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Executive Perspectives: Inspiration for Today’s Restaurant Leaders

In this session, you will hear three short, thought-provoking talks that will leave you challenged and inspired.


Surviving Uncertain Times by Being Change Ready

Jeff Fenster | Founder & CEO | Everbowl

Since earning his J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, Jeff has proven himself as an entrepreneurial innovator. As a serial entrepreneur, Jeff’s been recognized nationally for his business creations ranging from a quick-serve restaurant chain, payroll & HR company, digital marketing agency, and construction company, among others. In addition, Jeff is a Forbes Professor at their school of Business and Technology, named a top 100 Entrepreneur in America under the age of 35 in 2013 by Empact, named a Top 40 Executive under 40 by the Business Journal in 2019, and was recently a finalist for CEO of the year.

Social Media – The Impact It Can Have on Your Business Positive/Negative

Samantha Rincione | Founder, CEO & COO | CRAVE Franchising

Samantha Rincione is currently the Co-founder, CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Crave Hot Dogs and BBQ. Samantha was also co-founder of Emerging Franchises, a franchise development firm, which developed, improved and built franchise companies from the ground up. Emerging Franchises was responsible for creating franchise operations systems and growing brands from one and in some cases hundreds of units. Samantha was also Multi-Unit Franchisee with Red Mango, Smoothie Factory and Café, owning and operating 10 stores on Long Island NY. Samantha has also served as Vice President for UFood Grill, a healthy fast casual concept.

The Power Of Or: Choosing And Doing What Matters Most

Joe Thornton | Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer | HMSHost

Joe Thornton is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HMSHost, a global restaurateur and leader in travel dining in airports and motorways. In this role, he oversees HMSHost operations of more than 1,700 food and beverage locations in North America, as well as Culinary, Supply Chain, and Marketing & Communications. Joe is an experienced operations leader who brings a demonstrated record of achieving results. Most recently, Joe was Chief Operating Officer at Jamba Juice where he led all field and headquarter functions related to operations, operations services, and training, as well as supporting franchise owners across the country.

What Starbucks and Chick-fil-A Are Doing So Differently

Philipp Sitter | CEO | VIPinsiders

Philipp Sitter is a fifth-generation restaurateur born in Vienna, Austria, and Founder/CEO of VIPinsiders. He owns multiple restaurant concepts in Houston and has been a featured contributor on Bloomberg, Travel Channel, Franchise Times, and many more.

Christopher Chomenko | VP of Sales | VIPinsiders

With 15 plus years of restaurant experience and an extensive knowledge of business growth strategies and marketing, Chris Chomenko has positioned himself as an iconoclast of modern marketing solutions on an international level. Chris is currently the Vice President of Sales for multiple companies including VIPinsiders and RepeatMD, both of which comprise over 1400+ clients across the globe. Among the companies that Chomenko represents VIPinsiders has grown over 400% in the last two quarters of 2020 alone. Under his leadership, VIPinsiders is poised to be a force for positive change in guest relations and bottom lines for years to come.


Zach Goldstein | Founder & CEO | Thanx

Zach Goldstein is Founder and CEO of Thanx, a leading CRM, loyalty, and digital customer engagement solution for restaurants and retailers. Zach was recently honored on NRN’s 2020 Power List, hosts the popular Food Fighters podcast, and is frequently asked to speak on restaurant thought-leadership topics including off-premise and digital sales, customer lifetime value, and customer retention. He previously worked as a Consultant at Bain & Company where he partnered with national restaurant/retail chains and leading technology companies. Zach received a BA from Dartmouth and an MBA from Stanford.

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