March 11-13 | Louisville, KY  —  Early Bird registration ends November 2. Sign up today!

SPEAKERS

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Andy Howard

President & CEO | Huey Magoo’s

Speaker bio coming soon!

Paul Macaluso

President & CEO | Krystal

Paul Macaluso a 25-year restaurant industry veteran, currently serves as the President and CEO of Krystal. Paul’s background includes experience in operations, franchising, marketing and brand strategy with some of the most prominent brands in the foodservice industry, including Taco Bell, Burger King, Sonic Drive-Ins and Moe’s Southwest Grill. Before joining Krystal in April 2018, Paul’s was President of McAlister’s Deli, where he led the brand to records in new restaurant openings, franchisee new restaurant commitments, systemwide sales and EBITDA. Paul holds a BS/Communication and an MBA from Florida State University.

Ryan Smolkin

Founder & CEO | Smoke’s Poutinerie

Ryan Smolkin attended Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario where he studied and participated in the Business Co-Op Program. After graduating with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1995, Smolkin established AmoebaCorp, an internationally-recognized Graphic Design and Branding company with clients including Nike, Molson, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Corus Entertainment, YTV, Sims Snowboards and Nelvana. After selling AmoebaCorp, Smolkin began the development of the Smoke’s Poutinerie Franchise, building an entirely new QSR experience and a whole new food category. Smolkin is very proud to state that The World’s Original & Largest Poutinerie was the spark that ignited the Global Poutine trend!

PANELISTS & MODERATORS

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.

Ciarán Duffy

Corporate Executive Chef | Moe’s Southwest Grill

Ciarán Duffy joins Moe’s Southwest Grill, a brand within the FOCUS Brands portfolio, as Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef. His previous role was Director of Research & Development for FOCUS Brands Channels Group, where he developed licensed products for the consumer-packaged goods and foodservice divisions, for each of the FOCUS Brands snack and restaurant brands. In his new role, Ciarán works with the Moe’s leadership team and franchise community on menu innovation to create new platforms, flavor profiles and ingredients to continue the bold and unique dining experience at Moe’s Southwest Grill. Chef Ciarán brings more than 20 years of professional culinary experience to the table.

Matt Friedman

Co-Founder & CEO | Wing Zone

Back in 1991, finding Amazing Flavor was not so easy – especially at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL where Matt Friedman and Adam Scott were away at school. Matt and Adam spent many a night in their fraternity house kitchen perfecting the recipes that one day would become Wing Zone’s trademark flavors. Starting with a single storefront, Matt and Adam built the Wing Zone brand, satisfying the cravings of Flavorholics in other towns, states and now, worldwide. Today, Matt and Adam are among the few ever to be inducted in the Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame. Wing Zone now has nearly 100 locations.

Sunny Ilyas

Founder/CEO | Vale Food Co.

Sunny Ilyas is Founder & CEO for Vale Food Co, a rapidly growing healthy fast casual restaurant in Florida that offers build your own bowls; açaí bowls, and also provides meal plan delivery services. A true entrepreneur, he set out in 2014 to create a meal plan delivery company to provide people with healthy food that is delicious, convenient, affordable and has variety. In 2016, he was able to grow from a meal plan delivery business to opening up as a restaurant as well. As a dual revenue stream company, Vale Food Co in a year has been able to grow into 3 locations in prime real estate and thrive.

Frank Klein

Founder & CEO | Asian Box

Frank Klein is Founder and CEO of Asian Box, a lifestyle fast casual restaurant group. Asian Box focuses on a more healthful yet massively flavorful and authentic Vietnamese food experience. Founded with his fine dining partners “The Box” as it is known tries to nail that $10 price point by exceeding expectations. Based in California, Klein plans to take Asian Box national in the coming years. Prior to founding Asian Box Frank started FK Restaurants & Hospitality. There he consulted with some of the biggest names in the restaurant industry and takes special pride in his work also for The District of Colombia Public Schools.

Jason Moore

Corporate Executive Chef | Schlotzsky’s

Jason Moore first fell in love with cooking while growing up with his maternal grandfather who taught him that thoughtful preparation of good food was meant to be shared with family and friends. Adopting that same passion for cooking, he went on to receive his culinary certification and training with the American Culinary Federation in Nashville, TN. Post professional training, Jason gained real-world experience learning classic techniques used in fine-dining restaurants. By 2017, Jason was the culinary innovation chef at Buffalo Wild Wings, leading all culinary development projects including a complete revamp of the core menu. Most recently, Jason joined Focus Brands as executive chef for Schlotzsky’s.

Andrew Smith

CEO | Four Foods Group

Andrew K. Smith founded CaptureQuest, Inc., his first entrepreneurial venture, in 1998. As CEO and co-founder of the online marketing company, Andrew helped propel its patented Popmercial™ technology into multiple Fortune 500 companies. CaptureQuest became the 8th fastest-growing company in Utah in 2002 and was acquired in October 2002 by C5 Technologies, which then became the publicly traded Avalon Digital Marketing Systems, Inc. In 2008, Andrew founded Four Foods Group. He is the the CEO and has overseen its dramatic growth, today operating more than 50 restaurants across North America.

Christine Specht

President & CEO | Cousins Subs

Christine Specht grew up with Cousins Subs, the sub sandwich chain her dad, Bill Specht, founded with his cousin two years before she was born. Prior to returning to the family business in 2001 as its human resources manager, Specht worked in the human resources departments of NOAA, on the National Academy of Public Administration in Washington and as a staff member of the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau in Madison, Wis. In 2008 she became the president and chief operating officer of Cousins Subs and in 2015 assumed the role of president and chief executive officer following her father’s retirement.

Jason Valentine

COO | Zoup!

Speaker bio coming soon!

2018 SPEAKERS

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Hotel Reservations

Omni Louisville Hotel

Rate: $219/night* | Deadline: 2/18/19

Call 1-800-THE-OMNI and mention that you’re attending the Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit.

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