FranchiseU! Podcast

A business podcast brought to you by the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence

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Bi-Weekly Podcast

About the Series

FranchiseU! provides education and inspiration to those in, or considering careers within, franchising. This podcast is produced by the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence at the University of Louisville. The Center’s vision is to empower communities to create and sustain generational wealth using the franchising business model.

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Kathy Gosser, PhD

Podcast Host

Kathy Gosser Faculty College of Business

Dr. Gosser originally joined the College of Business in 2019. Before joining UofL, Dr. Gosser spent 35 years at YUM! Brands. Her last role with the company was as Director of Learning & Organizational Development and the Chair of the KFC Foundation. She earned her PhD in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development from the University of Louisville, her MBA from UofL, and her BA in Journalism from Indiana University.

 

Mike Grams of Taco Bell headshot

Episode One: Mike Grams (Taco Bell)

In our inaugural episode, Kathy Gosser sits down with the President and Global COO of Taco Bell, Mike Grams, to discuss his career in the industry as well as the challenges facing franchisees.

Artie Starrs of Topgolf Entertainment

Episode Two: Artie Starrs (Topgolf Entertainment Group)

In this episode, Kathy talks with Artie Starrs, the CEO of Topgolf Entertainment Group, to discuss their unique franchising strategy and the culture that drives their business model.

FranchiseU Matt Haller and Rikki Amos Headshot

Episode Three: Matt Haller and Rikki Amos (IFA)

This week, Matt Haller and Rikki Amos join Kathy to discuss the International Franchise Association(IFA). As the world’s largest membership organization for franchisors, franchisees and franchise suppliers, the IFA provides events, advocacy, education, and growth opportunities to the franchise community.

Luis Veras headshot

Episode Four: Luis Veras (ITL Management)

Kathy is joined this week by Luis Veras, president of ITL Management, Inc. and Pizza Hut franchisee. Listen to Luis’s journey from the corporate world to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Gene and Yolanda Camarena promo shot

Episode Five: Gene and Yolanda Camarena (La Raza Pizza, Inc.)

This week Kathy talks about the power of education with Gene and Yolanda Camarena. Learn how higher education played a transformative role in the Camarena’s lives as it fueled their entrepreneurial endeavors which include banking, real estate, and franchises like Marriott and Pizza Hut.

Jania Bailey, CEO of FranNet

Episode Six: Jania Bailey (FranNet)

On this week’s FranchiseU, Kathy sits down with FranNet CEO Jania Bailey, CFE. Bailey has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and franchise industries, including serving on the IFA Executive Board of Directors (where she currently chairs their Membership Committee).

Lauren Coulter headshot

Episode Seven: Lauren Coulter (Biscuit Belly)

In today’s episode, Kathy sits down with Biscuit Belly’s Director of Franchise Development, Lauren Coulter, to discuss her and her husband Chad’s entrepreneurial journey. From their start with Louisville’s first “paint and sip” business to Biscuit Belly, learn about their path to the world of fast-casual franchise development.

Headshot of Maggie Harlow

Episode Eight: Maggie Payette Harlow (Signarama)

On this week’s FranchiseU! Kathy talks with Signarama franchisee Maggie Payette Harlow. Learn how she translated her experience running the family car dealership into a successful enterprise. Maggie also discusses her commitment to community service in Louisville, including her work with the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Happy Birthday Park, and Metro United Way.

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Episode Nine: Omar Simmons (Exaltare Capital Partners)

Kathy talks about investment management with Exaltare Capital Partners CEO Omar Simmons in today’s episode. He shares his experiences with franchise partners, including a tenure as CEO of ECP Planet Fitness.

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Franchise U! Episode Ten: Sophia Swemba (Marriott)

On this week’s FranchiseU! Kathy talks with Sophia Swemba, VP and franchise advocate for Marriott. Sophia also serves as a board member for the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence.

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Franchise U! Episode 11: Jody Luihn (LVE Partners)

In today's episode, Kathy sits down with Jody Luihn to discuss his experiences as a YUM! Brands franchisee.

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FranchiseU! Episode 12: Aylwin Lewis

On this week's episode, we have the pleasure of speaking with Aylwin Lewis. Mr. Lewis served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Potbelly Corporation, a franchisor of quick-service restaurants, from June 2008 until his retirement in November 2017.

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FranchiseU! Episode Thirteen: Rob Weddle (Authority Brands)

Rob Weddle is the CEO of Authority Brands. He began his career in franchising in 2002 as a franchisee of The Cleaning Authority.

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Franchise U! Episode Fourteen: Patricia Perry (Edible Brands)

Today on Franchise U! Kathy sits down with Patricia Perry. She serves as Vice President of Development for Edible Brands and is responsible for increasing the global market share for the franchise brands.

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FranchiseU! Episode Fifteen: John Cywinski (Dine Brands)

John Cywinski was appointed to the position of President of Applebee’s Grill & Bar in March 2017. As President, Mr. Cywinski is responsible for the overall strategic direction for all functional areas of Applebee’s.

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FranchiseU! Episode Sixteen: Doug Flaig (Stratus)

In today's episode of Franchise U!, Kathy sits down with Stratus Building Solutions President Doug Flaig to discuss the world of franchising in the commercial cleaning industry.

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FranchiseU! Episode Seventeen: Josh York (GYMGUYZ)

On today's episode, Kathy talks franchise and motivation with GYMGUYZ founder Josh York. GYMGUYZ is an in-home personal-training franchise providing convenient, customized, and creative workouts...

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FranchiseU! Episode Eighteen: Michelle Rowan (Franchise Business Review)

On today's FranchiseU! Kathy Gosser talks to Franchise Business Review’s president and COO, Michelle Rowan, CFE.

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FranchiseU! Episode 19: Michael Browning (Unleashed Brands)

Unleashed Brands is a platform company that houses the world’s best franchise brands to help kids Learn, Play, and Grow. Browning launched Unleashed in 2021.

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FranchiseU! Episode 20: Craig Dunaway (Penn Station, Inc.)

Craig Dunaway was president of Penn Station East Coast Subs since August 1999 and a member of the Board of Directors since September 2001, and became chief operating officer in 2022.

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FranchiseU! Episode 21: Jerry Akers (Sharpness, Inc.)

Jerry Akers is a lifetime entrepreneur. For the past 16 years, he and his wife have grown their Great Clips group from one salon to 36.

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FranchiseU! Episode 22: Ruth Agbaji (Code Wiz)

Ruth Agbaji is the CEO, Founder, and Nerd-In-Chief of Code Wiz and she knows first-hand the power of learning to code.

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FranchiseU! Episode 23: Sergio Carvallo (Boston's Pizza)

Sergio Carvallo is the president of Boston´s Pizza Mexico, Canada’s number one casual dining restaurant. Since 2015 he has been responsible for developing the brand in Mexico.

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Franchise U! Episode 24 Liane Caruso (Entrepreneur Media)

Launching her career in franchising with her marketing agency, Liane Caruso has worked in franchise marketing for over ten years.

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Franchise U! Episode 25: Jackie Bondanza (Hounds Town USA)

On this week's FranchiseU! Kathy Gosser talks with Jackie Bondanza, CEO of Hounds Town USA — a doggie daycare franchise.

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FranchiseU! Episode 26: Paul Pickett (Wild Birds Unlimited)

Paul Pickett's career with Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU) has perfectly combined his love of birds, nature, and people.

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FranchiseU! Episode 27: Greg Creed (Creed UnCo)

Greg Creed is the founder of Creed UnCo and co-author of R.E.D. Marketing.

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FranchiseU! Episode 28: Ramzi Daklouche (Edible Brands)

Ramzi Daklouche is VP of franchise sales for Edible®, the world’s largest franchisor of stores offering fresh fruit snacks, dipped treats, and fruit arrangements with over 900 locations worldwide.

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Episode 29: Scott Greenberg (The Wealthy Franchisee)

Scott Greenberg is an international speaker, writer, and franchise performance expert who helps business owners think, lead and serve effectively. Scott is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur and Nation’s Restaurant News, and the author of the book, The Wealthy Franchisee.

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FranchiseU! Episode 30: Ashley Mitchell (Streamline Brands)

As SVP of Marketing at Streamline Brands, Ashley oversees marketing strategy for all lines of the business (consumer, franchise development and mergers & acquisitions) for the industry's largest franchisor and operator of swim schools.

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FranchiseU! Episode 31: Joe Malmuth (Batteries Plus)

On this episode, Malmuth shares franchising tips and insights as well as a discussion of the benefits of the franchising model of Batteries Plus. 

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FranchiseU! Episode 32: Lauren Fernandez (Full Course)

Lauren Fernandez is the CEO and Founder of Full Course, a restaurant development firm which incubates emerging restaurant brands.

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Episode 33: Larry Hughes (7-Eleven, Inc.)

Larry Hughes shares innovations developed by the 7-Eleven, Inc. as well as his own unique perspective on business leadership.

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FranchiseU! Episode 34: Amy and Josh Arnold (Card My Yard)

Amy and Josh Arnold share their journey towards being co-founders of Card My Yard with Dr. Kathy Gosser on this episode of Franchise U!.

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FranchiseU! Episode 35: Marcus Tom (ServiceMaster Clean And Merry Maids)

Marcus Tom shares the philosophy and practices that lead to growth at ServiceMaster Clean and Merry Maids with Dr. Kathy Gosser on this week's episode of Franchise U!.

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FranchiseU! Episode 36: DeNita Carani (Pet Wants)

DeNita Carani shares her history with multiple businesses and her unique perspective on franchising and the animal care industry.

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FranchiseU! Episode 37: Frank Toral (Neighborhood Kids Schools)

Frank Toral shares his journey from being an attorney to an educational franchisor, and why he wants Neighborhood Kids to be nationwide in the near future.

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FranchiseU! Episode 38: Bob Moore (United Water Restoration Group)

Bob Moore has a wealth of experience ranging from being a single-unit franchisee to serving as a regional director for a franchisor for over a decade.

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FranchiseU! Episode 39: Tim Swackhammer (Mold Medics)

Tim Swackhammer is a hardworking family man that aims to bring solutions to people's businesses all over the US.

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FranchiseU! Episode 40: Joe Delatte (Home Clean Heroes)

As the President of Home Clean Heroes, Joe Delatte gets to put it all to work coaching franchisees and corporate teams to help them each reach their full potential.

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FranchiseU! Episode 41: Michele Waits (Biggby Coffee)

Michele is a marketing industry veteran with over 25 years of experience building brands and driving enterprise-wide transformational growth. Hear about her experiences building Biggby Coffee.

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FranchiseU! Episode 42: Adam Long (HomeTeam Inspection Service)

Adam is a results-oriented leader that implements the strategic vision for HomeTeam Inspection Service.

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FranchiseU! Episode 43: Michael Slupecki (Griswold Home Care)

Michael is a Senior Healthcare Franchising Executive with more than 20 years of experience executing organic and acquisition growth strategies in a private equity environment.

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FranchiseU! Episode 44: Jillyan Morris (Premier Fitness)

Premier Fitness Franchise Success Manager, Jillyan Morris discusses the world of franchising in the fitness industry.

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FranchiseU! Episode 45: Chris Buitron (Main Line Brands)

Chris Buitron joins Main Line Brands as CEO, bringing decades of experience in various franchise industries.

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FranchiseU! Episode 46: Caroline Thomas and Nima Asgari (UofL Students Discuss IFA Convention)

University of Louisville College of Business students Caroline Thomas and Nima Asgari about the International Franchise Association’s 2023 Convention.

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FranchiseU! Episode 47: Bryan Park (Footprints Floors)

Bryan Park shares how his career in franchising began by accident and how he built his franchise into a Franchise Magazine Top 500 Company.

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FranchiseU! Episode 48: Brianna Keefe (Toastique)

Brianna Keefe shares how her unique idea for a low-cost healthy restaurant became a true franchising opportunity.

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FranchiseU! Episode 49: Blas Escarcega (Pollo Campero)

Escarcega shares how his work history in accounting prepared him for his career in franchising.

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FranchiseU! Episode 50: Terri Harof (Workout Anytime)

Harof shares how her passion for fitness and business experience prepared her for her career in franchising.

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FranchiseU! Episode 51: Scott Oaks (Scoop Soldiers)

Scott Oaks is a senior-level franchise development professional with over 20 years of experience working in all segments of franchising.

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FranchiseU! Episode 52: Eric Maas (Complete Weddings + Events)

Maas career demonstrates how franchising facilitates the creation of intergenerational wealth.

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FranchiseU! Episode 53: Colette Bell (Ace Handyman Services)

Listen to Bell’s success story, including being a 24-year entrepreneur who co-founded Handyman Matters with her husband.

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FranchiseU! Episode 54: Julie Canseco (Main Squeeze Juice Bar)

Julie Canseco, COO of Main Squeeze Juice Bar, shares her career history and passion for health.

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FranchiseU! Episode 55: Christopher Seman (Strategic Franchising)

Seman’s career demonstrates that staying focused on a franchisee's desires benefits everyone, regardless of brand.

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FranchiseU! Episode 56: Morgan Merrill and Sarah Shanks (SRS Real Estate Partners)

Merrill and Shanks talk about options that franchisees can leverage to create capitol to expand their businesses.

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FranchiseU! Episode 57: Eli Bensignor (Lathrop GPM)

Bensignor responds to questions about the different aspects of franchise law that impact both franchisor and franchisee operations.

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FranchiseU! Episode 58: Dom Rubino (Profit ToolBelt Podcast)

Rubino shares fantastic tips and tricks from his experience as a franchisee, franchisor, business coach, and successful podcaster.

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FranchiseU! Episode 59: Tara Riley (Fresh Coat Painters)

Riley shares how having a specific niche and a proven method for acquiring new customers make for a replicable, reliable process to see business success.

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FranchiseU! Episode 60: Damien Dwin (Lafayette Square)

Dwin shares his research-based perspective on capital investment and how non-traditional investment can improve capitalism for every US citizen.

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FranchiseU! Episode 61: Joe Thornton (Scooter's Coffee)

Thornton shares Scooter’s Coffee unique franchise concept based on their deep, organization-wide values.

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FranchiseU! Episode 62: Trevor Rappleye (Franchise Filming)

Founder and CEO of Franchise Filming, Trevor Rappleye shares his journey as a leading, full-service video production provider.

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FranchiseU! Episode 63: Gigi Schweikert (Lightbridge Academy)

International thought leader Gigi Schweikert shares details from her career that have impacted how she, as CEO, leads a childcare franchise.

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FranchiseU! Episode 64: Rocco Fiorentino (Benetrends Financial)

Fiorentino shares Benetrends' unique funding model for Entrepreneurs (specifically those seeking franchises).

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FranchiseU! Episode 65: Erin Fletter (Sticky Fingers Cooking)

Fletter shares the details of how Sticky Fingers Cooking grew from her kitchen table to becoming a national franchise opportunity.

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FranchiseU! Episode 66: Mike Kulp (KBP Brands)

Mike Kulp shares the business principles embraced by KBP Brands that turned them into one of the world's largest franchisees.

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FranchiseU! Episode 67: Turp Ricketts (HorsePower Brands)

Ricketts shares the principles behind Horsepower Brands rapid sustainable growth.

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FranchiseU! Episode 68: Charlie Jebran (Jebran & Abraham, PC)

Jebran shares insights from both his years of owning two franchise units as well as his years as an accountant servicing franchisors and franchisees.

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FranchiseU! Episode 69: Brave Williams (Workout Anytime)

Williams shares the details that led her to her ambitious plans with Workout Anytime.

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FranchiseU! Episode 70: Bennett Maxwell (Dirty Dough Cookies)

Maxwell’s story about the founding of Dirty Dough Cookies is full of examples of the opportunities that present themselves when you ‘Zig’ rather than ‘Zag.'

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FranchiseU! Episode 71: Erik Helgesen and Stephen R. Preuss (PayMore Group)

Helgesen and Preuss share how they grew one store into a franchised business model with 120 planned units.

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FranchiseU! Episode 72: Carl Udler (Hughes)

In this episode of FranchiseU!, Kathy sits down with Carl Udler from Hughes. During the conversation, they cover two interesting topics. The first is about the potential uses of technology in a brick-and-mortar franchise to improve efficiency. The second is how Hughes is an excellent example of the opportunities offered to franchise suppliers. Carl Udler possesses...

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FranchiseU! Episode 73: Jeremy Morgan (WellBiz Brands)

Jeremy Morgan from WellBiz Brands shares an interesting perspective on the benefits of franchising complementary brands.

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