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Executive Ladder


Lena Hamideh

Lena Hamideh was hired as a paralegal by Gray Plant Mooty’s Franchise & Distribution Practice Group. Previously with DLA Piper, Hamideh will assist its franchise team with filings, state- and country-specific franchise regulations and renewals.

Office Evolution appointed Eileen Proctor to the new position of vice president of revenue optimization and marketing, and hired William Edmundson as its new chief operating officer.

Applebee’s added Joel Yashinsky as senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Blaze Pizza hired Mandy Shaw as its chief financial officer, promoted Carolyne Canady to the role of president, international, hired Julie Price as vice president of franchise sales and Vafa Mansouri as its new director of food safety and QA.

Tracy Steinwand has been promoted to the role of director of global operations at Subway.

Sam Ferreira is the new president at Retail Food Group USA.

Ontario’s Hopscotch brand hired Ward McKay to grow its franchising efforts as chief operating officer.

Kelly Skalicky was named president of Stearns Bank. “I am humbled and honored to accept this new role. It is a privilege and, frankly, an enormous amount of fun for me to work with my father on a daily basis, and I relish this new opportunity,” she said.

Jason Greenwood is the new vice president of marketing at The Joint.

RE/MAX announced Shawna Gilbert as its new vice president of global development, leading its team charged with expanding its footprint worldwide.

BRIX Holdings named long-time operations executive Craig Erlich as CEO.

Home Helpers promoted Mercedes Morgan to senior director of franchise sales, Teresa Malott to director of training and Michelle Tate to director of accounting.

Chris Lucas

Chris Lucas

'Start-to-finish' support is focus for Penn Station's trainer

A lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Chris Lucas was a fan of Penn Station and its grilled sub sandwiches long before he came to work for the restaurant company. "I had been a customer for 20 years here,” said Lucas. “I was very happy as a customer long before I joined as a team member.”

Lucas was hired as training coordinator at Penn Station East Coast Subs last fall, having most recently worked as general manager of the flagship Skyline Chili location in Cincinnati, where he cross-trained and mentored numerous GMs in addition to training a staff of 35 to 50 employees. His role at Penn Station is allowing him to use his skills on a much larger scale.

After spending three months in training of his own at Penn Station’s company-owned restaurant, Lucas is now focused on training and support for the brand’s franchisees, particularly with new store openings.

“I talk to our franchisees from start to finish,” he said. “I’m making sure we’re providing the highest level of support from Penn Station to our franchisees.”

The married father of three grew up around restaurants, working in his parents’ deli and later as director of warehouse training and development for produce distributor Castellini Co. and as GM of Palmisano & Co Newtown Farm Market. “When you look at training you can kind of parallel it with parenting—I like to see growth and development,” said Lucas. “There’s a passion that I have for developing people. I don’t think there’s any job more rewarding.”

Lucas said he enjoys the variety that comes with his job at Penn Station, from teaching people to make cheesesteaks in the restaurant to coordinating with executive leadership. His goal is to “maximize every minute that I’m here,” with the ultimate goal of helping to make franchisees “as profitable as they can be."

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