Franchise Update Media
Franchise Update Media Digital
Publications
Conferences Education Videos Subscribe
Advertise
Speakers
Add to Calendar
SHARE:

Dr. Peter Diamandis
New York Times Best-Selling Author, Innovator and Founder of XPRIZE

Peter Diamandis is the world’s foremost expert in incentivized innovation: the art of incentivizing smart and talented people within your company or those experts around the world to focus on solving your grand challenges. He has worked with Fortune 100 companies, government leaders, and captains of industry over the past 15 years. In 2010 Dr. Diamandis was the winner of The Economist’s “No Boundaries” award for “meta-innovation — driving innovation in the way people innovate.” He is also the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Innovation, the Heinlein Award, the Lindbergh Award, the Wired RAVE Award, the Neil Armstrong Award, and the World Technology Award.

Dr. Diamandis is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of the XPRIZE Foundation, a non-profit focused on designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Best known for the $10 million Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight, the Foundation has awarded prizes in Exploration, Life Sciences, Energy & Environment, Ocean Health, and Education/Global
Development. 

Dr. Diamandis attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he received his undergraduate degree in molecular genetics and graduate degree in aerospace engineering. 

After MIT he attended Harvard Medical School, where he received his M.D. In 2005 he was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the International Space University. Dr. Diamandis has founded over 15 companies since his first year at MIT. Many of these are nonprofits dedicated to changing the world. His mission is to guide and inspire the transformation of humanity both on and off the Earth. His personal motto is “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!” In 8th grade, while living in New York, Dr. Diamandis won first place in the Estes rocket design contest.

In 2012, Dr. Diamandis released Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, debuting at number one on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble best-seller lists. The book focuses on how exponential technologies, coupled with the DIY movement and the on-line connectivity of the “rising billion,” will enable an age of global abundance, providing water, energy, food, shelter, education, and healthcare in unprecedented availability for humanity.

 

Frank Abagnale
Acclaimed Subject of the Book, Movie, and Broadway Play Catch Me If You Can

Frank W. Abagnale is one of the world’s most respected authorities on forgery, embezzlement, and secure documents. For over 36 years he has worked with, advised, and consulted with hundreds of financial institutions, corporations, and government agencies around the world.

Mr. Abagnale’s rare blend of knowledge and expertise began more than 40 years ago, when he was known as one of the world’s most famous con men. This was depicted most graphically in his best-selling book Catch Me If You Can, a film of which was also made, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. The Tony-Award winning musical Catch Me if You Can, directed by multiple award winner Jack O' Brien, opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre in April 2011.

Between the ages of 16 and 21, Mr. Abagnale successfully posed as an airline pilot, an attorney, a college professor, and a pediatrician, in addition to cashing $2.5 million in fraudulent checks in every state and 26 foreign countries. Apprehended by the French police when he was 21 years old, he served time in the French, Swedish, and U.S. prison systems. After five years he was released on the condition that he would help the federal government, without remuneration, by teaching and assisting federal law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Abagnale has now been associated with the FBI for over 36 years. More than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations, and law enforcement agencies use his fraud prevention programs. In 1998 he was selected as a distinguished member of the “Pinnacle 400” by CNN Financial News – a select group of 400 people chosen on the basis of great accomplishment and success in their fields.

In 2004 Mr. Abagnale was named as the spokesperson for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). He has also written numerous articles and books, including The Art of the Steal, The Real U Guide to Identity Theft, and Stealing Your Life.

“Abagnale's lecture may be the best one-man show you will ever see.” —Tom Hanks

 

 

 


David Barr

Chairman
PMTD Restaurants, LLC


Robert Branca, Jr.

President
Branded Management Group, Branded Realty Group


Robert D. Chase

President
Money Mailer Response Marketing


Greg Cutchall

President & CEO
Cutchall Management


Sean Falk

President
WolFTeaM LLC, Nachogang LLC


Rocco Fiorentino

President & CEO
Benetrends Financial


Gary Grace

CEO
GG Enterprises


David Grimaud

President
Grimaud Enterprises Inc.


Maureen Grimaud

Principal
Grimaud Enterprises Inc.


William G. Hall

President
William G. Hall & Company


Aziz Hashim

President & CEO
NRD Holdings, LLC


John Hotchkiss

Partner
L&M Restaurant Group


Michael Knobelock

Owner
MSK Enterprises


Michael Kulp

President & CEO
KBP Foods


Tony Lutfi

President & CEO
Marlu Investment Group


John Metz

President
RREMC Restaurants, LLC


David Ostrowe

President
O&M Restaurant Group


Guillermo Perales

President & CEO
Sun Holdings Inc.


Gary Robins

President
G&C Robins Co.


Cheryl Robinson

Owner
Sapphire Ventures Inc.


Grant Simon

CEO
LSGF Management


Chas Smithgall

Chairman & CEO
SEI/Aaron's, Inc.


Jeffrey Tews

Multi-Unit Franchisee
BrightStar Care


Ted Torres

President & CEO
Caerus Hospitality


Ricky Warman

CEO
Pizzerias, LLC


Eric Werner

President & CEO
Texas Subs, DFW Tanning, Benchmark Burgers


Anil Yadav

President
JIB Management, Inc.

Name Position Company Brands
Amell, Paul Multi-Unit Franchisee Checkers Drive-In Restaurant, Inc.
Barr, David Chairman PMTD Restaurants, LLC Rita Restaurant Group, Mrs. Fields, TCBY, Del Frisco's, Sullivan's Steakhouse, and the Bistro Group
Bernstein, J.B. Legendary Sports Marketing Agent and Author of Million Dollar Arm
Chase, Robert D. President Money Mailer Response Marketing Money Mailer, OrderUp
Davey, Don Multi-Unit Franchisee Firehouse Subs Firehouse Subs
Diaz, Eduardo President EYM Group, Inc. Denny’s, Burger King, Baskin-Robbins
Doty, David Multi-Unit Franchisee Black Bear Diner Black Bear Diner
Draper II, John Partner Cottrel Coliseum Group Burger King, Auntie Anne's, Haagen Daaz, Coffee Beanery, Wingstop
Fiorentino, Rocco President & CEO Benetrends Financial Swiss Farms Stores, Saxbys Coffee
Francis, John Franchisee PostNet Cost Cutters, PostNet
Goldman, Yaron Owner Southern Deli Holdings Southern Deli Holding and McAllister's
Graham, Matt Chief Marketing Director Jiffy Lube Jiffy Lube
Hall, William G. President William G. Hall & Company Dairy Queen
Hitzelberger, Paul Multi-Unit Franchisee Utah Del Taco Del Taco
Knobelock, Michael Owner MSK Enterprises Church's Chicken, Little Caesars
Kulp, Michael President & CEO KBP Foods KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's
Logan, Gordon B. CEO & Founder Sport Clips, Inc.
Lutfi, Tony President & CEO Marlu Investment Group Arby's, Church's Chicken, Jack in the Box, TGI Fridays, Little Caesars, Captain D's, Sears Outlets & Appliance Stores, Sizzler
Metz, John President RREMC Restaurants, LLC Denny's, Dairy Queen, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Marriott
Mueller, Glenn Founder RPM Pizza Domino's
Murray, Dave Senior Customer Experience Consultant The DiJulius Group
Schier, TJ President SMART Restaurant Group Which Wich
Simon, Grant CEO LSGF Management Great Clips, T-Mobile, Smoothie King
Smith, Spencer President & CEO Smith Group Aaron's and Big O' Tires
Spongberg, Roland President & CEO WKS Restaurant Group Denny's, Krispy Kreme, El Pollo Loco and Corner Bakery
Sturgis, Jeff Chief Development Officer McAlister's McAlister's
Sugarman, Lloyd Franchisee Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan, Golden Corral Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan, Golden Corral
Torres, Ted President & CEO Caerus Hospitality Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham, Tryp by Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, International Wyndham Garden Inn, Ramada Encore International
Wilson, Brooke Multi-Unit Franhchisee Two Men And A Truck Two Men And A Truck

Session Speaker
Amell, Paul

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Checkers Drive-In Restaurant, Inc.

Paul and Jason Amell are a father-son duo who opened their first Checkers in Pontiac, Michigan in 2007 and have gone on to open 6 additional stores across the state of Michigan with more stores under development. Jason joined his father early on at Checkers and started out as a crew worker, since Paul wanted to ensure that he learned every station to really be able to understand the business from the ground up. The Amell’s are committed to providing guests with the very best food and service, and this commitment has proven help them become a huge success, with their first Checkers restaurant posting one of the company’s?highest opening day sales in 2007. They have continued to be leaders in the Checkers/Rally’s brand, winning numerous awards, including Developer of the?Year in 2009 and Franchisee of the Year in 2011. The duo also operated four of the top ten overall performing stores in the Checkers/Rally’s system in?2011, with Jason operating the number one store in 2011. Jason also currently serves on the General Managers Council for Checkers.

Advisory Board & Speaker
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 Georgia and Alabama. Throughout 2011 and 2012, David was 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, 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

Session Speaker
Bernstein, J.B.

Legendary Sports Marketing Agent and Author of 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, J.B. 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. J.B.’s story is now the subject of a Disney motion picture that was released in May 2014. J.B. 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. He 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. J.B. 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. J.B. 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. J.B. lives in Las Vegas with his wife and daughter. 

Advisory Board & Speaker
Chase, Robert D.

President
Money Mailer Response Marketing

Robert D. Chase, Franchisee of Money Mailer and OrderUp. Robert has built his business to 30 Money Mailer franchises in the Phoenix and Denver metropolitan areas. He operates the largest group of franchises in the Money Mailer system.  Every month his mailers reach 1,530,000 homes. Recognized for his success in turning the Money Mailer franchise into a multi-million dollar business, Chase recently purchased the rights to 15 OrderUp franchise units that span the Phoenix metropolitan market. The partnership with OrderUp marks Chase’s next big move in franchising and underscores his belief in OrderUp’s digital franchise approach. Chase came across OrderUp through his involvement with the Multi-Unit Franchising Group and was immediately impressed with its unique business model. “The digital franchise approach is a fantastic concept, and I’m very proud to bring OrderUp to the Phoenix market,” says Chase.  “OrderUp is carving a new niche in the online food ordering space and we believe we will make it the industry leader in the Phoenix market," Armed with an unyielding work ethic, he and his talented team have not only survived the economic downturn, they have thrived.

 

Franchisee: Money Mailer, OrderUp

Panelist
Davey, Don

Multi-Unit Franchisee
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, and to this day is still the only 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 retiring from the NFL, Don has immersed himself into several entrepreneurial endeavors including developing 13 Firehouse Subs franchises in Orlando and another 42 in Wisconsin, an institutional money management firm with over $150 million in assets under management, and a real estate investment company with commercial and residential properties in Florida and Wisconsin. 

Franchisee: Firehouse Subs

Session Speaker
Diaz, Eduardo

President
EYM Group, Inc.

Eduardo Diaz has been operating restaurants in the U.S. since 2008 and is an executive leader with 24 years of successful international experience, building brands in Mexico and Central America markets. He generates unit growth and profitable sales in highly complex markets, is a strategic thinker and planner, and is skilled in the design and execution of effective operations, development, marketing, and business programs. He is committed to overachieving, with a proven history of delivering exceptional P&L results. Eduardo owns and operates 66 restaurants in the US: Denny’s in Texas and Florida and Burger Kings in Michigan and Iowa. He is a partner in the master franchise of Baskin-Robbins, with 30 units/retail businesses. Previously with McDonald’s, Eduardo internationally had lead responsibility for seven countries (460 restaurants) and the associated staff (280 office staff, 3,000 managers, and 14,000 employees directly or through franchisees), as well as the supplier network and owner/operator community, providing leadership and oversight for all tactical and operational activities within the zone. He was accountable for countries’ performance against objectives, including sales, profit, growth, people development and planning, market share, real estate targets, customer satisfaction, and adherence to and support of McDonald’s brand image and strategy. 

Franchisee: Denny’s, Burger King, Baskin-Robbins

Session Speaker
Doty, David

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Black Bear Diner

Brought on to reorganize a failed chain of Jerry’s Restaurants, David Doty created SunWest Restaurant Concepts in 1993. He identified a new concept thriving in one of his closed locations in Mt. Shasta, California. With his chain in dire need of rebranding, David negotiated a licensing agreement to convert Jerry’s into Black Bear Diners. This early partnership evolved into Black Bear Diners, Inc., now franchised in eight western states with 67 corporate and franchised locations. As the fasted growing family dining chain, David is kept busy as the Chief Marketing Officer as well as continuing as SunWest CEO, which owns and operates six Black Bear Diners and four retooled Jerry’s Restaurants. In 2009, SunWest expanded its operation signing a 30-unit development agreement with Smashburger for the Greater Phoenix market. SunWest successfully opened 14 locations in four years while being awarded each of those years as an outstanding franchisee. SunWest sold the Phoenix operations back to Smashburger Corporate in 2014. 

Franchisee: Black Bear Diner

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, Wingstop and Pie Five). He is a skilled people person with a knack for putting others at ease while motivating them to improve sales numbers. John leads the day-to-day charge with energy and enthusiasm that cast a positive leadership shadow. 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

Advisory Board & Speaker
Fiorentino, Rocco

President & CEO
Benetrends Financial

Rocco Fiorentino is President and CEO of Benetrends Financial. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Swiss Farms Stores and Saxbys Coffee. Previously, he was CEO of United Financial Services Group, a financial services franchisor with nearly 200 locations nationwide; President and CEO of Freedom Rings LLC, an area developer and multi-unit franchisee of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts; and President of Specialty Bakeries, Inc., a subsidiary of New World Restaurant Group, franchisor of Manhattan Bagel, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Chesapeake Bagels, New World Coffee, and Willoughby’s Coffee. He serves on the board of the International Franchise Association and has previously chaired the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference. He is the Founder and Chair of The Little Rock Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children and young adults who are visually impaired and blind, and is currently Pennsylvania District Governor of Unico National, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children with developmental disabilities.

Franchisee: Swiss Farms Stores, Saxbys Coffee

Session Speaker
Francis, John

Franchisee
PostNet

As a former multi-unit owner and area developer, John Francis understands what it takes to thrive as a multi-unit franchise owner.  His career began in the 1980’s, when he was a multi-unit owner for his family’s franchise system, Cost Cutters. John then served as a multi-unit owner and area developer for the PostNet franchise, which chose John as their Franchisee of the Year in 2008.  Today, John serves as a consultant, strategic advisor and keynote speaker who helps franchise organizations “see what they don’t see” and achieve their highest levels of success. Some of the organizations he works with include, The International Franchise Association, Sports Clips, Office Pride and Seva Beauty. 

Franchisee: Cost Cutters, PostNet

Panelist
Goldman, Yaron

Owner
Southern Deli Holdings

Yaron Goldman is the CEO of SD Holdings LLC. The company is a franchisee of both McAlister’s Deli and MOD Pizza. They own and operate over 50 McAlister’s in five states with 1,500 employees and have 20 new units in development. As MOD’s exclusive franchise partner in North Carolina, they’re actively developing several locations across the State- with at least 3 new units to open in 2015. Goldman started his career in 1996 as an hourly employee with McAlister’s Deli 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; an award winning Jiffy Lube franchisee in the Greater Sacramento and Central Valley areas of California. 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 four consecutive years of steady growth in customer counts and net sales during difficult business environments. 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 from leaving town. 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. The grass roots story is part of an ESPN "30 for 30" documentary coming in the Spring of 2015. 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. A graduate from the University of Washington; Matt can be found on Twitter @_MattGraham.

Franchisee: Jiffy Lube

Advisory Board & Speaker
Hall, William G.

President
William G. Hall & Company

Bill Hall has had a career of more than 30 years as an entrepreneur and investor. He is a CPA, has an accounting degree from the University of Texas, and began his career with the national public accounting firm Ernst & Young. Bill has been a multi-unit franchisee of Dairy Queen, Church’s Chicken, and Mr. Jim’s Pizza with more than 80 units at one time. Currently, he owns five Dairy Queen units. In addition to his franchisee experience, he has owned and operated community banks in Texas, independent restaurant concepts, a nationwide transportation company, and real estate investments. Bill has served multiple terms as President of the Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council, representing more than 800 Dairy Queen Restaurants in Texas. He is a CFE, Past Chair of the Franchisee Forum of the IFA, a member of the IFA Board of Directors, serves as the Co-Chair of the National Franchise Mediation Program, and is a member of the Small Business Advisory Council to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Bill is active in his Fort Worth, Texas community where he lives with his wife of 28 years and their four children.

Franchisee: Dairy Queen

Session Speaker
Hitzelberger, Paul

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Utah Del Taco

Paul Hitzelberger began his career with Jewel Companies, Chicago, in accounting, corporate and field operations. He went on to Executive Marketing positions at General Mills and Lucky Stores before landing at Del Taco as Executive Vice President Marketing in 1986. He developed Del Tacos’ brand and strengthened the image/design of the chain’s look and led the menu development and marketing that generated 16 years of consecutive same store sales increases. In 1996, Paul became Del Taco’s Executive Vice President of Franchise Development/Relations. Currently,  Paul relies on his extensive experience in operations, marketing , and finance along with his positive, can-do, consistent, people-oriented style to operate 26 Del Tacos in Utah. Two more restaurants are under development. Paul has opened 8 Del Taco restaurants in the last couple of years, remodeled 18 restaurants in 2013 and is the largest franchisee in the Del Taco system. He is also a member of Del Taco’s Marketing and Design Advisory Team. In 2014 Hitzelberger was honored by the Utah National Guard with the Bronze Minuteman for his service to the military and business community.  He was also recognized with the 2014 MVP Spirit of Franchising Award by the Multi Unit Franchisee Board. 

Franchisee: Del Taco

Advisory Board & Speaker
Knobelock, Michael

Owner
MSK Enterprises

At age 23, Mike Knobelock invested $10,000 to reopen 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 business grew steadily to 47 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 73  stores in total, that operate in 7 states; Texas, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. 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 Chicken, Little Caesars

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 has 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, with two brands and 230 units in 10 states. 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 the 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 hometown of Kansas City, such as the First Downs for Down Syndrome organization and the Truman Medical Health and Wellness Center.

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

Session Speaker
Logan, Gordon B.

CEO & Founder
Sport Clips, Inc.

Gordon Logan founded Sport Clips in 1995 and has led the company to success with more than 1,200 stores (31 company owned and operated) in 49 states and Canada. By 2013, store-level sales reached $350 million, and the brand is expanding at a rate of more than 150 stores annually, with only 3 closures since 2010. Before becoming involved in the salon industry in 1980, he served as an Aircraft Commander in the U.S. Air Force, flying a C-130 aircraft (1969–1976). He then worked as a financial planning and control consultant with Price, Waterhouse & Co. in Houston from 1976 to 1980. He is Past President and Director of the International SalonSpa Business Network, the trade association for multi-unit operators of salons and spas in the U.S. and Canada, representing 20,000 salons and spas. He serves on the board of the IFA and is Vice Chair of the IFA’s VetFran Committee, heading up the mentor program for veterans. He is a member of the Cosmetology Advisory Board for the State of Texas, and serves on the board of the VFW Foundation, which directs the charitable efforts of the VFW.

Advisory Board & Speaker
Lutfi, Tony

President & CEO
Marlu Investment Group

Tony Lutfi, CEO and president of MarLu Investment Group with a portfolio of  independently funded companies operating more than 200 locations of various brands in several states.  The brands include Arby’s, Church’s Chickens, Sizzlers, Jack in the Boxes, TGI Fridays,  Little Caesars, Captain D's, local taquerias, and Sears Outlets, Appliance & Hardware stores. 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. His investment company is now one of the largest privately held companies in the US. Tony works tirelessly to grow his organization, with a passion for his customers and a desire to provide more opportunities for the loyal employees who have supported him through the years. He also serves on various franchise boards, associations and committees.

Franchisee: Arby's, Church's Chicken, Jack in the Box, TGI Fridays, Little Caesars, Captain D's, Sears Outlets & Appliance Stores, Sizzler

Advisory Board & Speaker
Metz, John

President
RREMC Restaurants, LLC

John Metz is currently a franchisee of Denny’s, Dairy Queen, Hurricane Grill & Wings, and Marriott. RREMC Restaurants, LLC, and Hurricane AMT, LLC, currently have 40 operating restaurants in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia, with more than 1,250 employees and one new restaurant under construction. As franchisor of Hurricane Grill & Wings, the company currently has 65 open units (56 franchised and 9 corporate), with 15 to be open by year-end. His Hospitality Investment Advisors Company currently owns a Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites and a new Hampton Inn under development at the Miami Airport.  His real estate holdings include more than 40 single-tenant retail properties, including restaurants, banks, financial services, and general retail.  Previously, he was president of Roadhouse Grill, McFadden Metz Restaurants Inc., and Continuum Courtyards LLC.  He graduated from Cornell University with a BS from the School of Hotel Administration and an MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell.  He also is a licensed general contractor and real estate salesperson.

Franchisee: Denny's, Dairy Queen, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Marriott

Session Speaker
Mueller, Glenn

Founder
RPM Pizza

Glenn Mueller is President and CEO (Chief Excellence Officer) for RPM Pizza, his family-run business. RPM, which celebrated 30 years in franchising last year, is the largest Domino’s franchisee in the U.S., with 130 stores, a $25 million payroll, and 2,800 team members serving 10 million pizzas a year. RPM also is the leading pizza delivery company in Mississippi and Louisiana and has helped more than 150 team members franchise their own stores. In the 1980s, Mueller helped set up the Domino’s Franchisee Association. He also helped establish Domino’s Franchisee Forum, was elected its first president in 1992, and has served in that position every year since. With a mission to “better franchisees, their families, and relationships,” the Forum has franchisees who meet twice a year to share best practices and network. He also helped set up Domino’s Pizza Partners Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1986 that raises money to help fellow team members in need. He and his wife Val have five children: Stephanie, Glenn Jr., Alison, Merrin, Rogers, and grandson Jared. Four of their children work in the Domino’s Pizza system.

Franchisee: Domino's

Session Speaker
Murray, Dave

Senior Customer Experience Consultant
The DiJulius Group

A former client of The DiJulius Group, Dave Murray has been working with the X-Commandments to Providing a World-Class Experience since the debut of "What's The Secret" in 2008. Dave has 20 years of experience in customer service, marketing and sales, primarily in the sports and entertainment industry. His experience has varied from leading call centers and front-line team members, to working closely with key partners and stakeholders. Dave has been personally trained on the X Commandments trademarked methodology by John DiJulius and uses this methodology regularly with The DiJulius Group's consulting clients. As a Senior Customer Experience Consultant with The DiJulius Group, Dave leads clients in generating ideas, turning those ideas into systems and then implementing and executing them enterprise wide. He is also an accomplished keynote speaker full of insight and wit; leaving audiences motivated, entertained and walking away with great content to implement immediately.

Session Speaker
Schier, TJ

President
SMART Restaurant Group

TJ Schier heads up the largest Which Wich Superior Sandwiches franchise group and is a well-known industry speaker, consultant and author. His group tests and utilizes cutting-edge hiring, training, service and incentive systems to determine the most effective way to improve the employee and guest experience and grow the business. SMART Restaurant Group has won awards from QSR magazine and the National Restaurant Association for its unique training programs and was the 2010 Which Wich Franchisee of the Year.

Schier has authored numerous books, including his recent SMART Restaurant Guide series, as well as Send Flowers to the Living! Rewards, Contests and Incentives to Build Employee Loyalty. Dubbed "The Tactician," Schier is a highly rated speaker who speaks dozens of times per year to franchisees and managers of restaurants, retail and service businesses to help them implement effective customer/guest service programs, as well as build a team of top performers. Prior to starting his group, he was a long-time industry consultant and former VP of Field Support for Chuck E. Cheese’s.

Franchisee: Which Wich

Advisory Board & Speaker
Simon, Grant

CEO
LSGF Management

Grant Simon started in franchising with a single Great Clips in 1993. Today his company LSGF Management’s portfolio includes 3 franchise concepts in 70 locations though-out the southeast employing over 500 people. Grant is one of the largest Great Clips franchisees in the nation operating 39 salons in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. He became a Smoothie King franchisee in 2009. In 2012, Grant expanded again and opened his first T-Mobile store in Atlanta. Through mergers, acquisitions, and store openings he has quickly grown to over 33 T-Mobile locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee operating under the name Spark Wireless. They were recently recognized as the 2014 Southeast Branded Partner of the Year. Grant graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in finance. 

 

Franchisee: Great Clips, T-Mobile, Smoothie King

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

Session Speaker
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

Session Speaker
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

Session Speaker
Sugarman, Lloyd

Franchisee
Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan, Golden Corral

Since the first time Lloyd Sugarman set foot in a Johnny Rockets in the summer of 1986, it’s been nothing but rewarding. After meeting with the company founder Ronn Teitelbaum, Lloyd packed his bags and moved his family to California to work every possible aspect of a Johnny Rockets restaurant. After Lloyd had run several restaurants successfully, Teitelbaum asked him to sell half his restaurants and become Senior Vice President of Development for Johnny Rockets in 1989. After three years, Lloyd decided to get back into day-to-day restaurant operations. He gave up his position and focused on growing his own business, which is now up to 15 restaurants in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, and Tennessee. In addition, Lloyd introduced dancing servers, food court restaurant locations, and the Streamliner meatless hamburger, key elements of Johnny Rockets restaurants found to this day in the company’s nearly 300 locations worldwide. When asked what he looks forward to most with the opening of each restaurant, Lloyd replied, “Preparing for a Johnny Rockets opening is like preparing for the opening of a Broadway show. You want to build anticipation and create a buzz so that people are knocking on the door as soon as you’re ready to open..." Lloyd was profiled as Franchisee of the Month in the September 2012 issue of Restaurant Business magazine.

Franchisee: Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan, Golden Corral

Advisory Board & Speaker
Torres, Ted

President & CEO
Caerus Hospitality

Ted J. Torres, CHA, is the President/CEO and a member of the board of Caerus Hospitality, which owns seven brands in 20 locations in Texas.  A lifelong hotelier, Mr. Torres has built, owned, operated, renovated, repositioned, and consulted on numerous hospitality projects in his 25+ years of professional experience. 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.  He is a member of the Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham franchise advisory board, and a member of the Wyndham Preferred Client Group.

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

Panelist
Wilson, Brooke

Multi-Unit Franhchisee
Two Men And A Truck

Brooke Wilson is a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK multi-unit franchisee owner, based in Durham, North Carolina. Since starting her first franchise location in 2004 with her husband and business partner, Les Wilson, she has strategically expanded to own and operate nine locations, most recently in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan areas. Her locations have earned franchise-wide records and consistently win TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchisee awards, including the 2013 and 2014 Top 14 Achievement in Excellence awards. She was named the 2010 Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Franchisee: Two Men And A Truck

Speaker Deadlines

TO DODEADLINECONTACT
Submit your headshot to be included in conference guidebook and website (must be 4x6 minimum at 300 dpi high-resolution JPG)  March 2, 2015 Katy Geller
Submit bio to be included in conference guidebook and website (150-200 word, fully edited)   March 2, 2015 Katy Geller
Register for the conference ASAP Katy Geller
Book hotel room ASAP, room block ends 3/16 or when sold out Caesars Palace Hotel, Las Vegas
Last day to submit materials to be included in conference guidebook  March 6, 2015  Katy Geller
Submit session PowerPoint presentation using conference template  March 27, 2015  Katy Geller

 

  • “This is a networking conference that enables you to meet multi-unit franchisees you would never meet elsewhere. People that have much in common but have no forum for sharing best practices. This is what this conference is about.”

    Tony Lutfi, President & CEO, Marlu Investment Group

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

    Robert Branca, Jr., President, Branded Management Group / Branded Realty Group

  • "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 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference is an absolute must-attend for people who are serious about their business and franchising. This is by far the most productive conference that I go to."

    John Hotchkiss, Partner, L&M Restaurant Group

  • “This is the place where deals get done, where multi-unit franchisees get bigger, where they coach smaller franchisees and where franchisees learn how to make more money.”

    Robert Branca, Jr., President, Branded Management Group / Branded Realty Group