People and News: August 2020

People, News & Events

People on the Move

Robert Wright potbelly

Photo courtesy of

Robert Wright is the new president and CEO of Potbelly. Wright previously served as an executive at Wendy's.


Philip auerbach

Photo courtesy of

Philip Auerbach is the new chief digital and strategy officer at Dunkin'.


brad johnson

Brad Johnson is now the vice president of franchise operations at Spring-Green Lawn Care.


art d'Elia dominios

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Art D'Elia has been promoted to executive vice president at Domino's. D'Elia will continue to serve as chief marketing officer and will handle global marketing and franchise relations.


Justin nihiser

Justin Nihiser is now the CEO of Code Ninjas.


chequan lewis

Chequan Lewis has been appointed to the newly created position of chief equity officer at Pizza Hut.


Martin lee sport clips

Martin Lee is now the chief marketing officer at Sport Clips Haircuts. Lee has more than 15 years of experience with brands such as SIRIUS XM Radio, Sears Holdings, Sleepy’s and Shopko.


Brands Expanding

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is bringing its first location in Texas to McKinney. It is the first of three locations that the brand hopes to open in the Collin County area over the next several years. All three locations will be owned by former Jeremiah’s Italian Ice employee Megan Bourke. Bourke worked at Jeremiah’s Italian Ice for two years while in college, starting as a Server and eventually moving up to a Supervisor role.


roy rogers

Roy Rogers Restaurants has opened new locations on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and in south central Pennsylvania. The two units are operated by HMSHost, a Roy Rogers franchisee. They are the first new sites to open since Roy Rogers announced a renewed expansion effort earlier this year, following a two-year period of intensive evaluation and enhancement to every aspect of the concept, and mark the launch of a formal effort to develop units in non-traditional venues as a key strategy to meeting the chain’s growth objectives.


Aaron and Grace Dykhuizen

Aaron and Grace Dykhuizen of Huntertown have launched Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services of Fort Wayne-Auburn, Indiana. “Grace and I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so we have decided to follow our dreams and open our own business,” said Aaron Dykhuizen. “Office Pride provides an essential service and gives us an opportunity to help keep our community clean and safe.”


Trey Hardin

Office Evolution is expanding to the Washington, DC area. The new location will be owned and operated by Trey Hardin. Hardin is eyeing Old Town Alexandria, and the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor in Arlington, among other cities as potential destinations for his location. This will be Office Evolution’s fourth location in northern Virginia. The brand has one location open in Herndon, and another in Tyson’s Corner, with a third location expected to open in Fairfax this month.


Scott family scooter's coffee
Timothy and Jill Scott with their daughter Megan (center).

Scooter’s Coffee is expanding in Minnesota by adding locations in the Twin Cities. Timothy and Jill Scott signed a multi-unit agreement with Scooter’s Coffee, planning for five new locations. During a franchise search, the Scotts were focused on how the brand plans to support the franchisees. “Scooter’s Coffee has done a great job of building their team to support franchisees,” said Timothy Scott. “You can clearly see the brand is built for growth and they are set to be planning ahead to continue that growth.” Timothy and Jill Scott plan to let their daughter, Megan, handle the day-to-day operations of the new location.


mountain mikes pizza

Mountain Mike’s Pizza has opened its first Perris location continuing the brand’s expansion throughout the Inland Empire. The new Perris restaurant is owned by franchisee and area developer, Robby Basati, who owns 14 Mountain Mike’s locations throughout California, six of which are in the Inland Empire.


Koala Insulation has signed agreements for 33 new franchise territories in less than three months. Through the new franchise agreements, the emerging concept is set to expand into attractive markets throughout Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida and North Carolina.


Fitness Machine Technicians announced it signed an agreement for its 100th territory. Franchisee Alex Wang plans to open this fall in Inland Empire, California, marking Fitness Machine Technicians’ sixth franchisee in California alone. Fitness Machine Technicians began franchising nationally in spring of 2018. After signing its 25th franchisee in spring of 2019, its growth has continued at an impressive pace as it now nears its 50th local owner.


Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning will have a new location in Maryland led by Fred Brewster. The new franchise will offer the company’s oxygen-powered cleanings in cities throughout Prince Georges and Montgomery counties and is set to open September 1.


Awards & Honors

dustin baker

Assisted Living Locator’s East Valley franchisee Dustin Baker was identified by franchisee satisfaction research firm, Franchise Business Review, as a Rock Star Franchisee for the second consecutive year. Baker’s franchise provides senior placement and referral service throughout Chandler, Gilbert, Apache Junction, Queen Creek, and East Mesa areas in Arizona.


Assisted Living Locators has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of America’s 5,000 fastest growing private companies. The company has earned the rank of 1644 on the 2020 Inc. 5000 list, jumping 173 spots from 2019.


Eighteen affiliate owners of Proforma have been named some of the fastest-growing private businesses on the Inc. 5000 list. They have been recognized for receiving growth up to 328%. The Proforma Owners recognized on this year’s list, in order of ranking, include the following:

  • Mike Lazzari; Owner of Proforma BrandCentric Solutions, ranked at #1358
  • Joe & Tracy Troy; Owners of Waterfront Promotional Merchandising, ranked at #1476
  • Steven Flaughers; Owner of Proforma 3rd Degree Marketing, ranked at #2179
  • Russell Howarth; Owner of Proforma Think Ink, ranked at #2293
  • Steve & Donna Raucher; Owners of Proforma GPS Global Promotional Sourcing, ranked at #3378
  • Pratt, Tej, Sudhir & Preeta Pande; Owners of Proforma IdeaPress, ranked at #3719
  • Brandon Kennedy; Owner of Proforma Progressive Marketing, ranked at #4077
  • Brian O’Leary and Anthony Panaggio; Owners of Proforma Packaging, Printing & Promotions, ranked at #4093
  • Dave Kirby; Owner of Proforma Printing Systems, ranked at #4340
  • Ryan Andrews & Andy Harmatz; Owners of The Branding Agency Powered by Proforma, ranked at #4500
  • Bob McPheron; Owner of Proforma Add-A-Line, ranked at #4766
  • Mike Durkee; Owner of Proforma Durkee, ranked at #4983


New Features

ICode has launched a Remote Learning Support Program, an in-person supervised learning support initiative built to help working parents manage school closures and online classes this fall. The flexible program offers instructor-guided remote learning classrooms where parents can drop off their children to learn in a safe, healthy and supervised setting. There will be no more than eight students per classroom and iCode will provide the necessary hardware, software, troubleshooting and curriculum assistance to children. The program allows students to take online classes in a supervised, small class setting. 


Have an announcement for your brand that you'd like included in the next People & News article? Email IFA's Director of Marketing and Content, Courtney Moore, at