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Top Franchise Influencers: 10–1

After reviewing more than 100 nominations, 1851 Franchise and SeoSamba have broken down our list of franchise influencers you should know.

Franchising is tough. Good thing there are so many professionals who have been fighting the good franchise fight to figure out the best practices for franchisors and ‘zees in every industry.

Whether 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 journey. So, with the help of SeoSamba we’ve curated a list of the most influential people in franchising.

No, these are not rankings, simply our collection of 100 influencers you should know, and frankly, who you should be connected to (good thing we’ve provided their LinkedIn links).

We’ve been releasing the full list in chunks over the past two weeks. Here is our final batch. Now, get busy getting connected.

Ralph Yarusso

Experienced President, Senior Vice President, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Development Officer, Business Development with a demonstrated history of working in the automotive industry. Strong business operational and development history, professional skilled in Negotiation, Budgeting, Business Planning, Operations Management, and Coaching. 

Michelle Rowan

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 

Brian Schnell

Paul Pickett

I have over 30 years of experience of 'Bringing People and Nature Together" as the VP of Franchise Development for Wild Birds Unlimited, leading the Franchise Development team to grow our franchise system to over 340 stores. Additionally, I manage all of the legal and real estate responsibilities for Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc. 

Jack Monson

Digital Marketing and Social Media Tactics to Exceed Business Goals.

Marketing Leadership / New Business Development.

Specialties: Franchise Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Podcasting, Story Telling, Marketing Consulting, Content Marketing, Marketing & Sales Management, New Business Development, Public Relations, Public Speaking, Brand Journalism, Radio, Broadcasting. 

Sean Manning

Nancy Bigley

An experienced Franchise Operations Executive with a proven track record of increasing revenues and profits through the implementation of growth strategies, business practices, and systems that create a sustainable competitive advantage.


A high-energy, driven, innovative and problem-solving leader focused on achieving strategic objectives while strengthening franchisee relations and cross-functional teams.

Fernando López de Castilla

Mary Ann O’Connell

A franchise generalist with over 30 years of experience as a franchisee, franchisor and franchise consultant.


Specialties: General franchise operations, training and documentation. Write, edit and maintain franchise operations brand standards manuals. Strategic planning. Feasibility studies. Operations reviews.


Currently on the Board of Directors of the International Franchise Association (IFA), First Vice Chair of the Supplier Forum Advisory Board and Chairman of the Membership Committee.


Was the inaugural franchisee for Money Mailer, Inc. developing sales and marketing methods used by entire franchise system.


Served as VP - Franchise Support Services of Money Mailer in the US, Canada and Chile. Included P&L responsibility, training design and implementation, new product roll out, franchise support, customer service and conference and event planning.


Served as Director of Operations for AIM Mail Centers. Revamped training program, manuals and unit-level economics, franchise relations.


Regional Director of Great Clips*, Inc. Launched the Southern California markets of the LA and San Diego DMAs and oversaw operations in NV, AZ and UT. Included P&L responsibility, training and support of franchisees, franchise sales and leasing approvals and oversight.


President of FranWise®, a full-service franchise consulting firm that launches new franchise concepts, creates franchise operations manuals and helps emerging brands optimize their operations and franchise relations.

Wes Barefoot

I help people take control of their lives and create Freedom for themselves through business ownership.


As a Professional Franchise Consultant, I help the people I work with understanding franchising and determine if it might be a good fit for them. If it is, then I take them through a proven, and methodical process to develop a custom model, tailored to them based on their background, skill-sets, financial and lifestyle goals, that we then use to match them up with a franchise opportunity that's perfect for them!


My services are free for the people I work with, and I've been able to help many people get into business for themselves, or add to their portfolio of businesses through franchising. I work with hundreds of the top franchise brands across virtually every industry. I only introduce the people I work franchise companies that have been vetted, and that I feel confident are the type of business that will allow them to achieve their goals.


If you'd like to learn more about franchising, and my free services, please reach out and we can schedule a free consultation!

Roxane Harris

Motivated business development and management Executive with 30+ years of proven leadership and results expertise. Experience at leading U.S. Retail organization comprised of 4 Regional Directors leading 20 Franchise Consultants and 1200+ franchise owners in over 3,000 locations while also overseeing an Operations Director and Practice Management team(24 FTE). Key strengths include identification of top talent, management of $200m P & L, establishing strategic direction, partnering with business partners and ensuring business growth is achieved in accordance with strategic initiatives.

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