CLOSING GENERAL SESSION / WEDNESDAY / FEBRUARY 24, 2021 / 2:00 PM
Franchising Think Tank
This panel, packed with CEOs and franchisors, will talk about the latest issues of the day and what it takes to succeed in franchising.
Nicolas Boudet | President – International | Wingstop Restaurants
Nicolas Boudet serves as the President of Wingstop Restaurants International. Wingstop is the largest national, fast casual wing-focused chain in the U.S. with more than 1,200+ locations across 40 states and 9 countries internationally. Nicolas is planning to aggressively grow Wingstop in key strategic markets across the globe and maximize an already existing and emerging international presence. He recently joined Wingstop from Aliumclear, a global business advisory firm specialized in providing strategic consulting services to the food and hotel industries which he co-founded. He previously led Focus Brands’ international business unit as its Executive Vice President, International Division, where he managed a portfolio of an existing 1,500 units.
Joe Guith | President | McAlister’s Deli
With 20 years of experience in food service, consumer products and retail, Joe Guith has a passion for growing iconic brands that deliver superior experiences and value for guests and franchisees. In April 2018, he became the President of McAlister’s Deli, where he has been instrumental in positioning the brand for success. Under Joes’s leadership, McAlister’s Deli unveiled a complete brand evolution and restaurant redesign, which has propelled its ongoing growth in 27 states, with more than 450 units currently open and operating. Previously, he served as President of Cinnabon, Inc. and worked in general management and strategy with The Coca-Cola Company and Yum! Brands.
Ricky Richardson | CEO | Eggs Up Grill
Ricky Richardson was tapped to lead the breakfast, brunch and lunch concept in July 2018 after private investment firm WJ Partners acquired the brand. Under Ricky’s leadership, the brand has since grown to 36 open locations, 5 more set to open before the end of 2019 and 18 locations slated to open in 2020. He has led the development of the first company-owned and operated restaurant which opened in July 2019. Ricky has more than 35 years of industry experience across multi-unit and franchise operations. Prior to joining Eggs Up Grill, he served over 20 yrs. with TGI Friday’s, most recently as U.S. president and chief operating officer.
Carin Stutz | CEO | Native Foods
Carin Stutz is the CEO and President of Native Foods, the original 100% plant-based fast casual eatery. Prior experience includes the EVP/COO at Red Robin, President of McAlister’s Deli, CEO and President of Cosi, President of Global Business for Brinker, EVP of Operations for Applebee’s and Pacific DVP for Wendy’s International. She is Past Chair of Women’s Foodservice Forum; recognized in Chicago’s 100 Women to Watch; Texas Women Worth Watching; and the distinguished alumni award from WIU. She serves on the board of trustees for Western Illinois University, the Fast-Casual Industry Council, and the board of directors for Checkers and Rally’s restaurants.
Charles Watson | CEO | Tropical Smoothie Café
Charles Watson is the CEO at Tropical Smoothie Café and focuses on the sustainable growth of the franchise system. Prior to his CEO role, Charles was the Chief Development Officer for Tropical Smoothie Café. Under his leadership, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe system grew from 265 units to 725 units. Tropical Smoothie Café currently has over 800 locations nationwide. A veteran franchise professional, Charles has worked for several hospitality-related companies. Charles is a graduate of The Hotel School at Cornell University and holds an MBA from The Terry School of Business at The University of Georgia.
Mark Wayne | Chief Revenue Officer | NuArx
Mark Wayne is the NuArx Chief Revenue Officer. He is an active member of the Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and considered a national expert on topics of Digital Technology, Cybercrime, Compliance and Crisis Management. Prior to joining NuArx, Mark spent over 20 years as a technology executive focused on network security. He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he served as military code breaker for the National Security Agency and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University and an MBA from the University of Detroit.