2018 Finance & Growth Conference Presenters:


Athletic Republic - Charlie Graves, CEO

Charlie is the CEO of Athletic Republic, an emerging leader in sports performance training. As a former competitive athlete, he embraced the opportunity to become majority owner in 2007, as it would combine his passion for both sports and business. Charlie graduated from Iowa State University, where he persevered from a freshman walk-on swimmer to All-American status. With any Olympic dreams ending amid the U.S. Team’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow games, Charlie turned his competitive talents towards the business sector while continuing to challenge his athletic skills through endurance sports.


b.good - Anthony Ackil, CEO

In 2003 Anthony and his best friend Jon Olinto decided to quit their jobs to start their own business.  After a year of concept and menu development, b.good opened its doors in January of 2004. Today, Anthony is the CEO of b.good LLC which currently has 70 fast casual restaurants.  b.good plans to have over 100 by 2019.  They currently operate in 10 states and have locations in Canada, Switzerland and Germany.


Black Bear Diner - Bruce Dean, CEO

Recognized for his relentless focus on operational management and business savvy, Bruce also acts as the brand’s COO. A restaurant industry veteran with 40+ years of experience, he oversees all facets of Black Bear Diner’s business, franchise and menu development, helping drive the brand’s strategic expansion and its promise to deliver “great food, great service and great atmosphere.”


Boston's the Gourmet Pizza - Rick Lauro, VP Finance

Rick is a member of the senior leadership team at Boston Pizza. He lead the accounting, financial reporting, financial planning and analysis, risk management, treasury, compliance, audit, operations and training & development functions of Boston Pizza Restaurants in the United States and Mexico.

Rick is a CPA and CMA trained senior level executive with extensive financial and accounting experience.


British Swim School - Rita Goldberg, CEO

Rita founded British Swim School in 1981 and remains CEO. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., British Swim School is a franchise organization currently operating in nearly 180 schools in 20 states in the U.S., and internationally in Turkey and Canada. Relationships with organizations such as LA Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness, allow British Swim School to be widely available.


Capriotti's Sandwich Shop - Ashley Morris, CEO

In 2005, Ashley became a Capriotti’s franchisees. He and his friend quickly opened three locations in two years, and then did what they had never dreamed of – bought the entire sandwich company, which at the time had 36 locations. Now as CEO of Capriotti’s, Asheley has guided the brand in more than tripling in size and has brought on a new team of high-level franchise investors. The company is now taking on an aggressive growth strategy, and plans to open 500 locations by 2025. 


Clean Juice - Landon Eckles, CEO

In 2014, Landon and his wife Kat founded Clean Juice. They moved to Charlotte, NC and launched their flagship store in Huntersville, NC and the rest is organic history. Landon puts his faith first and is inspired daily by entrepreneurship, leadership, business, and team management. He is a member of the Charlotte, NC area Vistage CEO group, is active in his church, Elevation Lake Norman, and spends the rest of his time with his wife and five young children. Landon graduated from Moravian College with a B.A. in Business Administration in 2007.


CoreLife Eatery - Scott Davis, President

Scott Davis is an executive and innovator in the fast casual restaurant industry. He served at the chief concept officer of Panera Bread from the brands inception until December 2015. He oversaw all food and bakery product development, category and menu management, restaurant design and sustainability. In addition Davis was a member of the executive strategy team for Panera and confidant to CEO, Ron Shaich, for over twenty years. 


D.P. Dough - Matt Crumpton, CEO

Matt is an entrepreneur, attorney, and philanthropist. He has been president and CEO of D.P. Dough Franchising, an Entrepreneur Magazine Top 200 Food Franchise, since January 2015. He has led D.P. Dough to twenty consecutive quarters of same store sales growth. Since 2012, when Matt negotiated and oversaw D.P. Dough Franchising’s acquisition of the D.P. Dough brand from its founder, Matt has gained experience in legal, finance, operations, marketing, and franchisee leadership.


Del Taco - Steve Brake, CFO

Steve is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. and has been with the company since September 2003, previously serving as its vice president, treasurer and controller. During his tenure at Del Taco Steve was actively involved in the acquisition of Del Taco during 2006, led the May 2010 recapitalization of the company and led a series of transactions during 2015 that culminated in Del Taco becoming a public company. At Del Taco Steve has also led various strategic initiatives focused on comparable store sales performance, cost control strategies and building a foundation to drive and support company and franchised restaurant growth in new and existing markets. 


Dippin' Dots - Scott Fischer, CEO

Scott is the CEO of Dippin’ Dots, LLC and Dippin’ Dots Cryogenics. Since acquiring Dippin’ Dots from bankruptcy in 2012, Scott has led the company to record growth, including $300 million in retail sales, and through its international expansion in 12 countries outside of the United States. A successful financier and investment executive, Scott also led the Dippin’ Dots’ acquisition of Doc Popcorn, the largest franchised retailer of popcorn in the world.


Elements Massage - Jeremy Morgan, CEO

Jeremy brings a wealth of experience in brand strategy, marketing and franchise development to the Elements Massage team. He began his career at JPMorganChase and Bain & Company and most recently held senior executive roles at high-growth restaurant brands such as Smashburger® and Tava Kitchen®. Jeremy oversees strategic direction, growth, marketing and operations support for Elements, bringing his keen business acumen to the health and wellness sector. Jeremy is delivering Elements to its next phase of expansion and is devoted to working closely with franchise owners to ensure a best-in-class massage experience for customers.


Express Employment Professionals – David Lewis, Vice President

David is responsible for domestic and international expansion Express Employment Professionals, and has helped grow Express’ vast network of franchise locations in the United States, Canada, and South Africa. David received an Express Meritorious Award, recognizing his contributions to further the growth of the company. David has a passion for service. He has been appointed by both Democrat and Republican governors to serve as an advisor on workforce and economic development. 


FAT Brands - Andrew Wiederhorn, CEO

Andrew has served as the chairman of the board of directors and president and chief executive officer of FAT Brands Inc. since its formation. He has served as the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Fatburger North America, Inc. since 2006 and Buffalo’s Franchise Concepts, Inc. since 2011. He also served as the chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Fog Cutter Capital Group Inc. since its formation in 1997.


Foot Solutions - Ray Margiano, CEO

Ray started his career in the corporate world working at Sikorsky Aircraft, Sybron and Textron. In the early 80’s he started his first franchise venture Heel Quik. Heel Quik grew to a 700 plus international chain in 34 countries. Ray started Foot Solutions in 2000 and has grown the company to 250 plus franchise retail sites and a corporate staff of over 50 people.


Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers - Andrew Thengvall, SVP

Andrew is the senior vice president of strategic growth and chief legal officer of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, the fast-casual restaurant concept is known for its made to order food including, lean ground beef steakburgers, Vienna Beef hot dogs and shoestring fries, as well as dessert treats prepared with a choice of chocolate or vanilla frozen custard.  Andrew enjoyed a career as a law firm partner prior to venturing into the restaurant sector.  Andrew is focused on taking Freddy’s into new markets and exploring value added opportunities.


Fuzzy's Taco Shop - Jessica Wescott, Finance

Jessica joined the Fuzzy’s Taco Shop family in January of 2018 as the executive vice-president of Finance. She is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, and providing strategic counsel to the company’s president. Fuzzy’s continues to grow rapidly and currently has over 130 restaurants in operation, mostly franchised. Jessica’s background is in franchising and client-facing relationships with a focus on data-driven insights. 


Great Harvest Franchising - Eric Keshin, President

Eric is a highly recognized executive with more than 30 years in the industry. He is the principal owner and president/CMO of Great Harvest Bread Franchise Inc, responsible for implementing all branding and sales growth strategies for the franchise with over 200 stores across the US. Great Harvest is the only bakery cafe making freshly baked whole grain bread, made on site daily at all 200 local bakeries, as well as fresh made sandwiches and other fresh baked products.


Happy Tax - Mario Costanz, CEO

Named as “One To Watch” by Accounting Today’s 2017 Top 100 Most Influential People in accounting, Happy Tax and CryptoTaxPrep.com CEO Mario Costanz has overcome tragedy and obstacles in his 20+ year entrepreneurial career to become of the most successful entrepreneurs ever to enter the tax preparation industry. Mario has been nicknamed “The Problem Solver” and excels as an author, leader, speaker, inventor and visionary.


Hari Group – Raj Patel, Franchisee

Dunkin Donuts, McAlisters Deli, Currito, Tide Dry Cleaners, Baskin Robbins


Home Franchise Concepts - Shirin Behzadi, CEO

Shirin is chief executive officer of Home Franchise Concepts (HFC), which in 2017 celebrated its 25th year as the top-selling family of direct-to-consumer brands in the home-related goods and services space, one of the world’s largest franchise businesses and a recognized leader in franchisor-franchisee relationships. HFC’s three brands including Budget Blinds, Tailored Living and Concrete Craft. As CEO, Shirin leads the HFC executive team to expand the HFC family of brands by leveraging her financial, operational and franchising experience, as well as her passion for helping franchisees realize their financial and personal dreams.


HOTWORX – Stephen Smith, Founder & CEO

Stephen is a former NPC National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion, Arena Football Player, and a Fitness Trainer with multiple certifications. He has been honing his entrepreneurial skills since 1986 when he opened his first fitness facility at the age of 23.  Stephen celebrates over 30 years as a business owner. He is a franchisor with Planet Beach and has recently launched the rapidly growing HOTWORX 24 Hour Infrared Fitness Studio concept. As of the end of the first quarter this year HOTWORX had 129 units including 2 company studios open, 7 franchised units open and 120 units in the development pipeline.


HuHot Mongolian Grill - Jeff Martin, COO

Jeff has an impressive 30+ year career in the restaurant industry. Starting as a busboy in his teens, he is now responsible for all operations and systems for a national restaurant chain–HuHot Mongolian Grill.  In 2017 HuHot was ranked for the sixth consecutive year in Franchise 500 by Entrepreneur and on Technomic’s Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report. HuHot has been ranked as one of Franchise Times Next 300 Franchise Chains 4 years in a row, and named as one of Nation Restaurant News’ Next 20 Chains of 2014. 


King’s Bierhaus – Philipp Sitter, President

Philipp started with King’s when it was just a small bratwurst stand behind a carwash with 45 seats in April 2011. His aptitude for leadership and creativity for marketing was a major component in King’s Biergarten’s thirteen expansions in five years to grow from 45 seats to over 350 seats. Philipp has successfully launched and operated his latest concept “King’s BierHaus” part of the KB Restaurant Group which in now franchising. King's Bierhaus is the world's fastest growing German & American hybrid casual restaurant. 


Melt Shop - Josh Morgan, COO

Josh joined Aurify Brands in 2013 as an operating partner of Melt Shop. In 2015, he became operating partner of all six of Aurify Brands’ restaurant concepts, overseeing operations of 35 restaurants across Five Guys, Melt Shop, The Little Beet, Little Beet Table, Fields Good Chicken, and MAKE Sandwich. In his current role, Josh is overseeing the brand’s franchising efforts to grow Melt Shop both in the U.S. and internationally.


MOD Pizza - Bob Barton, CFO

After graduating from Washington State University in 1988 with a degree in accounting, Bob joined the worldwide public accounting firm of Deloitte (formerly Touche Ross) and became a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Washington serving clients in the aerospace, healthcare and financial services arenas. Bob currently serves as CFO for MOD Pizza (named as the nation’s fastest growing restaurant chain in 2015 by Technomic).


Monroe Moxness Berg - Brad Cashman, Shareholder

Brad has broad experience with financing, corporate and real estate issues and represents clients in commercial financing matters, real estate transactions, entity formation (including partnership agreements, member control or LLC operating agreements, and shareholder agreements), capital structuring, and mergers and acquisitions.


Monroe Moxness Berg - Dennis Monroe, Chair

Co-founder and chairman of Monroe Moxness Berg PA, Dennis is a pioneer in corporate financing with a broad network of finance contacts and clients. He assists businesses, from emerging companies to multi-national firms, by providing creative ideas, identifying unique financing sources, and developing the financial tools necessary for their growth and development. His focus is on multi-unit acquisitions.


Monroe Moxness Berg - Timothy Ring, Shareholder

A shareholder at Monroe Moxness Berg, Tim brings sophisticated institutional-level experience to counseling clients in mergers and acquisitions, and financing transactions that include traditional secured lending, syndicated or participated loans, and structured finance in the mortgage industry. He has extensive experience in Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR) trading and finance, and mortgage repurchase agreements. He has worked regularly on complex transactions ranging from $100 million to $1 billion.


Nekter Juice Bar - Steve Schulze, President

Now with more than 100 locations, another 150 in development and $100 million in systemwide sales, Steve Schulze, as co-founder and CEO, has grown Nékter Juice Bar into the clear leader and pioneer of the $2 billion juice bar industry. Founded in 2010 upon a promise to reinvent a restaurant category that had lost its way, Nékter Juice Bar has been a catalyst for change, vowing ingredient integrity and authenticity across its menu of 100% freshly made and entirely clean juices, smoothies, bowls and other healthy snacks. Nékter plans to grow to 425 restaurants by 2020 and is well on its way as it prepares to open 75 restaurants in eight more states in 2018.


Newk’s Eatery – Tom Marshall

Tom is a CFO with experience overseeing all aspects of FP&A and finance organizations, including strategic planning, budgeting/forecasting, capital planning and management, liquidity/cash management, and treasury operations.


NRD Capital – Susan Beth, Chief Operating Officer

Susan is the COO at NRD Capital. Susan was previously a vice president and the chief operating officer of Super Wash, Inc., the nation's largest franchisor of self-serve car washes. Susan is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Franchise Association (IFA), and is a motivational speaker on topics such as: passionate leadership; embracing change; building committed teams, rewarding relationships and dynamic cultures; visionary entrepreneurship; and goal-setting.


Office Evolution - Mark Hemmeter, Founder CEO

Mark founded Office Evolution in 2003 and serves as CEO. Prior to founding Office Evolution, he was a developer and operator of hospitality properties including resort hotels, casinos, retail stores and restaurants in Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, California, Mexico and the Caribbean. His passions in business include real estate development, technology and supporting entrepreneurs. He is an active member of YPO/WPO and has been a member of ULI, Vistage, NAIOP, and the CU Real Estate Council.


OXXO Care - Salomon Mishaan, CEO

Salomon is the CEO of OXXO® CARE CLEANERS a leading environmentally-responsible dry-cleaning franchise based in the U.S. with international presence. OXXO was founded with our “WE CARE” philosophy and commitment and has applied it to every aspect of our business. We care for our customer’s health, appearance, garments, the community, the environment and our employees. 


PedalPub - Shane Dunn – Partner

Shane became a partner for PP Development LLC (Pedal Pub Corporate) on October 6, 2017 and has served in that capacity since then. His focus is on business development. Shane has founded and operated multiple tech firms. He founded his first start up in 2004 and successfully secured multiple rounds of funding that totaled $850,000. Shane built the marketing and sales systems before positioning the company for acquisition.


R Taco - Denise Fenton, Founder

As R Taco brand director, Denise is one of the founders of R Taco/Rusty Taco. She maintains the legacy her husband started by being actively involved in growing the R Taco brand working in franchise sales, support, and development. She is also able to share the history and

vision of the brand to potential franchisees who are interested in growing the R Taco concept in their markets. R Taco is a distinctive fast-casual taco concept featuring street-style tacos, all made fresh from scratch, by hand, and on premise.


Rent-A-Center - Alfonso Schessler, Sr. Dir. Finance

Alfonso is responsible for all aspects of financial reporting, accounting activities, collections and compliance for the franchise division of Rent-A-Center. He works closely with franchisees on bank financing, reporting and cash flow needs. Alfonso is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Franchise Executive and holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Accounting from the University of Texas.


Safeguard Business Solutions - J.J. Sorrenti, President

J.J.’s experience includes leading seminars around the United States and counseling hundreds of entrepreneurs (both franchisee and franchisor) about franchising and retail opportunities nationwide. He is currently the president of Safeguard Business Systems, a division of Deluxe Corporation (NYSE:DLX). As the leader of the strategic channel inside Deluxe’s Small Business Services segment, he also leads the company’s wholesale division, DFS Group and the initiative toward selling to and through major accounts. He joined the company at the beginning of 2009, and the two existing divisions have led the small business segment in year-over-year performance since.


Saladworks - Patrick Surge, President

Patrick brings more than 20 years of experience in the food industry and extensive executive expertise to his role as president and CEO of Saladworks. Since joining Saladworks, he has brought executive talent to the company with the addition of a chief marketing officer, executive chef, and new franchise development team set to grow the franchise brand. Patrick is committed to empowering franchisees and driving unit-level profitability and top line revenue as well as providing global brand leadership.


Salsarita's Fresh Mexican Grill - Phil Friedman, CEO

Philip is chairman and CEO of Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill, an 85-location quick casual Mexican restaurant chain, operating in 18 states he acquired through his holding company, Mississippi Restaurant Group, LLC in June of 2011. Prior to Salsarita’s he was Chairman, chief executive officer and president of McAlister’s Corporation, a rapidly growing franchising restaurants in 22 states, McAlister’s grew from 27 to 300 restaurants during his leadership. 


Schmizza International - Ron Berger, CEO

Inc. Magazine describes Ron Berger as a serial entrepreneur, experienced in marketing, franchising, retail, wholesale, technology and administration. In 2001, Ron acquired Figaro’s Pizza. It has since acquired three other brands, including Nick-N-Willy’s. In 2008, Ron acquired Schmizza International, Inc., a Portland, Oregon based retail ‘pizza by the slice’ format chain.


School of Rock - Robert Price, CEO

Rob is the CEO of School of Rock and brings extensive experience building brands in the consumer, franchise and retail sectors. Prior to School of Rock, Rob served as president of Edible Arrangements, which integrates an online business and 1,300 franchised stores worldwide. Before that, he was SVP, Chief Marketing Officer at CVS Health. 


Scooter's Coffee - Chad Hartnett, CFO

Chad joined the Scooter’s Coffee family of businesses in February of 2016 as the chief financial officer. He currently oversees the finance and accounting departments, while working directly with the other executives of the company on strategies for national growth, strategic initiatives and unit bottom-line profitability. Prior to joining Scooter’s Coffee, Chad worked for HDR, Inc., a large architecture and engineering company, for over 17 years. He had various finance roles including most recently treasurer and corporate controller.


Shuckin’ Shack – Jonathan Weatherington, CEO

Jonathan was named CEO in 2014 and has a history of working in the retail and restaurant industry. In 2007, Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar set out with a mission to deliver the best seafood, spirits, and service to a sleepy beach town in North Carolina. Over the past ten years, that mission has grown to double-digit locations in multiple states.


Slapfish Restaurants - Andrew Gruel, CEO

Andrew is currently the CEO and founder of Slapfish Restaurant Group, the award-winning food truck turned international brick and mortar, and founder of Butterleaf Restaurant and Two Birds Chicken (two concepts in Irvine, CA). In 2009, Andrew’s love of the ocean drove him to direct a non-profit project at The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA called “Seafood for the Future”. In this role, he worked with hundreds of chefs, fisherman and like-minded organizations establishing a national culinary awareness for the sustainable seafood movement. This was the foundation of Slapfish, which currently has thirteen locations open and over 100 in development both domestically and internationally.


Smoothie King - Wan Kim, CEO

Wan is global chief executive officer for Smoothie King, an international smoothie brand. He was Smoothie King's first international franchisee, opening a store location in South Korea in 2003. Over the next five years, he launched and grew the brand to more than 130 locations in that country. In 2012, Wan approached Smoothie King's founders, Steve and Cindy Kuhnau, to purchase the company. Since then, Wan has led this 40-year-old brand on a journey to rediscover the purpose of Smoothie King and has reinvigorated the brand's mission to inspire healthy and active lifestyles worldwide.


Sport Clips - Scott Perry, CFO

Scott served as vice president of finance and treasurer for Sport Clips from November 2006 to November 2014, after which he became chief financial officer and treasurer. From January 2001 to October 2006, Scott was the vice president of finance and treasurer of Britestream Networks, Inc. where he drove all finance, accounting, IT, HR, legal and operational facets of Britestream. Previously, Scott served as the senior director of finance and operations for AIM Technologies, Inc., a provider of interactive systems and marketing information to the sports industry and as a senior audit manager.


Subway - Dave Worroll, CFO

David Worroll serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Subway® restaurant, the world’s largest franchise restaurant chain. In his role, David is responsible for the oversight and management of the company’s global financial activity, including the management of tax compliance, financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting for all the various Subway operations.


Subway - Don Fertman, Chief Development Officer

Don Fertman is the chief development officer for Subway restaurants. Serving in this role since 2010, Don is responsible for the company’s franchise development pipeline. He oversees the teams that lead franchise advertising and marketing, sales, real estate, store design, site development and non-traditional locations. With more than 36 years with Subway, Don has held several positions with the company.


Sub Zero Ice Cream – Jerry Hancock, CEO

Jerry is the CEO and founder of Sub Zero Ice Cream, the nation’s first liquid nitrogen ice cream franchise with stores and locations in China and the United Arab Emirates. Jerry and his wife Naomi launched Sub Zero Ice Cream in 2004 while attempting to boost sales for their failing burrito franchise. With his military experience and science background, Jerry created a patented process for making individual, customized, quality ice cream using cryogenic equipment made-to-order for each customer and in 2008 the couple began franchising. 


Teriyaki Madness - Michael Haith, CEO

With 28 years of experience as a franchisee, franchisor, franchise investor and franchise supplier, Michael has a unique perspective on what it takes to achieve success for franchisors. Michael is the chairman-mentor of seven separate brands; Maui Wowi Hawaiian (which recently sold to Kahala), KidCreate (which recently sold to Raintree), Franchise Sherpas, Raintree Franchise Sales, Doc Popcorn (which recently sold to Dippin Dots), and his recent acquisition of Teriyaki Madness of which he just took the helm as CEO.


TGI Fridays - Aslam Khan, CEO

Aslam serves as owner and chief executive officer of Falcon Holdings Management, LLC. He has been chief executive officer at TGI Friday's Inc. since April 27, 2017. He owns and operates over 130 restaurants. Aslam served as chief executive officer and president at Falcon Holdings Management, LLC. He developed expertise in both operations and marketing to later enter and excel within the corporate office of a Church's franchisee. He is skilled in food and beverage service operations.


The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille - Bob Barry, CEO

Bob was named president/CEO in 2012 of The Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille. He oversee all day-to-day business activities at the chain. This includes managing teams dedicated to expanding The Greene Turtle franchise and company-owned restaurants throughout the East; driving menu innovation to keep the chain’s core customers satisfied while broadening its appeal; securing alliances with professional sports entities to elevate the chain’s brand; training and motivating employees and franchisees to be the best-possible representatives of the brand; and delivering the greatest possible value to the bottom line for individual units and the corporation as a whole.


The Honey Do Service - Brad Fluke, CEO

Brad’s father started a handyman service called Tom’s Honey Do, operating out of a two-car garage, and Brad became its first employee. In 2002, Brad became the sole owner and further built The Honey Do Service. In 2009, the first franchise location was opened. As a remodeler himself, Brad understands the unique marketing challenges facing remodeling business owners first-hand and has created a brand from such lessons. 


Tropical Smoothie Cafe - Paul Marsden, CFO

Paul is the chief financial officer of Tropical Smoothie Café. Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s menu boasts bold, flavorful smoothies with a healthy appeal, all made-to-order from the freshest ingredients. We find that superior, simple ingredients including real fruits and veggies just tastes better. Prior to Tropical Smoothie Café, Paul had been the chief accounting officer of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.


TruFusion - Jonathan Fornaci, President

TruFusion was crafted with the intention of assembling an array of new and old fitness paradigms under a single roof. With the more than 250 Uniquely blended classes that we offer, people would other wise have to pay for memberships at three or more studios to find this much diversity in their workouts. TruFusion, its area developer, and franchisees are building a legendary brand by providing the environment where people can go for health, happiness, and community through unique group fitness.


UFC Gym - Derek Gallup, Executive Vice President

Derek served as vice president of fitness operations for 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. He served as president of a personal training outsourcing company called Personal Training Evolution. He served as senior vice president of fitness & retail for several of New Evolution Ventures' fitness brands including Crunch, UFC Gym and Steve Nash Fitness World. 

President Adam Sedlack is focusing on a new role within the company, taking the lead on operating U.S.-based franchise operations and international business. He brings to the role more than twenty years’ of experience in the fitness industry, primarily in the franchise space. Prior to joining UFC GYM, he served in leadership roles with both 24-Hour Fitness and Family Fitness. He aims to make UFC GYM the most innovative brand in the fitness club space and a top fitness destination worldwide.


Verlo Mattress - Christopher Nolte, CEO

Christopher is the CEO of Verlo Mattress. Founded in 1958, Verlo Mattress was acquired by Marcus Investments LLC in 2012 and is headquartered in Milwaukee, WI. Verlo manufactures adjustable mattresses that address specific sleep comfort needs.


Wendy's - Abigail Pringle, Chief Development

A member of Wendy’s senior leadership team, Abigail is responsible for design, construction, real estate planning, site selection, portfolio management, and franchise development and services. She leads the brand’s reimaging, new restaurant development and system optimization growth initiatives for the North America business. 


Wing Zone - Matt Friedman, CEO

Back in 1991, finding amazing flavor was not so easy – especially at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL where Matt Friedman and Adam Scott were away at school. Matt and Adam spent many a night in their fraternity house kitchen perfecting the recipes that one day would become Wing Zone’s trademark flavors. Starting with a single storefront, Matt and Adam built the Wing Zone brand. Wing Zone now has nearly 100 locations open across the U.S, Panama, Bahamas, and Saudi Arabia, Dominican Republic, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates. Colombia, Costa Rica, Russia and Guatema.


ZIPS Franchising - Drew Ritger, CEO

Drew is an experienced franchise executive with a background in the quick service restaurant and dry-cleaning industry. He has twenty-five years of quick service restaurant experience with Sonic corporate and Hardee’s Food System. Drew has executive experience in franchising, operations, supply chain as well as senior management of both businesses. Currently Drew is the CEO of ZIPS Dry-Cleaners the #1 Dry Cleaning brand in the country according to the 2017 survey by in the Entrepreneur Franchise 500. Franchising, LLC

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