Speakers

David Acosta
Elmhurst, NY Franchisee - PuroClean Restoration Services

I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I came to the US when I was 12 years old. As most immigrants, my family and I were looking for better opportunities, The American Dream. While I attended school, my mother and sister worked for restoration companies as general laborers within the mitigation/remediation industry.

Although, I was pursuing a career in the Computer Science field through an ...

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Kay Marie Ainsley
Managing Director - MSA Worldwide

Kay Marie Ainsley is a Managing Director of MSA Worldwide, a domestic and international franchise advisory firm. She has over 20 years of experience in franchising for major franchise systems or as a strategic advisor to companies within the retail, restaurant, services, manufacturing, and business to business industries. Kay provides franchise feasibility assessment and franchise program devel ...

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Amy Amoroso
Director - Veteran Business Outreach NY/NJ

Amy Amoroso is the Director for Veteran Business Outreach NY/NJ located at the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership, Watervleit Arsenal. Amy assists our veterans, service members and military spouses with starting, buying or expanding any business. She also teaches a Boots to Business program aimed at our service members transitioning out of the military and into entrepreneurship. She current ...

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Sean Ayres
Executive Vice President - Jani-King Franchising, Inc.

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Michael Bartels
Senior Partner - Institute of Entrepreneurship

Michael (Mike) Bartels is a serial entrepreneur, having started, managed and supervised businesses mainly in the IT, telecommunication and renewable energy industries. As a Senior Partner of IoE – Institute of Entrepreneurship, he advises and assists experienced professionals and managers in finding the right option for their next step in their independent professional life. IoE is a personnel con ...

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Aggie Batista
Rockaway Park, NY Franchisee - Dream Vacations

Aggie Batista of Rockaway Park, NY has owned her Dream Vacations travel agency franchise since 2011 and is a first-generation American born to immigrant parents who are from Colombia and Dominican Republic. Aggie is very passionate about the influence her parents had on her becoming an entrepreneur. Her parents instilled in her four key traits that she uses to operate her franchise and live her li ...

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Steve Beagelman, CFE
CEO and Founder - SMB Franchise Advisors

Steve Beagelman is a franchise industry veteran of more than 25 years who held positions ranging from entrepreneur to senior level executive, giving him a unique insight and perspective in growing, operating, and building brands. In 2009, Steve established SMB Franchise Advisors, a consulting company specializing in advising franchise start-ups and existing franchise concepts of ways to drive busi ...

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Seth Berkman
Mt. Kisco, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, NY Franchisee - UBreakiFix

As a lifelong Entrepreneur, Seth Berkman built and ran his IT service firm, BerkmanTech for the past fifteen years, growing from one office in NY to a second in Florida. With an eye toward the future, and a firm grasp of the changing technology trends, Seth wanted to expand his business offerings to mobile devices. After his wife broke her phone she took it to uBreakiFix and experienced the high q ...

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Richard Boll
International Trade Specialist, Industry & Analysis - U.S. Commercial Service, Washington, D.C.

Richard Boll has been with the Department of Commerce for over 22 years working on numerous international trade issues, including trade missions, trade conferences, and trade negotiations (Australia, Bahrain, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, TiSA, TPP, TTIP and at the WTO). Mr. Boll served as DOC’s lead services negotiator for Australia, Bahrain, Malaysia, and Thailand FTA’s. He is a member of th ...

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Allan Boomer
Managing Partner - Momentum Advisors

Allan Boomer is a professional investor with 20 years of Wall Street experience. He is the founder of Momentum Advisors, an investment management firm, and a former Vice President at Goldman Sachs. Alongside his partner Tiffany Hawkins, Boomer is a multi-unit franchise. His investor group owns 4 Retro Fitness locations and 2 Zips Dry Cleaning stores.

Allan holds an MBA from the NY ...

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Paul Bosley
Managing Member - Business Finance Depot

Paul Bosley is known for his expertise in financing for franchises and especially in the health club industry. Paul has partnered with several national franchises to assist new franchise partners acquire the capital they need to launch their new businesses. He is also keen on helping existing business owners find the finances to expand their current business. He is a regular speaker and writer ...

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Brianna Brandon
- TruFund Financial Services

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Italo Bussoli
President - Assofranchising

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Alex Cabraie
Haverstraw and Orangeburg, NY Franchisee - Planet Wings

Alex Cabraie is an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with, ever in search of his next business venture. At an early age, Mr. Cabraie knew he wanted to make his mark in the business world. He was invited into Binghamton University’s School of Management where he graduated with a degree in Management Finance and served as President of The Bert Mitchell Minority Management Organization. With ma ...

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Megan B. Center
Associate - Fox Rothschild LLP

Megan counsels clients in a variety of franchising matters, including franchise agreements and incorporation of franchisor entities. She also handles the preparations for purchases of franchise systems and advises clients on maintaining franchise compliance with state and federal regulations.

Megan also advises her clients on a range of general corporate matters, including entity formatio ...

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Georgia Chasen
Sr. Director, Franchise Development - Sylvan Learning

Since joining Sylvan in November 2006, Georgia Chasen has held a variety of roles in Franchise Development. As a member of the sales team, Ms. Chasen was a top producer in both new territory and resale domestic and international transactions. Now as Head of Franchise Development, Ms. Chasen has created a team of brand ambassadors to stabilize the system, attract top franchisee candidates, and gen ...

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Shery Christopher
Managing Director - Shery Christopher Consulting

Since 1986, Shery has provided business franchise consulting and coaching in new business and franchise development including franchise expansion and support. With extensive experience in international expansion and development for US franchise brands expanding internationally and international brands expanding into the US and other countries through in-depth research and market studies and franch ...

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Ryan Combe
Managing Partner - Better Way Franchise Group

Ryan is an efficiency fanatic who loves finding solutions to difficult problems. Ryan has spent his entire career in franchising. He has been a CEO, Senior VP, Franchisee, and almost anything else you can do within a franchise concept. Launching his first concept in 2007, in only 18 months he grew the brand to over 20 units open and over 80 units sold. Since then, Ryan has worked with dozen ...

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Steve Cooper
President - ERSOP.com

Steven, President, has 35+ years of Benefits Consulting and Pension Administration experience. Steve entered the pension field in 1979 designing and installing sophisticated defined benefit and defined contribution pension plans for the California Medical Association endorsed plan system. He has owned and operated his own pension consulting and administration firm since 1984, designing several tho ...

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Tim Courtney, CFE
Vice President of Franchise Development - PuroClean Restoration Services

Tim Courtney is Vice President of Franchise Development at CruiseOne. He is a member of the IFA’s Membership and VetFran committees, as well as Franchise Congress. He has worked in the travel industry for more than 15 years in positions including training and management. In 2006, he joined CruiseOne in a training and education role and helped launch the company’s online learning academy. He joined ...

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Steven DiNunzio
Bethlehem, PA Franchisee - Lightbridge Academy

Steven DiNunzio is the first Pennsylvania based Franchisee of Lightbridge Academy. Previously, Steve worked in banking and finance for over 20 years in a variety of operational managerial roles, last 10 years with a focus on hedge fund related activities. Steve graduated from Pace University, with a degree in Accounting, and he also is a CFA Charterholder. Steve thinks child care is a lot ...

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Daniel Dizio
CEO/Co-Founder - Philly Pretzel Factory

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Charles Dobyns, CFE
President & Chief Development Officer - Franchise Dynamics

Charles Dobyns is the President and Chief Development Officer of Franchise Dynamics, a full-service franchise sales outsourcing firm. With company and affiliate offices in Chicago, Scottsdale, Arizona and Springfield, Missouri, Franchise Dynamics currently represents a number of emerging to large-sized franchisors in a wide variety of categories throughout the United States and worldwide. He is a ...

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Radim Dragomaca
Director - IFA Educational Foundation

Radim Dragomaca is the Director of the VetFran Program at the International Franchise Association's Foundation in Washington, D.C. Radim works to educate veterans about the opportunities of franchising and the franchise business model, build a robust community of companies that support veterans and grow a nationwide network of partner organizations. Radim holds advanced degrees in internatio ...

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John Draper, CFE
CEO - Viridian Group LLC

John “JD” Draper is CEO of Viridian Group, LLC, a multi-state, multi-unit franchisee with Pie Five Pizza Company. JD has over four decades of retail and operational management experiences. He was President of Operations at V & J Holdings Companies, Inc. in Milwaukee from 1994 until 2014. JD and his son, John Draper II, have been awarded up to 55 franchise units of Pie Five Pizza Co. The father ...

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William Edwards, CFE
CEO and Founder - Edwards Global Services, Inc.

An executive with over 44 years of international operations, development, executive and entrepreneurial experience, Mr. Edwards has lived in seven countries and directed projects in 68 countries.

Founded in 2001, EGS currently has people on the ground in 32 countries. In May 2015, EGS received the ‘E Star’ Award, the highest export award given by the U.S. President for making signif ...

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Clint Ehlers
Willow Grove and Lancaster, PA Multi-Unit Franchisee - FASTSIGNS International, Inc.

Along with his wife Christina, Clint Ehlers first came to the FASTSIGNS® network in 2007. Fulfilling a longtime entrepreneurial dream, he opened his first FASTSIGNS in Culver City, California. After growing it into one of the top centers in the country, Ehlers sold the center in 2012 and relocated to Pennsylvania where he purchased FASTSIGNS of Willow Grove. After spending 8 months turning the Wi ...

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Barry Falcon
Senior Strategy Consultant - iFranchise Group

With a professional business career that spans more than 40 years across a range of industries and functions, including communications technology, operational and manufacturing consulting, marketing, project management, and business development, Mr. Falcon has over 15 years of direct experience in franchising, both as a franchisee and as an executive within multiple national franchisor systems.

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Marisa Faunce
Partner - Plave Koch PLC

Marisa Faunce is a partner with the franchise law firm of Plave Koch PLC in Reston, Virginia. Marisa counsels franchisors, licensors, and manufacturers on transactional, regulatory and intellectual property issues involved in developing and growing franchise programs. She also counsels franchisors regarding all aspects of the franchise relationship, including operational compliance, system standa ...

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Gary Findley
President - Restoration1

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Rocco Fiorentino
CEO - PrimoHoagies Franchising

Rocco Fiorentino brings more than 25 years of franchise industry experience as President and CEO of Benetrends. He is also a director and board member for Swiss Farm Stores and Saxbys Coffee, franchisors of drive-through grocery stores and coffee shops, respectively. Fiorentino served as President and CEO of Freedom Rings, LLC, an area developer and multi-unit franchisee of Krispy Kreme Doug ...

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Rocco Fiorentino, CFE
Vice Chairman of the Board - Benetrends, Inc.

With more than 30 years of franchise industry experience, Rocco serves Benetrends Financial as Vice Chairman of the Board. He is also the Senior managing partner of Primo Hoagies, and a director and board member for Swiss Farm Stores and Saxbys Coffee, franchisors of drive-through grocery stores and coffee shops, respectively. Fiorentino served as President and CEO of Freedom Rings, LLC, an ...

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Lane Fisher
Esquire - Fisher Zucker LLC

In private practice since 1989, Lane currently represents more than 75 franchise brands in business transactions and complex franchise litigation. Lane is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and serves on the franchise law committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Philadelphia Bar Association and the American Bar Association's forum committee on franchising. In additi ...

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Andrew Flamm
Director - Pace University Small Business Development Center

Andrew Flamm serves as Director of the Pace University Small Business Development Center (Pace SBDC), which provides free high-impact consulting and training to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Among the services the Center offers are helping small business clients to access financing, develop business plans and financial projections, and identify procurement opportunities a ...

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Maurizio Forte
Trade Commissioner - Italian Trade Agency

A native of Rome, Maurizio Forte graduated with a degree in Agriculture with maximum credits and a Master in Political Science - International Politics - with honors.

He began his career in 1984 at the ITA / Italian Trade Commission in Rome, where he served until 1996 in technical and promotional activities in the food and agriculture sector.

In 1996 he was posted to serve as ...

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Stan Friedman, CFE
President - FRM Solutions

Stan Friedman is a seasoned executive with a passion for franchising. His past experience has included leadership positions with brands that include: Blimpie International, Wing Zone, Maggie Moos and Tutor Doctor. Years of franchise development and relationship experience have uniquely prepared Stan for his present role as FRM's President. FRM delivers CRM, designed specifically for franchising. T ...

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Mariola Galavis
Ridgefield and New Canaan, CT Franchisee - School of Rock

Mariola Galavis is the owner of two School of Rock franchises in Connecticut. After 12 years of corporate finance and management consulting experience, Mariola decided she needed a career change. She acquired the School of Rock New Canaan location in 2014. After growing the New Canaan school more than 20% she opened a second location in 2016 in Ridgefield, CT. Mariola began her career as a m ...

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Alessio Gambino
CEO - IBS Italia srl

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Ashish Gandhi
Reston, VA Franchisee - Sylvan Learning

As Executive Director, Ashish leads all aspects of operations for the Sylvan Learning of Reston. As an Information Technology Executive in the Financial Industry, he chose to expand his horizons in the tutoring business because of his dedication to education and giving students the ability to reach their fullest potential. He studied at University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Foo ...

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Jan Gilbert
Principal - Gray Plant Mooty

Jan Gilbert has worked with both start-up and developed franchisors and franchisees for more than 25 years and counsels them on all aspects of domestic and international franchising. Jan has a wide variety of experience working with franchising activities and franchise relationship matters, including: structuring franchise programs, counseling on federal and state regulatory issues (e.g., tra ...

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Evan Goldman
Counsel - Hill Wallack LLP

Evan M. Goldman is Counsel in the Princeton, NJ office of Hill Wallack LLP, where he is a member of the Franchise Law, Creditors' Rights/Bankruptcy and Hospitality practice groups.

Mr. Goldman has represented both franchisees and franchisors throughout the United States. In his practice, Mr. Goldman has litigated extensively in state and federal courts, as well as before the American Ar ...

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Tiffany Hawkins
Managing Director - Momentum Advisors

Tiffany Hawkins is the Head of Private Investments (PI) and Business Development for Momentum Advisors. She has over 12 years of expertise in the creation, market engagement and distribution of top brands and consumer businesses. Alongside her partner Allan Boomer, Hawkins is a multi-unit franchise. Her investor group owns 4 Retro Fitness locations and 2 Zips Dry Cleaning stores.

T ...

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Omar Hawthorne
Director of Franchise Development & Community Affairs - Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill

Omar Hawthorne joined the Golden Krust Franchise Department in the year 2007. Since then he has served both the Real Estate and Marketing departments and now holds the position as the Director of Franchise Development & Community Affairs. As the Director of Franchise Development and Community Affairs he communicates with potential franchise candidates, administers franchise contracts, disclo ...

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John P. Hayes, PhD
Titus Franchise Chair - HowToBuyAFranchise.com

Dr. John Hayes is the Titus Chair for Franchise Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He teaches students and professionals about franchising. He is one of the few people to have been a franchisor, a franchisee, and an advisor to franchise companies internationally. He speaks at franchise conferences around the globe.

Dr. Hayes has worked in the franchise community since 1979 a ...

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Reginald Heard
President & CEO - Bankers One Capital

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Barry Heller
Partner - DLA Piper US LLP

For over 30 years, Barry's practice has consisted almost exclusively of representing clients in franchise and distribution disputes throughout the country, both in litigation, arbitration and mediation.

Much of Barry's practice has focused on franchise termination matters, as well as on more complex franchise cases involving issues affecting the entire franchise system. He has handled c ...

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Lilibeth Herrera
Senior Vice President - Director of Community Advantage and Microloan Programs - Regional Business Assistance Corporation

Lilibeth Herrera is a Sr. V. President, Director of SBA Community Advantage and Microloans, for Regional Business Assistance Corporation (RBAC) assisting small business owners start and grow their businesses. RBAC is a nonprofit SBA lender in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Lilibeth started working with RBAC 3 years ago, she has been in the financial services industry over 15 year ...

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Dave Hood
President - iFranchise Group

Specializing in aggressive growth strategies and implementation, Mr. Hood has held senior management and consulting positions within the franchising and retailing industries since 1988. He is an expert in areas of franchise development and implementation, retail management, site selection, international business, and strategic planning.

Over a nine-year period, Mr. Hood directed the f ...

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Karli Hussey
Associate - Gray Plant Mooty

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Theresa Huszka, CFE
Senior Consultant - MSA Worldwide

Theresa’s has over 18 years of experience in franchising and her consultancy is devoted to assisting companies design and develop their franchised business model. MSA Worldwide’s services include feasibility assessments, creation of training programs and operations manuals, design and development of franchise sales programs including marketing, advertising, and franchise sales process systems and ...

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Jerome Hutchinson Jr.
Founder and Chief Servant Officer - International Career and Business Alliance

Jerome Hutchinson, Jr. is a serial entrepreneur, socialpreneur and servant business leader. Hutchinson is the Founder, and Chief Servant Officer of ICABA® (International Career and Business Alliance, Inc.), a, global business organization serving its membership of accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs of color by helping them achieve their career, business and lifestyle aspirations th ...

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Martins Imudia, PhD
Attorney at Law - Center for U.S. Immigration Services

Attorney Martins I. Imudia graduated in 1995 from Tulane University Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, with an LLM in Admiralty and Maritime Law. He obtained his JD equivalent degree from the prestigious Abo Akademi University in Abo, Finland after completing undergraduate work with a major in international law and a minor in commercial transactions. He is a member of the Louisiana State Ba ...

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Eric Johnson, CFE
Global Team Leader - Franchising - U.S. Commercial Service, Atlanta

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Matthew Jonas
President - TopFire Media

Matthew Jonas is president and co-founder of TopFire Media. As TopFire Media’s brand steward, he defines high-impact digital PR and marketing strategies for an impressive cache of consumer and franchise-based clientele. A seasoned marketer and highly respected franchising expert, Matthew has built a nearly 20-year career dedicated to delivering outcomes and results through an integrated and strate ...

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Tom Kaiser
Assistant Editor - Franchise Times

Tom is associate editor of Franchise Times. Franchise Times magazine is the news and information source for franchising, which is read by the who’s who of franchising, including growth-minded franchisors and franchisees, and the consultants and advisors who help them succeed. Franchise Times is the only independent, unbiased news source in franchising and devotes more resources to franchise covera ...

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Andre Kay
CEO & Founder - Sociallybuzz

Andre Kay is the CEO and Founder of Sociallybuzz. Sociallybuzz founded in 2009, is a social media reputation, management and campaign company. They provide managed services and technology automation to help businesses grow using social media, data and advertising.

Accolades: - Investor - Under his leadership, Sociallybuzz was named one of the best entrepreneurial company in 2017 ...

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Dallas Kerley, CFE
President and COO - Benetrends, Inc.

Kerley is responsible for sales, short- and long-term strategic marketing plans and product development. He has been a featured speaker at numerous business and franchise conferences, where he has helped educate entrepreneurs on successful small business funding strategies. Kerley has written several articles on small business topics for Franchising World Magazine, and he is sought out for his kno ...

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Harold Kestenbaum
Partner - Harold L. Kestenbaum, PC

HAROLD L. KESTENBAUM is an attorney who has specialized in franchise law and other matters relating to franchising since 1977. From May 1982 until September 1986, Harold served as franchise and general counsel to Sbarro, Inc., the national franchisor of over 1,000 family-style Italian restaurants and, was a director from March 1985 to December 2006. From September 1983 to October 1989, he served a ...

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Bella Kirschner
Nassau County, NY Franchisee - My Elder Advocate

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Gaylen Knack
Principal - Gray Plant Mooty

Gaylen is a principal at Gray Plant Mooty and has been recognized as a leading franchise attorney globally by Chambers Global and International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers. He assists franchisors in structuring domestic and international franchise and distribution programs, and advises clients on related business, international trade regulation and trademark matters. Gaylen’s combined 25 pl ...

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Keith Levenson
Owner - ClimbZone Franchising, LLC

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Man-Li Kuo Lin
Economic Development Specialist - U.S. Small Business Administration - New York

Ms. Man-Li Kuo Lin is Economic Development Specialist, District International Trade Officer, and Emerging Leaders Program Project Manager at the U.S. Small Business Administration New York District Office (SBA NYDO) marketing team in delivery small business resources to develop and grow businesses in 14 counties throughout New York City, Long Island and the downstate counties of Dutchess, Orange, ...

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Roger Lipton
President - Lipton Financial Services

Roger is an investment professional with over 4 decades of experience specializing in chain restaurants and retailers, as well as macro-economic and monetary developments. After earning a BSME from R.P.I. and an MBA from Harvard, he began following the restaurant industry as well as the gold mining industry. While he originally followed companies such as Church’s Fried Chicken, Morrison’s ...

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George Litman
Director for Operations, Middle East and Africa - U.S. Commercial Service, Washington, D.C.

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Bret Lowell
Partner - DLA Piper US LLP

Bret Lowell is an internationally recognized leader in franchise and distribution law, and has counseled and represented clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including restaurants and food service, car rental, hotel and motel, health care, financial services, high tech, real estate and retail. Bret's experience includes extensive analysis as to whether arrangements constitute "franchi ...

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Alan Majerko
Vice President, Corporate Development - Winmark Franchise Partners

Alan Majerko joined Winmark Corporation as Vice President, Corporate Development in January 2017. Mr. Majerko is leading the Winmark Franchise Partners initiative to partner with emerging franchisors that can benefit from Winmark’s expertise in starting, growing and managing successful franchise brands. Mr. Majerko was with Buffalo Wild Wings for the past ten years, most recently as Director, Emer ...

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Samuel Makome
Group Chief Operating Officer - Kenya Commericial Bank

Mr. Samuel Makome is the Group Chief Operating Officer of KCB Bank Group Ltd., East Africa’s largest Banking Group. He holds a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from the International Leadership University, Nairobi, and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Engineering from the University of Nairobi. He is also an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) London.
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Catherine Malinda
Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service - U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Nairobi

Ms. Malinda holds a Diploma in Administration, Public Relations and Counselling Psychology from University of Nairobi. She has undertaken various professional development courses during her career and has received numerous awards for outstanding performance in the execution of her duties

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Joe Manuszak
Vice President of Global Development - Chem-Dry

Joe Manuszak is the Vice President of Global Development at Harris Research, Inc., a division of Baird Capital, Inc. He oversees the global development of both Chem-Dry and N-Hance.

Mr. Manuszak’s franchise development and management experience proves success in new market penetration, turnaround operations, start-up and franchise management.

He has focused the majority of ...

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Grant Marcks
Vice President, Head of Business Development - Atlantic Street Capital

Grant focuses on transaction sourcing for both new platforms and add-on acquisitions for the existing portfolio, as well as relationship management among the firm’s various constituencies. Grant joined Atlantic Street in July 2015. Prior to joining Atlantic Street, Grant spent five years with The Riverside Company as a member of their Origination team, where he was responsible for evaluating new i ...

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Elayne McClaine
Regional Director - NJSBDC-Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Elayne P. Stanback-McClaine is Regional Director for the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers New Brunswick. She has been involved with the SBDC since 2005 in various roles such as Lead Client Counselor, Instructor, and Assistant Director. oShe has extensive expertise in the areas of Business & Strategic Planning; Business Financial Management; Market Research; Business Val ...

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Kirk McLaren
MBA, CTP, CPA - Georgetown University

Kirk W. McLaren, MBA, CTP, CPA, is an accomplished and dedicated finance executive with 18 years’ experience leading finance operations, strategically planning and executing, and raising colleagues to higher performance. Kirk is the CFO for Family Matters of Greater Washington where he is helping the leadership team realizes the CEO’s vision. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certif ...

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David Mesa
Chief Development Officer - PJ's Coffee

Prior to joining Ballard Brands, LLC, David Mesa, Jr. worked with Planet Beach Franchising Corporation since December of 2003, progressively holding more executive roles at the world headquarters than any other executive. Most recently serving as their President of Franchise Operations, Mesa was instrumental in the company's growth from 60 to over 350 locations.

Prior to joining P ...

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Mariel Miller
- The Franchise Advisor

Mariel has 27 years experience in the franchise sector. She uses her rich background to provide franchise-related advice and coaching to potential entrepreneurs and educates them on thoroughly vetting franchise opportunities through her firm www.TheFranchiseAdvisor.com. Her in-depth coaching is free of charge for the curious to the serious candidate. Popular with those seeking semi-passive, scala ...

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Catherine Monson
Chief Executive Officer - FASTSIGNS International, Inc.

Catherine Monson is the CEO and President of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. She joined FASTSIGNS® in 2008 and brings more than 30 years of franchising and management experience including sales and marketing, operations, development, training and advocacy. In 2009, she was the recipient of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) prestigious Bonny LeVine Award, given annually to a female fran ...

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Meg Montague
Senior Managing Director - The McLean Group

Margaret (Meg) Montague, Managing Director of The McLean Group’s Charlotte, NC office, has over 20 years of investment banking experience and has completed over 50 assignments across a broad range of industries with a particular focus on franchise and multi-unit concepts, consumer, healthcare, business services, and manufacturing. She has completed transactions involving several prominent franchis ...

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Brian Mooney
Senior Director of Franchising - TCBY/Mrs. Fields Famous Brands

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Rick Morey
Partner - DLA Piper US LLP

Richard Morey’s franchise and distribution practice is focused on working with both experienced and startup franchise companies, helping them structure new franchise programs and determine the most appropriate methods of single- and multi-unit franchising. Richard counsels franchisors on everyday compliance and other franchise-related issues, such as registration and disclosure matters, negoti ...

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Toine Murphy
Ann Arbor, MI Franchisee - Smoke's Poutinerie

Toine Murphy has worked for more than 25 years in the fields of public speaking, educational strategies, business executive, governmental and community engagement, as well as a consultant and leadership coach. Murphy’s unique and diverse background has allowed him over the years to impact 1000’s of people specifically youth and families.

Murphy’s background includes a strong commitm ...

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Steven Murphy
President of Franchising - Winmark Franchise Partners

Steve Murphy has been with Winmark Corporation, parent company of internationally-recognized brands Plato’s Closet®, Once Upon A Child®, Play It Again Sports®, Style Encore®, and Music Go Round®, for over 17 years. He has served as President of Franchising since 2006, helping to grow publicly traded Winmark to over 850 franchisees and 1,225 locations and over $1 Billion in retail sales. Winm ...

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Julius Mutua
Executive Board Director - KCB Group PLC

Mr. Julius Mutua is a seasoned civil servant with over 20 years’ experience in economic and financial policies formulation at the Kenya National Treasury. During his tenure at the Treasury, he has served as a member of the National Fiscal Budget Preparation Team for many years and participated in the negotiations of the East African Community integration matters that include the Monetary Uni ...

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Anya Nowakowski
Senior Research Analyst - FRANdata

As an analytical “triple threat” Anya brings to the table laser sharp analytical capabilities, an ability to translate data into workable solutions for her clients, and an inquisitive mind that leaves no stone left unturned. Her research at FRANdata focuses on business intelligence custom research projects. Anya has worked on custom projects analyzing marketing trends across the franchise ...

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Chaenara O'Brien
Founder - Thought Bakery

Chaenara has worked with several international brands in Advanced Tech, Finance, Energy as well as Digital Media for the past ten years. She has helped them by establishing effective go to market strategies and building high growth marketing programs to scale. Due to her love for brand storytelling, growth-hacking and their combined influence on the customer experience, she is also the Fou ...

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Gary Occhiogrosso
Managing Partner - Franchise Growth Solutions

Currently Gary Occhiogrosso is the Managing Partner of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a membership only franchise development and sales firm.

Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital.

Gary started his career in franchising ...

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Carol O'Connell
AVP Business Advisory Services - Excelsior Growth Fund

Carol O'Connell has worked in commercial banking for 20+ years, primarily as a credit underwriter for loans to small-to-medium size businesses. She holds an MBA in Finance. Carol earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from NYU Wagner in order to transition her career in support of community development. She joined Excelsior Growth Fund’s Business Advisory Services group in Fe ...

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Rory O'Dwyer
CEO - Shapes Franchising

Rory O'Dwyer entered into the franchisor arena in 1985 when he and his partner started a concept called PuroFirst under the company name of Purosystem International. That concept morphed into what is now known as PuroClean. In the 30 years since 1985, Rory has dedicated his professional life for the betterment of his franchisee partners and grew his company to 300 units. After those 30 years ...

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Kerry Olson
Partner - Faegre Baker Daniels

Kerry Olson combines expertise and passion to help companies plan for growth, manage risk, promote their brands and achieve success. With an extensive background as an executive in-house at major franchise brands and in private practice, Kerry is uniquely positioned to understand the pressure points for senior leadership and the importance of quickly analyzing issues and implementing business-mind ...

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David W. Oppenheim
Shareholder - Greenberg Traurig, LLP

David W. Oppenheim concentrates his practice on domestic and international franchising, licensing and distribution matters. He is recognized by Chambers USA as a leading, national franchise attorney. He advises both emerging and mature companies with respect to planning, structuring and implementing national and international franchise, distribution and licensing programs, including negotiating fr ...

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Anthony Padulo
Chief Development Officer - School of Rock

Tony leads School of Rock's franchise sales and real estate efforts in the US and Internationally, and brings a wealth of experience expanding franchise companies' footprints.

Prior to joining School of Rock, Tony served as Executive Vice President of Global Development for BrightStar Care, the premier in-home care provider of medical and non-medical services. Before that he served exec ...

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Ryan Palmer
Principal - Gray Plant Mooty

Ryan Palmer serves domestic and international clients across the restaurant, hospitality, retail, and service sectors. He counsels brand and concept owners in the development of franchise and distribution systems and helps businesses resolve disputes with franchisees and licensees. Ryan’s multi-unit retail experience includes representing clients in refranchising and franchise finance transactions ...

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Bret Permesly
Shareholder - Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Bret Permesly concentrates his practice on domestic and international franchising, licensing, and distribution matters. Bret represents existing franchise industry leaders as well as cutting edge start-up concepts in a wide range of industries, including food and beverage, fast food and quick service concepts, retail, hospitality, and leisure. His experience includes preparing and negotiating comp ...

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Lee Plave
Partner - Plave Koch PLC

Lee has extensive experience counseling distributors and franchisors, including drafting and negotiating franchise agreements for complex international and domestic transactions and advising clients on all aspects of franchise and distribution law.

Lee also counsels clients on the application of technology to franchise and distribution systems. He focuses his attention on matters suc ...

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Karen Powell, CFE
CEO - Décor & You

Karen Powell is a veteran of the interior design industry with over 50 years’ experience. She’s also the author of 43 books about the art and business of home décor.

Karen is also the founder and CEO Decor&You, a nationally franchised. Since founding the company over 20 years ago, Karen has coached and taught 50+ designers who now individually offer their own home decor services a ...

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Rob Price
CEO - School of Rock

Rob Price became President and CEO of School of Rock in 2017. He leads a global enterprise of over 200 schools, which teach music and life skills through a unique performance-based learning approach. Prior to School of Rock, Rob was President of Edible Arrangements, helping to grow that company's physical and online sales. Rob joined Edible Arrangements after more than seven years as chief marketi ...

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Genevieve Prieto
Oklahoma City Franchisee - I Heart Mac & Cheese / G-Mac Operations,LLC

Genevieve started her business career within the construction industry, specifically directional drilling and pipelines, managing projects and operations. After 10 years in the industry she left her position as Vice President of Operations with a nationwide firm in order to pursue her dream of combining her love of cooking with her love of business. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in ...

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Joseph J. Punturo
Assistant Attorney General, Investor Protection Bureau - Office of the New York State Attorney General

Joseph Punturo is an Assistant Attorney General in the New York State Attorney General’s Investor Protection Bureau. The Investor Protection Bureau enforces the Martin Act, New York State’s securities law, and the Franchise Sales Act, New York State’s franchise law. Mr. Punturo is the Section Chief of the Franchise Section, and is responsible for franchise enforcement and registration, as we ...

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Alexander Radus
Associate - Fox Rothschild LLP

As a member of Fox Rothschild's Corporate Department, Alex handles a range of corporate matters with an emphasis on franchising, entity formation, management and growth, angel, venture capital and private equity transactions, commercial contract negotiation, and mergers and acquisitions. Alex's franchise practice focuses on representing emerging franchisors, including advising on regulatory compl ...

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Marla Ray
Capital Access Advisor - FRANdata

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Mario Resca
President - Confimprese

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Pratiksha Rigley
Frisco West, Dallas and Plano, TX Multi-Unit Franchisee - Primrose Schools

Dr. Pratiksha Rigley has an infectious personality and an unrelenting work ethic, which is representative of her demonstrated commitment to excellence. In Zambia, where Dr. Rigley grew up, education was a luxury. At the age of 18, she had the privilege to come to the United States for college, which sparked her love for learning. She graduated from Pharmacy School at Southwestern Oklahoma State Un ...

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Marla Rosner
Senior Learning and Development Consultant - MSA Worldwide

Marla Rosner is the Senior Learning and Development Consultant for MSA Worldwide, a domestic and international franchise advisory firm. She has excelled as a training professional for over twenty years.

During her 16-year tenure with Supercuts, an international hair care franchisor, Marla helped build the system from 75 locations to over 1,100 salons. As Vice President of Training an ...

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Chris Sanford
U.S. Navy Veteran and Warwick, RI Franchisee - PuroClean Restoration Services

Chris Sanford is a native Rhode Islander and a U.S. Navy Veteran. After 10 years away for college at Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and to serve in the US Navy, he returned to RI to earn his MBA from the University of Rhode Island. Chris prides himself in assisting fellow Rhode Islanders when disasters occur in their homes and businesses. He is certified in water restoration, mold remedia ...

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Brian Schnell
Partner - Faegre Baker Daniels

With more than 25 years of experience in franchising and product distribution, Brian Schnell is the chair of the firm's franchise practice that represents franchisors with headquarters based across the United States and abroad.

Brian's experience uniquely includes serving as the COO and Chief Legal Officer during 2012 for one of the country's leading health care franchisors. In the ...

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Thomas Schoenfelder
Senior Vice President, Research & Development - Caliper

Dr. Schoenfelder leads a team of industrial/organizational psychologists, psychometricians, statisticians, and product development professionals to develop, deliver, and monitor all of Caliper’s research-based products, services, and processes. This involves: 1) maintaining and monitoring core psychometrics; 2) designing and delivering research-based, client-specific consulting engagements; 3) dev ...

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Gigi Schweikert
President & COO - Lightbridge Academy

Gigi Schweikert is President & Chief Operating Officer of Lightbridge Franchise Company. Lightbridge Academy provides early learning and child care for children 6 weeks to 8 years. Known as “The Solution for Working Parents®.” Ms. Schweikert is also an internationally known thought leader in work/life balance, child care management and classroom supervision. With over 30 years of experience and 23 ...

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Paul Segreto
CEO - Franchise Foundry

Paul Segreto, CFE currently holds the position of CEO at Franchise Foundry. For over thirty years he has exclusively served the franchise industry as consultant and coach, senior-level corporate executive, advocate, multi-unit franchisee and area developer. Paul is a proud and active member of the International Franchise Association, currently serving on its Franchise Relations, Marketing & Techno ...

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Michael Seid
Managing Director - MSA Worldwide

I am the founder and Managing Director of MSA Worldwide, a provider of domestic and international franchise advisory services. During my professional career I have been a senior operations officer, financial executive, or consultant for companies within the franchise, retail, restaurant, hospitality, healthcare, education, and service industries. I have also been both a franchisor and franchisee. ...

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Andrew Seid
Consultant - MSA Worldwide

Andrew is a consultant for MSA Worldwide, a domestic and international franchise advisory firm. While an experienced litigator and a transactional lawyer in franchising, Andrew is the son of our founder and franchising has been part of his life-long experience starting when he attended his first IFA convention at the age of ten.

Andrew earned his BA in business from Franklin & Marsha ...

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Johnny Sellyn
Head - Franchiseresales.com

Johnny Sellyn has been involved in franchising for over 20 years. Initially as founding director of the franchise consultancy division of one of world’s leading CPA’s and Business advisers. This followed a successful 30-year career in retail. In more recent times Johnny has created and run some of the leading franchise websites in the US, UK South Africa and Australia. Franchise resales .com was c ...

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Peter Maxwell Sessions
Founder and CEO - FewerHats

Peter Maxwell Sessions is the founder and CEO of Fewer Hats. He frequently consults with brands looking to get into the franchise space and helps them streamline their operations with technology. As a consulting firm, Fewer Hats has a strong focus on leveraging technology. Mr. Sessions has a background in strategic business development for technology companies. Most notably, he held a strategic r ...

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Aliya Shaikhina
Commercial Specialist - U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Almaty

Aliya Shaikhina is a U.S. Commercial Service Specialist in Almaty, Kazakhstan. She has been with the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty for more than 9 years and covers Franchising since 2010. Aliya has a degree in International Economics and was with the Embassy of Canada and in travel consulting prior to that. ...

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Andrew Sherman
Partner - Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Andrew Sherman is a Partner and Chair of the Washington, D.C. Corporate Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He focuses his practice on issues affecting business growth for companies at all stages, including developing strategies for licensing and leveraging intellectual property and technology assets, intellectual asset management and harvesting, as well as international corporate transactional and f ...

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Mark Siebert
CEO - iFranchise Group

Author of Franchise Your Business, The Guide to Employing the Greatest Growth Strategy Ever, and a franchise business consultant since 1985, Mr. Siebert founded the iFranchise Group in 1998 as an organization dedicated to developing long-term relationships with successful franchisor clientele. Mr. Siebert has worked with hundreds of franchisors, from start-up operations to corporate giants. He is ...

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Adam Siegelheim
Attorney - Stark & Stark

Adam J. Siegelheim is a Shareholder and member of the Business & Corporate and Franchise Groups. Mr. Siegelheim’s practice includes the representation of companies and non-profit organizations on a variety of issues including entity formation, financing, intellectual property, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and insurance coverage matters.

Mr. Siegelheim’s franchise practice inclu ...

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John Skelton
Partner - Seyfarth Shaw LLP

John Skelton is a partner in the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. He is an experienced trial lawyer having tried cases and appeared before a variety of state and federal courts and administrative agencies. In addition to a diverse commercial litigation and trial practice, Mr. Skelton has successfully defended numerous manufacturers and franchise clients in a variety of matters, in ...

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Ryan Smolkin
Founder and CEO - Smoke's Poutinerie

Ryan Smolkin attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where he studied and participated in the Business Co-Op Program. As a student, Smolkin established several successful business ventures including a portfolio of rental property investments, which he built to over $4 million in assets before selling off all properties in 2004.

After graduating with his Bachelor o ...

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Robert Stidham
Chief Executive Officer - Franchise Dynamics

Robert Stidham is the Chief Executive Officer of Franchise Dynamics, a full-service franchise sales outsourcing firm. With company and affiliate offices in Chicago, Scottsdale, Arizona and Springfield, Missouri, Franchise Dynamics currently represents a number of emerging to large-sized franchisors in a wide variety of categories throughout the United States and worldwide. He is the Founder of the ...

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Eric Stites
President - Franchise Business Review

Eric Stites is the CEO & Managing Director of Franchise Business Review, a national market research and consulting company specializing in franchisee satisfaction and franchise relations issues. Franchise Business Review’s mission is to two-fold. To help franchise brands that wish to better serve their franchisees and strengthen their systems. To help bring transparency to the franchise industry b ...

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Brenda Stuart-Luke
Senior Stakeholder Liaison - IRS

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Ed Teixeira
Consultant - Franchise Growth Solutions

Ed has worked in the franchise industry for 35 years as an executive for several franchise companies. Mr. Teixeira has franchised existing businesses and is the author of the Franchise Buyers Manual and Franchising from the Inside Out. He’s been interviewed by numerous publications to include the Wall Street Journal, NY Newsday, Forbes, Franchise Times and Bloomberg News. One of his current projec ...

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Emil Temelkov
VP SBA Lending - Flushing Bank

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Mary E. Tomzack
President/Owner, Pure Franchise, LLP - Author, Tips & Traps When Buying a Franchise

Mary E. Tomzack is a well-known and respected franchise consultant and franchising specialist. Currently , she is the Founder and President of PureFranchise.com which assists individuals and companies in discovering franchise opportunities throughout the U.S. and internationally.

She is the author of two popular franchise books, the first and second editions of Tips & Traps When Bu ...

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Chad Tramuta
Franchise Development Manager - Smoothie King

Chad Tramuta joined Smoothie King in February 2014 as Franchise Development Manager. He has 12 years of franchise development experience in the retail, fast-casual and QSR industries. Prior to Smoothie King, he served as Sr. Director of Franchise Development with Planet Beach and VooDoo BBQ & Grill. In 2013, under his leadership, VooDoo BBQ & Grill was recognized by Franchise Update Media Group ...

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Angela Turrin
International Trade Advisor - U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Embassy Madrid

Twenty-one years with the Commercial Service (six in the Sao Paulo office in Brazil, and 15 in the Madrid, office in Spain). Started working with CS in 1995 coordinating Trade Shows and US pavilions in Sao Paulo. In 1996 moved to the Budget & Admin Specialist position where she achieved several awards, to include two Director General Awards for her innovative and cost-savings solutions with ICASS ...

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Diana Vilmenay
Special Counsel Attorney - Gray Plant Mooty

Diana Vilmenay counsels clients on domestic and international franchise matters. She works with start-up and established franchisors to expand their franchise systems here and abroad including in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Diana supports clients in the preparation of their FTC, state-specific, and international franchise disclosure documents. She also ...

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Jim Wiley
Wharton, NJ Franchisee - HomeVestors of America

After 25 years in the corporate world, where he went through five ownership changes and rose to an executive management position, Jim decided he had enough of the grind. He always had an interest in real estate and had come across HomeVestors around 2004 while visiting family in Dallas. It piqued his interest and when they opened up the New Jersey market in 2007 he was ready to make the le ...

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Steven Wolfson
International Business Development Director - InnoDraw

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Tao Xu
Partner - DLA Piper US LLP

Tao Xu devotes his practice to franchising and distribution matters, especially international franchising, licensing and distribution transactions. Tao counsels a broad range of clients in their international expansions, including master franchising, multi-unit licensing, area development, single-unit licensing and direct investment (both joint venture and wholly owned). Tao is particularl ...

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Ralph Yarusso, CFE
Chief Development Officer - Grease Monkey International

Ralph Yarusso is a former Multi-Unit Meineke franchisee owning 15 centers over a 23 year period. After selling his centers Ralph also served on the corporate side of riven Brands in Franchise Development and operations lastly being appointed to oversee more than 500 centers as Regional Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In his position at Grease Monkey International, he oversees franchise ...

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EJ Yoon
- Korea Daily

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Philip Zeidman
Senior Partner - DLA Piper US LLP

Philip Zeidman devotes his practice to domestic and international distribution, licensing and franchising law. In 2017 Mr. Zeidman received Who's Who Legal's Lifetime Achievement Award at a ceremony in London. Mr. Zeidman was named Global Franchise Lawyer of the Year for 9 years, every year the award has been given. Mr. Zeidman received the Burton Award of Excellence in Legal Writing from the Li ...

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Danny Zhang
- HSBC Bank USA N.A.

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Stephanie Zosak
Associate - DLA Piper US LLP

Stephanie Zosak focuses her practice in the areas of United States and international franchising, licensing and distribution.

Stephanie advises both large and small franchisors in the retail, fitness, and food service sectors on registration, disclosure and exemption requirements and prepares initial, renewal and amended forms of franchise disclosure documents, franchise agreements and o ...

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Carl Zwisler
Principal - Gray Plant Mooty

Carl Zwisler focuses his practice on representing franchisors, manufacturers, and investors in structuring, negotiating, and enforcing domestic and international franchise, licensing, distribution, and acquisition agreements. He also assists executives and general counsel in more than 85 industries or industry segments with creative solutions for developing and implementing business expansion stra ...

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