Steve Romaniello, CFE
Chairman FOCUS Brands Inc. and Managing Director, Roark Capital Group Secretary
Steve Romaniello, CFE, is chairman of the board of directors of FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of nearly 2,200 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 32 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee on certain military bases and international markets. In 2008, Romaniello joined Roark Capital Group as managing director and as a member of the private-equity firm’s Investment Committee. FOCUS also sells its famous ice cream cakes in more than 8,500 retail outlets through New Britain, Conn.-based Celebration Foods, Carvel’s manufacturing and distributing division. Romaniello joined Carvel in 2002 as president of the franchise and foodservice division, and laid the foundation for the strategic turnaround of one of America’s favorite ice cream brands. Once the Carvel system was stabilized, the company was renamed FOCUS Brands to reflect the organization’s long-term vision to become a multi-brand franchisor. Under his direction and with the support of FOCUS Brands’ owner Roark Capital Group, the newly-formed organization acquired Cinnabon and Seattle’s Best Coffee in 2004, Schlotzsky’s in 2006 and Moe’s Southwest Grill in 2007. Prior to accepting the post at Carvel, Romaniello was president and chief operating officer of US Franchise Systems. Joining at the company’s inception as a senior vice president, Romaniello helped expand USFS from one brand with 27 hotels in nine states to three brands and more than 500 hotels open in 47 states and five countries. Before joining USFS, he was Holiday Inn Worldwide’s youngest vice president, responsible for franchise services, support and training for the 1,700 hotels in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean operating under the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, as well as franchise sales in the region. During his tenure, Holiday Inn increased its franchise sales from 60 in 1991 to 300 franchises in 1995. From 1988 to 1991, he held various positions with Days Inn of America. A native of Stamford, Conn. and a Tufts University graduate, Romaniello is a member of the board of directors of Fast Signs, a leading franchisor in the sign and graphics industry; the IFA’s Diversity Institute; the Atlanta Franchise Alliance; and the Elliot Leadership Institute. Romaniello resides in Atlanta with his two sons.