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FT’s new editor gives buzzwords the boot, in Executive Ladder


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Laura Michaels

Laura Michaels

Where do you get all those spicy-hot takes for FT Undercover?

FT Undercover is about sharing real-life observations. And I’m a proponent of pithy commentary, so it’s a perfect outlet.

Chicago Manual or AP Style?

AP Style all the way. When AP announced the decision in 2016 to finally lowercase “internet” and “web,” I was ecstatic. And for the curious, emoji is now both the singular and plural form.

What’s your favorite biz buzzword?

Can I say none? I have deep disdain for clichés, which is what  most buzzwords devolve into. I think “disruptor” is at the top of my least favorite list now.

What kinds of interviews do you like best?

The best interviews come from people speaking candidly about their experiences. These subjects can honestly assess their successes, along with their missteps, without falling back on platitudes. Being able to provide our readers with these insights is part of what makes Franchise Times stand out.  

What’s the most interesting thing happening in franchising these days?

The continued rise of the multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee. Brands are clamoring to sign with experienced operators to quickly expand. As these franchisees grow their unit counts, they’re wielding more influence and demanding attention from their franchisors. We’ll see more franchisee associations push back against what they see as missteps at the corporate level.

Why is Minnesota better than Iowa?

Well, it’s not, so that’s a false premise. Go Hawks! 

— Tom Kaiser


Executive Ladder

Stoner’s Pizza Joint appointed Glenn Cybulski to president and chief culinary officer.

Jimmie Meece is now senior vice president of ASP Franchising.

Units Moving and Portable Storage hired Erik Lorensen as director of franchise operations and Matt Dillon to its franchise development team.

The Berman Law Group added Francis Biden as senior adviser.

Granite and Trend Transformations hired Bob McHugh as its new vice president of sales and development.

Former Quiznos CEO Susan Lintonsmith is now president and chief operating officer of Elements Massage.

The Loop Pizza Grill hired Marla Quattrone as chief marketing officer.

RaceTrac named Natalie Morhous as the new president.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Chief Development Officer Charles Watson has been appointed as CEO.

The Camp Transformation Center added Catia Morgan as vice president of franchise operations.

Richard Leveille is the new chief development officer at Painting with a Twist.

Benetrends Financial hired Larry Frank as an SBA consultant.

Eric Grundmeier has been named chief supply officer of Rego Restaurant Group.

Lynn Schweinfurth is now the chief financial officer and executive vice president of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.

A year after becoming president of Stearns Bank, Kelly Skalicky has been named CEO of the company.

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