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In Memorial


Mark Johnson, CEO of Granite Transformations, died February 21, from prostate cancer.

I got to know Mark when I did the cover story on his kitchen-and-bath manufacturing franchise back in March 2012. It is a unique concept in franchising, and Mark was a unique person. While most interviews happen over the course of several hours, my interview with Mark lasted two days, because I went on a road trip with him and his marketing guru Carl Griffenkranz to visit their manufacturing plant in Sebring, Florida.

Mark was funny—stand-up comedian funny. We talked about his dirty-talking birds, mischievous Jack Russell terriers, and, oh yes, his job. (You can read the entire story at http://www.franchisetimes.com/March-2012/Engineering-the-stone-age/)

A few months later, I ran into Mark at a franchise event and almost didn’t recognize him. He had started his grueling cancer treatment. And yet he was still cheerful and entertaining, just bone-weary tired. He had known at the time of the interview how sick he was, but didn’t want his personal problems to overshadow the reason he was being interviewed—Granite Transformations.

Mark will be missed. I’m just glad I sat next to him at an International committee meeting at the International Franchise Association’s convention and became enamored with his story. I just wish it had been longer. 

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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