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Breakout Session / Monday / March 25, 2024 / 11:45 AM

Time to Fly: Exploring Unfamiliar Lands

Most brands will agree having a solid footprint in their home market is imperative before opening out-of-state or country locations, but there are times when it’s necessary to focus on both at the same time.

Brand execs who have taken the leap will share what they’ve learned and what they should have done differently. They'll also discuss how they collect and use data to help them decide what countries, cities and neighborhoods to open successful locations.


Nate Fowler | President | Long John Silver's
Nate Fowler, president of Long John Silver’s, LLC, possesses more than two decades of experience in finance, including positions with Pinnacle Financial Partners, U.S. Bank and Merrill Lynch. In his current role, Nate oversees the company’s overall vision, strategic direction, and expansion, most recently supporting Long John Silver’s global expansion through its maiden voyages to Indonesia and Malaysia. A key part of his position is delivering on the brand’s core values, bringing bell-ringing quality, service and value to those from sea to sea. Looking to the future, Nate is excited to revitalize the beloved brand’s presence and connect with a new generation of fans.
Glenn Moon | Vice President, U.S. Development | Moxies
Glenn Moon joined the Moxies team in January 2023 where he serves as Vice President, U.S. Development. Moon’s path to franchise development began with an interest and proclivity for real estate which eventually earned him notice from Choice Hotels International in 2004. Throughout his career he has had the opportunity to work with hospitality and food & beverage concepts across the United States, allowing him to marry his background of real estate and sales to spearhead franchise development and growth. Most recently, before joining Moxies, Moon served as Vice President of Development for Twin Peaks Restaurants from February 2021-January 2023. In this role, Moon added 47 new opportunities in less than two years to the Twin Peaks domestic pipeline.
Kevin Moran | Chief Development Officer | Blaze Pizza
Joining Blaze Pizza with an impressive portfolio of over two decades in financial planning and accounting, Kevin Moran has a history of steering development teams towards outstanding performance through the alignment of fiscal goals with comprehensive strategies. Prior to his current role, Moran held the position of Vice President of Strategic Development at Focus Brands International, where he excelled in driving strategic development for the global franchisor and operator of over 6,600 restaurants. As CDO at Blaze, Moran will apply his seasoned expertise to nurture strategic alliances and accelerate the brand's global growth trajectory.
Sam Rothschild | COO | Slim Chickens
Joining the Slim Chickens team in October of 2013. Sam Rothschild is a knowledgeable restaurant professional who has achieved superior results within company and franchise-owned locations around the world. A Johnson and Wales culinary graduate, he embarked on his career by owning his own restaurants in his early twenties before hitting his growth spurt into the big brand arena with Metromedia Group. He spent 13 years with Bennigan’s as the Regional Vice President of International Operations. From there, Rothschild went on to become the Senior Vice President at Applebee’s and Dine Equity heading up the operations and franchise development teams managing over 2000 locations. He eventually left Dine to partner with Tom and Greg to help mature and cultivate the Slim Chickens brand. Furthermore, Rothschild has had a hand in pioneering the franchise opportunity and its unique and advanced systems that continue to surpass record barriers.

R.J. Hottovy | Head of Analytical Research |
R.J. Hottovy, CFA is Head of Analytical Research for He has covered the restaurant, retail, and e-commerce sectors for nearly 20 years. He has held several analyst positions in the past, including Global Consumer Equity Strategist at Morningstar and equity analyst roles at William Blair & Co. and Deutsche Bank. Hottovy also brings a wealth of experience with early-stage investments as an investor and member of the investment committee for the IrishAngels Venture Capital group. He has worked with more than 100 early-stage consumer and technology companies, advising on more than $200 million in capital raises and other buy- and sell-side M&A transactions. Hottovy is also a member of the Chicago Seed Co. network, a group of Chicago-area investors focused on early-stage food & beverage companies. Hottovy's efforts have been recognized by several financial and trade publications, including CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Barron's, BusinessWeek, and Forbes.
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