GENERAL SESSION / TUESDAY / OCTOBER 5, 2021 / 3:45 PM
CEO Roundtable / State of Industry
This panel packed with fast casual CEOs will talk about important issues restaurant operators face today and what it will take to succeed in 2022 and beyond.
Peter Boylan III | President | Ballard Brands & IdEATion Hospitality
Peter J. Boylan III is President and CEO for Ballard Brands and idEATion Hospitality. He joined Ballard Brands in 2009 on their Board of Advisors. Prior to being President and CEO he was Chief Development Officer and expanded the company’s footprint across the U.S. as well as several international markets. Peter has over 20 years of professional and executive leadership experience in a wide variety of companies including public, private, venture capital and private equity. He earned an MBA from Wake Forest University’s Babcock Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Jim Holthouser | CEO | FOCUS Brands
Jim Holthouser is the Chief Executive Officer for Focus Brands, parent company of Auntie Anne’s, Carvel®, Cinnabon, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, Schlotzsky’s, and Seattle’s Best Coffee (in certain military bases and in certain international markets). Jim is leading Focus Brands into its next phase of growth for its seven market-leading brands while driving results and profitability for franchisees, with a focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience. He was also named as one of the top 25 Executives on Fast Casual’s Movers & Shakers 2021 list. Jim brings more than 30 years of experience in worldwide brand development, concept innovation, franchise management and digital marketing.
Dan Simpson | CEO | Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe
Dan Simpson was named CEO of Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe in February 2018 after serving as the Chief Innovation Officer starting in May 2016. Previously, he was a Taziki’s franchisee and managing partner at Fresh Hospitality from January 2015 until May 2016. Dan was the founder and CEO of ToGo Technologies from May 2012 until January 2015. He was the Chief Development Officer of Dispensary of Hope, Nashville, Tennessee from May 2008 until May 2012. He earned his BS in Science from Clearwater Christian College followed by his MBA from West Virginia University. Dan serves on the boards of the Shalom Foundation/Moore Pediatric Surgery Center and Dovehouse Ministries and is a member of TedXNashville Society of Fellows.
Susan Taylor | President & CEO | Juice It Up!
A highly successful restaurant industry veteran with over 30 years of experience, Susan Taylor joined the Juice It Up! family in 2019 as VP of Operations and Business Development and was promoted to President and CEO of the brand in early-2020. Susan has served in various leadership roles for national franchise chains including 14 years at Jamba, where she was the Senior Director of Franchise Operations, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, Baja Fresh and Chevy’s Fresh Mex. Under her leadership, Juice It Up! has built upon its diverse offerings by putting a heavier focus on product innovation and ingredient functionality. Since coming on board, Susan has spearheaded initiatives that have dramatically improved both the guest-and franchisee-facing experience.
Zach Goldstein | Founder & CEO | Thanx
Zach Goldstein is a die-hard Sacramento Kings fan; it was through many losing seasons where he first learned the value of loyalty. He founded Thanx in 2011 with the goal of helping merchants identify, reward and retain their best customers / die-hard fans. Previously, Zach worked with retail and tech giants at Bain and Company, where he focused on customer satisfaction and retention. He received his MBA from Stanford and shivered his way to a BA at Dartmouth.