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Henry Dimbleby

Co-Founder | LEON

Henry Dimbleby is co-founder of the award-winning Leon Restaurants. In addition to writing a column for The Guardian and popping up on Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet & BBC 1’s Saturday Kitchen, he is co-founder of the not-for-profit Sustainable Restaurant Association. Henry started his career as a commis chef with Michelin-starred chef, Bruno Loubet, before joining The Daily Telegraph. From there he moved to Bain & Company, a management consultancy firm, where he met John Vincent. They spent a lot of time together on the road, travelling for work, where all they found to eat was delicious but life-destroying fried chicken or cold, neon-lit sandwiches. Infuriated by the difficulty of finding tasty, nutritious food on the run, they resolved to do something about it. And so Leon was born.


Bob Andersen

CEO | Jimboy’s North America

Bob Andersen joined Jimboy’s Tacos as Chief Executive Officer in 2015 to serve as the key architect in the reorganization, modernization and reimagining of the Jimboy’s Tacos brand. In a little over three years, Bob has led the transformation and revitalization of the nearly 65-year-old brand into one that resonates with both loyal customers and new devotees alike, and has put an emphasis on energizing the brand’s long-standing franchise program. Under Bob’s guidance, Jimboy’s Tacos has enjoyed annual double digit system-wide sales growth and 12 consecutive quarters of positive same store sales increases that far exceed industry average.

Brian Anderson

Director of Technology | Modern Market

Brian Anderson took on the role as Dir. of Technology with Modern Market in January of 2017. Modern Market is a Denver-based brand with a focus on serving clean, healthy food across 30 locations in CO, TX, MD, DC and AZ. Brian has implemented several initiatives to prepare the company for nationwide growth. Recent projects include a complete rebuild of the POS UX for cashiers to improve order entry time and accuracy, launch of a new website that enables an omni channel experience for users with integrated online ordering and the Modern Market loyalty program and a new digital menu board platform with animated menus.

Lee Auerbach

SVP of Sales | Chatmeter

Lee Auerbach is the Senior Vice President of Sales at Chatmeter, the leader in local search marketing and review management. He has over 15 years’ experience in helping digital and MarTech companies grow including Groupon, Motivequest, Economist, Mediaplanet, and C.I.M. He specializes in scaling new technology companies and/or technology divisions in the marketplace. He now focuses on helping brands identify and integrate the right marketing technology to improve their online visibility and reputation. Lee is also an avid back-country outdoorsman and a 25-year veteran photographer.

Paul Ballard

Founder/CEO | Ballard Brands

Speaker bio coming soon!

Natalie Anderson-Liu

VP of Marketing | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

Natalie Anderson-Liu is Vice President of Brand at MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes. She leads all brand, marketing and communication efforts, including strategic planning, branding, and consumer insights, while supporting franchisees in their local efforts. A proven thought-leader, Natalie is recognized for providing innovative and effective strategies to drive the business forward. She is respected for her collaborative style and ability to bring together diverse perspectives. With a master’s degree in communications from The University of Texas in Austin, Natalie worked for The Richards Group as Brand Planner and then spent five years with TracyLocke as Senior Strategic Planner.

Adam Baird

Executive Chef | The Habit Burger Grill

Speaker bio coming soon!

Nicolas Bernadi

CEO | La Boulangerie

Nicolas Bernadi is the CEO of La Boulangerie de San Francisco, a popular café bakery brand known as much for its authentic French atmosphere as its mouthwatering, scratch-made pastries, breads and sandwiches. He is one of the most innovative, progressive and driven entrepreneurs in the food industry. Over the past 12 years, Nicolas has been actively running, growing and investing in successful businesses within the consumer-packaged goods, manufacturing and retail spaces. Nicolas’ mission is simple – to bring affordable, delicious and nutritious food to as many people as possible across the U.S. and the world, so that both the business and the end-users may thrive.

Steve Bigari

Founder & CEO | SYNQ3

Steve Bigari, founder and CEO of SYNQ3 Restaurant Solutions, is a leader in disruptive, restaurant innovations. He holds three significant industry patents, a top-five-percent ranking for restaurant consultants in the Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), and features in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Casual, and Rolling Stone.

Peter Blair

Digital Employee Experience Manager | Chipotle Mexican Grill

Peter Blair is the Digital Employee Experience Manager for Chipotle Mexican Grill, in a career spanning 10 years with the company in multiple roles, and scaling with restaurant growth from 700 to 2,400 locations across five countries. He started in web development, creating Chipotle’s first fully integrated Web-to-POS online ordering platform; transitioned to technical product ownership for all internal restaurant facing applications; and is now focused on the frontline employee experience, managing the programs that develop the intranet, L&D, and communication platforms. He is committed to creating effective solutions for Chipotle’s frontline workforce.

Dana Bloom

Co-CEO | Proper Food

Dana Bloom is co-founder and co-CEO of Proper Food. Awarded ‘Best Grab & Go’ by San Francisco Magazine, Proper Food has ten retail locations across San Francisco and New York and is rapidly expanding. Dana has strong consumer and retail leadership experience, most recently launching KEEP Collective and building it to over $50M annual revenue. Her prior experience includes leading Strategy & Marketing at Stella & Dot, consulting at Bain & Company and investing at Bain Capital. Dana holds an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and an Economics degree from Stanford University.

Janet Brooks

Sr. Digital Marketing Manager | Kizuki

Janet Brooks is the Senior Marketing Manager for Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya. Kizuki is an authentic rapid growing, fast-casual ramen restaurant with locations in Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Indiana, Japan and Taiwan. Prior to joining Kizuki, Janet was a Marketing Manager with Pizza Hut, overseeing approximately 150 locations in the Pacific Northwest. Janet holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Public Relations and Business Administration from the University of Oregon.

Don Bush

VP of Marketing | Kount

Donald Bush is the Vice President of Marketing at Kount. Don joined Kount as the Director of Marketing in October 2010 and became Vice President of Marketing in December 2012. Prior to joining Kount, Don was the Director of Marketing at CradlePoint, a leading manufacturer of wireless routing solutions in the mobile broadband industry. Don has worked in several management roles within the technology segment for over 20 years with both hardware/software manufacturers and as a partner in two top technology marketing agencies. He has led products launches and marketing programs for dozens of companies around the world such as Citi, HP, IBM, Kodak, Motorola and Weyerhaeuser.

Dan Calo

Director of Sales, Key Accounts | Lamb Weston

With 18 years experience in the foodservice industry, Dan Calo has held various sales management roles for companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Bottling Group, Campbell Soup Company and most recently Sales Director for the multi-unit account team for Lamb Weston. He’s most excited in his current role where he’s charged with providing innovative product solutions in an effort to meet and anticipate the needs of his customer base.

Cherryh Cansler

Managing Editor |

Before joining Networld Media Group as Director of Editorial, where she oversees NetWorld Media Group’s nine B2B publications, Cherryh Cansler served as Content Specialist at Barkley ad agency in Kansas City. Throughout her 17-year career as a journalist, she’s written about a variety of topics, ranging from the restaurant industry and technology to health and fitness news. Her byline has appeared in a plethora of newspapers, magazines and websites, including Forbes, The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine. She also serves as the managing editor for

Mike Chissler

COO | Holler & Dash

Mike Chissler serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Holler & Dash, leading the development of the fine-casual biscuit house since the opening of the inaugural location in 2016. With an evergreen commitment to excellence, Chissler is a champion of ushering the continued growth and ongoing stabilization of the brand with seven standing locations throughout the southeast. In 2004, Mike Chissler joined Cracker Barrel where he fostered learnings from his unique progression from restaurant management, to Director of Operations and Vice President of Restaurant and Retail Operations Administration and Support before becoming the Chief Operating Officer in June 2015.

Brad Christian

Chief Customer Officer | Market Force

Brad Christian is the Chief Customer Officer at Market Force Information. He is responsible for consulting and customer experience program design for numerous restaurant organizations in North America. With a focus on driving location performance improvement, he provides guidance on customer experience measurement tools and analysis to help client organizations drive increases in guest satisfaction, loyalty and financial performance. Brad is based out of Norcross, Georgia.

Mike Clock

President | Newk’s Eatery

Mike Clock has over 23 years of experience in the accounting and finance fields with 22 years in the restaurant industry. He currently serves as President of Newk’s Eatery. Prior to joining the leadership team at Newk’s, he was the Chief Financial Officer for Good Smoke Restaurant Group, the parent company for two long standing barbecue brands, Dinosaur BBQ and Jim ‘N Nick’s Community BBQ. There his primary responsibility and focus was on financial strategic direction, brand support, and external financial communications for GSRG. Mike has also had the privilege of serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Le Duff America Inc., the second largest Bakery / Café concept in North America.

Darden Coors

CEO | MAD Greens

Darden Coors is the Head of Lettuce (CEO) of MAD Greens, LLC, a Golden, CO-based fast casual restaurant concept featuring fresh, made-to-order salads, wraps, grain bowls, soups and juices. Darden joined MAD Greens in December 2013 to help launch the concept’s rapid growth from 11 locations to 32 today. Prior to MAD Greens, Darden was a real estate and transactional attorney, holding a variety of in-house counsel positions, in both public and private companies, including Assistant General Counsel for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., gaining strong interest and experience in fast casual restaurant space.

Melanie Corey-Ferrini

Chief Experience Officer | Dynamik Space

Melanie Corey-Ferrini, founded Dynamikspace with a mission to connect unique dining and retail experiences with the physical environment. Her Dream Big Workshops for foodservice operators and planners, real estate managers and developers, allow for pre-planning of projects and work with others to make ideas a reality. Before becoming an architect, Melanie was a real estate analyst for a major financial institution. Besides being an entrepreneur, Melanie is an architect, certified Food Consultant with FCSI, owner of a children’s education think tank, leader of travel sketch adventures.

Christina Coy

VP of Marketing | Pie Five Pizza Co.

Christina Coy, Vice President of Marketing for Pie Five Pizza Co., has been in the food business for over a decade. She leads brand marketing for the fast casual pizza concept and has been instrumental in creating digital and in store marketing campaigns, menu development, and guest engagement platforms including the infamous Circle of Crust. She joined RAVE Restaurant Group in 2009 and was part of the original team that created Pie Five in 2011. Prior to becoming a pizza aficionado, she spent five years at ad agencies working on QSR brands such as Domino’s and Popeye’s Chicken. Christina is a graduate of Texas A&M University.

Scott Davis

President & CCO | CoreLife Eatery

Scott Davis joined the CoreLife Eatery team in September 2016 to head up menu development and guide strategic brand growth. Scott’s experience during the growth of both Au Bon Pain and Panera Bread make him an invaluable asset to CoreLife Eatery. Scott served as Chief Concept Officer for Panera Bread from the inception of the brand until December 2014, during which time he oversaw menu development, category management, restaurant design, and sustainability efforts. Scott led many key initiatives that drove the long-term success of Panera Bread, as it became a leader in the fast casual segment of the restaurant industry.

Aaron Day

President & CEO | Blue Lemon

After working for years in a family-owned software company, Aaron Day and his wife Lychelle decided to follow their passion and create an original, unique restaurant concept called Blue Lemon in 2009. Together they set out to create a concept that offered more than your typical quick service: a restaurant with a unique health-focused menu, with truly gourmet presentation, and a blended service style. The result is an innovative concept with numerous local and national awards. Blue Lemon has six locations in Utah, with eyes on growth through strategic partnerships. Aaron has served as President and CEO for 9 years.

Laura Rea Dickey

CEO | Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants

Laura Rea Dickey currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. Laura served as the Chief Information Officer for eight years, and made the transition to CEO after excelling in her previous role. She has worked in the marketing and information technology field for over 15 years, and has led the marketing, IT and training departments at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. during her time there. After graduating from Texas Christian University in 2001, Dickey went on to work at agencies such as Murray Brown Creative Group and The Richards Group. Laura’s specialty is the intersection of technology and marketing, turning data insights into brand and business solutions.

Bill DiPaola

COO | Ballard Brands

With 23 years of restaurant experience and knowledge of executive leadership inside and out, Bill DiPaola is a thought-leader among restaurant and franchise executives. Bill is the current Chief Operating Officer of Ballard Brands, LLC, a company of almost 175 units, both nationally and internationally. Among the many brands that Ballard represents is PJ’s Coffee which just opened it’s 100th location and the restaurant empire of Iron Chef Jose Garces. He formerly led the charge as president and COO of Dat Dog Enterprises, overseeing the corporate office, as well as franchise and corporate operations. Under his leadership, Dat Dog was voted #1 Hot Dog Restaurant by USA Today.

Gerald Drummond

Executive Chef | Campbell’s Foodservice

Chef Gerald Drummond has more than 30 years of experience in the foodservice industry. His expertise includes overseeing operations, facilitating new product launches, leading culinary teams and developing menus for a variety of esteemed establishments throughout the United States and in Mexico. He uses techniques and inspiration from his culinary background in Italian, Mediterranean, French, Cuban and modern Japanese cuisines to infuse unique flavor into the amazing work he does every day at Campbell’s Foodservice. Prior to joining Campbell’s Foodservice in 2017, Chef Gerald held positions at Starr Catering Group and STARR Restaurant Organization—including renowned Morimoto restaurant in Philadelphia, China Grill Management and River Station Restaurant.

Stephen Dutton

Consumer Foodservice Analyst | Euromonitor International

Stephen Dutton is a Consumer Foodservice Analyst at Euromonitor International, analyzing the global foodservice industry. In this role, Stephen provides insight into the consumer trends, key markets, competitive landscape and growth opportunities in the global foodservice space to help companies make informed business decisions. Stephen has a master’s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University and has spent years working and traveling abroad.

Ryan Egozi

Director of Operations | SuViche Hospitality Group

Ryan Egozi has been a part of the restaurant industry since his first job as a cook. He earned his first restaurant management position while attending Florida International University and attaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management. Serving in management roles at a variety of restaurants such as Catina Laredo, a Fine Dining Mexican Restaurant; On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, A Fast-Casual Concept; and Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill, a Quick-Service Concept. Today, Ryan Egozi serves as the Director of Operations for SuViche Hospitality Group in Miami which owns and operates two concepts: SuViche & Novecento, both with multiple locations in South Florida.

Joey Eguia

Head of Franchise Growth | Fajita Pete’s

Joey Eguia, fajita aficionado and Head of Franchise Growth for Fajita Pete’s, has extensive experience in the food business. Before joining Fajita Pete’s in 2015, Eguia served as the President and Founder of Cluckers Wing Bar & Grill, Founder of Bayou City Wings, and Managing Partner for Wings N More Restaurants in the Houston area. He has lent his extensive operations experience to serve as a consultant for Gringos Mexican Kitchen, Salata and Los Cucos Mexican Café.

Eric Ersher

Founder & CEO | Zoup!

Eric Ersher is Founder and CEO of Zoup!, a Michigan-based, fast casual soup concept, formed in 1998. Eric is responsible for strategic planning, concept evolution, quality and franchise support. He also leads the company’s staff in building and protecting the Zoup! brand and in shaping the company’s culture. Eric serves on the board of directors of the Michigan Restaurant Association and the advisory board of Forgotten Harvest, a leading food rescue organization. He is also an active member of the Detroit Entrepreneur’s Organization and a business mentor through HFL – Danto. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan School of Business.

Gonca Esendemir

Co-Founder & CMO | Flatbread Grill

Gonca Esendemir is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of the fast casual Mediterranean concept, Flatbread Grill. Flatbread Grill was developed by Gonca and her two sisters in 2007 as a means to support their sick parents. Without any formal marketing training or experience, Gonca helped establish the brand’s identity and social media presence. She also, along with her two sisters, oversaw day to day restaurant operations, developed the menu, and assisted with building out the concept’s brick and mortar stores. She is currently overseeing the franchise development of Flatbread Grill. Gonca is also a published writer and social media influencer.

Tom Ferguson Jr.

CEO | Rise Biscuits Donuts

Tom Ferguson is founder and CEO of Rise Biscuits Donuts, a fast growing franchise known for innovative, chef-inspired twists on favorite breakfast and lunch items, tight operating procedures and a corporate culture that promotes love and respect at all levels. The concept has grown from a single restaurant to 15 Rise locations now open in North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia and Florida with over 100 units in development. Rise was named a 2016 Fast Casual Top 100 Mover & Shaker in 2016. Before starting Rise Biscuits Donuts, Ferguson was a pioneer in the NC Triangle’s food truck scene with Only Burger.

Sam Ferreira

President | Gloria Jean’s Coffees

Sam Ferreira is the president of Retail Food Group’s U.S. business, which includes Gloria Jean’s Coffees and It’s A Grind Coffee House. Most recently Sam was the Senior Director of Retail Operations/Sales & Service at Oportun, where he was responsible for the rapid expansion of the business. Prior to that, his experience includes overseeing large chains and franchises through senior roles at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Blockbuster and Subway.

Susie Fogelson

Founder | F&Co.

Susie Fogelson was the driving force behind the Food Network and Cooking Channel brands for 15 years, and you may also recognize her as a judge on Next Food Network Star — so she is accustomed to the role of judging concepts and providing feedback on the fly! Now, with her company F&Co, she’s helping food and bev brands, grocery and restaurant groups develop/reinvent their brand marketing and storytelling strategy in the context of the dynamic food industry and the mindset of the food connected consumer – an audience that she was very influential in creating. She has her finger on the pulse of trends in these sectors.

Drew French

Founder & President | Your Pie

Drew French is the Founder and President of Your Pie. While honeymooning on the Italian island of Ischia, Drew was inspired to bring the authentic, brick-oven taste of Italian pizza to the United States. With a passion for gourmet food and a business degree from the University of Georgia, French opened the first Your Pie location in Athens, Ga., in 2008. The brand has since grown to more than 50 locations across the U.S., and French continues to infuse creativity, inspiration and innovation through his leadership. Drew’s culinary brainchild, the fan-favorite Peach Prosciutto Pie, earned him a lifetime spot on the U.S. Pizza team.

Jeff Fromm

President | FutureCast

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at Jeff is also a frequent speaker on marketing, consumer trends and brand innovation. Jeff has spent significant time researching the Millennial audience and is the co-author of “Marketing to Millennials” (2013) and “Millennials with Kids” (2015). Jeff has more than 25 years of marketing consulting experience with dozens of brands ranging from Build-a-Bear to Whole Foods Market.

Tracey Fullington

National Account Manager | Essity North America

Tracey Fullington is National Account Manager for Essity North America. She is an accomplished sales management professional with over 20 years of experience, who is dedicated to serving restaurants in a sustainable way. Tracey promotes SCA / Tork products and hygiene initiatives to national account foodservice concepts with corporate headquarters based in the Southeastern United States. Since 2007 she has been responsible for maintaining and growing a portfolio of high profile national foodservice concepts with locations that cross regional boundaries.

Scott Gladstone

VP, Strategy & Development | Applebee’s

Scott Gladstone is Vice President of Strategy and Development at Applebee’s. In this role, he is responsible for strategic growth initiatives across the brand, strengthening the franchisee portfolio, and leading the growth of off-premise channels including To Go, Delivery and Catering. Prior to joining Applebee’s in 2016, Scott was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group, leading strategy and operations projects across a variety of industries and topics. His experience included efforts focused on brand transformation, marketing optimization, growth strategy and consumer insights. Scott received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and his M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Colleen Glendinning

Director of Social Media & PR | Toppers Pizza

Toppers Pizza Director of Social Media & PR Colleen Glendinning has been actively involved in marketing for the food and restaurant industry for nearly 15 years. Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Business, she has held various marketing roles in the food and restaurant industry including positions at Qdoba Mexican Eats, Noodles & Company and Wixon, a B2B food ingredient company. Colleen has a passion for food and restaurant marketing, and in her current role she has decentralized the company’s approach to social media, focusing the strategy on driving engagement and at the local level.

Zach Goldstein

Founder & CEO | Thanx

Zach Goldstein founded Thanx in 2011 with the goal of helping merchants identify, reward and retain their best customers and die-hard fans. Previously, Zach worked with retail and tech giants at Bain and Company, where he focused on customer satisfaction and retention. Thanx is based in San Francisco and is financed by Sequoia Capital and other elite Silicon Valley investors. Hundreds of leading brands rely on the Thanx platform to drive customer happiness every day. Zach received his MBA from Stanford and his BA from Dartmouth.

Devin Handler

Director of Markering | Garbanzo

Speaker bio coming soon!

Don Hawkins, Jr.

Group VP, Emerging Chains, Government & Retail | Middleby Corporation

Don Hawkins is the Group VP for Emerging Chains, Government and Retail at Middleby Corporation. His teams interface directly with Emerging and Re-Emerging Foodservice companies to increase product quality, increase operational efficiencies as well as speed of service, and to reduce labor and utility costs via foodservice equipment designed and built around their specific needs. Don has over 30 years in the industry as both an executive in foodservice equipment manufacturing and as a provider of equipment and services to restaurant chains. He’s known for providing new and creative solutions to issues and problems for customers both globally and domestically.

Jason Herron

Director of Marketing Insights | Simmons Foods

Jason Herron is the Director of Marketing Insights for Simmons Foods. Over the last decade, Jason has developed various reality-based research programs for clients that has gained Simmons many coveted thought leader roles and first developer advantages. Jason holds a B.A. in Marketing, Advertising, and a M.A. in Consumer Behavior. His mission at work is to drive more valuable customer engagement across Simmons’ broad range of brands, market environments, and clients.

Keith Hertling

VP of Leadership, Coaching & Culture | Jersey Mike’s

Keith Hertling, vice president of leadership, coaching and culture at Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc, has worked for the sandwich chain for fifteen years. He began coaching Special Olympians in college and has been teaching and coaching every since. At age fifteen, he co-founded Popeye’s Gym, a haven for athletes, police, firefighters, and lifeguards, and was a leader in the fitness industry for more than twenty years. He also spent time as a high school and college football coach, certified personal trainer, and life coach. He explores how to create and maintain a great culture in his new book, “Life Lessons on Leadership, Coaching and Culture.”

Brian Holdrich

VP of Marketing | Welbilt

Speaker bio coming soon!

Amir Hudda

CEO | Qu

Speaker bio coming soon!

Sunny Ilyas

Founder/CEO | Vale Food Co.

Sunny Ilyas is Founder & CEO for Vale Food Co, a rapidly growing healthy fast casual restaurant in Florida that offers build your own bowls; açaí bowls, and also provides meal plan delivery services. A true entrepreneur, he set out in 2014 to create a meal plan delivery company to provide people with healthy food that is delicious, convenient, affordable and has variety. In 2016, he was able to grow from a meal plan delivery business to opening up as a restaurant as well. As a dual revenue stream company, Vale Food Co in a year has been able to grow into 3 locations in prime real estate and thrive.

David Jones

CEO & Co-Founder | Blazing Onion

David Jones is the CEO & Co-Founder of the Blazing Onion, opening his 1st Blazing Onion in March of ’07 in the Greater Seattle Market. He is married to Lorri Jones, his CFO & Business Partner. The Blazing Onion profiles both a fast-casual plus restaurant as well as our full service Sports & Whiskey Lounges, making them a hybrid in the evolving fast casual segment. The menu is about all natural fresh local ingredients with recipes made from scratch at each individual location. They have been recognized by QSR magazine as “Ones to Watch” and ranked #25 by Fast Casual magazine in its “Top 100, Mover’s and Shakers”.

Stacey Kane

CMO | Mahana Poke & Firenza Pizza

Stacey Kane has more than 22 years of experience working with multi-unit restaurant chains. Stacey is part of the launch team of Mahana Poke, an innovative fast casual experience that will open its first location later this year. In 2016, Stacey joined Firenza Pizza a leader in the premium fast casual pizza segment. Prior to that she served as the Chief Marketing Officer of the 35 unit comfort casual chain, East Coast Wings + Grill for almost 2 years. In 2007, Stacey started at California Tortilla, where she was known for her incredible creativity as the VP of marketing.

Akash Kapoor

CEO & Co-Founder | Curry Up Now

Akash Kapoor has been a successful entrepreneur for over 32 years in a career spanning a Cable TV Company in India that is still operating to a Mortgage Banking & Lending business in 26 states. In 2009 Akash founded Curry Up Now, the world’s fastest growing Indian Fast Casual Brand, along with his wife, Rana Saluja-Kapoor and co-founder Amir Hosseini. Akash titles himself as The Chief Trouble Maker at Curry Up Now and dislikes status quo and lives by the mantra, If you don’t get better, you get worse. Curry Up Now is currently developing 50 franchise & corporate stores around the US.

Prakash Karamchandani

Co-Founder | Balance Grille

Prakash Karamchandani is a self-proclaimed foodie and technology junkie who co-founded Balance Pan-Asian Grille, a nationally-acclaimed fast-casual Asian fusion multi-unit concept based in Ohio. Prakash oversees development and finance, as well as leads the brand’s marketing and technological innovation efforts. Since starting the venture in 2010, Prakash has been recognized as a Top 24 Fast Casual Executive and a 20 Under 40 recipient as recently as 2017. In addition to meeting his co-founder at the University of Toledo, Prakash met his wife and is a father of two.

Sean Kennedy

President & CEO | Cowboy Chicken

Sean Kennedy currently serves as President and CEO of Cowboy Chicken. Sean has been instrumental in establishing Cowboy Chicken as the premium fast casual restaurant brand that pioneered wood fired rotisserie chicken. In his previous roles as President and Chief Operating Officer, Sean has worked to refine the menu, build operational systems, grow system wide sales and strengthen store financial performance. In 2009 he strategically launched Cowboy Chicken’s franchise program that helped pave the way for today’s national expansion. Along the way Sean has built a strong corporate team to support franchise development, real estate, construction, training, marketing, and franchise support efforts.

Kevin King

Chief Development Officer | Smoothie King

Restaurant industry veteran Kevin King joined Smoothie King as chief development officer in May 2016 to lead all aspects of the company’s record-setting growth. Kevin’s 30-year career has included managing operations and franchise development for pizza giants such as Domino’s, Donato’s Pizza, Project Pie and Papa Murphy’s, where he doubled its number of locations and assisted with the initial private offering in 2014. He has also served as a regional vice president of retail real estate at J.P. Morgan Chase, and has deep expertise in restaurant operations, restaurant layout and site design, commercial real estate and franchising.

Allyson Klineman

Director of Agency Services | LevelUp

Allyson Klineman is Director of Agency Services for LevelUp, a leading mobile engagement platform. LevelUp is the growth engine for restaurants, capturing and engaging new and existing customers with industry-leading digital ordering, payment, and loyalty experiences. Allyson has been with LevelUp for four years and previously ran Account Management. Today, she focuses on helping LevelUp’s existing clients evolve their engagement programs by leveraging new features, tools, and unique partnerships.

Michael Kowalski

Director, Product Communications | Xenial

Michael Kowalski is passionate about helping restaurant and retail companies succeed and has a genuine interest in technology and the value it brings to people and businesses. His B-to-B technology marketing experience includes contributing to marketing programs for Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Seagate Technologies, WatchGuard, and MegaPath. Michael is currently Director Product Communications at Xenial cloud-based restaurant and retail management.

Benedict Koenig IV

Founder | Heritage Eats

As Founder of Heritage Eats, Ben Koenig is committed to incorporating global inspirations and philanthropy into all aspects of business. An avid traveler, in 2014 he spent considerable time backpacking through the Middle East and Asia—an experience that helped inspire the Heritage Eats brand. Prior to his travels, Ben worked with hospitality design and concept firm AvroKO, serving as Assistant General Manager at their Napa restaurant, The Thomas, from 2013 – 2014. This was his second foray into the restaurant world: he helped AvroKO open their first restaurant in 2002. Prior to forging a career in hospitality, Koenig worked as a Financial Analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Rachel Layton

VP of Marketing & Growth | Taziki’s Mediterranean Café

Rachel Layton serves as the Vice President of Marketing + Growth for Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe. She is responsible for building sustainable growth strategies linked to innovations that drive the strategic growth initiatives for the company’s 80+ locations nationwide. In this role, Layton oversees the management of the Taziki’s brand, including digital marketing strategies, the local store marketing program, national off-premise initiatives, creative development and agency management, and franchise recruitment strategy. Layton is responsible for managing the marketing fund provided through a contribution from all stores and is responsible for managing all members of the marketing department, including the general direction of the Taziki’s marketing program.

John Lebel

CEO | Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta

From politics to pizza, John Lebel, has always taken his New York roots very seriously. Lebel started his career in Washington D.C with a passion for community and helping others. He combined that passion with his love of authentic New York style pizza and help found Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta. Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta has amassed a loyal following for its dedication to using the highest quality ingredients, including pure imported oil from Italy and 100 percent whole milk mozzarella cheese. Lebel and his team have expanded Anthony’s from a single downtown Denver storefront to more than 25 restaurants.

Michael Mabry

President & COO | MOOYAH

Michael’s first venture into the restaurant industry was a catering business he developed in 1989. In 1992, he joined Brinker International as Executive Chef for Romano’s Macaroni Grill. There he was instrumental in establishing systems that remain a stable foundation of the business. While at Brinker, Michael advanced to General Manager in 1995 and to Director of Franchise in 1998. He created and implemented the global franchise strategy, process, initiatives and standards for Macaroni Grill. In late 2009 Michael joined forces with Brinker and Tin Star Alum Rich Hicks. As President and Chief Operating Officer, Michael is responsible for MOOYAH’s overall growth and day-to-day business.

Micha Magid

Co-Founder | Mighty Quinn’s BBQ

Micha Magid started his career on Wall Street evaluating investment opportunities across multiple industries before jumping into BBQ on a full time basis. He oversees finance and marketing strategies for Mighty Quinn’s BBQ along with PR and social media. Micha also works with the Architect & Design team for new store build-outs.

Dr. James Marsden

Executive Director of Food Safety | Chipotle Mexican Grill

Dr. James Marsden has over forty years’ experience in the food industry with a strong background working with government officials, regulators, and for food companies, trade associations and in academia. He advised the White House on food safety and nutrition and testified on numerous occasions to the United States Congress, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). James joined Chipotle in 2016 as the company’s Executive Director of Food Safety. He is responsible for directing the food safety programs at Chipotle Mexican Grills, Shop House restaurants and for Pizzeria Locale.

Peter McLaughlin

Sr. Director, Customer Success | PlayerLync

Specializing in innovative learning technologies that enable teams to learn faster and operate more successfully, Peter McLaughlin has helped lead high-growth business for more than 20 years. At companies such as Symantec and Clearwell, he managed Education Services teams, which delivered training courses for thousands of customers. In his current role as head of Customer Success for PlayerLync, he collaborates with customers such as Chipotle, Jack in the Box, and Blaze Pizza to improve their training and performance. He has an MBA from the University of Denver, and a BA from UCLA.

Mike Mirkil

VP, Restaurant Insights & Analytics | LevelUp

Speaker bio coming soon!

Aaron Noveshen

Founder & President | Starbird & Culinary Edge Ventures

A graduate of UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Aaron Noveshen is an award-winning chef and restaurant entrepreneur. He is the Founder and President of The Culinary Edge, an innovation agency that provides global companies with strategic food, brand and operations solutions. Aaron is also the Founder and President of Starbird, a modern chicken concept that is revolutionizing food and convenience in the QSR/Fast Casual marketplace. As Co-founder of Pacific Catch Restaurants, Aaron served as president for 10 years and currently serves on the board of directors. Most recently Aaron co-founded The Culinary Edge Ventures with the mission to create, incubate, operate and grow restaurant brands.

Otto Othman

CMO & Co-Founder | Pincho Factory

With 13 years of interactive design experience, Otto Othman has led creative teams on award winning campaigns for clients such as FIAT, Coca Cola, Chrysler and Sprint. Otto is the Co-founder of the award winning burgers and kebabs restaurant called Pincho Factory in Miami. Leveraging social media and technology, Pincho Factory has created a very loyal following/cult in Miami. After winning the 2015 Food Network Burger bash, Pincho Factory has grown into 5 locations and has 10 under development with plans to reach 50 locations signed by the end of 2018.

Frank Paci

CEO | Corner Bakery

Frank Paci is an accomplished executive with over 25 years of experience leading retail and foodservice brands. He most recently served as President and CEO at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. He previously was President and CEO of McAlister’s Deli, a 300-plus unit fast casual brand, and was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at the Pantry, a publicly traded convenience store chain with over 1,500 locations. Prior to that, he held senior leadership finance and franchise development positions at Blockbuster, Pizza Hut and Burger King.

James Park

CEO | Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh

James Park is CEO of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, the leader in fast casual authentic Mediterranean cuisine. James is a savvy marketing and operations executive who champions and activates all things brand. He excels at transformational leadership by humanizing the intangibles and developing programs that are purposeful and lasting. For the past 10 years, James has served in executive leadership roles for some of the most well-established and fastest-growing concepts in the fast casual, QSR and retail environments: Which Wich, 7-Eleven and Charley’s. In addition, James’ international experience includes substantive contributions in Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Venezuela and Brazil.

Chris Patheiger

Head of Business Development & Partner | Uncle Smoke Cookhouse

Chris Patheiger is an entrepreneur and host of Bell Fibe TV1’s ‘Hogtown BBQ’ food show in Canada. He and his partners founded Uncle Smoke Cookhouse in 2015. Built on the premise of “dining room extension” which uses a combination of traditional catering, events and take-out models in conjunction with third-party technology platforms and sales partnerships. Uncle Smoke’s first Toronto storefront has only nine seats but produces more than a ton of their signature smoked meats every month. Prior to turning his attention to food, Chris was a founding partner of the digital advertising firm Redux Media which was acquired by TC Transcontinental in 2012.

Tricia Phillips

SVP, Product & Strategy | Kount

Tricia Phillips brings nearly 20 years of industry experience, having worked in executive roles in product strategy and management, fraud operations, and client services for ecommerce retailers, payment management and fraud prevention service providers, and a major credit card brand. As Senior Vice President Tricia assumes responsibility for defining and implementing Kount’s product strategy to ensure that it aligns with the company’s growing customer base. Tricia joins Kount from Gartner, where she most recently was a research director focused on security, fraud detection, and identity solutions. In this role, Tricia worked with a diverse set of organizations to ensure a balanced focus on customer experience, fraud losses, integration and technology costs.

Stephen Polanski

Senior Vice President | Buxton

In his role as senior vice president, Stephen Polanski leads Buxton’s retail and restaurant consulting teams. For more than a decade Stephen has worked to build relationships with his clients to help them to get the maximum benefit from Buxton’s customer analytics solutions. He works with executives to define and execute site selection, franchise expansion and market entry strategies. Stephen’s clients include Wingstop, Red Wing Shoes, Bar Louie, Which Wich and Bareburger. Before joining Buxton, Stephen was a professional golfer. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Texas Christian University.

Maria Pourteymour

Co-Founder | Luna Grill

Chief Cuisine Officer and Co-Founder of Luna Grill Maria Pourteymour began her culinary journey as a child in the kitchen with her grandmother. She learned that preparing homemade meals was a powerful way to demonstrate love for friends and family. After moving to a new neighborhood in 2004, Maria found herself disheartened by the lack of quick, nutritious options to feed her then four-year-old daughter. It was out of this necessity for wholesome, well-rounded food for her family that Maria decided to co-found Luna Grill. Now, Maria’s easy, healthy recipes transcend her kitchen to the 41 kitchens of Luna Grill.

Sean Pourteymour

Co-Founder & CEO | Luna Grill

CEO Sean Pourteymour co-founded Luna Grill in 2004 with his wife and Luna Grill’s Chief Cuisine Officer, Maria Pourteymour. Prior to Luna Grill, Sean and Maria were in automotive fleet management, which is where Sean honed the two pillars of his business philosophy. First, making employees happy translates to customer happiness. Second, treating customers with honesty and respect keeps them coming back. In 2004, Maria wanted to combine her passion for food with Sean’s background in real estate, so they sold their automotive business and opened the first Luna Grill. Now, Luna Grill has 41 locations offering wholesome Mediterranean cuisine in a contemporary setting.

Lisa Regelman

Director of Loyalty | Peet’s Coffee

Speaker bio coming soon!

Bruce Reinstein

Partner | Kinetic12

Bruce Reinstein is a partner at Kinetic12 and brings more than 25 years of experience as a results-driven executive in the hospitality industry. Bruce’s leadership experience in developing and growing multi-unit restaurant brands, concept operations, menu development and supply chain strengthens Kinetic12’s knowledge and problem-solving consulting offerings. Bruce is dedicated to systems development and implementation with an emphasis on value that stems from differentiation. Prior to joining Kinetic12, Bruce was the President of Consolidated Concepts where he worked on customized solutions for emerging & national chains. Prior to that he was the co-founder and president of Fresh City, a 2002 Hot Concepts Award Winner.

AJ Rochow

CMO | Cali Group

CaliBurger has emerged as a leader in Fast Casual innovation. Being the first company in the USA to introduce not only A.I. and robotics in the kitchen, but also “face” based loyalty through self ordering kiosks. With over 40 locations world wide, CaliBurger continues to innovate, offering a customer experience unlike any other. Aj Rochow has been CMO of CaliBurger for the last 3 years. With an educational background in Finance and Marketing, he has worked with over 15 different companies in multiple industries, he specializes in new age marketing with a strong emphasis on digital and social media.

Paul Rubin

Chief Strategy Officer | PAR

Paul Rubin is Chief Strategy Officer for ParTech, Inc. Paul has more than 23 years of development experience and has dedicated over 18 years within the hospitality POS market. As a software professional, Paul architected and created new solutions for several large retail and food service companies such as Kinko’s, Jenny Craig, Starbucks, and Jack-in-the-Box. He later went on to work as the Director, Software Engineering at Ameranth, Inc., a provider of wireless and internet-based software solutions for hospitality, healthcare, and financial services companies. Paul joined PAR in 2014 with the acquisition of Brink Software.

Michael Schaefer

Global Lead, Food & Beverage | Euromonitor International

Michael Schaefer is the Global Lead for Food & Beverage at Euromonitor International. He and his team track consumer trends, product innovations, and the evolution of eating and drinking across the world. Michael is the primary driver for design, development, and promotion of Euromonitor’s global restaurant research program, as well as its coverage of the global non-alcoholic drinks industry. He has been quoted in Bloomberg Businessweek, Nation’s Restaurant News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times, among others. Michael holds an M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Stanford University and has been at Euromonitor since 2005.

Steve Schulze

Co-Founder & CEO | Nékter Juice Bar

Now with more than 100 locations, another 150 in development and $100 million in systemwide sales, Steve Schulze, as CEO, has grown Nékter Juice Bar into the clear leader and pioneer of the $2 billion juice bar industry. Founded in 2010 upon a promise to reinvent a restaurant category that had lost its way, Nékter Juice Bar has been a catalyst for change, vowing ingredient integrity and authenticity across its menu of 100% freshly made and entirely clean juices, smoothies, bowls and other healthy snacks. Nékter plans to grow to 425 restaurants by 2020 and is well on its way as it prepares to open 75 restaurants in 2018.

Reed Slobusky

Owner | SkinnyFATS

In June of 2013, Reed Slobusky created the first SkinnyFATS, an innovative fast-casual restaurant with a “happy” and “healthy” menu. The restaurant gained such popularity in the Las Vegas community he opened three more locations with several more on the way. Restless to bring more deliciousness to the city, Reed opened up ColdPress Express, the sister juice shop to the SkinnyFATS brand, and also developed a line of mind blowing sauces, consisting of four ketchups and a hot mustard, called SkinnyFATS Catchup. An eccentric entrepreneur, Reed continues to innovate and create with his eyes set on a nationwide expansion of his concepts.

Shauna Smith

Co-Founder & President | Four Foods Group

Shauna K. Smith co-founded Four Foods Group in 2008, and serves as President of this rapidly growing company. In her role at Four Foods Group (FFG) – a restaurant development, operations and finance company – Smith has assisted in developing, acquiring and operating 154 restaurants across a 10-state territory, over five different brands: Kneaders Bakery & Café, Little Caesars, R&R Barbeque, MoBettah’s and Swig n’ Sweets. She also has been a key influence in creating more than 5,500 jobs, and continues to create nearly 125 new jobs per month with the addition of new restaurant units across the country.

Brandon Solano

Chief Marketing & Digital Officer | Pei Wei

Brandon Solano has built a reputation as one of the most creative and unconventional marketing leaders in the U.S. foodservice industry. Recruited in May 2017 to serve as Pei Wei’s Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, Brian spearheaded a multi-media campaign tied to the groundbreaking debut of Wei Better Orange Chicken and Tiger – the brand’s sharp-tongued spokes-animal who has his own Twitter account – which has positioned the brand for significant growth. Prior to joining Pei Wei, Brian served as Chief Marketing Officer at Wendy’s, where he and his team created the brand’s successful 4 for $4 deal.

Mike Speck

CEO | Asian Box

Mike Speck has significant experience in Operations, Training, HR and Senior Level Leadership, in both corporate and franchise national high growth casual dining and fast casual service restaurant companies. Currently he is the CEO at Asian Box and prior was the Chief Operating Officer of The Halal Guys, the New York City most iconic brand. Prior industry experience includes being part of the leadership team at Qdoba Mexican Grill during growth from 100 to 600+ restaurants, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers repositioning and IPO and significant experience in growth ventures that started at Mayfair Partners, an important franchisee of Boston Market and Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Paula Suarez

VP, Technical Analytics & Implementation | Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants

Paula Suarez is Vice President of Technical Analytics and Implementation at Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurant, Inc. Paula leads the companywide implementation of technology projects and oversees in-house software development efforts. Her focus is on streamlining business processes using advanced technology options. Prior to joining Dickey’s Barbecue in 2011, Paula served as Division Business Systems Analyst for RealPage, a software development company for major property management companies. Paula’s experience also includes over a decade working within the area of business systems analysis, software development and technical training. Past career achievements include the development and launching of the first military housing technical training program for Lincoln Military Housing.

Patrick Sugrue

President & CEO | Saladworks

Patrick Sugrue brings more than 20 years of experience in the food industry and extensive executive expertise to his role as President and CEO of Saladworks. Patrick began his career at The Gallo Winery and The Coca Cola Company before working for well-known brands including Honey Baked Ham, Fearman’s Pork, Inc. and Sofina Foods. Since joining Saladworks, Patrick has led the company in a brand positioning study, creating and implementing an innovative strategic plan, and driven the launch of new menu items, a systemwide remodeling project and a technology bundle, all with 2017 comp sales up 8 percent. Patrick is committed to empowering franchisees and driving unit-level profitability.

Doug Sutton

President | Steritech

As president of Steritech, Doug Sutton uses his unique combination of skills, experience and insight to help industry partners rethink delivering a strong and consistent customer experience. Ever the marketer at heart, Doug also brings broad experience in sales, operations and general management. Since joining Steritech in 2014, Doug has championed shifting the status quo of the industry’s expectations on the audit experience through a consultative and programmatic philosophy. His ardent belief in the importance of a stellar customer experience continually drives his approach with industry partners.

Scott Taylor

President | Walk-Ons

Scott Taylor has served as our Chief Operating Officer since our formation on July 23, 2014. Scott has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Walk-On’s Enterprises Operations, LLC since December 2010, Walk-On’s Enterprises Holdings, LLC since its formation in January 2014, Walk-On’s Enterprises IP, LLC since its formation in January 2014, and Walk-On’s Enterprises Marketing, LLC since its formation in April 2015. During his tenure, Scott has led the organization in systemization of all brands, successful partner buyout and the investment and buy in of Drew Brees in May 2015.

Michelle Tempesta

Head of Marketing | Paytronix

Speaker bio coming soon!

Cheyenne Terbrueggen

Marketing Communications Manager | Elephants Delicatessen

Cheyenne has over 20 years experience in marketing and communications. She began her career in advertising, working as a creative director and content strategist for brands like Disney and Apple. Always dreaming of her next meal, Cheyenne left the advertising agency world and segued into the retail specialty food industry. Currently, she is the marketing and communications director for Elephants Delicatessen in Portland, Oregon. A family-owned and -operated company since 1979, Elephants Delicatessen pioneered the gourmet food industry in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Elephants Delicatessen is a Portland institution, operating seven Portland-area retail locations and a very busy catering division.

Katie Thorstenson

Director of Business Development | GFX International

Katie Thorstenson joined the GFX team as a Director of Business Development in 2016. Katie has been strategic in implementing proper disciplines to support GFX clients with a daily objective to ensure expectations for communication of signage, marketing campaigns and distributions are aligned with customer vision and need. Katie brings over 15 years of sales experience working with Kohl’s, Walgreens, PetSmart, State Farm, Marriott, Murphy USA and more. She is focused on solving customer issues by bringing innovation to clients implementing long term strategies.

Linda Veatch

VP of Marketing | Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Linda Veatch joined the team at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop more than 7 years ago, and has helped grow the Fort Worth, Texas-based fast casual brand to nearly 150 locations in 18 states. As Fuzzy’s Vice President of Marketing, she’s used her experience to lead the successful branding and promotions solutions for the corporate- and franchise-owned concept. One of Linda’s career highlights has been watching and participating in the brand’s growth from a small, regional brand to a growth concept, landing them the No. 7 spot on a recently published list of fastest growing chains. She currently serves as Chairperson for the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executives Group (MEG).

Billie Jo Waara

CMO | Cicis

Billie Jo Waara joined Cicis as Chief Marketing Officer in 2017. She is responsible for overall brand evolution, marketing, creative and culinary development for the Original Pizza Buffet restaurant chain. Since joining the team, Billie Jo has launched several strategic initiatives including re-evaluation and refinement of brand positioning, pricing standards and technology-enabled Guest occasions. She has led innovative marketing initiatives for several industries including hospitality, quick service restaurants, travel, tourism and retail for the past 20 years.

Charles Watson

Chief Development Officer | Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Charles Watson was named Chief Development Officer of Tropical Smoothie Cafe in 2016 after serving as VP of Franchise Development since 2010. In this role, Charles is responsible for all development of the TSC brand. A veteran hospitality professional, Charles has worked for several hospitality-related companies, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Intercontinental Hotels Group, US Franchise Systems, Inc. and Hospitality Real Estate Counselors. Charles is a graduate of The Hotel School at Cornell University and also holds a Masters of Business Administration from The Terry School of Business at The University of Georgia.

Nicole West

VP, Digital Strategy & Product Management | Chipotle Mexican Grill

Nicole West started with Chipotle in 2006, as Local Store Marketing Consultant in our Rocky Mountain Region. She worked closely with Marketing leadership to build and elevate the Field Marketing program and team before being tapped, in 2013, to spearhead the new eCommerce business unit. In her roles as eCommerce Manager and Director of Digital Commerce, Nicole has worked to create a product-based approach to experience design, and with partners in IT, Marketing and Operations, has transformed the digital experiences people have with Chipotle. As VP of Digital Strategy and Product Management, she will continue to work with partners across the organization to create exceptional digital experiences.

Missy Wolfe

Product Line Manager | Taylor Company

Missy Wolfe is the Product Line Manager at the Taylor Company. Taylor Company is a leading foodservice equipment manufacturer dedicated to delivering superior equipment and extraordinary customer service. Located in Rockton, Illinois, Taylor Company offers everything from frozen beverage and soft serve machines to commercial grills. Setting the pace for foodservice professionals since 1926, Taylor equipment is supported by the global Taylor Distributor network to provide quality equipment, powerful programs and unparalleled support. Missy has been with Taylor since 2010. In her tenure, she and her colleagues have delivered numerous equipment offerings to the marketplace with the goal of delighting our customers!

Kathleen Wood

Founder & CEO | Kathleen Wood Partners | Suzy’s Swirl

Kathleen is the founder of Kathleen Wood Partners, an innovative growth strategy firm, specializing in transforming visions into reality through strategy brand optimization and leadership development. Her firm focuses on small business who want to grow into great businesses. Kathleen is a nationally recognized growth strategist, motivational speaker and author. Her book is The BEST Shift of Your Life – The Restaurant Manager’s Guide for Success Outside the Restaurant. Kathleen is also an owner/operator of her family business Suzy’s Swirl/Frozen Happiness since 2012. She consults, lives and knows all about the small business struggle bus!

Kathi Woolsey

Director of Business Development | Visualogistix

With a passion for helping clients find innovative ways to distinguish themselves from the competition, Kathi has spent the last 25+ years in the marketing communications industry with a primary focus on marketing supply chain management, advertising production services, integrated and cross-channel marketing program development and learning technologies. Kathi is fascinated with the convergence of the ever-expanding mediums and passionate about ways to utilize them to improve targeted marketing efforts which deliver results. Her wide network of customers has led to key partnerships with Fortune 1000 Manufacturers, Retailers and Corporate Advertisers.

Lee Zucker

Head of Industry, Food Service | Yext

Lee Zucker joined Yext as Head of Industry for Food Service with deep knowledge, passion and years of experience in the food service technology space. In his role, Lee leads global Food Service strategy, product and partnership development. Before Yext, Lee was Vice President of Sales & Restaurant Partnerships at the venture backed startup Slice–the premier digital ordering and marketing platform for independent pizzerias that focuses on bringing mobile commerce to the $45 billion U.S. pizza market. While at Slice, he grew the restaurant network to over 6,500 independent restaurants in more than 2,000 cities and towns nationwide.


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