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Executive Ladder


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Scott Goodrich is the new vice president of field operations and support for Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint. He was regional director of franchise operations at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. “Scott’s rich experience at some of the biggest names in the business will inevitably help us achieve our ultimate goal,” said Matt Andrew, Uncle Maddio’s Chief Pizza Maker.

There’s a beefed-up management team at Pizza Inn Holdings. Chris Smith is promoted to senior VP of operations for Pie Five Pizza. He was vice president. Perry Jones is the new vice president of real estate; he was with Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. Donna Lee is the new controller of Pizza Inn Holdings, after serving nearly 10 years at Taco Bueno Restaurants. Christian Cox joins as director of information technology. “I am honored to be surrounded by so many talented individuals,” said  Randy Gier, CEO.

Clarence Nunn

Clarence Nunn

Togo’s Eateries promotes Eric Coolbaugh to director of regional marketing. He will lead the regional marketing department and manage all media for the West Coast restaurant chain.

Clarence Nunn is the new president and CEO of GE Capital’s Franchise Finance business. He was chief commercial officer of GE Capital’s commercial lending and leasing business in the Americas.

Two franchise consultants add to the team at J.D. Byrider, the used car and finance company. Brad White and Jeff McKay are the newly promoted, responsible for supporting franchisees, advising for operational and financial improvement, and building leadership teams in each region. White has worked for J.D. Byrider since 2006. McKay began with J.D. Byrider in sales and was promoted to managing partner of a company-owned store in 2011.

Salons by JC taps Drew Johnston as vice president of operations, responsible for maintaining, creating and promoting operational procedures in corporate salons, while fusing those procedures into programs to benefit the salon franchisees. He was with Fantastic Sam’s.

Eric Danziger takes the role of president and CEO at Hampshire Hotels Management. He has more than 40 years of experience in the hotel business.

Abby Lee is the new chief marketing officer for WellBiz Brands, the parent company for Elements Massage and Fitness Together. She was VP of brand marketing and sponsorships at RE/MAX. 

The Cannery Row Co. promotes Bill Grimm to chief operating officer. 

A new senior vice president of worldwide franchise development, Scott Schubiger,  joins Lift Brands, the parent company for Snap Fitness and 9Round. He was with Rita’s Franchise Co. He will lead both domestic and global expansion efforts.

Codi Busse and Jennie Doose fill new positions at Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, becoming part of the franchise business coach team to directly assist franchise groups when new locations are opened. Alexandra Pearce becomes the new public relations coordinator for Freddy’s; she was a public relations intern there and is a Wichita State University graduate. Jackie Levings is named general counsel (see box).

Steve Watkins is the newly promoted CEO of Orion Food Systems, the international food service provider. He was the company’s president, CFO and director. 


First Freddy’s counsel signals new stage

Jackie Levings is the new general counsel for Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, a first for her. She’s operated her own corporate law practice for the last 22 years, but decided to join one of her clients in a staff job.

Jackie Levings

Jackie Levings

“I not only practiced law; I’ve also owned businesses. I know all the headaches. You need to be able to apply that to day-to-day operations,” she says, citing Freddy’s high-growth mode and youth as two attractions. 

“I feel like I would have more of a say, more of an ability to make an impact, in an entrepreneurial firm than in a mature corporation.”

Her hiring marks a first for the franchisor, as well; general counsel is a new position at Freddy’s and marks a milestone. “They’re growing from an employment point of view. They’re growing from a franchisee point of view. There’s a lot of growth going on,” Levings says, which comes with growing legal challenges, too.

Levings calls the people she works with “awesome.” “Everybody here just loves what they do,” she says, and they’re happy she’s on board. “They actually seek me out and they generally appreciate seeking guidance from me. When you’re an attorney that’s not always the case. 

“They’ll say, ‘I’m so glad you’re here.’ I think it provides a level of comfort. I can take some of that burden from them.”

So is the new general counsel a customer of Freddy’s, which started in Wichita, Kansas, still its headquarters, in 2002? “Of course. Everybody is,” Levings says. 

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