in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter.  JB spends any free time he gets keeping up on developments in the field of Physics/Cosmology, and is an avid science reader.


Steve Adams

CEO
U.S. Retail, Inc.


Robert Branca Jr.

President
JLC Donuts, Branded Realty Co., Batista Management Co.


David Buckley

CMO
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc.


Robert D. Chase

President
Money Mailer Response Marketing


Greg Cutchall

President & CEO
Cutchall Management


Sean Falk

President
Wolfteam LLC, Nachogang LLC, 2013 Chair, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference


Rocco Fiorentino

President & CEO
Benetrends


Gary Grace

CEO
GG Enterprise; Chair, 2009 Multi-Unit Franchisee Conference


David Grimaud

President
Grimaud Enterprises Inc.


Maureen Grimaud

Principal
Grimaud Enterprises Inc.


William G. Hall

President
William G. Hall & Company


Aziz Hashim

President & CEO
National Restaurant Development, 2014 Chair, Multi Unit Franchising Conference


John Hotchkiss

Partner
L&M Restaurant Group


Ellen Hui

Managing Director
National Franchise Sales


Michael Kulp

President & CEO
KBP Foods


Tony Lutfi

President & CEO
Marlu Investment Group


John Metz

President
RREMC Restaurants, LLC


Glenn Mueller

Founder
RPM Pizza


David Ostrowe

President
O&M Restaurant Group


Guillermo Perales

President & CEO
Sun Holdings LLC


Gary Robins

President
G&C Robins Co.


Cheryl Robinson

Owner
Sapphire Ventures


Grant Simon

President
Simon Clips


Charles Smithgall III

Chairman & CEO
SEI/Aaron's, Inc. Past Chair, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference


Lloyd Sugarman

Franchisee
Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan, Golden Corral


Ted Torres

President
Caerus Hospitality Partners


Ricky Warman

Partner
Chalak-Miami


Eric Werner

President & CEO
Texas Subs, DFW Tanning, Benchmark Burgers


Anil Yadav

President
JIB Management Inc.

Name Position Company Brands
Adams, Steve CEO U.S. Retail, Inc. Pet Supplies Plus
Barr, David Chairman PMTD Restaurants, LLC Rita Restaurant Group, Mrs. Fields, TCBY, Del Frisco's, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and the Bistro Group
Berner, Russ VP of Restaurant Operations Quaker Steak & Lube Perkins, Microtel Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites
Bonanno, Frank President & CEO Fifth Avenue Restaurant Group
Branca Jr., Robert President JLC Donuts, Branded Realty Co., Batista Management Co. Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin-Robbins
Bruce, William COO Abundant Brands Abundant Brands
Buckley, David CMO Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc.
Burrell, Dan Area Developer Jersey Mike's Jersey Mike's
Cole, Nick Executive Vice President Wells Fargo Corporate Banking Group
Coy, Christina Director of Marketing Pie Five Pizza
Crews, Rick President Doctors Express
Crowell, Angelo CEO Kalo Restaurant Group Jersey Mike's
Crowell, Kimberly President Kalo Restaurant Group Jersey Mike's
Cutchall, Greg President & CEO Cutchall Management Paradise Bakery & Café, Tin Star Southwestern Grill, Famous Dave's BBQ, Rock Bottom, Sonic Drive-In, Burger Star, Domino's Pizza, Twin Peaks
Dady, Michael Franchisee Lawyer Dady & Gardner Dady & Gardner
Davey, Don Owner Firehouse Subs Firehouse Subs
Dexter, Josh Owner Dunn Bros. Coffee Dunn Bros. Coffee
Draper II, John Partner Cottrel Coliseum Group Burger King, Auntie Anne's, Haagen Daaz, Coffee Beanery, Wingstop
DuBoise, Randy Owner Meineke Meineke
Duffy, Jason President & CEO SW Bakery Group Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robins
Evans, Todd Vice President of Franchising Aaron's Aaron's
Falk, Sean President Wolfteam LLC, Nachogang LLC, 2013 Chair, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference Great American Cookies, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Pretzelmaker, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina
Fisher, Lane Partner Fisher Zucker
Fox, Don M. CEO Firehouse Subs of America Firehouse Subs
Goldman, Yaron Owner Southern Deli Holdings Southern Deli Holding and McAllister's
Graham, Matt Chief Marketing Director Jiffy Lube Jiffy Lube
Grimaud, David President Grimaud Enterprises Inc. Precision Tune Auto Care
Grimaud, Maureen Principal Grimaud Enterprises Inc. Precision Tune Auto Care
Hashim, Aziz President & CEO National Restaurant Development, 2014 Chair, Multi Unit Franchising Conference Popeyes, Domino's, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants/Rally's, PetValu
Hui, Ellen Managing Director National Franchise Sales
Iversen, Scott Vice President of Marketing Toppers Pizza Toppers Pizza
Jobe, Madison Consultant Pizza Inn Holdings Inc.
Johnson, Darrell President & CEO FRANdata FRANdata
Kahley, Mike Senior Vice President Lockton Companies Lockton Companies, Boston Market, Sonic Drive-Thru, Wingstop
Khan, Aslam CEO and President Falcon Holdings
Khoja, Karim President & CEO Northshore Management Group Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins
Khutliwala, Abid President S I Communications, S I Group Of Restaurants Checkers, T-Mobile
Kiekenapp, Marc Owner Keikenapp & Associates Keikenapp & Associates, Epath Advisors
King, James Operating Partner GT Mid-States LLC The Greene Turtle
Knobelock, Michael Owner MSK Enterprises Church's and Little Caesar's
Kolton, Jeffrey Principal Franchise Market Ventures FMV
Kulp, Michael President & CEO KBP Foods KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's
Lafreeda, Dawn CEO and President Den-Tex Central Inc. Denny's
Lax, Glen Owner Festivus Inc & Real Knox Pizza Inc Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, Marble Slab Creamery
Lungren, Jeff Director of Congressional & Public Affairs U.S Chamber of Commerce U.S Chamber of Commerce
Lutfi, Tony President & CEO Marlu Investment Group Arby's, Church's Chicken, Jack in the Box, Little Caesars, Sears Outlets, Sizzler
Mann, Jason Owner/Area Representative Planet Smoothie, Tasti d'Lite Planet Smoothie, Tasti d'Lite
Miller, Keith Owner Subway Subway
Newman, David CEO, President Newman Investments Popeyes, Church's
Norcutt, Kyle Owner Two Men & A Truck Two Men & A Truck
Ostrowe, David President O&M Restaurant Group Burger King, 180 Business Solutions
Parker, Greg Area Developer Workout Anytime Workout Anytime
Parkhill, Mike Senior Vice President, Director of Real Estate Jersey Mike's Jersey Mike's
Parsons, Rob Managing Partner Synergy Dining Group Popeyes Louisana Kitchen
Perales, Guillermo President & CEO Sun Holdings LLC Burger King, CiCi's, Popeyes, Golden Corral, Arby's, T-Mobile
Record, Mike SVP/Manager of Program Finance Wells Fargo Bank
Robins, Gary President G&C Robins Co. Supercuts, Cost Cutters
Romaniello, Steve Managing Director Roark Capital Group Focus Brands, Wingstop
Russell, John President Wireless Zone Wireless Zone
Sills, Aaron Area Developer Colors on Parade Colors on Parade
Smith, Spencer President & CEO Smith Group Aaron's and Big O' Tires
Smithgall III, Charles Chairman & CEO SEI/Aaron's, Inc. Past Chair, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference Aaron's
Sommers, Brian Vice President of Franchise Development Jersey Mike's Jersey Mike's
Spongberg, Roland President & CEO WKS Restaurant Group Denny's, Krispy Kreme, El Pollo Loco and Corner Bakery
Stark, Stephen President and CEO Jabez LLP Sears Hometown Store, Sears Home Appliance Showrooms, Sears Appliance & Hardware Store, Sears Outlet
Sturgis, Jeff Chief Development Officer McAlister's McAlister's
Sullivan, James Senior Vice President of Domestic Franchise Development CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc.
Torres, Ted President Caerus Hospitality Partners Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham, Tryp by Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, International Wyndham Garden Inn, Ramada Encore International
Yadav, Anil President JIB Management Inc. Jack in the Box, Denny's, Sizzlers,  Area Developer: Marco's Pizza
Zuccarello, Dean CEO and Founding Partner The Cypress Group

Advisory Board & Speaker
Adams, Steve

CEO
U.S. Retail, Inc.

Steve Adams is CEO of U.S. Retail, a multi-unit franchisee of Pet Supplies Plus. U.S. Retail owns and operates 20 existing Pet Supplies Plus stores in Alabama, Texas, and Wisconsin. Additionally, Steve is a partner in a commercial real estate company, which owns multiple retail shopping centers in Michigan. In May 2013, Steve became a published author with the release of "Passionate Entrepreneur" from Advantage Publishing. Steve has considerable experience in commercial real estate and retail industries. He rose through the ranks to Vice President Group Manager of the Lakeshore Division at NBD Bancorp from 1986-96. Steve owned his own business and then joined Associated Bancorp in 1998 for which he had oversight responsibilities in merger integration and commercial lending. In 1999, Steve joined Irwin Union Bank as President – growing the bank from a start-up to $500 million in assets with 100 employees and four local advisory boards. Steve graduated with his BA from Northwood University and received his MBA from Grand Valley State University.

Franchisee: Pet Supplies Plus

Facilitator
Barr, David

Chairman
PMTD Restaurants, LLC

David Barr sits on the board of directors for public and private entities in the restaurant and jewelry industries. Restaurants include Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouses, Sullivan’s Steakhouses, Mrs. Fields Cookies, TCBY, and Don Pablo’s Mexican Grill. In the jewelry industry, he is Chair of the Mazzacchelli’s and Zamel’s brands in Australia, which have more than 130 retail locations and in the U.S. he is on the Board of Directors of Charles & Colvard. He also is the founder and Chair of PMTD Restaurants and its affiliates and the franchisee and operator of 23 KFC and Taco Bell restaurants. Throughout 2011 and 2012, David has been a frequent speaker on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its expected impact on retail, specifically the restaurant sector. In an attempt to educate lawmakers on the impact of the ACA on small businesses, David has met with senators, congressmen,  and most recently, he has met with White House and Treasury officials to discuss the impact of the ACA on restaurant jobs. He has spoken publicly on the healthcare issue with Neil Cavuto on Fox News, and on Fox & Friends. He has been written about in the New York Times, Fortune magazine online, International Business Times, and the Washington Examiner.

Franchisee: Rita Restaurant Group, Mrs. Fields, TCBY, Del Frisco's, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and the Bistro Group

Panelist
Berner, Russ

VP of Restaurant Operations
Quaker Steak & Lube

JDK Management’s Restaurant operations and development team is led by Managing Partner and VP of Operations Russell Berner. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate with over 36 years of family and causal theme restaurant experience. Before joining JDK in 1998, Russell served in numerous operations, development and executive leadership positions with Ruby Tuesday and Carlson Worldwide’s  “Specialty Restaurant  Divisions”.  

 

Franchisee: Perkins, Microtel Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites

Panelist
Bonanno, Frank

President & CEO
Fifth Avenue Restaurant Group

Frank Bonanno received his formal food service training as a student attending the Culinary Institute of America. After graduation he worked in various food service positions and in 1966 joined the US Army. He attended Officer Candidate School and upon graduation was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned as the Officer’s Club manager at the US Army Command & General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After leaving the Army, he worked as a Regional Operations Manager for ARA Food Service Company (now ARASERVE), for five years. In 1974, he co-founded Food Management Services; a New Jersey based company specializing in government sponsored school lunch programs and in 1976 co-founded Fairfield Foods Inc., which became the parent company of “The Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie Company.” In 1983, he co-founded Fifth Avenue Ice Cream, Inc. (now Fifth Avenue Restaurant Group) as a franchisee of The Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Shoppe Company. In 1984 he sold The Famous Chocolate Chip Cookie Company, then a 75 store all company owned chain to Mrs. Fields Cookies. Fifth Avenue Restaurant Group continued to expand in the Las Vegas market with its own propriety brands as well as Nathan’ Famous and Haagen Dazs and in 2007, added Johnny Rockets to its portfolio.

Advisory Board & Speaker
Branca Jr., Robert

President
JLC Donuts, Branded Realty Co., Batista Management Co.

Robert Branca, Jr., is President, General Counsel, and Director of Development for entities including Branded Realty Company and Batista Management Corp., doing business in Massachusetts, Ohio, New York, and Florida. He is the Chair of Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Owners PAC and the Vice Chair of the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition of Franchisee Associations. He and his direct family partners own and operate nearly 70 Dunkin’ Donuts and 5 Baskin-Robbins. His extended family, including in-laws, siblings, spouses, children, and cousins, own more than 700 Dunkin’ Donuts and dominate the brand in the Northeastern U.S. Rob and his partners are currently expanding their Dunkin’ Donuts and real estate businesses into the Midwest and also are developing new concepts, which they intend to franchise. Their real estate development businesses were recently recognized for their significant historic renovation projects and community contributions in Massachusetts. Rob graduated with honors from Boston College and holds a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. Before franchising, he practiced law and specialized in commercial transactions, real estate development, and complex financing arrangements, which introduced him to franchising.

Franchisee: Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin-Robbins

Panelist
Bruce, William

COO
Abundant Brands

William Bruce joined Abundant Brands in 2008, substantially increasing profitability. Abundant Brands is a Developing Agent for 262 Utah Subway’s. They operate 17 Costa Vida Mexican Grills and own/operate Roxberry Juice Company, Big Al’s Texas Bar-B-Q, Bajio Mexican Grill in Arizona, and Craig’s Cut Salons. When incorporating the Costa Vida Brand into the portfolio, Bruce built a centralized kitchen. This established precise delivery of consistent, quality food, and has proven the highest profitability system for the brand. In early 2011, Bruce’s community mindfulness joined SLC Subway’s and Costa Vida’s with the Rescue Missions of Utah. They now deliver 600 hot meals twice weekly with daily leftovers. Bruce’s outstanding array of experience started with a pizza shack in Huntington Beach then expanded to El Pollo Loco, Sweet Tomatoes Quality Control, Souper Salad’s Multi-State Manager and Director of Operations and Franchise Operations for Paradise Bakery and Café. He is skillful in restaurant solutions, profitability, kitchen build-out/production and in motivating teams to “Reach Higher”. Bruce earned a NSSA Surfing Scholarship, served a religious mission and attended Cal Poly Pomona’s Hospitality program. He’s consulted upcoming concepts in fast casual, quick serve, fine dining and retirement facilities.

Franchisee: Abundant Brands

Advisory Board & Speaker
Buckley, David

CMO
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc.

David Buckley is Chief Marketing Officer for Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores Inc., a publically traded (NASDAQ: SHOS) national retailer primarily focused on selling home appliances, hardware, tools and lawn and garden equipment. With over 1,200 locations and a presence in all 50 states plus Puerto Rico, David leads a team to execute large scale nationwide marketing strategies while leveraging the hyper-local aspect of retailing. David and his team plan and execute marketing campaigns across a wide variety of marketing assets including: newspaper (Preprint, ROP, TMC), radio, cable TV, billboard, direct mail, social media, social couponing, E-mail marketing, loyalty marketing, cause marketing, SEO, SEM, store signage/visual planning, POS marketing and local event marketing.  Prior to joining Sears, David served as Global Director of Advertising for the Associated Press, leading the advertising strategy for digital assets, with a specific focus on mobile and tablet technologies. David earned his B.A. from Stonehill College and his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Session Speaker
Burrell, Dan

Area Developer
Jersey Mike's

Back in 2003, Dan Burrell was living in Southern California and craved the authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs he loved back home at the Jersey Shore.  He believed that his friends on the West Coast would love these fresh sub sandwiches as much as he did.  So, that year, Dan and his business partner, Angel Velazquez, opened the first Jersey Mike’s restaurant west of the Rockies in Camarillo, California. Today, as area directors of the Los Angeles market, they oversee more than 100 restaurants, 12 of them their own, with plenty of growth to come. Dan’s diverse background – a member of the Presidential Guard during Jimmy Carter’s term, an actor, working in the restaurant business at California Pizza Kitchen and then with developer Rick Caruso – all led him to his life with Jersey Mike’s which now has more than 1,300 locations open and under development nationwide. Dan lives in Ojai, California, and his favorite sub is the #7 (Turkey Breast and Provolone), Mike’s Way (“I am crazy about oil and vinegar!” he says.).

Franchisee: Jersey Mike's

Panelist
Cole, Nick

Executive Vice President
Wells Fargo Corporate Banking Group

Nick Cole is an executive vice president responsible for the Wells Fargo Restaurant Finance and Gaming groups. Restaurant Finance is based in Carlsbad, California and provides capital and other banking services to owners of multi-unit, branded retail businesses in the restaurant and convenience store sectors. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2006, Nick was a managing director and senior client manager with Bank of America Securities, where he spent 11 years in corporate and investment banking. Nick was a founding member of the Restaurant Finance Group at the Bank of Boston, a predecessor company to Bank of America. He was also a merger arbitrage trader in the Equity Asset Management Group of Dresdner Securities in New York City. Nick holds a B.A. degree in history from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, and an M.A. degree in economics from Columbia University in New York City. Nick is an active supporter of several youth soccer clubs in San Diego, and serves on the Board of Directors at the San Diego Ronald McDonald House. Nick lives in Del Mar, Calif., with his wife and two children.

Panelist
Coy, Christina

Director of Marketing
Pie Five Pizza

With over 10 years experience in the marketing industry, Christina has been with Pizza Inn Holdings for the last five years and was hand selected to serve as the Director of Marketing for the award winning Pie Five Pizza Company. During her tenure with the Pizza Inn Holdings, she has been responsible for national brand marketing execution as well as local store marketing efforts for roughly 200 Pizza Inn franchisees nationwide. In 2010, The Pizza Inn franchisees awarded her the “Golden Crust Award” for outstanding service to the franchise community. In 2011, Christina was an integral part of the creation and launch of the Pie Five Pizza concept and continues to lead the national marketing efforts, creative strategy and menu development for the brand. Her passion and enthusiasm for Pie Five have led to successful implementation of the Circle of Crust loyalty program, highly successful grand opening events, creative Limited Time Offer programs, décor evolution and most recently a TV campaign.

Panelist
Crews, Rick

President
Doctors Express

Rick Crews is the President of Doctors Express New England and Medvest LLC. Rick received his BA in Economics and Political Science from Union College in 1988. He entered into the Financial Services Industry as a Financial Advisor in 1993 with Prudential Securities. In 1996, Rick began a 13 year career with PaineWebber which was acquired by UBS Financial Services in 2000. Rick worked his way up in the firm to become one of the top Branch Managers at UBS. He managed the UBS Offices in NH from 1999 – 2004 and was then promoted to run the Springfield, MA office. In Springfield, he led 30 Financial Advisors who managed $3B in total assets, grew the office from $12MM to $18MM in annual sales and was recognized in 2006 and 2008 as one of the top 50 Branch Managers in the country. After the collapse of the markets in 2009, Rick went into business for himself and joined Doctors Express with his business partner, Jim Brennan, as Master Franchisees in November of 2009. They formed Medvest LLC which is dedicated to developing and managing Doctors Express Urgent Care Centers throughout MA, ME, NH and VT.

Currently, Medvest LLC manages 4 Doctors Express locations in Massachusetts; Springfield, West Springfield and two Greater Boston locations in Saugus and Dedham. Crews and Brennan plan to open two additional centers in 2014, and the six franchisees within the Master territory plan to open four to five centers this year as well, adding to the 8 locations already open within MA. There are also three new, potential franchisees, looking to obtain the rights to build approximately three sites this year, giving Massachusetts a total of 15 - 17 Doctors Express locations by year’s end.

 

Panelist
Crowell, Angelo

CEO
Kalo Restaurant Group

Angelo Crowell grew up in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and from an early age displayed both athletic prowess and a penchant for business. Heavily recruited out of high school, Angelo attended the University of Virginia, where he quickly made his mark starting at linebacker in his freshman year. During his college career, he received All-ACC honors and was named defensive captain and MVP. He also currently holds the record for most tackles in a single season. In 2003 Angelo was drafted in the third round and spent seven years in the National Football League with the Buffalo Bills (2003-2009) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2009-2010). His interest in business continued during his playing career, during which time he received a certification for the Business Management and Entrepreneurship Program from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. Upon transitioning from the NFL, Angelo together with his wife Kimberly Crowell co-founded Kalo Restaurant Group, LLC, where he serves as CEO. They own and operate 5 locations in Florida with plans to develop additional units in the next few years. He is a strong advocate for the Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative (PAFI) and is actively involved in educating professional athletes on the franchise industry. He is also the managing partner of a private equity firm that targets real estate and hospitality ventures. 

Franchisee: Jersey Mike's

Panelist
Crowell, Kimberly

President
Kalo Restaurant Group

Kimberly Crowell and her husband Angelo Crowell co-founded Kalo Restaurant Group, LLC in 2009, where she serves as President. Her duties include site selection, lease and contract negotiations and financing. After opening their first location in 2010, they quickly grew to 5 stores within the next three years, even being awarded the honor of Rookie Franchisees of the Year in 2011 at Jersey Mike’s Subs franchisee convention. With plans to develop additional stores in Florida and South Georgia in the next few years, they have no plans of slowing down. Additionally, Kimberly is a principal in a commercial real estate company, which owns multiple retail shopping centers in Florida and North Carolina. Prior to entering the franchise industry, Kimberly practiced corporate law in Charlotte, specializing in Commercial Real Estate & Development. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in Commerce, with a specialization in Finance, and a Law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Franchisee: Jersey Mike's

Advisory Board & Speaker
Cutchall, Greg

President & CEO
Cutchall Management

Greg Cutchall began his restaurant career in 1971 as an assistant manager with KFC while attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Cutchall developed a catering program that was adopted nationally by KFC and consulted for the KFC Corporation and franchisees around the country. Additionally, Cutchall was invited to speak to the National Restaurant Association in Washington DC. Cutchall rose through the ranks at KFC Omaha as GM, Director of Catering, Director of Marketing, Senior Vice President and in 1986 he organized a leveraged buyout of 12 Omaha KFC’s and served as President and CEO until 1989, when he left to form Cutchall Management Company.

Starting with one restaurant in Lincoln Nebraska in 1989, Cutchall opened, developed and acquired over 80 restaurants in the following 25 years. Cutchall management Co. was one of three companies that made Inc. 500’s fastest growing companies four years in a row and was named one of the Top 10 Omaha Employer’s in 2009.Today, Cutchall Management Company owns and operates 11 different concepts under the trade names Sonic, Famous Dave’s, Paradise Bakery, Tinstar, Rock Bottom, Twin Peaks, First Watch, Domino’s, Burger Star, Big Cheese, and Union Barrell House, with over 50 locations in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Utah, Texas, and Arizona.

Franchisee: Paradise Bakery & Café, Tin Star Southwestern Grill, Famous Dave's BBQ, Rock Bottom, Sonic Drive-In, Burger Star, Domino's Pizza, Twin Peaks

Panelist
Dady, Michael

Franchisee Lawyer
Dady & Gardner

Michael Dady is the founding partner of Minneapolis based Dady & Gardner, P.A., which limits its nationwide practice to helping franchisees and dealers preserve and enhance the value of their businesses as effectively and as efficiently as possible. Along with making new law for franchisees, Michael and his colleagues at Dady & Gardner are credited with having tried and won more cases on behalf of franchisees and dealers than any firm in the country. He and his partners have successfully represented franchisees and dealers in more than 400 different franchise and supplier organizations, and they currently represent 33 different national franchisee and dealer associations. Again in 2013, Chambers USA ranked Dady & Gardner as the top franchisee law firm in America and ranked Michael and his partner, Ron Gardner, as two of the top three franchisee lawyers in America.

Franchisee: Dady & Gardner

Panelist
Davey, Don

Owner
Firehouse Subs

Don Davey left quite a mark on the University of Wisconsin from 1986 through 1990.  As a four year starter for the Badger football team, he earned both All-Big Ten and All American honors as a defensive lineman. Not to be out-done in the classroom, he also earned both his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and graduated with honors.  He was the first student in NCAA history to be named GTE's prestigious Academic All-American team for four consecutive years.

After graduate school, Don was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the third round. His unique combination of intelligence, ability, and an unparalleled work ethic guided him through ten successful seasons in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers (1991-1995) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-2000). 

Since leaving the NFL, Don has immersed himself into several entrepreneurial endeavors. He is the founder and senior portfolio manager of Disciplined Equity Management, an institutional money management firm with over $150 million in assets under management. He is the owner of DKSS Subs, a restaurant holding company for 13 Firehouse Subs franchises in Orlando. He is also the owner of Parrothead Properties, a real estate investment company with commercial and residential holdings in Florida and Wisconsin.

 

 

Franchisee: Firehouse Subs

Panelist
Dexter, Josh

Owner
Dunn Bros. Coffee

Josh Dexter is the owner of five Dunn Bros Coffee franchise locations in Minneapolis. After opening his first Dunn Bros shop in 2006, Josh became committed to providing his community with a quality, locally-owned coffee shop. Over the past seven years, Josh has opened four additional Dunn Bros Coffee shops and joined several Dunn Bros Coffee committees. As an active member of the marketing committee, Josh advocated for the adoption of a franchise-wide mobile payment program. After eliciting support from corporate for the roll-out of a mobile payment and loyalty app across all Dunn Bros locations, Josh was one of the first franchisees to implement the new technology.

Franchisee: Dunn Bros. Coffee

Panelist
Draper II, John

Partner
Cottrel Coliseum Group

John Draper is a superior operator with over 15 years of retail and food management experience. John has had tremendous success managing multiple brands (Burger King, Pizza Hut, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Haagen Daaz, Coffee Beanery and Wingstop). He was responsible for growing V & J Holdings by 42 units in a single year (2008). John is a skilled people person with a knack for putting others at ease while motivating them to improve sales numbers. He leads the day-to-day charge with energy and enthusiasm that cast a positive leadership shadow over the organization. His level of experience in the urban environment has cemented a market niche comparable to few. John's passion for business started early in a nurturing family business at the age of 9. His experience continued at Clark Atlanta University where he earned a B. A. in Finance and Accounting. Among his accomplishments are his involvement in investment and entrepreneurial ventures, primarily focused in the food industry. John's business experience is many years his senior.

Franchisee: Burger King, Auntie Anne's, Haagen Daaz, Coffee Beanery, Wingstop

Panelist
DuBoise, Randy

Owner
Meineke

In 2008, Randy entered the franchise industry by signing an agreement for two Meineke locations. He later converted an existing auto care shop for a third unit. On January 6, 2014, Randy signed a deal to acquire 12 additional Meineke locations in Northwestern Washington. Overnight, he became one of the auto care company’s largest owners. His operational expertise will play a key role in the brand’s growth in the Northwest. One of Randy’s first initiatives with his new locations will be to renovate the waiting area to adapt a coffee house atmosphere. This transformation has already taken place in his first three Meineke locations with new paint, artwork and furniture. He strongly believes forming a relationship with customers is his biggest key to success – from offering them a complimentary bottle of water while they wait to a courtesy call the next day, just to make sure everything is working properly.

Franchisee: Meineke

Panelist
Duffy, Jason

President & CEO
SW Bakery Group

Jason Duffy began his career as a financial analyst for AFC Enterprises, a multi-franchise holding company in Atlanta, Georgia. A few years later he was recruited to join American Equity, a national finance company. During his tenure at American Equity, Jason was promoted to Vice President of West Coast Operations and relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where he was in charge of overseeing 10 offices in 7 states, representing over 2 billion dollars in loan revenue. In 2007, Jason was approached by the then acting CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts with the idea of expanding Dunkin’ operations in Phoenix. He was initially awarded two regions and began developing stores in 2008. Today, he is a managing partner of 51 Dunkin’ Donuts across four states. Jason is President and CEO of SW Bakery Group which controls baking for 72 Dunkin’s in both Arizona and Nevada and the managing partner of Wholesale Service Exchange which acts as a consolidator for new restaurants by providing equipment and millwork solutions. He serves on multiple committees, including the National Brand Advisory Counsel for Dunkin’ Donuts which represents 7600 franchisees in the United States. Jason was recently named one of the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 in 2013.

 

Franchisee: Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robins

Panelist
Evans, Todd

Vice President of Franchising
Aaron's

Todd Evans is former Executive Vice President of Franchising for Aaron’s, a Fortune® 1000, NYSE publicly traded company, founded in 1955 that leases furniture, appliances, electronics and computers. Todd earned a marketing degree from East Carolina University and was Director of Franchise Development for several temporary staffing companies before joining Aaron’s in 1991 as Director of Franchise Development, responsible for launching and managing the company’s franchising program. He was a key member of the executive start-up team that built the 26-store company into a retail powerhouse that today dominates its category with more than 2,200 locations across North America and sales of $3.24 billion. Todd was directly responsible for a development team that awarded over 1,450 franchise locations and grew to nearly $1 billion in annual system-wide sales with franchise department revenues of $63 million and pre-tax profits of $49 million annually. He is a results-driven leader with a 23-year-track record of piloting an organization through challenging growth.

 

Franchisee: Aaron's

Advisory Board & Speaker
Falk, Sean

President
Wolfteam LLC, Nachogang LLC, 2013 Chair, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference

Sean Falk grew up in Monroe, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan with an engineering degree. After college, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent eight months in the first Gulf War as an Infantry Officer. After returning from Operation Desert Storm, he was assigned to the Recon Battalion and spent time off the coast of Bosnia. During his time in the military he traveled extensively, training with military personnel from many different countries. His first experience with corporate America was with Stryker Instruments in his home state. It was there he got the itch to become a franchise owner. He began his franchising career by investing in cookie, pretzel, and children’s retail stores. His most recent foray is Mexican restaurant Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina. Within 10 years of opening his first location, he had 12 different franchises up and running. He has an agreement to open at least two more stores in the near future, with a desire to open many more. He enjoys doing triathlons and has completed three Ironman competitions. Most important, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing games. Today he lives back in Monroe with his wife Kecia and his three children, Keely, Colin, and Ian.

Franchisee: Great American Cookies, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Pretzelmaker, Salsarita's Fresh Cantina

Facilitator
Fisher, Lane

Partner
Fisher Zucker

Since 1989, Lane Fisher has represented franchisors in business transactions and complex litigation in trademark and copyright infringement, franchise development, and regulatory issues. He litigates the enforcement of franchise agreement obligations on behalf of franchisors, including non-competition covenants, collections, under-reporting, and encroachment claims. Lane is a Founding Partner of FisherZucker LLC, a national practice dedicated to franchising. FisherZucker’s attorneys have extensive experience in commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, and represent more than 75 franchise systems. Lane holds a BBA in finance and an MBA in international business from George Washington University. He is a frequent speaker at franchise conferences, has appeared on CBS, CN8 and CNN, and has been identified as a Super Lawyer and Franchise Legal Eagle by his peers since 2004. Lane has been a member of IFA’s Board of Directors and chaired its Membership Committee since 2006.

 

Panelist
Fox, Don M.

CEO
Firehouse Subs of America

Don Fox is Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse of America, LLC, in which he leads the strategic growth of Firehouse Subs, one of America’s leading fast casual restaurant brands. Under his leadership, the brand has grown to more than 750 restaurants in 41 states and Puerto Rico, and is recognized as one of the best franchises in the country. Don sits on various boards of influence in the restaurant community, and is a respected speaker, commentator and published author. He was recognized by Nation’s Restaurant News as 2011’s Operator of the Year. In 2013, he received the prestigious Silver Plate Award from the International Food Manufacturers Association (IFMA), and was recognized by FastCasual.com as the No.1 Executive in the fast casual restaurant community.

Franchisee: Firehouse Subs

Panelist
Goldman, Yaron

Owner
Southern Deli Holdings

Yaron Goldman is the CEO of Southern Deli Holdings, a franchise group of McAlister’s Deli that owns and oversees the operations of 39 store locations across four states with more than 1,200 employees. Goldman started his McAlister’s Deli career in 1996 as an hourly employee before opening his first franchise location in 1999 in Charlotte, N.C. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science at the University of Alabama and his MBA from the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

 

Franchisee: Southern Deli Holding and McAllister's

Panelist
Graham, Matt

Chief Marketing Director
Jiffy Lube

Matt Graham is the CMO for Broadbase, Inc. dba Jiffy Lube. An early adopter of interactive, digital and mobile marketing, Matt continues to press the reset button on traditional marketing practices within the automotive aftermarket industry.  Results focused, Matt most recently executed marketing plans leading to three consecutive years of steady growth in customer counts and net sales during a difficult business environment without heavy discounting. As a serial connector, Matt facilitated a local media buying coop to compete against national companies by seeking solutions through partnerships with local businesses in order to benefit the group as a whole. Partnering with non-profit organizations to gain awareness and support for their causes, Matt was on the forefront as a leader in the grass roots movement to save the NBA’s Sacramento Kings basketball team. His initial involvement of Jiffy Lube via social media and digital billboards led the charge to bring the story to the masses. News articles and best practice case studies in the Wall Street Journal, Sacramento Bee, Clear Channel Outdoor and many other media outlets followed, changing the landscape of digital marketing in the Sacramento market and beyond.A twelve year veteran of the Jiffy Lube system, Matt has served on the JLAF Fleet Committee and currently resides on the JLAF Marketing Committee, previously acting as Committee Chairman, the only non- franchisee owner to hold the position in its 30 year history.

Franchisee: Jiffy Lube

Advisory Board & Speaker
Grimaud, David

President
Grimaud Enterprises Inc.

David Grimaud joined his father, Joseph Grimaud in franchising in 1987 after working as an electrical engineer in Dallas. He moved his family to Columbia, S.C., where his father had 37 Precision Tune Auto care franchises and needed help in continuing to expand the area. Today, David is president of Grimaud Enterprises and oversees approximately 90 units in 11 states, from Houston to South Carolina as well as the Salt Lake City area. Of the 90 units, 40 are owned and operated by partnerships.

Franchisee: Precision Tune Auto Care

Advisory Board & Speaker
Grimaud, Maureen

Principal
Grimaud Enterprises Inc.

Maureen Grimaud and her husband David Grimaud are multi-unit franchisee partners in Precision Tune Auto Care stores with locations in nine states. Maureen, who started with the family-run operation in 1987, shares Area Developer responsibilities for Precision Tune, as well as being a multi-unit franchise owner and operator. Her duties include taking over troubled stores, cost controller, regional operations and auditing. She received her BS degree in Business Administration with emphasis in finance, real estate, and insurance from Minnesota state University in 1983.

Franchisee: Precision Tune Auto Care

Advisory Board & Speaker
Hashim, Aziz

President & CEO
National Restaurant Development, 2014 Chair, Multi Unit Franchising Conference

Aziz Hashim is a highly regarded executive in the U.S. and international franchise space. Aziz is currently the President and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC (NRD), and CEO and Chairman of Impact Investments, LLC. Aziz founded NRD in 1996 with one QSR location and has grown the company to one of the top 200 franchise operators in the U.S with several high-profile brands including: Popeyes®, Subway®, KFC®, Taco Bell® and many others. Aziz expanded his portfolio with his investment in Winston Resources Inc., a Canadian public mineral company with projects in Gold and other natural resources, and in 2013 with Impact Investments, LLC, for business ventures in Africa. Through expert risk identification and management, unique portfolio management strategies and superior execution, Aziz has become a leading multi-brand and multi-national investor. In 2014, Nation’s Restaurant News recognized him as one of the "50 Most Powerful Leaders" in the Foodservice Industry for setting the standard for multi-unit development. He regularly shares his expertise in franchising as a public speaker and guest lectures at Emory Law School, Georgia State University, and Harvard Law School. He also serves on several boards including the Executive Committee of the IFA, where he will become Chairman in 2016, The Board of Advisors at theJ. Mack Robinson College of Business at GSU, and is the Chairman of the 2014 Multi-Unit Franchise Conference. 

Franchisee: Popeyes, Domino's, Checkers Drive-In Restaurants/Rally's, PetValu

Advisory Board & Speaker
Hui, Ellen

Managing Director
National Franchise Sales

Ellen Hui is currently a Managing Director, M&A at National Franchise Sales and CEO of RMS.   Past careers were in banking, real estate development and  franchisee of 12 Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits and an Extreme Pizza in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. As a Popeyes franchisee, she served on several advisory boards and was named Popeyes Franchisee of the Year in 2003. After the sale of her company, Ellen returned to finance,   consulting at  Atlas Capital Strategies.  RMS consults and mentors entrepreneurs (startup and beyond) in building, scaling and identifying opportunities in operations and finance.   In Ellen’s spare time she serves on advisory boards:   Watermark Strategic Development Board, Foodstart an online funding platform for restaurants, Hellophonic an e-marketing platform and is a committee member of Astia C-Suite Screening.  Ellen is a sought after speaker and advisor for National Advocacy organizations with 25 plus years in banking, finance and entrepreneurship.   She holds an MBA in Finance.

Panelist
Iversen, Scott

Vice President of Marketing
Toppers Pizza

Scott Iversen, Vice President of Marketing at Toppers Pizza, first fell in love with the pizza business in 1992 as a delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza. After working his way up to general manager at the prominent pizza chain, Iversen joined Country Kitchen International in 1999. As marketing coordinator for the brand, he was responsible for developing its regional and national marketing strategies. Prior to Toppers Pizza, Iversen also spent time in Chicago at BRAVO! Restaurant Group as their director of marketing. In 2003, Iversen joined Toppers where he served as both the Director of Franchise Development and the Director of Marketing before becoming Vice President of Marketing in 2013. Iversen has been with Toppers for over 10 years and has spearheaded its growth in the pizza category as an eclectic, young at heart, pizza delivery concept. Under his direction, the brand has continued to deliver on its mission to provide mouth-watering pizza, innovative flavor profiles, and kill it on every aspect of the customer experience. 

Franchisee: Toppers Pizza

Facilitator
Jobe, Madison

Consultant
Pizza Inn Holdings Inc.

Madison Jobe is the former Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Development Officer for the Pizza Inn and Pie Five brands. He led the development of Pie Five Pizza Company, a Hot Concept Award Winner, while continuing the expansion of the legacy Pizza Inn brand. Before joining Pizza Inn, he was Vice President of Development for Stockade Companies, franchisor of Sirloin Stockade, Coyote Canyon, and Montana Mike’s Steakhouse. Madison has worked with other legacy brands including Fatburger and Shakey’s Pizza, and was instrumental in the early growth of the Red Robin brand. He has experience on both the franchisor and franchisee sides of the business, having been a franchisee of two different concepts during his almost 40-year career. Madison has been a panelist for the IFA, the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, the Franchise Leadership & Development Conference, Southwest Foodservice Expo, and is a source for multiple restaurant and franchise trade press.

 

Session Speaker
Johnson, Darrell

President & CEO
FRANdata

Darrell Johnson has led FRANdata since 2001. He is a nationally recognized authority on franchising in the U.S. and is a frequent speaker and author on franchising topics. His career spans information services, commercial banking, investment banking, and federal financial regulation. Prior to his involvement with FRANdata, the only independent research company supplying information and analysis for the franchising sector, Johnson was part of the National Cooperative Bank’s executive team, where he managed investment, conventional and SBA lending teams. Before joining NCB, he was an investment banker specializing in mergers, acquisitions, and financial advisory services for middle market companies. Johnson was a founder of the investment banking subsidiary of a regional commercial bank (now part of Bank of America) and also worked in several independent advisory firms. He received a bachelor's degree in business and a master's degree in economics from Montana State University. He also earned a master's degree in business from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is a Certified Franchise Executive and has served on many for-profit and not-for-profit boards. Johnson is currently on the board of the International Franchise Association’s Board of Directors, and the IFA Education Foundation Advisory Board.

Franchisee: FRANdata

Panelist
Kahley, Mike

Senior Vice President
Lockton Companies

Mike Kahley uses his 19 years of experience and available data to outline the reasons benefit strategies that will be successful and locates vendor partners to help make these strategies a reality. Mike turns a reactive process into proactive interaction, while his clients generate savings and enjoy far greater planning predictability. As a husband of sixteen years and father of three, Mike is especially proud of the unique professional, family-oriented atmosphere at the Lockton office. The Kahley’s live in Highland Village, Texas and enjoy being thoroughly involved in the church and all the Kahley’s either coach or participate in your sports. When Mike finds a moment to slow down, you might find him reading history and planning the next adventurous Kahley trip.

Franchisee: Lockton Companies, Boston Market, Sonic Drive-Thru, Wingstop

Panelist
Khan, Aslam

CEO and President
Falcon Holdings

Aslam Khan is the largest franchisee in the Churchs Chicken system, known as the "turn around artist". He purchased a franchise of 100 restaurants at the edge of bankruptcy. Under his leadership, Falcon Holdings has made many significant improvements in human resources, financial status, and growth of the company. After running this operation successfully for several years, he has since acquired more than 75 Churchs Chicken restaurants in Atlanta, Mobile, Pensacola and Dallas Fort Worth areas and made them into profit generating entities, with his style of management, keeping the same personnel and promoting from within.  Falcon Holdings Management, LLC is also providing management services to several restaurants owners from Store Operations to Payroll and Accounting. Aslam’s passion, focus, and energy have propelled Falcon Holdings to become a leader in the franchise community. Moreover, Falcon Holdings has made a 180-degree turnaround under his leadership. Selecting key personnel has always been Aslam’s niche for producing unparalleled results for the company. His exceptional track record of building business and effective teams comes from his rooted philosophy of “People First”.

Panelist
Khoja, Karim

President & CEO
Northshore Management Group

Karim Khoja is the President and CEO of Northshore Management Group, Inc., a management company that oversees 44 Dunkin’ Donut Franchises and 22 Baskin Robbins Franchises along with multiple Real Estate Properties which employees over 600 people. Between 2007 and 2014, Karim expanded his network from 13 Stores to 44 Stores with another 8 stores to be opened this year, earning him Dunkin’ Brands Developer of the Year in 2008.  Currently he is a member of the Dunkin Brands People Sub-Committee.  Aside from work, Karim volunteers countless hours raising money and providing support for a not for profit, international development agency which focuses on providing long term solutions for health, education, rural development, the environment and strengthening of civil society. Karim has recently invested in the Wing Stop Brand in the Chicago-land Area. Most recently he is a recipient of 2012-2013 Lake County Chamber New Business of the Year for his dedication to expanding in Lake County, IL.

 

Franchisee: Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins

Panelist
Khutliwala, Abid

President
S I Communications, S I Group Of Restaurants

Abid Khutliwala, an authorized retailer of AT&T and AIO Wireless, started off with one store eleven years ago and now operates over 30 stores in various locations around the United States. Along with owning multiple locations of the franchise of Checkers in Atlanta, Mr. Khutliwala has recently signed development agreement with Popeyes. He continues to actively work with additional franchisors to add to his profile. Involvements in the community have established and grown his relations with several other franchisers to contribute to his achievements. Being involved in family businesses since the age of fifteen, his experiences from back home in India have helped him manage, develop, and succeed in several business endeavors around the country.  A vision on its way to becoming the American Dream.

Franchisee: Checkers, T-Mobile

Facilitator
Kiekenapp, Marc

Owner
Keikenapp & Associates

Marc Kiekenapp is CEO of Kiekenapp & Associates, a national franchise consulting company that assists franchisors in building effective sales processes, franchise development strategies, franchise recruitment advertising specializing in area development/multi-unit packaging and strategies to market. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Development for Service Brands, Inc. (Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman, and 1-800-DryClean). His franchise background also includes Decorating Den and Sir Speedy. He has been a master licensee, owning and operating both a home furnishings and printing franchise. In 2000, he was recognized as one of the top three franchise sales executives by Franchise Update magazine. He is a frequent guest speaker on franchise development topics for the IFA, Franchise Update Media, The Restaurant Finance National Convention, and several franchisor national conventions. He is currently in his fifth year on the IFA Supplier Forum and Membership committees.

Franchisee: Keikenapp & Associates, Epath Advisors

Panelist
King, James

Operating Partner
GT Mid-States LLC

James King is CEO of GT Mid-States, a multi-unit franchisee of the casual dining/sports bar chain The Greene Turtle. His company has opened four locations in Maryland and Virginia and has commitments in place for ten more, three of which are now under development. He also owns and operates several independent restaurants. James has made a career in the restaurant business and has been frequently acknowledged for outstanding performance in his field, including being nominated as the Maryland Restaurant Association’s Restaurateur of the Year and being named Business Owner of the Year by the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee. He has held positions on multiple restaurant, general business and charitable boards, served a four-year term in the Maryland House of Delegates for Anne Arundel County, and was a member of the Governor’s Small Business Task Force, the Governor’s Commission on Congressional and Legislative Redistricting and a Small Business Advisor to the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.

Franchisee: The Greene Turtle

Panelist
Knobelock, Michael

Owner
MSK Enterprises

At age 23, Mike Knobelock invested $10,000 to re-open a closed convenience store and made it profitable for the next six years. In 1991, he sold his store and invested in a Church’s Chicken franchise. His Church’s Chicken franchise business grew steadily to 50 stores over the next 20 years, making him the fourth-largest franchisee in the system. In 2003, he opened his first Little Caesars Pizza. Today he owns 50 restaurants that operate in Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. In 2011, he opened his first full-service steak and seafood restaurant in Fulshear, Texas, where it proved to be an instant success in that affluent community. Mike is president of the 100-store Houston Church’s Chicken Marketing Co-op. From 2001 to 2004, he was elected Treasurer of the Church’s Independent Franchise Association (CIFA), and from 2005 to 2008 was elected President. He remains an active board member of CIFA, which represents 1,200 franchise stores. In 2011, Mike received 26 President Awards from the Church’s Chicken system for excellence in store brand and cleanliness.

Franchisee: Church's and Little Caesar's

Panelist
Kolton, Jeffrey

Principal
Franchise Market Ventures

Jeffrey Kolton is highly regarded as one of the leaders and innovators in the franchising community. With over 25 years experience at the highest levels within the legal, research, marketing and finance sectors, Jeffrey brings a unique perspective and an invaluable rolodex to every deal he works on.  He has been a partner in one of the leading franchise law firms in the country (Kaufmann Gildin); founded and built the leading franchise research firm in the country (FRANdata Corporation); was elected to the highest position among industry suppliers by his peers (the Supplier Forum); and was a member of the Board of Directors of the industry’s leading trade association (the International Franchise Association).  Jeffrey has also served on the Board of Directors of both publicly-traded franchisor Emerging Visions Inc. (which he helped take private), as well as venture-backed SinglePlatform, which was purchased by publicly-traded ConstantContact in July 2012 (in a deal valued at $100 million). He is a retained advisor to high net-worth individuals and private equity funds on investment opportunities in the franchise sector. Jeffrey is an honors graduate of Cornell University and the London School of Economics, and received his law degree from Georgetown. 

Franchisee: FMV

Advisory Board & Speaker
Kulp, Michael

President & CEO
KBP Foods

For more than a decade, Michael Kulp’s passion for creating a great place to work, a great place to eat, and a great place to own have provided unique opportunities for those at KBP Foods. Under his direction, KBP has grown from $7 million to $260 million in annual revenue over a 12-year period and is ranked among the 10 fastest-growing restaurant companies in the country. In addition to being President/CEO at KBP, Michael serves on the National KFC advisory board, is the chair of the national operations subcommittee, and sits on the national marketing committee. He also serves on a franchise advisory board to Yum! Brands, in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and is a member of the board of directors at Fresh Alternatives, a holding company that owns and operates fast casual restaurants in Florida. Michael holds bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Marketing from University of Colorado and Colorado Mesa University, and also played collegiate-level athletics. Michael and his wife Stephanie are proud parents of three children and have dedicated their time and talent to many philanthropic efforts in their home town of Kansas City, such as First Downs for Down Syndrome organization and the Truman Medical Health and Wellness Center.

Franchisee: KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's

Panelist
Lafreeda, Dawn

CEO and President
Den-Tex Central Inc.

Dawn Lafreeda is CEO and President of Den-Tex Central. Her business has grown from her first franchised unit, purchased when she was just 23, to 72 units today. She started working as a Denny’s hostess when she was 16, and then took a job at a software company where she learned accounting, payroll, and the business skills needed to pursue her dream of self-employment. She and a partner bought their first restaurant, a Hobo Joe’s (part of the Denny’s chain at the time), using credit cards and small loans. Then, in just 18 months, they purchased four distressed Denny’s in West Texas. Thirteen stores later, she bought out her partner and continued to grow her company to 72 units across 7 states. Dawn also serves as Treasurer of the Board of the Denny’s Franchisee Association and sits on the Development Brand Advisory Council for Denny’s, Inc. 

Franchisee: Denny's

Panelist
Lax, Glen

Owner
Festivus Inc & Real Knox Pizza Inc

Glen has been a Marble Slab Creamery franchisee since 2001. He currently operates seven stores in North and South Carolina. He has been awarded Franchisee of the Year and has served on the Franchisee Advisory Board. Three of his stores rank in the top ten in sales for the entire brand. In 2013, Glen opened his first Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint in Knoxville, TN. He currently has two more locations in development. Glen is a member of the inaugural Franchisee Advisory Council and looks forward being part of the growth of this exciting new brand. Glen graduated from The University of Tennessee in 1997 with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and two children.

Franchisee: Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, Marble Slab Creamery

Panelist
Lungren, Jeff

Director of Congressional & Public Affairs
U.S Chamber of Commerce

Jeff Lungren is a director in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Congressional and Public Affairs Division, focusing on health care and immigration issues. He helps spearhead the Chamber’s lobbying efforts on these issues with Capitol Hill policymakers and other entities. Lungren brings more than a dozen years of senior government relations and public affairs experience to the Chamber. Most recently he handled Hill outreach and communications for the Galen Institute, a nonprofit health care think tank, during consideration of health reform in 2009 and 2010. From 2007-09, Lungren served as a special assistant to former President George W. Bush in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs as well as in Vice President Cheney’s legislative affairs office. Earlier, Lungren’s work on Capitol Hill garnered him recognition by National Journal in its 2003 “The Hill People” profiles of top Capitol Hill aides.

Franchisee: U.S Chamber of Commerce

Advisory Board & Speaker
Lutfi, Tony

President & CEO
Marlu Investment Group

Tony Lutfi operates 53 Arby’s, 46 Church’s Chicken, 21 Jack in the Box, 21 Sears Outlet, Appliance & Hardware stores, five Little Caesars, and five Sizzlers in eight states. Tony started his career at age 17 as a cook at Jack in the Box while attending a local college in Northern California. After a quick ascent to management and finding success with Jack in the Box, he pursued other opportunities with Rax and Arby’s in the ‘80s, ultimately becoming a director of operations for a large franchisee. He became an Arby’s and a Long John Silver franchisee in the early ‘90s with five restaurants in Northern California. He and a partner grew the company to over 100 restaurants with five brands in less than 15 years. Tony works tirelessly to grow his organization with a passion for his customers and a desire to provide more opportunities for the loyal employees and family members who have supported him for all the years. He also serves on various committees with almost all of his brands including the President Council with Arby’s, the supply chain board with Church’s Chicken as Vice President for the franchisee association, and is a member of the creative committee for Sizzler.

Franchisee: Arby's, Church's Chicken, Jack in the Box, Little Caesars, Sears Outlets, Sizzler

Panelist
Mann, Jason

Owner/Area Representative
Planet Smoothie, Tasti d'Lite

Jason Mann entered franchising in 1999 by introducing the Planet Smoothie brand to the Central Florida market. As President of Mann’s Diversified Industries, he is a franchisee of Planet Smoothie/Tasti D-Lite, President of FSSG, Inc., and an Area Representative of Planet Smoothie/Tasti D-Lite. Jason has been an integral part of growing the market to more than 28 Planet Smoothie franchises. He consults with franchisees on the phases of franchisee life, including franchise sales, real estate acquisition, store development, management training, store opening assistance, marketing, and ongoing business consulting. He works directly with the corporate team on design and implementation of strategic initiatives including support systems, new product sourcing, testing and development, menu revitalization, and ongoing marketing promotions. After the acquisition of Planet Smoothie by Tasti D-Lite in 2011, he worked directly with the executive team to integrate the two brands. In January 2013, he once again championed franchise innovation by opening the first prototype of the Planet Smoothie/Tasti D-Lite co-brand concept. Jason is currently a senior advisor on the Franchise Advisory Board and marketing task force. He has multiple Top Single-Unit Sales Volume awards, Franchisee of the Year awards, and Area Developer of the Year awards with Planet Smoothie/Tasti D-Lite.

Franchisee: Planet Smoothie, Tasti d'Lite

Session Speaker
Miller, Keith

Owner
Subway

Keith Miller has been a Subway franchisee for 24 years and currently owns three stores in Grass Valley and Auburn, Calif. He is Chair of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations and a Past Chair of the North American Association of Subway Franchisees. He earned a BS degree in Computer Science and Management from California State University, Chico and an MBA from Golden Gate University. In 1997, Keith and his wife Karen were named Subway Franchisees of the Year.

Franchisee: Subway

Panelist
Newman, David

CEO, President
Newman Investments

David T. Newman, Vice-President of B.P. Newman Investment Co., Inc., has been an active Franchisee for Church’s Chicken for almost 30 years. He is an active member and has served as President for the Church’s International Franchise Association (CIFA) for many years. Mr. Newman is a current member of the Supply Chain Board and has been an outspoken member of the Church’s Product and Development Committee for the past 15 years. Not only has he been a part of these prominent organizations, he has also been an active member of his community. Whether it is by making a monetary donation or serving on a committee of a local organization, Mr. Newman never hesitates to offer his time and commitment to his community. He has served as Vice-Chair of Laredo Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, as well as participating in the judging panel for several special competitions at the local school districts. He has been honored with the Franchisee of the Year Award and the Leadership and Developer of the Year Awards by Church’s Chicken. Helooks forward to continue serving both his community and the Church's brand in the coming years.

Franchisee: Popeyes, Church's

Panelist
Norcutt, Kyle

Owner
Two Men & A Truck

Kyle Norcutt is a Franchisee for the Two Men And A Truck Franchise System.  He currently owns and operates 15 franchises with over 250 employees and 70 trucks. The franchises are currently located in Kalamazoo Mi, Grand Rapids MI, 10 locations in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, 2 in Oklahoma City and Fort Collins CO. Kyle enjoys buying new or under developed territories and growing them into successful and profitable franchises to eventually sell. Since his involvement with Two Men And A Truck, which started in 1997 with a childhood friend in Raleigh, North Carolina, he has bought and sold two locations in North Carolina, two in Indiana and one in Florida. In his 16 years being a franchisee he has been the recipient of the Two Men And A Truck Outstanding Customer Service award and 9 time winner of the Achievement in Excellence Award.  Kyle also won the Franchisee of the Year For Two Men And A Truck in 2011. Kyle became an entrepreneur at a young age. He started mowing the neighbors’ lawns for extra money at age 11. By the time he was in high school the lawn service had grown to a point where his was mowing 70 lawns per week. Kyle sold the business to go to Davenport University and later gained invaluable sales experience in retail furniture sales and industrial equipment sales before joining Two Men And A Truck.

 

 

Franchisee: Two Men & A Truck

Advisory Board & Speaker
Ostrowe, David

President
O&M Restaurant Group

David started a staffing / recruiting company in Oklahoma City in 1999.  He was a one-man shop that grew year over year to a $30 million, multi-unit / multi-state operation with 800 employees.  His company is unique in that it had self-funded its growth through detailed planning and sacrifice. In addition to his role as President and CEO of O&M Restaurant Group, David is an active Board member of a number of charities, public and private companies and organizations.  He is the outgoing Chair of Oklahoma City Young Presidents and the Regional YPO Chair for the entire states of Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas and was the recent recipient of the YPO Man of Action award. David has been a board member of Allied Arts for seven years and just recently was asked to join their Executive Committee as their Strategic Planning Chair. David has been an active guest lecturer and co-teacher at the Price Business School at OU for several years for Graduate and undergraduate level classes.  He is officially listed as an Executive Resident Entrepreneur and Adjunct Professor of Business and also sits on Burger King Corporation’s Restaurant Counsel (President’s Advisory Board). David holds a BA from LSU and is an eight-year USNR veteran.  He is an active pilot and holds a current FAA instrument certificate. 

Franchisee: Burger King, 180 Business Solutions

Session Speaker
Parker, Greg

Area Developer
Workout Anytime

Greg Parker joined the WORKOUT ANYTIME team in 2009, when he opened a location in Chattanooga, Tn. Parker also bought the Area Developer rights to the state of Tennessee (and later Kentucky). As a result of the great success that he enjoyed at his Chattanooga location, Parker has sold over 30 locations as an Area Developer. WORKOUT ANYTIME incorporates the “Subway Model” of franchising where the AD shares the fees and royalties collected by WORKOUT ANYTIME’s corporate team. Area Developers also help franchise owners in identifying real estate, design and construction, training, and on-going support.

Prior to joining the WORKOUT ANYTIME development team, Parker opened a franchise with Ladies Workout Express and later founded his own gym, Ladies Total Fitness & Personal Training, in Maryville, Tennessee. Parker ran his gym for 14 years before joining the WORKOUT ANYTIME team. Greg’s nearly two decades in the franchise industry have given him keen insight and the development tools needed to help any franchisee thrive. Parker brings an invigoratingly positive attitude to help lay a clear pathway to success.

 

 

Franchisee: Workout Anytime

Facilitator
Parkhill, Mike

Senior Vice President, Director of Real Estate
Jersey Mike's

Michael Parkhill is Senior Vice President & Director of Real Estate, overseeing all of the real estate activities for Jersey Mike’s Subs.  Known for its authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs, Jersey Mike’s is expanding nationwide, bringing the taste of the Jersey Shore to markets around the country. The company’s efforts are paying off. Jersey Mike’s experienced record-breaking growth in 2013, opening 140 new locations with unit growth of 22%.  Following its successful recipe of deliberate, well-considered expansion, Jersey Mike’s has nearly doubled in size in just three years.  Started in 1956, the sub chain now has more than 1,300 restaurants open and under development nationwide. With more than 29 years of experience in the real estate business, Mike held similar positions with other retailers such as Payless ShoeSource and Urban Brands.  Mike, who has been in commercial real estate his entire career, also worked for several developers and landlords representing the property owner side of the business. He joined Jersey Mike’s in 1997 and lives in Sea Girt, New Jersey. Mike is married with two grown children and his favorite sub is the #13, the Original Italian with hot pepper relish.

 

 

Franchisee: Jersey Mike's

Facilitator
Parsons, Rob

Managing Partner
Synergy Dining Group

Rob Parsons is Managing Partner of Synergy Dining Group, a franchisee of Popeye's Chicken in the Boston, Massachusetts market founded in 2009. Synergy currently owns and operates seven Popeye's restaurants. Prior to founding Synergy Dining Group, Rob was Director of Development with Popeye's Corporate and was responsible for developing northeast markets including Philadelphia and New York.  Rob also worked to grow the New York City market from 48 restaurants to over 100 units, making it the largest market in the Popeye's system in both sales and unit count. When Rob decided to leave his corporate development post, he sought to take advantage of a down real estate market by partnering with Popeye’s. Synergy opened their first Popeye's unit on July 17th of 2009 and less than 4 months later that restaurant surpassed the million dollar sales mark. Days later, a second milestone was reached, the second Synergy restaurant was opened and this unit was featured on the nationally televised show "Unwrapped" on the Food Network.  A third Popeye's unit was opened in 2010 and two additional units were opened in 2011. Rob was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1968 and graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelors in Finance. He currently resides in Nashua, New Hampshire with his wife and daughter.

 

 

Franchisee: Popeyes Louisana Kitchen

Advisory Board & Speaker
Perales, Guillermo

President & CEO
Sun Holdings LLC

Guillermo Perales is president & CEO of Sun Holdings LLC. He manages more than 395 units, which provide more than 10,000 jobs and serve more than 50 million meals per year. Since it’s founding in 1997, Sun Holdings has had an annual growth rate of 50 percent. In 2012, the company was ranked among the top 10 in the Restaurant Finance Monitor and the top 20 in the Hispanic Business 500. Guillermo is the largest Latino restaurant franchisee in the U.S. and now operates 71 Popeye’s franchises, making him the second-largest Popeye’s franchisee in the country. He also operates 33 Golden Corrals, 46 CiCi’s, 6 Del Tacos, and 167 Burger Kings. He is ranked as the largest Golden Corral and CiCi’s franchisee and the fourth-largest Burger King franchisee. His latest endeavor was acquiring 52 Arby’s Restaurants and 12 T-Mobile stores. Among his many awards, Guillermo has been featured four times in Latino Leaders magazine’s 101 list as one of the most influential Latino’s in the U.S. He has also been recognized by Ernest & Young through its 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year award, and was honored with the International Business Achievement Award for his Commitment to promoting the North Texas region and expanding international ties. Most recently, he became President of the International Hispanic Franchisee Association (IHFA). Guillermo’s strong commitment to community prompted the co-founding of the Latin American/DFW Fund to raise money for Latino-based programs and initiatives that support education and provide incentives for Latino students to stay in school, a cause Guillermo believes is crucial.

Franchisee: Burger King, CiCi's, Popeyes, Golden Corral, Arby's, T-Mobile

Panelist
Record, Mike

SVP/Manager of Program Finance
Wells Fargo Bank

Mike Record is Senior Vice President and Manager of Wells Fargo Restaurant Finance’s Program Finance Group. The Program Finance group provides lending to restaurant franchisees with borrowing needs of $10 million or less, and to franchisors looking to provide financing support to their franchisees. Mr. Record has 15+ years of experience lending to the restaurant industry. He has served in several leadership capacities including underwriting, portfolio management, loan workout, bankruptcy, asset disposition, triple-net lease financing, direct and indirect lending, sales management, and de novo restaurant lending platform development. Prior to joining the restaurant lending industry, Mr. Record spent 10 years with Bank of America, primarily in commercial lending capacities. As a former restaurant franchisee himself, Mr. Record understands the specific issues that restaurant operators face each day. Mr. Record is a native of Seattle and currently resides in Carlsbad, CA. He has a BS in Accounting and a BA in Finance from the University of Washington.

Advisory Board & Speaker
Robins, Gary

President
G&C Robins Co.

Gary Robins currently owns and operates 41 Supercuts hair salons throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Previously, he was a serial entrepreneur, owning and operating businesses in retail, entertainment, foodservice, and the travel industry. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Supercuts Franchisee Association, the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Franchisee Association, and is Past President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the world Entrepreneurs Organization. Gary earned a BS from Drexel University in 1985. He is married with three children, Lauren, Evan, and Will. He and his wife Chris reside in Westtown, Pennsylvania.

Franchisee: Supercuts, Cost Cutters

Session Speaker
Romaniello, Steve

Managing Director
Roark Capital Group

In addition to Managing Director of Roark Capital Group, Steve Romaniello is the Chairman of the Board of FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of more than 4,400 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and more than 60 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel, Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee and Wingstop. Prior to joining Roark, Steve was Focus Brands president and CEO since 2003. Steve joined Carvel in January 2002 as president of the franchise and foodservice division. Once the Carvel system was stabilized, the company was renamed FOCUS Brands to reflect the organization’s long-term vision to become a multi brand franchisor.  Under Steve’s direction and with the support of FOCUS Brands’ owner Roark Capital Group, the newly formed organization acquired Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne’s and McAlister’s.

A native of Stamford, CT and a Tufts University graduate, Romaniello is a member of the Board of Directors of Arby’s, Corner Bakery and Il Fornaio Restaurants, and the IFA. Romaniello is the recipient of the IFA’s Ronald E. Harrison Award for his work in the area of Diversity, and the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain Award. Romaniello resides in Atlanta with his wife Tina and their four children.

Franchisee: Focus Brands, Wingstop

Panelist
Russell, John

President
Wireless Zone

John Russell rapidly grew his business from three to 16 Wireless Zone locations over the course of three years. Since he has saturated the Pennsylvania market, Russell knew that he had to expand into other states if he was to achieve his ambitious growth goal to own 35-40 stores. Taking over 13 underperforming units since January 2010, Russell plans to expand to 25 stores and five markets by the end of 2014. Russell currently has units in multiple states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and plans for six units in Washington DC.

Franchisee: Wireless Zone

Panelist
Sills, Aaron

Area Developer
Colors on Parade

Aaron Sills, Colors on Parade South Florida Area Developer, is a successful business owner that has been a member committed to implementing innovative business strategies and serving as a mentor and leader to other franchisees.  Aaron joined the Colors on Parade family in 1996 as an employee and learned the business quickly. In May of 1997, Aaron opened his first franchise, working on the front lines and gaining a true understanding of the business model.  In August of 2003, Aaron became an Area Developer for the Colors on Parade Franchise system. He has spent 10 years as an Area Developer and almost 16 year as part of the Colors on Parade family. Aaron’s current territory includes southern Florida, he has six active franchisees and works closely with each business owner to continue growing the territory.  Aaron has served on the Colors on Parade Franchise Advisory Board, where he currently holds the title of President and Marketing Fund Steering Committee for many years.  Aaron is married and has a beautiful daughter.  He enjoys traveling with his family and spending time on the water.

Franchisee: Colors on Parade

Panelist
Smith, Spencer

President & CEO
Smith Group

Spencer Smith founded Smith Group in May 2000 with the purchase of his first franchise, Big O Tires in Cortez, CO.  His desire for multi-unit ownership and to create many careers led him to acquire the rights for six Aaron’s franchises in December 2002.  His initial goal was to open 10-15 stores in the same number of years. Spencer quickly led his team to exceed that goal by opening their 40th location in less than 10 years! Smith Group develops real estate for many of their locations throughout eight western states.  This interest in development led Spencer to co-found “First Capital Commercial”, a correspondent commercial lender.  With 40 Aaron’s, two Big O Tires and one Rimco franchise currently in operation, they are planning for many years of growth.  Previously honored as a Multi-Unit Franchisee MVP in 2013, Spencer has also been featured and quoted in Multi Unit Franchisee and Franchise Times magazines.  As CEO and President of Smith Group, he looks forward to growing revenue, driving profitability and further developing his management team to capitalize on future growth opportunities.  Spencer’s involvement with his church, Boy Scouts of America, Child Advocacy Center and other civic organizations helps bring balance to his business and family, as a husband and father of five children.

 

Franchisee: Aaron's and Big O' Tires

Advisory Board & Speaker
Smithgall III, Charles

Chairman & CEO
SEI/Aaron's, Inc. Past Chair, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference

Charles Smithgall founded SEI/Aaron’s on April 1, 1995 and currently is the Chairman and CEO. SEI opened their first Aaron’s store on November 29, 1995 and subsequently developed eight stores in the Kentucky/Indiana area before expanding to New England in 1999. SEI/Aaron’s, has continued to open stores in the New England states, as well as acquiring stores from Aaron’s, Inc. which currently operates 105 stores in 10 states. SEI/Aaron’s is the largest Aaron’s franchisee.

Franchisee: Aaron's

Panelist
Sommers, Brian

Vice President of Franchise Development
Jersey Mike's

Brian Sommers is Vice President, Franchise Development and a Jersey Mike’s “lifer.” He grew up in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, and started eating at the original store in Point Pleasant at age 6. Currently, he lives in nearby Tom’s River, and in 2001 joined Jersey Mike’s, where he is responsible for recruiting and awarding territories to existing franchisees and outside candidates. Following its successful recipe of deliberate, well-considered expansion, Jersey Mike’s has nearly doubled in size in just three years and now has more than 1,300 restaurants open and under development nationwide.  Before stepping into his present position in 2008, he spent seven years with the company’s field operations team before moving into an Area Director role in the Las Vegas market, overseeing all operations and development for both franchised and corporate units. He is Chair of the IFA’s Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative’s (PAFI) Certified Athlete Franchisee (CAF) Development Committee. He earned his CFE designation in 2012 from the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives (ICFE) and graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Economics. His favorite sub is the #9, the Club Supreme, served Mike’s Way.

Franchisee: Jersey Mike's

Panelist
Spongberg, Roland

President & CEO
WKS Restaurant Group

Roland Spongberg founded WKS Restaurant Group and became a franchisee of El Pollo Loco, Inc. in 1987. Over the past 26 years WKS Restaurant Group, which began with 1 restaurant, has grown to be the largest franchisee of El Pollo Loco, operating 59 restaurants in 3 states. WKS Restaurant Group is also the largest franchisee of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, operating 20 restaurants in 3 states.  Denny’s and Corner Bakery Café franchise restaurants round out the portfolio taking WKS Restaurant Group to a total of 102 restaurants in seven states, employing over 3000 people corporate wide. Roland has been honored by the International Franchise Association as Franchisee of the Year, been given the Denny’s A+ Achievement Award for “[His] Leadership in Achieving Excellence,” and presented the El Pollo Loco Heritage Award. Roland serves on the El Pollo Loco Charities Board and is also the president of the Long Beach Area Council Boy Scouts of America. Roland lives in Long Beach, California with his wife Sandee. Roland and Sandee have been married for 39 years and have six children and twelve grandchildren.

Franchisee: Denny's, Krispy Kreme, El Pollo Loco and Corner Bakery

Panelist
Stark, Stephen

President and CEO
Jabez LLP

Stephen Stark is CEO and President of Jabez LLP, which currently owns 25 different Sears stores within 4 different franchise concepts. Stephen started with Sears in college and has been with the Sears organization for 24 years. After graduating from Stephen F. Austin State University, he purchased his first Sears Authorized Hometown Store in Richmond, Texas. His company currently owns 1 Sears Hometown Store, 12 Sears Home Appliance Showrooms, 1 Sears Appliance & Hardware Store, and 11 Sears Outlet stores. He was the first franchisee in the nation to franchise the Sears Showrooms, the Appliance & Hardware Stores, and the Outlet formats. Stephen served on the Sears Hometown Advisory Council for 5 years and was Chair of the Franchisee Council for 2 of those years, which he still currently sits on. Stephen is excited about the recent Sears spin-off, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (SHOS), which includes all four formats he currently owns/operates. He looks forward to growing his volume and store count with the new company.

 

Franchisee: Sears Hometown Store, Sears Home Appliance Showrooms, Sears Appliance & Hardware Store, Sears Outlet

Facilitator
Sturgis, Jeff

Chief Development Officer
McAlister's

Jeff has over 17 years of experience in the areas of franchise sales, franchise development and franchise strategy. In his current role as Chief Development Officer for McAlister’s Deli, Jeff is responsible for the strategic planning and execution of all store development, real estate and franchise sales activities. Prior to joining McAlister’s, Jeff was the Founder and President of Franchise System Advisors, a consulting and strategic planning firm focused on the franchise industry. At Franchise System Advisors he worked with franchisors to help them evaluate, develop and implement successful franchise sales & development strategies. Prior to founding FSA, Jeff spent 3 ½ years as the Vice President of Franchise Development for Fantastic Sams Hair Salons, an 1100 unit chain of full service hair salons. At Fantastic Sams, he led the franchise sales, real estate and store development functions. Prior to Fantastic Sams, Jeff spent 4 ½ years as the Regional Vice President of Franchise Sales for FOCUS Brands. In this role, Jeff was responsible for all U.S. franchise sales activities for Carvel Ice Cream and Cinnabon. Jeff is a frequent speaker at, and contributor to franchise industry events and publications; is a past Board Member of both the IFA Supplier Forum and the New England Franchise Association

 

Franchisee: McAlister's

Panelist
Sullivan, James

Senior Vice President of Domestic Franchise Development
CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc.

James Sullivan has been the Senior Vice President of Domestic Franchise Development at CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. since June 2012. During his time with CKE, James built a robust development pipeline for both Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. Restaurants.  Among several other accomplishments, he has built strong relationships with both new and existing Franchisees.  James was previously employed by Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC (formerly Friendly’s Ice Cream Corporation) in Wilbraham, MA as: Senior Vice President, Chief Development Officer; Senior Vice President, Development and Franchising; Vice President, Development and Franchising; President, Franchising and Development; and Vice President, Franchising. James has his Bachelor of Science in Sport Management from the University of Massachusetts, with a Mini-MBA in Franchise Management from University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. 

Advisory Board & Speaker
Torres, Ted

President
Caerus Hospitality Partners

Ted J. Torres, CHA, is the President/CEO and a member of the Board of Caerus Hospitality.  A lifelong hotelier, Mr. Torres has built, owned, operated, renovated, repositioned and consulted on numerous hospitality projects in his 25+ years of professional experience. Prior to joining Caerus Hospitality in his current capacity, Torres was the CEO of International Hospitality Development Alliances (“IHDA”), a Scottsdale, Arizona based hospitality company.  His current responsibilities encompass setting the strategy and vision for the company, managing the asset performance and strategic direction of each hospitality property, identifying market opportunities, selecting each site for future development, and instituting proprietary practices that lead to exceptional individual hotel performance, while at the same time fostering a high level of quality in excess of each hotel franchise brand standard. Recently, his company has developed three flagship Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham properties in the San Antonio and Austin, Texas metro areas.  Additionally, the company was recently hired to manage the development and operations of the 90 unit Baymont Inn and Suites in Hobbs, New Mexico.  The company's Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham San Antonio Airport Hotel won the Renovation of the Year award as well as being awarded the Top 20 brand excellence award by Wyndham Hotel Group at the 2012 Wyndham Global Conference.  

Franchisee: Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham, Tryp by Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, International Wyndham Garden Inn, Ramada Encore International

Advisory Board & Speaker
Yadav, Anil

President
JIB Management Inc.

Anil Yadav is an independent franchisee of Jack in the Box, Denny’s and Sizzler’s restaurants. Anil has been franchisee with Jack in the Box since 1989 and currently owns and operates 262 restaurants in California and Texas. Jack in the Box accounts for 221 units. Anil is the largest Jack in the Box franchisee in the United States and largest Denny’s franchisee in California. In 2012, he further diversified his restaurants holdings through the acquisition of six Sizzler restaurants.  He began his career with Jack in the Box corporate as a Restaurant Manager. His outstanding performance was recognized year over year as a top Manager in the Jack in the Box system. Anil purchased his first restaurant in 1989 and has been involved with the day-to-day operations ever since. He has achieved top sales and performance awards year over year and also earned the distinction of “Operator of the Year” as well as “Marketer of the Year” awards. In 2007, Anil was awarded the “Franchisee of the Year Award” by Jack in the Box.  He was elected to the position of President for the JIB Franchise Association in February 2009, and currently serves as Chairman. At the 2011 Jack in the Box Franchisee Conference, he earned the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Jack in the Box. In 2010, Anil received the “MVP Award” from the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference and serves on the Advisory Board for the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference.

Franchisee: Jack in the Box, Denny's, Sizzlers,  Area Developer: Marco's Pizza

Panelist
Zuccarello, Dean

CEO and Founding Partner
The Cypress Group

Dean Zuccarello, Founder and CEO of The Cypress Group, is a leading authority in the franchise arena. He has written numerous industry articles, has been quoted in several publications, and has spoken frequently at franchising conferences. Focused solely on the franchising, The Cypress Group aids large multi-unit franchisees, company-owned, or franchised concepts and their principals in achieving their capital, growth, and liquidity objectives. For more than 23 years, the firm has provided a full range of investment banking and strategic advisory services to multi-unit franchisees, including mergers and acquisitions, financings and recapitalizations, valuations, litigation support, and advisory services. With a track record of successful client representation since 1990, The Cypress Group has completed transactions representing approximately $3 billion in total transaction value.

  • "A wonderful show with great speakers and terrific information. The topics covered really hit home to us in the franchisee community, and it was delightful to meet other similar minded, industrious entrepreneurs."

    Ted Torres, President, Caerus Hospitality Partners

  • "Each year I learn more about the challenges facing franchisees. I take the knowledge and improve my product that allows me to better support our franchisee and franchisor partners."

    Tom Epstein, CEO, Franchise Payments Network

  • "The success and depth of knowledge of fellow attendees motivates me more than any other conference I attend."

    Grant Simon, President, Simon Clips

  • "A great place to find solutions to the challenges we face as multi-unit franchisees."

    Robert Branca Jr., President, JLC

  • "Listening to franchisees of all sizes from brands across the franchise industry has made me recognize the need to improve our franchisee training and support programs."

    Madison Jobe, COO, Pizza Inn