Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit | Louisville 2018


Stacy Brown

Founder | Chicken Salad Chick

The Chicken Salad Chick brand was born in August 2007, when Brown, who had always loved chicken salad, decided to sell the southern favorite to local friends and neighbors. With a basket on her arm and four different chicken salad flavors in hand, Brown embarked on her door-to-door delivery service. With the help of business expert, fellow founder and her future husband Kevin Brown, they launched their first restaurant in 2008. Within two hours, the restaurant had completely sold out. Chicken Salad Chick has continued to grow and today, the franchise brand has more than 70 locations across the Southeast.

Cherryh Cansler

Director of Editorial | Networld Media Group

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 FastCasual.com.

Chris Cheek

Chief Development Officer | Newk’s Eatery

Chris Cheek joined Newk’s Franchise Company in 2014 as the Chief Development Officer. Cheek started his franchise career as Vice President of Franchising for Bear Rock Café, where he helped grow the brand from 4 units to over 60 in 4 years. He had similar success at fast casual brands including Bruegger’s Bagels and its parent company brands Timothy’s World Coffee, la Madeleine Country French Café Brioche Doree; Freebirds World Burrito, and Toppers Pizza, Inc., where he was the brand’s first Chief Development Officer. Cheek is a graduate of North Carolina State University and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Doug Hogrefe

Senior Operator | Amerigo

Speaker bio coming soon!

John Hughes

Brand Ambassador | Jersey Mike’s

John Hughes is brand ambassador for Jersey Mike’s Subs, charged with generating excitement, brand awareness and cultural consistency throughout the company through operational and brand training. Affectionately known as “Coach” Hughes, John teaches leadership and personal development classes for Jersey Mike’s team members throughout the country and at the company’s Training Center in Point Pleasant, N.J. John has more than 30 years of experience with Jersey Mike’s, making subs and training franchise owners, managers and team members.

Scott Iversen

VP of Marketing | Toppers Pizza

Scott Iversen has actively been involved with the franchise industry for nearly 20 years. Scott learned how a franchise corporation runs and operates when he first began as a pizza delivery driver in the fall of 1992 at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. His passion for the pizza industry grew, and not long after, Scott was promoted to General Manager where he began marketing the local franchise within the community, ultimately building brand awareness throughout the area. Prior to joining Toppers Pizza in 2003, Scott also spent time in Chicago as the Director of Marketing for Bravo Restaurants, which included Ed Debevic’s, Gino’s East, and Edwardo’s Natural Pizza.

Donna Josephson

SVP & CMO | Corner Bakery Cafe

Donna Josephson is the Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Corner Bakery Cafe. She has more than 20 years of restaurant marketing experience in developing and implementing innovative brand strategies and marketing programs to drive results. She most recently served as CMO at Fazoli’s where she launched a new restaurant interior design, catering program, online ordering, and the brand’s loyalty app. Prior to Fazoli’s, Josephson served as the VP of Marketing for McAlister’s Deli where she led the executive team in redefining the brand positioning. Josephson holds both a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA in Business Management from Ball State University.

Dennie Laney

VP of Training & People Development | MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes

Dennie Laney is the Vice President of Training and People Development at MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes. Dennie is also a John Maxwell certified Coach, Public Speaker, and Leadership Professional. Her passion for customer service, leadership development, personal and professional growth, and active engagement in achieving extraordinary results is what led her to the John Maxwell Team. It is these qualities paired with a rich people culture that drew her to the MOOYAH team. Dennie has spent the past 20 years supporting corporate and operations teams in the training, leadership development, and coaching arenas, speaking to audiences of hundreds of leaders and executives about the value of people.

Rich Mainzer

Chef/Owner | The Boneyard Truck

Speaker bio coming soon!

Shannon Salupo

Corporate Beverage Manager | Quaker Steak & Lube

Speaker bio coming soon!

Steve Weigel

CEO | Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts

Steve Weigel joined the Cerca Trova Restaurant Concepts team as Chief Executive Officer in April 2016 to lead strategic vision and execute growth strategy. He has over 25 years of casual dining industry experience, which includes previous roles as COO of Friendly’s Ice Cream, COO of Tom’s Urban 24 and SVP of both Smashburger and Darden Restaurants / Red Lobster. Steve is responsible for orchestrating the turnaround of Friendly’s Ice Cream through recruitment of executive team and development and execution of strategic initiatives. He has managed P&L and operations of 345 restaurants generating more than a half a billion in revenue at Friendly’s and 320 restaurants generating more than $1 billion in revenue while at Red Lobster.


Group Discount

Take Your Team to the Summit

Register two attendees from your company and add a third attendee at no additional cost.


Applies only to qualified attendees.

Hotel Reservations

Omni Louisville Hotel
Rate: $189/night* | Deadline: 3/19/2018

Call (502) 656-7220 and mention that you’re attending the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit.
* Subject to availability at time of booking.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring the Summit will put you in meaningful conversations with executives in your target market. Opportunities are available for almost any budget. Download the Sponsor Prospectus to learn more.

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