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Executive Ladder


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Brixx Wood Fired Pizza hired Evan Kent as its director of social media.

Law firm Gray Plant Mooty announced attorney James Wahl joined its Franchise & Distribution practice group.

Überrito named Peter Ortiz as its chief development officer.

Scott Davis joined fast-casual brand CoreLife Eatery as its president.

WellBiz Brands, the manager of Fitness Together, FIT36 and Elements Massage, named Trever Ackerman as its chief marketing officer. Jeremy Morgan was named as CEO of the Elements Massage brand.

Buffalo Wild Wings announced that President and EVP Judith Shoulak would retire at the end of June.

Wyndham Worldwide appointed Michael Brown as president and chief executive officer of Wyndham Vacation Ownership.

Black Bear Diner added Anita Adams as its chief financial officer.

Karlin Linhardt was added as Subway’s senior vice president for marketing in North America.

Former CEO of Church’s Chicken James Hyatt was named as president and chief executive of Ruby Tuesday.

Saul Fonseca joined CruiseOne’s Dream Vacations as its new director of sales.

Regis Corp. appointed Eric Bakken to president of franchise. He previously served as executive vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel.

Aslam Khan was chosen to succeed John Antioco as CEO of TGI Fridays. Khan most recently served as chairman of multi-brand franchise company Falcon Holdings.

Woody’s Bar-B-Q announced company co-founder Yolanda Mills-Mawman will take over as the company’s new president.

GPS Hospitality added five new members to its Partner Program. This year’s announced partners include Carmen Gianguzzo, Tom Douglas, Esau Holmes, Bob Copp and Roger Wood.

Valerie Daniels-Carter, co-founder, president and CEO of V&J Holding Companies, has been elected chair of the AAA board of directors.

Planet Fitness promoted Dorvin Lively, chief financial officer, to president and CFO of the gym chain.


Ron Feldman

Ron Feldman

ApplePie’s exec likes ‘every brand’ where ‘zees profit

ApplePie Capital has been steadily growing as an online marketplace for franchise loans since its founding in 2014. Still, the company felt the need to acquire an executive with significant exposure to the franchise industry.

That’s where Ronald Feldman, a former franchisee of the Goddard School and chief development officer at Frandata, came in. He joined the company full-time in April as its new chief development officer.  

Feldman doesn’t want to make ApplePie the dominant platform in franchise finance, simply because ApplePie doesn’t plan to be a lender for every brand. “The premise was and still is that we take a brand-first approach. We’ll be the dominant one in the brands we want to be in,” Feldman said.

ApplePie also acquired Funding Solutions, a loan broker intermediary program out of Michigan, specializing in SBA, conventional and equipment finance loans.

Feldman said this acquisition would also help ApplePie address the needs of its franchisees.

Feldman and his team are looking at the health and fitness sectors as well as specialty ethnic foods as especially hot. But, he said, “I like every brand where franchisees make money … brands where franchisees or the franchisor support isn’t strong enough to allow franchisees to make money are the ones that we’re going to stay away from.”

Feldman will work to launch a significant refinance initiative with the intent to combat climbing interest rates  One challenge he acknowledges is the ApplePie brand isn’t known to be a completely integrated full product solution, but hopes that mentality will change. “We can do a $5,000 POS upgrade all the way up to a $20-million conventional loan,” Feldman said.

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