MEET THE TEAM


"Talent win games but teamwork and intelligence win championships."
- Michael Jordan


Franchise Growth Solutions fully manages the work and the relationship with our outsourced consultants. You are never alone, we work with you every step of the way in the creation of operations manual, construction & design packages, FDD development, real estate, financing initiatives and all the "pieces to the puzzle" just as if you had in house personnel on your payroll.  We can bundle the services and manage the entire process OR we can customize the service to your needs. Either way, Franchise Growth Solutions manages the process. These services are provided exclusively to Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.  Member Clients.

We are always striving to bring our clients access to the very best people, technology and systems.

IT'S ALL HERE, IN ONE PLACE READY TO ACCESS AS NEEDED.


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*STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT, Sales PLANNING & EXECUTIVE COACHING

GARY OCCHIOGROSSO

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https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-occhiogrosso/

  • Founder & Managing Partner - Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.
  • Adjunct Professor - NYU - Business and Concept Development, Entrepreneurship and Franchising.
  • Recognized Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Exec’s in the USA by Fast Casual Magazine
  • Winner of "The Executive Management Award" 2014 by SmartCEO Magazine
  • Radio Talk Show Host - AM970TheAnswer - Small Business and Franchise show
  • Speaker and Panelist Capital Roundtable – NYC Symposium of Franchising and Private Equity Investment
  • Reoccurring Presenter & Speaker - IFA/IFE Franchise Expos
  • Presenter & Speaker at National Press Club, Washington DC.

 

Mr. Occhiogrosso’s involvement in business development & franchising began in 1984 when he left a decade-long career in NY radio to become a Dunkin' Donuts franchisee. In addition to operating a successful retail shop, Mr. Occhiogrosso created a wholesale baked goods division within his company which supplied donuts and other fresh-baked goods to over 80 points of sale while concurrently serving on Dunkin' Donuts' franchisee advisory council and advertising committee.  Mr. Occhiogrosso continued his involvement in franchising in 1989 by opening a gourmet confection and gift basket shop, Ralph’s Nut Pound. As a consultant to the franchisor, the company developed 53 additional units. 

He followed up its success in 1991 with GPM Consulting Inc., a New York-based Sales and Brand Development firm which successfully developed several national franchise brands including  Blimpie Salad and Subs, Treasure Cache, Teamworks and Ranch*1.  

Working with the founders of Ranch *1 Franchise Corp., he grew the brand into a 60-restaurant chain with commitments for an additional 200 units. Gary created the operating system and strategic development plan for the company. In addition he planned and executed Ranch*1 advertising and brand development strategy which included the “Howard Stern” radio show and NY TV campaigns. 

Mr. Occhiogrosso moved on to become President & COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille a Fresh Mexican fast casual concept where lead the concept from a 4 unit start-up to 23 unit regional chain. He elected to leave that role in early 2009 to pursue a position with up-and-coming TRUFOODS, LLC. 

He is the founder of the educational franchise website: Franchise Money Maker.com. Mr. Occhiogrosso maintains memberships in the International Franchise Association and is a table member for the NYC Roundtable of Restaurant Professionals.

Advisory and Director participation: He has served on the board of directors for Desert Moon Holdings Corp., LS Franchise Group and Golden Pear Café Franchise Inc. Gary has been an advisory member and mentor to Brands such as: 16 Handles, Pronto Pizza, Zorn’s Take-Out, Twin Donut, Ottomenelli Bros. and Papperdelle’s Pizza and Pasta.  Gary also served on Dunkin' Donuts' Franchisee Advisory Council and New York Advertising Committee. 

 


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*FRANCHISE LEGAL

HAROLD KESTENBAUM ESQ.

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Harold Kestenbaum is a Cambridge Who’s Who Lifetime Member and established franchise attorney. Mr. Kestenbaum has been involved in franchise law since 1977 and has served as franchise counsel to many regional, national and international franchise companies in various industries. Mr. Kestenbaum currently provides legal counsel in franchise distribution and licensing law, representing start-up and established franchisors. He has served as the chief executive officer of a national franchisor and as the director of six nationally and internationally known franchisors, enhancing his experience in franchise law.

Mr. Kestenbaum is a member of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, the Antitrust Section’s Forum Committee on Franchising (since 1978), the Subcommittee on Franchising of the American Bar Association’s Corporation Banking and Business Law Section and the International Franchise Association’s Supplier Forum Advisory Board. He is also a founding member and the current chairman of the New York State Bar Association’s Franchise, Distribution and Licensing Law Section and serves as chairman for its Education and Seminar Subcommittee. Previously, Mr. Kestenbaum chaired statewide seminar programs for New York State attorneys in 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005, and chaired seminars on franchise law for the Nassau and Suffolk County Bar Associations.

Mr. Kestenbaum received a JD from the University of Richmond in 1975 and bachelor of arts in sociology from Queens College in 1971. He has been named as one of the “Top 100 Franchise Attorneys in North America,” in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Franchise Times Magazine and as one of the three best franchise attorneys in the New York metro area in 2005 and 2006 by New York Magazine. Mr. Kestenbaum is currently working on two books: “Franchise Your Business, for Entrepreneurs,” and “How to Become Successful in a Franchise Business Once You Are a Franchisor.” He has published articles on franchise law for the Franchise Law Journal, Franchise Lawyer and for the ABA Forum Committee, and has lectured extensively on the subject.


*REAL ESTATE NEGOTIATION AND LEGAL REVIEW

Lisa Oak

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Founder and CEO Oak Advisory Services, LLC 

Oak Advisory Services, LLC was created by Lisa Oak in 2015. Capitalizing on the experience Lisa gained during the twenty nine years she worked directly with Fred DeLuca, the Founder and CEO of Subway® Restaurants, Lisa assists franchisors and franchisees with their lease negotiations & review.  

As the Franchise Brands' Managing Director for  SUBWAY®  Lisa has held a number of positions within the organization and served on the Founder's Management Committee since 1988. During Lisa's tenure the number of SUBWAY® restaurants worldwide grew from 700 units to over 43,000 evolving from a dominate domestic chain to an international player in the quick serve arena, serving SUBWAY® sandwiches in more than 100 countries.

The following are some of the key titles Lisa has held in the SUBWAY® franchise organization:

Vice President 2005 - 2015
Director of Franchise Development 1999 - 2005
Director of Real Estate 1988 - 2005
Leasing Representative 1986 - 1988

As Managing Director of Franchise Brands, LLC since its creation in 2005, Lisa was responsible for the acquisition, incubation and expansion of all new properties in the Franchise Brands portfolio. In addition, she served on the Boards of Directors of the following companies: 
Taco Del Mar 2010 - 2015
Personal Training Institute 2008 - 2015
HomeVestors of America 2007 - 2015
Mama DeLuca's Pizza 2007 - 2015


* Operational Systems & Manual Development  

Fred Kirvan

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Founder FK Consulting. 

Fred started in the franchise business in 1991. Working with the founder of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille he developed the operating systems and grew the company from a single unit into a multi state, 30 unit franchised brand. In 2008 he became President of Desert Moon remaining in that role until 2013

Mr. Kirvan was then recruited as the Chief Operating Officer for TRUFOODS, LLC. a 100 unit, multi brand franchise company that included Pudgie’s, Wall Street Deli, Ritter’s Frozen Custard and Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips.

Upon leaving TRUFOODS he became VP of Operations for Energy Kitchen; a NYC based fast casual chain which pioneered the "healthy alternative"  space before leaving to launch an early learning & play center business "Moozie's Play Cafe" with his wife. 

Working in a variety of capacities in food and non food business' Mr. Kirvan's experience in systems development, writing manuals, brand connectivity, purchasing and construction project management have proven invaluable assets to start up & emerging brands. 

Currently FK Consulting works to develop a full suite of Confidential Franchise Manuals which include Operations, Managing the Business, C&D and other critical Job Aids and Training Tools necessary to grow and enhance the process of devloping successful franchisees. 


* Franchise Sales

Vince Blumetti

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Vince Blumetti is a  graduate of Kent State University, this franchise advertising, marketing and sales executive has had a diverse background in business development within multiple consumer and business-to-business industry segments. Blumetti has held Regional Director, Vice President and/or Director level operations, sales and marketing positions with companies such as Bally's Total Fitness, The Sporting Clubs of America, Initial Contract Services, The Peasant Restaurants, Mick’s Restaurants and Quincy's Steakhouse. 

Blumetti also co-founded and operated a successful advertising agency in Atlanta Georgia for over 6 years. His agency assisted with consumer acquisition and sales for more than 7,000 diverse franchise locations and worked extensively with their headquarters in franchise development including brand positioning, lead generation and sales closing. 

Blumetti has successfully contributed to the growth of numerous franchise concepts within the full-service restaurant, fast-casual restaurant, health, nutrition, fitness, spa, home services, financial services, publishing, retail and commercial cleaning industries. 


* ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

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  BARRY KNEPPER CFO/CPA

The consulting CFO provides the financial leadership and guidance that most small and medium sized businesses do not have the resources to obtain on a full time basis. A consulting CFO brings a wealth of experience in a cost efficient manner. Now you can have the benefit of many years of experience whenever you need it without the financial burden of an additional full time employee on your payroll. Some of the services that we can provide to you include:

• Building a solid accounting and administrative staff
• Overseeing or performing the controllership function
• Development of cash flow tracking and forecasting system
• Prepare and/or manage month end closings including improving timeliness
• Discussion with management of a complete analysis of monthly financial results
• Preparation and maintenance of financial budgets and long term projections
• Establish and maintain banking relationships
• Selection and implementation of benefit plans
• Review appropriateness of insurance coverage/obtain competitive quotes
• Develop procedures for the efficient operation of the accounting department
• Prepare year end audit work papers and manage relationship with outside auditor
• Provide interim services between accounting department hires
• Prepare a business plan to facilitate the raising of investment capitalrs

 


* Architectural, Design & Project Management

Mark Metzgar

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Mr. Metzgar serves as the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer and has been developing commercial building and site designs for over twenty five years. His vast experience with a variety of corporate and franchise clients, lends a valuable resource to Cornerstone’s clientele.

Cornerstone integrates all disciplines in-house, maintaining a high level of expertise through every step of development. The result is total coordination ensuring the project is completed on time and within budget.

From the initial stages of site investigation through final construction, you have a competent team of experienced, registered professionals working on your project. Cornerstone specializes in commercial design with an emphasis on franchise development, bringing an exceptional level of consistency to our clientele. Our experience in commercial, residential and industrial development areas has given us a broad range of expertise.

 



 

*Franchise Market Research,INDUSTRY Analysis and DATA Reporting

Ed Teixeira

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Ed Teixeira has over 35 years of experience in the franchise industry. He is the Chief Operating Officer for FranchiseGrade.com. Ed has served as a corporate executive for franchise firms in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology industries and was also the franchisee of a multi-million-dollar home healthcare franchise. He has transacted international licensing in Europe, Asia and South America.

Ed is the author of Franchising from the Inside Out and The Franchise Buyers Manual and has spoken before various groups including the International Franchise Expo, Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China and has lectured at the Stony Brook University Business School about Franchising. 

He has testified as a franchise expert before the International Arbitration Association and has conducted seminars, written numerous articles on franchising and has been interviewed on TV and radio.

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IT & Strategic Solutions

Damian Alleret

        

       

Damian has over 20 years of experience providing solutions in the IT field. He has worked for consulting firms or independently with a variety of clients, including nonprofits in different industries such as Finance, Healthcare, Insurance, Retail, Architecture, Legal and Municipal/Government. Clients range in size from small and medium enterprises.

During his 10 years at MSP All Covered, he started as a Senior Consultant and progressed through various roles such as Solutions Architect, Sales Engineer, Manager of Strategic Solutions, and Engineer Team Lead. Damian also holds various certifications from leading technology companies such as VMWare, Cisco, and Microsoft. He is also certified at the ITIL Foundation level.


 

* Lending Partners

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* Real Estate SELECTION &     Trade Area Definition

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Andrew Moger - Branded Concept Development


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Michael Kahan - Collier's International


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              BRANDON MILLER                        RKF - NEW YORK - MIAMI


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Greg Smith - Resource Commercial Real Estate, LLC 


* Website Development
Miguel Dominguez


Robert Bagnell - CPA



 

"TALENT WINS GAMES BUT TEAMWORK AND INTELLIGENCE WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS."