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2022’s Top Franchise Influencers: 75-66

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!

Matt Stanton

LinkedIn Bio:

Matt Stanton is Partner and Chief Growth Officer for Mici Handcrafted Italian. Mici is a Denver-Born fast casual concept serving pizza, pasta, and salads made using family recipes and natural ingredients. Mici is now growing nationwide through a combination of franchise and corporate owned restaurants and will launch the Phoenix, Dallas, and Detroit markets in 2022.

Matt has 10+ years of retail and consumer industry experience, having served as Chief Development Officer for leading beauty and wellness franchisor WellBiz Brands, Inc. - the manager of Drybar, Elements Massage, Amazing Lash, LunchboxWax, and Fitness Together. Matt also led growth for the restaurant chains Smashburger and Taco Bueno Restaurants. Prior to these roles, he was a Consultant with Bain & Company in Dallas.

Megan Allen

LinkedIn Bio:

As a Colorado native who is truly proud of my state, I am excited to round out her career, becoming a Franchisee myself with the FranNet team support and grow my clients by helping them fulfill their own business ownership dreams.

I am also a super fan of the franchise industry and love to consult and help Franchisors grow their brand with the best practices and incredible vendors I have worked with spanning my 30-Year Career.

On a personal note, I am a Stepmother to two great young ladies, Marley -18, and Maya – 13 and live in Centennial, Colorado with my husband, Mike (and furbabies Jack a Puggle and Yadi the Golden). I enjoy volunteering regularly for numerous charities and am extremely passionate about giving back to my community.

Melissa Pang

LinkedIn Bio:

75% of the adult population in the US has a desire to be self-sufficient – of that 75%, only 5% are actively reaching out to franchise brands to learn more. What about that other 95%? 

Enter The Entrepreneur’s Source

We are a coaching referral organization that has been helping to empower people’s personal and professional dreams for 35 years. 

We work with franchise brands who are ready to move out of the “dino-zor” era of selling and convincing to buy and instead move into a space of Education, Awareness, and Discovery. Because of our coaching methodology, 95% of our clients go into a business they would have admittedly never looked at or would have prematurely dismissed.

Micah Logan

LinkedIn Bio:

I am a dynamic entrepreneur, business owner and speaker who has built a diversified, profitable health and fitness enterprise. From humble beginnings, I have nurtured a multi-service, multi-location, award-winning company with a value proposition focused on high quality client service. I leverage my leadership, communications and motivational skills to ensure that my customers are satisfied and my employees are high-performing and engaged. I am also a trusted consultant to small business owners--relying on the competencies I have developed throughout my career to help them level up. 

My world view is that people who have limited opportunities are an emerging market and I work passionately in many forums to set them up for success and activate their potential. I am focused on creating opportunities through a variety of forums including:

National speaking engagements include (Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Hopewell Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield, J. Jill, UPS, Fitness Business Association, Mindbody BOLD Conference

I lead with honesty and integrity in all that I do.

Michael Browning

LinkedIn Bio:

Michael Browning is the CEO and Founder of Unleashed Brands, a platform company that houses the world’s best franchise brands to help kids Learn, Play and Grow. 

Browning launched Unleashed in 2021 after noticing a void in the market for parents looking for a trusted resource for kid’s activities. The growing portfolio currently includes Urban Air Adventure Park, Snapology and The Little Gym.

In 2011, Browning launched Urban Air Adventure Park, the world’s preeminent family indoor adventure park, that has since served more than 20 million kids annually and generated $500 million+ of annual systemwide revenue. Browning believes that every guest to come through the doors of Urban Air has a story and the company’s mission is to enhance the story through engaging atmospheres that leverage the combination of lighting, sound, attractions and a guest-centric staff.

A young entrepreneur, Browning was named a rising star by the Dallas Business Journal in their Annual “40 Under 40” list in 2021. Urban Air has also ranked as No. 1 for the past three years in the annual Franchise 500 list put out by Entrepreneur Magazine. The company was also ranked on the Franchise Times Top 200+ list, an exclusive annual ranking of the 500 largest franchises.

Starting in childhood, those who watched Browning’s passion for business recognized an innate ability and vision that would help him overcome obstacles and push him to succeed. It was this passion and determination combined with his ability to turn what is “typical” upside down is what has driven his success in creating companies. Browning’s first company he founded was Phoebos Partners, a healthcare consulting firm which developed the nation’s most innovative marketing analytics software which determined the factors leading to success in healthcare marketing.

Having spent years as an entrepreneur, Browning leads the team with true insight into the challenges that new businesses face and he doggedly pushes the team to look for new ways to overcome obstacles and break down barriers to achieving success.

Michael Haith

LinkedIn Bio:

Michael has an almost 30-year career successfully building multiple, Inc. 500, global franchise brands. Consulting, serving on Boards, investing and building companies, he has vast experience identifying, and franchising strong food and beverage concepts. 

In 2013, he discovered Teriyaki Madness. A small, seven-unit regional chain with delicious and healthy food, a simple business model, a raving fan base and most importantly, the best margins he'd ever seen in his years in the restaurant industry. 

He sold all of his current business interests in 2015 to acquire and focus on Teriyaki Madness and what is quickly becoming a recognized success story in the fast casual restaurant industry. Quality, fresh, customizable ingredients made-to-order with large portions of delicious, healthy bowls of fresh vegetables, all-natural grilled chicken and beef, with homemade sauces and served over Calrose rice or noodles.

He has assembled a team of seasoned, fast-casual professionals to build the processes and systems to aggressively and intelligently help franchisees expand TMAD on a global scale. Currently more than 95 teriyaki shops with another 40 to open in 2021 throughout North America. TMAD has great momentum into the next decade as satisfied franchisees expand rapidly into additional shops.

The TMAD franchise community is aggressively expanding, adding additional units while inviting and supporting new franchisees to expand the brand awareness across the globe. 

Michael Mudd

LinkedIn Bio:

We build sustainable brands by providing franchisors with tools and expertise to create breakthroughs in franchise development.

Michael Webster

LinkedIn Bio:

Who do you know who wants to create their Branded Community on LinkedIn, using LinkedIn's new product -- Pages?

Pages is not just for big companies any more. Small & Medium sized businesses like yours can create their own Branded Community for: franchise recruiting, in market events, tourism destinations, journalism, book audiences, and almost anything which was an audience of readers & talkers.

An experienced community manager on LinkedIn can make that happen for your company -- creating your branded community. Build up your reach naturally & then take advantage of LinkedIn's ability to deliver your message to the right person and at the right time by sponsoring your messaging.

We have been building community on LinkedIn since 2010 & we’ll show you the way to get your community going. A couple of no-cost consultations will have you on your way. (No cost as in no money; not as in you do no work.)

Michelle Rowan

LinkedIn Bio:

Since 2005, FBR has helped more than 1100 franchise brands to better understand franchisee, employee and candidate satisfaction, and improve performance:

 • WE HELP FRANCHISES ACHIEVE PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES with actionable data to improve satisfaction, strengthen their brand, and increase revenue. Find out more:

 • WE BRING TRANSPARENCY TO THE FRANCHISE INDUSTRY by offering the leading forum for franchisees to rate their brand & empowering prospective franchisees with satisfaction research in our guides and via

Nader Masadeh

LinkedIn Bio:

As CEO of Buffalo Wings & Rings, Nader Masadeh strives to spread his passion for providing the best “club level” sports restaurant and bar experience in the industry to all levels of the franchise system.

As evidenced when he went undercover during the season premiere of Undercover Boss’s 7th season, Masadeh believes in a servant-leadership philosophy, which he has used to guide the corporate team and has ingrained into the franchise system. Buffalo Wings & Rings has enjoyed 20 consecutive quarters of positive same store sales growth under Masadeh’s leadership, with 13 percent growth of year-over-year annual unit volume since 2006. In 2015, the brand reached a record high AUV of $2 million and the brand projects reaching 120 locations by 2028. By establishing a franchise support model that is second-to-none in the industry, Buffalo Wings & Rings has provided the tools for nearly half of single-unit franchisees who have entered the system to expand to multi-unit ownership.

Masadeh was born into a family of restaurant owners and managers. After earning a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Masadeh earned his MBA in international business and negotiations from Xavier University. But his family’s businesses instilled a passion for the restaurant industry which led to his purchase of Buffalo Wings & Rings in 2005 with business partners Philip Schram (Chief Development Officer) and Haytham David (International CEO).

Upon purchase of the company, Masadeh helped engineer a revival of the brand, making improvements to all elements of the Buffalo Wings & Rings experience including a chef-inspired menu, redesigned restaurant model that appeals more to families, and a focus on increasing the efficiency of the brand’s operations. Masadeh’s goal is to make Buffalo Wings & Rings a household name in even more markets in the U.S.

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