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General Session / Tuesday / October 11, 2022 / 8:00 AM

Executive Perspectives: Inspiration for Today’s Restaurant Leaders

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

  • Using Tik Tok as a Marketing Tool | Shawn Lalehzarian
  • Restaurants Need To Get Personal- Sherif Mityas
  • Loyalty Without The Discounts: How Non-Discount Reward Strategies Drive Revenue and Protect Margins- Emily Rugaber


Shawn Lalehzarian | Co-Founder & CEO | The Red Chickz
After immigrating to the United States from Iran, Shawn Lalehzarian found his first job working at a local restaurant in San Diego washing dishes. As he progressed through his career, he was promoted to higher-up positions and eventually landed a senior management role. In his senior management position, Shawn oversaw multi-unit F&B operations with more than $30 Million dollars in revenue and 400 employees. He also played a key role in opening over 40 different restaurants around the nation and Canada. In 2018, Shawn founded The Red Chickz. In 2021, Lalehzarian launched the franchise program for the Nashville hot chicken brand.
Sherif Mityas | President | Brix Holdings
Sherif Mityas has more than 25 years’ experience in the retail and hospitality sectors in both senior consulting and executive industry roles. He currently serves as the President of BRIX Holdings – a multi-brand restaurant portfolio company and as the Operating Partner for JAMCO Interests, a leading restaurant investment group with over 350 locations across multiple brands including Friendly’s, Red Mango, Orange Leaf, Smoothie Factory and SouperSalad. Prior to his current role, Sherif served as the Chief Experience Officer for TGI FRIDAYS with oversight for the Brand’s global Strategy, Marketing, Innovation, and Digital efforts and as the Chief Executive Officer for Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery. Mr. Mityas received a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from Boston University, a M.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Emily Rugaber | VP of Marketing | Thanx
Emily Rugaber has spent her entire career in the tech industry working across a variety of industries, consulting with large companies including Target, Nestle, Virgin America and SAP on business intelligence projects aimed and mining data for actionable insights. As the VP of marketing at Thanx, Emily leads with a deep knowledge and understanding of loyalty trends, innovations, and best practices for enterprise restaurant brands. Emily is the author of Thanx’s Loyalty Disrupt newsletter.
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