CEO | PIZZA INN HOLDINGS
Randy Gier serves as Chief Executive Officer of Pizza Inn Holdings, the parent company of legacy brand Pizza Inn and the revolutionary Pie Five Pizza Co., the leading concept in the rapidly developing fast casual pizza segment. Since Randy joined Pizza Inn Holdings, Inc., Pie Five has grown to thirteen corporate-owned locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and has awarded multi-unit franchise development agreements with rights to open and operate over 100 locations across the United States.
BESTSELLING AUTHOR | SPEAKER | TV PERSONALITY
Larry Winget is a six-time New York Times
/Wall Street Journal
bestselling author translated into over 20 languages. His newest book, Grow a Pair: How to Stop Being a Victim and Take Back Your Life, Your Business, and Your Sanity
was released on September 12, 2013 and instantly hit both the WSJ and NYT bestsellers list. A member of the International Speaker Hall Of Fame, he has starred in his own television series and appeared in national television commercials. Larry is also regular contributor on many news shows on the topics of money, personal success, parenting and business. Some of Larry’s appearances include CNBC, PBS, MSNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, The Today Show
, Larry King Live
, The Big idea with Donny Deutsch
, Dr. Phil
EVP BARKLEY & CO-AUTHOR OF “MARKETING TO MILLENNIALS”
As a thought-leader in the Millennial trends space, Jeff works in collaboration with major brands to help them unlearn, reimagine and inspire their greatest possible future. With more than 25 years of hands-on experience, Jeff dedicates his time to finding innovative and disruptive solutions for brands aiming to capitalize on Millennial inspired cultural shifts. In 2011, he spearheaded the development of “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation,” then co-authored the book “Marketing to Millennials: Reach the Largest and Most Influential Generation of Consumers Ever
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER | RUBIO’S RESTAURANTS
Marc S. Simon has been the President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Rubio’s Restaurants since April 2011. Mr. Simon also served as the Chief Operating Officer from September 2009 and Senior Vice President of Operations from November 2007 to September 2009. Before joining Rubio’s, Mr. Simon served as Chief Executive Officer for America’s Incredible Pizza Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma from October 2006 to August 2007. Prior to that, Mr. Simon worked for McDonald’s Corporation as Vice President for Corporate Development from 1994 to 1998. Mr. Simon led the team that brought Chipotle Mexican Grill into McDonald’s and later served as Regional Director for Chipotle from 1998 to 2006. In addition, Mr. Simon spent 17 years with Ernst & Young’s Midwest Consulting Practice where he focused on strategic issues across the restaurant, distribution, manufacturing and service industries. Mr. Simon has a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts and a Master’s Degree in Library and Informational Science from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University..”
CEO | GIRAFFAS USA
João Barbosa is CEO of Giraffas USA and the person at the helm of the chain’s international expansion. João is a partner of Giraffas and has been part of the Board of Director since 2002. He most recently embarked on an exciting new challenge in his extensive business career to bring the third largest Brazilian restaurant chain to the US. Before moving to Miami in 2012, João spearheaded the development of a fund created to raise the initial investment capital for the restaurants in the state of Florida. João has a degree in Engineering, having graduated from FAAP (São Paulo, Brazil) in 1994. From 1994 to 1996, he worked for Banco Itaú, the largest private bank in Brazil, departing to start his own business. In 1997, João co-founded Fast&Food, the second largest logistics service provider in the food service industry in Brazil. Until 2011, he was Director of Operations, Finance and Human Resources at Fast&Food. He sold his share of Fast&Food and now devotes all his time, knowledge and experience on Giraffas’ international expansion..”
TOXICOLOGIST | CHEF | REGISTERED DIETITIAN
Suzy Badaracco is a toxicologist, chef, and registered dietitian. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminalistics, an Associates degree in Culinary Arts, and a Masters of Science degree in Human Nutrition. Suzy has worked as an analytical chemist, corporate chef, nutrition specialist, trainer, knowledge manager and trends forecaster for food industry clients since 1992. Suzy has been trained in military intelligence, chaos theory, and predictive analysis techniques used by both corporate and government bodies and has been practicing trends intelligence and predictive forecasting for more than 14 years. Using these techniques she has been able to successfully predict and profile food, flavor, consumer, packaging, and health trends in the United States and research, technology, and government trends internationally for all areas of the food industry..”
EDITOR | MOBILEPAYMENTSTODAY.COM
Will Hernandez has 14 years of experience ranging from newspapers to wire services and trade publications. Before becoming Editor of Mobile Payments Today, he spent two years as the content manager for PaymentsJournal.com, a leading payments industry news aggregator and information hub published by Mercator Advisory Group. He spent four years covering the payments industry as an associate editor for multiple publications in SourceMedia’s Payments Group based in Chicago including ATM&Debit News, CardLine, PaymentsSource.com, ISO&Agent Weekly and American Banker. Will helped launched SourceMedia’s bi-weekly newsletter, Mobile Banker, and built and cultivated the Payments Group’s first Twitter presence. Will holds a B.A. in Journalism from St. John’s University (NY).
Sr. Director Global Food and Beverage |
Lon Southerland, a prominent food and beverage industry executive known for taking Marriott’s The Bistro – Eat.Drink.Connect® concept from inception to the most rapidly growing fast-casual restaurant in the U.S. (overseeing 750 restaurants, opening one a business day and 2500+ coffee venues), holds a career-long record of key contributions that include four Inc. 500 awards as COO, development of Starbucks #1 F&B program, creation of 7-Eleven’s $120M fresh food concept, and recognition from The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other media as an industry subject matter expert.
As CEO of Scala, Tom Nix focuses on Scala’s evolution and expansion in digital communications and customer engagement. He is passionate about digital signage as part of a company’s omni-channel strategy. He loves highly immersive, intelligent, personalized experiences that drive high returns for Scala’s many customers across the globe. He believes that leveraging Scala’s Advanced Analytics to predict patterns and improve conversions is a major value add for our customers and is always looking forward to Scala’s next big idea to advance the industry forward. Nix attended the Executive Program for Growing Companies (EPGC) at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business in Palo Alto, California.
CMO | Rewards Network
Kara Walsh is Chief Marketing Officer. She manages marketing, new product development and pricing strategy. She joined the company in November 2012. Walsh brings more than 15 years of experience in launching and growing new businesses and revenue streams through general management and marketing roles. Prior to joining Rewards Network®, Walsh was the CEO at Metromix LLC, a joint venture between Tribune and Gannett, where she built Metromix.com into a rapidly growing national network of local entertainment websites in over 50 cities, substantially scaling national and local advertising revenue. Earlier in her career, she held key general management, marketing, loyalty, and brand management roles at companies such as Tribune Interactive, Village Voice Media, TV Guide, British Sky Broadcasting, and Coca-Cola. Walsh graduated with a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from Clemson University and received a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
CMO | Robeks
Robeks is the premier, industry-leading fresh juice and smoothie chain in the world, with more than 200 locations open or in development worldwide. With a commitment to taste, nutrition, and innovation, “Healthy has never tasted this good.™” Chad as Chief Marketing Officer has helped revolutionize the Robeks brand over the past two years with 28 consecutive months of same store sales growth, a brand-first new menu, a unique approach to social and digital media, aggressive industry-leading product development, and a next generation store design. Chad’s background includes over 10 years of marketing leadership in the food and beverage category, both on the client and agency side.
CEO | Fatburger
Andy Wiederhorn is the CEO of Fatburger. Prior to his involvement with the burger brand, Wiederhorn served as founder and CEO of a financial services company. From there, he founded Fog Cutter Capital Group which invested in the then struggling burger concept, Fatburger in 2003. Wiederhorn became CEO in 2006 and after battling the difficult economy pulled the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011 and began the company’s drastic turn around. Under Wiederhorn’s leadership, the burger chain is rapidly expanding across the world, with 150 locations open to date and more than 300 under development in 27 countries.
COO | Zaxby's
Robert began his career with Zaxby’s in 1992 as a cook at the company’s third location. Today he serves the brand of over 600 locations as the COO. Robert is a living example of the company’s second core value, Develop Talent. He credits those around him for helping him drop the “K”.