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2022’s Top Franchise Influencers: 25–16

Once again, 1851 Franchise and SeoSamba have teamed up to find the most influential influencers in the franchise world.

Franchising is a big world, and it’s only getting bigger. Still, it’s a community, and a fairly close-knit community at that. Franchisors and franchisees across brands are constantly kept abreast of what their colleagues and competitors are up to, eager to implement best practices and leverage the industry’s best ideas. 

That’s why it’s essential for everyone in the industry to know who’s who. Whether you are buying a franchise, franchising your business, growing your franchise or looking for general information on franchising, tapping into the franchise world’s thriving community is vital to your success.

To that end, 1851 Franchise has teamed up with SeoSamba to bring you a list of the most influential people in franchising. 

Publishing throughout the month of February, this list is not a ranking, but a collection of 175 franchise industry professionals we think you should know. To help you connect, we’ve provided links to each professional’s LinkedIn page where available. So read on, and get busy building your network!

Stacie Shannon

LinkedIn Bio:

I had my first exposure to entrepreneurism when I was in grade school when my father started a taco stand business for my siblings and me to run at the local fair every summer. How fun, right? That experience alone planted a seed in me that I could be anything I wanted to be. All it takes is the desire and commitment to make it happen. And that's what I did. I became an entrepreneur & live my life, helping others become the same.

As a franchise consultant...

  • I assist individuals and investment groups in identifying the best possible investment to fit their individual needs and meet their long-term goals.
  • I build a customized individual business profile for each client that embodies their key criteria.
  • I research and filter through hundreds of franchise opportunities and narrow those down to a select few that are the best possible fits for each client.
  • I provide continued support throughout the entire franchise discovery process by assisting with financial, legal, and accounting resources.

As a franchise consultant, I believe a few core principles - transparency and trust are vital. Compassion and empathy are rare but critical to providing superior service. Self-development is a must for continued growth. Financial investments are important decisions. Adding value is everything. And communication is key!

Who am I, otherwise - ??

Fulfilled by helping others succeed; adore time spent with family and friends; mother of two amazing boys - Matthew & Andrew; serial entrepreneur; travel-enthusiast; former spin instructor and owner of Burst Cycle; lover of wine; learning enthusiast; freelance writer; and, endlessly committed to those I love.

Steve Beagelman

LinkedIn Bio:

CEO and Founder of SMB Franchise Advisors, a franchise consulting company that has assisted over 350 companies in growing their business through franchising. Steve is a senior level franchise executive with over 30 years of experience in the franchise industry from start-ups (founder of own business in 1991) to large franchise systems. A frequent speaker at the International Franchise Association conferences as well as a speaker for annual franchise conventions for different franchisors. A contributor to franchise industry publications and a recent contributor to a new book, So You Want to Franchise Your Business. Steve also is a frequent contributor to on the franchise industry. 

Steve Hart

About Steve Hart (from Company Website):

When Steve founded PMI in 2008, his vision was to create the nation’s largest residential, commercial, and association management franchise network. Much of his career prior to PMI was spent riding the ups and downs of the real estate industry in land development, construction, and sales. Steve came to understand that no matter what the real estate market is doing, the property management sector of the industry remains stable. With this in mind, he built the PMI model for a consistent revenue-generating property management business which now helps hundreds of property managers realize their dreams of successful business ownership.

Steve Hockett

About Steve Hockett (from Company Website):

Steve Hockett has served in various roles with Great Clips, Inc. beginning in 1988 as a franchisee. He was hired by Great Clips, Inc. in 1993 as a marketing manager and served in the roles of regional director and vice president of operations before leaving Great Clips to pursue other opportunities. He served as president of FranChoice, Inc. and then Rapid Refill Corp. before returning to Great Clips in 2008 as vice president of operations. 

Steve was promoted to CEO of Great Clips, Inc. in January 2018. Steve’s experience in franchising and his love for the Great Clips brand has contributed to its success as the world’s largest salon brand with locations in more than 180 markets across the United States and Canada.

Steven Strickland

About Steven Strickland (from Company Website):

Mr. Strickland has been Chief Executive Officer of Workout Anytime Franchising Systems, LLC in Alpharetta, Georgia since 2004. He has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Workout Anytime, Inc. in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1999. Mr. Strickland has over 35 years’ experience of successful business and club operations in the fitness industry, and loves using this experience to strengthen his franchisees’ businesses at Workout Anytime.

Stuart Hershman

LinkedIn Bio:

I have 35 years of experience in anything and everything having to do with the legal aspects of franchising and distribution.

My goal is to provide clients with the absolutely most responsive, reliable, practical, efficient, trustworthy, and cost-effective legal services at all times and to develop client relationships that will last indefinitely. Most of my attorney-client relationships, many with the premier brands in the world, have continued for 10-20 years (or longer!) and counting, a testament to the trust established with them. 

Specialties: Pretty much every legal aspect of franchising and distribution.

Susan Valverde

LinkedIn Bio:

I have been in Executive Leadership roles for 5 years and also have over 15 years of award-winning experience achieving extraordinary results in all aspects of owning and operating my own business. When added to my hands-on experience with Sales, Marketing, Logistics and other functions, this has proven to be a powerful combination – I have catapulted various operations to grow businesses exponentially in challenging markets. 

I succeeded through smart strategic planning, the retention of top talent, strong internal controls, industry best practices – and a “never say quit” attitude. I inspire loyal team members and earn the respect of my entire organizational community through open over communication at all levels. As the former owner of a vastly successful service firm, I have built a national reputation on my ability to open, expand and transform businesses into thriving operations. 

Suzie McCafferty

LinkedIn Bio:

I LOVE franchising. I love helping entrepreneurs franchise their businesses. I love helping people become business owners through franchising. I love promoting and supporting franchising as much as I possibly can. Why? Because franchising has changed my life and I want others to have the chance to do the same.

At 23 I started a small business. By 27 I had franchised it into a network of 70 stores across 6 countries from the Caribbean to the UK and Europe and Middle East. Needless to say, I learned A LOT doing it. 

I exited the business and joined a recruitment franchise as Franchise Director and Board Member. Over 3 years I helped them grow into a national brand with a £30m turnover which was sold to a UK Plc. Needless to say, I learned A LOT doing that too.

At which point, I concluded that I had so much experience and knowledge to share with other people wanting to grow and franchise their businesses, that the next logical step for me was to set up my own franchise consultancy firm. 

Tanashe' Martin

LinkedIn Bio:

Franchisee/Franchisor Growth and Business Consultant with proficient skills in Connection, PR Communications, Operations Management, Business Strategy, Coaching, Business Revenue Generation, and Networking. YES! I wear many hats. But I like it that way! Being a part of the team at Ask April Porter enables us to nurture and develop our genius in the franchising industry. What a blast!

Always looking to grow my network and community! I have always been told by my daddy, "T...I don't think you know a stranger"! There is always something to discover when we take time to truly build repour and relationships with others! Business, professional, or personal... I am forever a student of human nature and connection! So let's do it....let's connect!

Tariq Farid

LinkedIn Bio:

Founder of Edible®, Incredible Edibles®, Netsolace, Inc and Berry Direct. I'm passionate about entrepreneurship, health & wellness, franchising and technology.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.