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General Session / Tuesday / October 15, 2024 / 9:00 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.

  • Leading with the Right Mindset | Jason Brooks
  • Cat. Dude. Bae. Sus. Bet: How to Build Brands and Cultures Multi-Generationally | Josh Halpern
  • Franchising: OG and NewG Perspectives | Steve Lieber & Mitchell Nolan


Jason Brooks | Founder & CEO | HospiVation, LLC
Jason Brooks has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry in multiple leadership roles with 6 of the Top 100 hospitality brands today. Jason coaches hospitality executives in the art of not just goal setting, but goal getting. He also teaches managers how to transform their management style to improve their hospitality leadership, so they never lead alone again. As an author, his new book, Every Leader Needs Followers: 10 Keys to Transform Restaurant Managers to Hospitality Leaders, was released on March 18, 2024. His background from 20+ brands has given him the unique perspective of seeing the Mona Lisa painted 20+ ways with the ability to take the best points of each one and apply them to teams today. He is an expert in creating bite-sized chunks of audacious goals, conceptual ideation, and communicating with all levels of an organization to help create step change.
Josh Halpern | CEO | Big Chicken
Josh Halpern is the Chief Executive Officer for Big Chicken. Josh is a dynamic, partnership-focused, thought leader with a robust career in streamlining efficiency, driving innovation, building diverse engaged teams, and growing economic results across the CPG, retail, and restaurant verticals. Most recently, Josh served as the Chief Sales Officer for FIFCO USA, the 8th largest US brewing company, where he was responsible for commercial operations and building top and bottom-line results for Off-Premise, On-Premise, and company-owned brewpubs. Prior, Josh led the Anheuser-Busch InBev, On-Premise and Small Format channels in the US, and Shopper Marketing globally.
Steve Lieber | VP of Franchise Development | BurgerFi
Steve Lieber is a respected figure in the restaurant industry, celebrated for his expertise in restaurant concept design and successful operations. A certified pizzaiolo from Italy, he earned the title of Best Pizza in the USA in 2009. Currently, as Vice President of Franchise Development at BURGERFI International, he represents both the BURGERFI and Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza & Wings brands. Steve has led his team to sell over 150 franchises to 50+ groups, spanning 20+ states and international markets like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. His commitment extends to mentoring franchisees and boosting local store marketing strategies for profitability.
Mitchell Nolan | Co-Founder & Partner | Vett3d
Mitchell Nolan’s unique background in franchising started at the Titus Center for Franchising at Palm Beach Atlantic University. He obtained his undergraduate degree with a concentration in franchising and is one of two people with a masters in franchising from the university. Mitchell began his career as a supplier to the franchise community first in software then writing brand standards manuals. Co-founding Vett3d with Steve Lieber, they introduced the five-pillar framework to scrutinize and ensure the alignment of franchisors and franchisees, emphasizing exceptional customer experiences, streamlined operations, and robust economics. Vett3d is leading the charge in assisting emerging brands to successfully expand.
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