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Name Position Company Brands
Bergeron, Melanie CEO/President TWO MEN AND A TRUCK
Bernstein, Richard Multi-Unit Franchisee Huntington Learning Center Huntington Learning Center
Blake-Ward, Rodger Multi-Unit Franchisee Jersey Mike's Jersey Mike's
Breslin, Patrick Head of Retail Colliers International
Cohen, Mitch Multi-Unit Franchisee Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs
Cohen, Michael President of Tri-State Region Colliers International
Hall, Bill President William G. Hall & Associates Dairy Queen
Haller, Matthew Senior Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs IFA
Metz, John Multi-Unit Franchisee / Franchisor RREMC Restaurants Denny's, Dairy Queen, Hurricane Grill & Wings
Phibbs, Diane Executive Vice President Franchise Update Media
Robins, Gary Multi-Unit Franchisee / Area Developer Supercuts, Cost Cutters Supercuts, Cost Cutters
Russell, John President Wireless Zone Wireless Zone
Schneider, Bob Director of AD Franchise Development Liberty Tax Liberty Tax
Simon, Eric Senior Client Solutions Executive, Research & Consulting FRANdata
Sugarman, Lloyd Multi-Unit Franchisee Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan Johnny Rockets, Original Soupman
Tews, Jeffrey Multi-Unit Franchisee BrightStar Care, Mr. Handyman Brightstar Care, Brughtstar Senior Living, Mr. Handyman
Wilson, Brooke Multi-Unit Franhchisee Two Men And A Truck Two Men And A Truck

Session Speaker
Bergeron, Melanie

CEO/President
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

Melanie Bergeron officially joined the family business in 1989 when she was awarded the first TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchise in Atlanta, Ga. Melanie also maintained a career in pharmaceutical sales while operating the franchise and eventually left her pharmaceutical sales career to focus on her franchise. At the request of her mother, Founder Mary Ellen Sheets, Melanie came to work at the home office of Lansing, Mich., in the 1990’s. In 1994, she was named president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK. In 2002, she became chief operating officer and in January 2007, she took over as CEO. Melanie became Chair of the Board in 2009. In addition to her current position as chair of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, Bergeron is an active member in the community. She serves as incoming Chair for the International Franchise Association, on the board of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, and on the Board of Trustees for the Girl Scouts of Michigan and Northwood. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University and holds a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and business administration. She resides in Okemos, Mich., with her husband and twin sons.

Panelist
Bernstein, Richard

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Huntington Learning Center

Franchisee: Huntington Learning Center

Panelist
Blake-Ward, Rodger

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Jersey Mike's

Franchisee: Jersey Mike's

Session Speaker
Breslin, Patrick

Head of Retail
Colliers International

Patrick Breslin has joined the New York office of Colliers International as an Executive Managing Director. Patrick is a seasoned professional with more that 28 years of commercial real estate experience. Prior to joining Colliers, Patrick was the Global Head of Retail with Studly’s Manhattan office, as an Executive Vice President to strategically advise and represent prominent metropolitan, national and global tenants with all of their retail needs.  Throughout his career, Patrick has consummated more than 8.5 million square feet of retail transactions valued at $7 billion for several notable global retailers. Patrick received his BA from Fordham University. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, MAPIC and the International Council for Shopping Centers. 

Facilitator
Cohen, Mitch

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins

Mitch Cohen manages the production and distribution operations for his network of 13 franchise locations in Long Island, NY which includes Baskin-Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs restaurants. He has been an active franchisee for more than 30 years including his current roles as, Co-Chair of Dunkin Donuts Baskin Robbins Community Foundation as well as on the IFA Board of Directors, FRANPAC and Franchisee Forum board member. He has just ended his term as Baskin-Robbins Advisory Council Co-Chair which he served for 12 years. In 2013 he was awarded the Special Service Recognition award by Dunkin Brands. In 2009, he was honored as Franchisee of the Year and received the Pathfinder Leadership Award in 2007. Mitch attended St. John’s Military Academy, Lincoln College and Eastern Illinois University; he has been a guest speaker at NYU’s School of Business, and IFA’s National Convention.

 

 

Franchisee: Dunkin Donuts, Baskin Robbins, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs

Session Speaker
Cohen, Michael

President of Tri-State Region
Colliers International

Michael Cohen is President of the Tri-State Region. When the firm operated as GVA Williams, Michael was the third generation of his family to head the firm, which was founded in 1926. He chaired GVA Williams’ Executive Committee and was the founding partner and Chairman of GVA Worldwide Ltd., GVA Williams’ strategic partnership of leading real estate firms serving 120 business capitals on five continents. An expert real estate advisor, Michael has represented an elite clientele of the nation’s top companies, including American Express, ADP and General Motors. He specializes in representing corporations in the acquisition and disposition of office space nationwide.

 

Panelist
Hall, Bill

President
William G. Hall & Associates

Bill Hall has a career of more than 30 years as an entrepreneur and investor. He is a CPA, has an accounting degree from the University of Texas, and began his career with the national public accounting firm of Ernst & Young. Bill has been a multi-unit franchisee of Dairy Queen, Church’s Chicken, and Mr. Jim’s Pizza with more than 80 units at one time. Currently, he has 5 Dairy Queen units. In addition to his franchisee experience, he has owned and operated community banks in Texas, independent restaurant concepts, a nationwide transportation company, and real estate investments. Bill has served multiple terms as President of the Texas Dairy Queen Operators’ Council, representing more than 800 Dairy Queen Restaurants in Texas. He is a CFE, Past Chair of the National Franchisee Forum of the IFA, a member of the IFA Board of Directors, serves as the Co-Chair of the National Franchise Mediation Program, and is a member of the Small Business Advisory Council to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Bill is active in his Forth Worth, Texas community where he lives with wife of 28 years and their 4 children.

 

 

Franchisee: Dairy Queen

Facilitator
Haller, Matthew

Senior Vice President of Communications & Public Affairs
IFA

Matthew Haller is Vice President, Public Affairs and Chief of Staff to the President & CEO for the International Franchise Association. He develops the strategic direction for IFA communications to ensure information about franchising, including policy initiatives, the economic impact of franchising, emerging trends and best management practices, is disseminated to IFA members and external audiences such as key policy makers, reporters and other opinion leaders in the most compelling and effective manner. Prior to joining IFA in October 2010, Matthew was Director of Industry Relations at the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, where he developed PCMA’s member and affiliate initiatives surrounding key industry issues. Previously, he served as Manager of Political Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he managed the Chamber’s $20 million budget for political and issue advocacy campaigns during the 2004 and 2006 election cycles. Matthew has also held positions as Legislative Assistant for UPS Corporate Public Affairs and as a Director of Public Affairs at Levick Strategic Communications, LLC. Matthew received a bachelors degree in Political Science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. He resides in Washington, D.C.

 

Facilitator
Metz, John

Multi-Unit Franchisee / Franchisor
RREMC Restaurants

John Metz is currently a franchisee of Denny’s, Dairy Queen, Marriott, and Hurricane Grill & Wings. Presently, RREMC Restaurants has 35 operating restaurants, employing more than 1,250 workers with three new restaurants under construction. As franchisor of Hurricane Grill & Wings, the company has 48 open units (43 franchised and 5 corporate), with 18 to be opened by the end of the year. John’s Hospitality Investment Advisors previously owned, operated and developed five hotels in South Florida. The hotel group consists of Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites and a new Hampton Inn under development at the Miami Airport. His real estate holdings include more than 40 single-tenant retail properties including restaurants, banks, financial services, and general retail. Prior to this, he was President of Roadhouse Grill, McFadden Metz Restaurants, and Continuum Courtyards. John graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science from the School of Hotel Administration and a Master of Business Administration from The Johnson Graduate School of Management. He also is a licensed general contractor and a successful real estate salesperson.

Franchisee: Denny's, Dairy Queen, Hurricane Grill & Wings

Facilitator
Phibbs, Diane

Executive Vice President
Franchise Update Media

Diane Phibbs is a dynamic strategic thinker who thrives on finding ways to drive revenues and profits. She builds solid program foundations, specializing in strategic planning, program development and implementation that generate leads for increased sales. She has implemented lead generation and recruitment programs for companies such as Popeyes/AFC and Checkers. With 20+ years of demonstrated leadership and fiscal performance, Diane's experience began in restaurant operations and moved to consumer marketing and then franchise sales and lead generation. Her broad background supports a unique ability to build and grow franchisee relationships

Facilitator
Robins, Gary

Multi-Unit Franchisee / Area Developer
Supercuts, Cost Cutters

Gary Robins currently owns and operates 41 Supercuts hair salons throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Previously, he was a serial entrepreneur, owning and operating businesses in retail, entertainment, food service, and the travel industry. Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Supercuts Franchisee Association, the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Franchisee Association, and is past president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the world Entrepreneurs Organization. Gary earned a BS from Drexel University in 1985. He is married with three children, Lauren, Evan, and Will. He and his wife Chris reside in Westtown, Pennsylvania.

Franchisee: Supercuts, Cost Cutters

Panelist
Russell, John

President
Wireless Zone

John Russell rapidly grew his business from three to 16 Wireless Zone locations over the course of three years. Since he has saturated the Pennsylvania market, Russell knew that he had to expand into other states if he was to achieve his ambitious growth goal to own 35-40 stores. Taking over 13 underperforming units since January 2010, Russell plans to expand to 25 stores and five markets by the end of 2014. Russell currently has units in multiple states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and plans for six units in Washington DC.

Franchisee: Wireless Zone

Panelist
Schneider, Bob

Director of AD Franchise Development
Liberty Tax

It all started one fateful day in February of 2006. Bob Schneider became a Liberty Tax employee working alongside the marketing team and the sales team. Even though it felt like overnight, about 2 years later, Bob became a franchise owner. The following year he became a multi-unit franchisee. In 2013, Bob became a partner as an Area Developer for most of Maryland and half of Northern Virginia. Honestly, he can't say that it was hard work. It was fun and rewarding work. Bob's passion showed in the rewards and recognition he received. He then became a Master Area Developer and Top Rookie Area Developer in 2013. The next year Bob became the Top Area Developer in Territory Sales.

Franchisee: Liberty Tax

Facilitator
Simon, Eric

Senior Client Solutions Executive, Research & Consulting
FRANdata

Panelist
Sugarman, Lloyd

Multi-Unit Franchisee
Johnny Rockets, The Original SoupMan

Since the first time Lloyd Sugarman set foot in a Johnny Rockets in the summer of 1986, it’s been nothing but up. After meeting with the company founder Ronn Teitelbaum, Lloyd packed his bags and moved his family to California to work every possible aspect of a Johnny Rockets restaurant. After Lloyd had run several restaurants successfully, Teitelbaum asked him to sell half his restaurants and become Senior Vice President of Development for Johnny Rockets in 1989. After three years, Lloyd decided to get back into day-to-day restaurants operations. He gave up his position and focused on growing his own business, which is now up to 15 restaurants in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, California, Minnesota, and Tennessee. In addition, Lloyd introduced dancing servers, food court restaurants locations, and the Streamliner meatless hamburger, key elements of Johnny Rockets restaurants found to this day in the company’s nearly 300 locations worldwide. Lloyd is the CEO of Soupman, Inc. The creation of the First National Brand Gourmet food court as a franchise. He has redesigned the packaging for the soup for the shelving for super market isles. Lloyd was profiled as Franchisee of the Month in the September 2012 issue of Restaurant Business magazine.

Franchisee: Johnny Rockets, Original Soupman

Panelist
Tews, Jeffrey

Multi-Unit Franchisee
BrightStar Care, Mr. Handyman

Jeff Tews and his wife Susan Rather have been BrightStar Care franchisees since September 2006. They currently are BrightStar multi-unit franchisees operating four territories in seven counties in South Central Wisconsin with 500 employees. They also are single branch franchisees with Mr. Handyman in the Madison area. The first BrightStar Senior Living community has been constructed and open in Madison. The community provides Assisted Living and Memory Care support. Jeff and Susan will become the first BSL franchisees after BrightStar Franchising proves the model and files the FDD. Jeff and Susan have been two time Franchisees of the Year at BrightStar. Their Madison territory has been the top performing territory for six years. Jeff was the first co-chair of the BrightStar Franchise Advisory Committee. Jeff is a current member of the IFA Board of Directors, Executive Committee and Chair of the Franchisee Forum.

Franchisee: Brightstar Care, Brughtstar Senior Living, Mr. Handyman

Panelist
Wilson, Brooke

Multi-Unit Franhchisee
Two Men And A Truck

Brooke Wilson is a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK multi-unit franchisee owner, based in Durham, North Carolina. Since starting her first franchise location in 2004 with her husband and business partner, Les Wilson, she has strategically expanded to own and operate nine locations, most recently in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Maryland, metropolitan areas. Her locations have earned franchise-wide records and consistently win TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchisee awards, including the 2013 and 2014 Top 14 Achievement in Excellence awards. She was named the 2010 Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association. Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Franchisee: Two Men And A Truck