March 24-26, 2024 | Kansas City, MO — Early Bird registration ends Jan. 12. Register Now

Opening Keynote / Monday / March 20, 2023 / 4:10 PM

Catch the Wave! How Strategic Alliances Can Impact a Brand’s Growth Strategy

Buena Onda, celebrity Chef Jose Garces’ Baja inspired taqueria is more then a fast casual franchise, it’s a mindset. In this keynote presentation, industry trailblazers share the brand’s innovative approach to building strategic partnerships and alliances that created the ultimate franchise opportunity in the fast casual marketplace.


Scott Campanella | Chief Operating Officer | Ideation Hospitality
Scott Campanella joined Garces in 2020 as the Chief Operating Officer. Scott brings over 20 years of experience overseeing strategy, operations, retention, acquisition management, and concept development for national brands spanning both coasts. A graduate of Temple University, Scott returned to the Philadelphia area in 2005, where he currently lives with his wife and two children.
Jose Garces | Founder & Chief Culinary Officer | Garces Group
Since opening his first restaurant in 2005, Chef Jose Garces has emerged as one of the nation’s leading chefs and restaurateurs. He is the 2009 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” award and one of only a few chefs in the country to hold the coveted title of Iron Chef. Chef Garces is the author of The Latin Road Home (Lake Isle Press, October 2012), a culinary and cultural tour of Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Cuba and Peru, and his debut cookbook, Latin Evolution (Lake Isle Press, Fall 2008).
David Mesa | EVP & Chief Development Officer | Ballard Brands
Mr. David Mesa is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Development officer overseeing the Franchise and Licensing Division for Ballard Brands, LLC. Prior to joining Ballard Brands Mr. Mesa had been with Planet Beach Franchising Corporation since December of 2003 progressively holding more executive roles at the world headquarters than any other executive, most recently serving as their President of Franchise Operations where he was instrumental in their growth from 60 to over 350 locations. Prior to joining Planet Beach, Mr. Mesa served eight years as Director of Business Operations for Allegis Group, the largest privately held staffing company in the United States, Mr. Mesa also served eight years in the United States Marine Corp. as an Air Traffic Controller. In March 2005, he received the designation of Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) by the International Franchising Association for his work and study in the franchise industry and has maintained that designation to date.

Traci Tucker | VP of Customer Success | Schoox
Traci Tucker serves as the VP of Customer Success for learning management and talent development software provider Schoox. She has worked in the learning and development market for more than for 15 years. Traci works closely with Schoox’s 2,500 clients worldwide, representing nearly six million global users across a variety of industries, including more than 200 customers in the restaurant and hospitality market. Traci and her colleagues help Schoox clients boost the return on their learning technology investments and successfully address their biggest talent development challenges. She is a native of Georgia and resides in Atlanta with her three children.
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Take Your Team to the Summit!

Restaurant/Foodservice Operators who register two attendees may add a third attendee at no additional cost.

Group discount does not apply to Franchise Brokers/Consultants or Vendors.


InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza

To reserve your room, call 1-816-756-1500.


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