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Top Franchise Influencers: 50–41

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).

Throughout February, we will release the entire list so you can get busy getting connected.

Scott Wendrych

Franchise Operations and Development executive with 16 years of leadership experience building great teams and delivering results. Strong track record of building start-up brands from zero to re-engineering brands that have gone astray. Solid business acumen with a proven track record of developing infrastructure and tools to lead franchisees to success. Strong relationship builder that delivers results both operationally and via franchise sales and openings.


* Deep franchise development experience and track record of selling and opening units
* Strong operational background focused on building systems, processes and metrics
* Private Equity experience
* Driver of franchise system engagement

Jania Bailey

Executive Leader with over 30 years experience in the banking and franchise industries.

Joe Caruso

  • Want to recruit new franchise owners & sell more franchises? Using the LinkedIn database for franchise recruitment sales is what I show franchisors & franchise sellers how to do.
  • Suppliers & professionals want to sell more products & services to franchise brands.
    LinkedIn is the way you can do that. If you know how, and your sales team has the right prospecting routine you will win new business.
  • Want to franchise your business & expand your brand. I have a program for that. And I’ll show you.

Michael Webster

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 anymore. 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.)

Joe Mathews

As CEO of Franchise Performance Group, Mathews is a thought leader and top consultant specializing in how to grow profitable, sustainable, and valuable franchise brands. He is author or co-author of five books on franchising: ”Future of Franchising,” How to Create a Franchise Sales Breakthrough. Guaranteed." "Street Smart Franchising,” "Franchise Sales Tipping Point," and "Developing Peak Performing Franchisees.” Mathews has written or been quoted in 80 articles featured in Wall St Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Inc, Working Woman, Business Week and numerous newspapers, books, and journals.


Areas of Specialization include:


Growth strategies, brand strategy, leadership and corporate culture, franchise candidate lead generation, financing, and all aspects franchisee recruitment."

Gary Occhiogrosso

Franchise Sales & Marketing
Operations/Business Development & Global Expansion


* Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.
* Former President & Chief Development Officer - TRUFOODS, LLC
* Adjunct Associate Professor - NYU - Restaurant Concept/Business Development & Entrepreneurship
* Contributing writer with Forbes
* Host of MasterMind Minutes Podcast
* Selected Top 25 Fast Casual Executives in the USA by Fast Casual Magazine
* Winner of "The Executive Management Award" by SmartCEO magazine.
* Publisher -
* Former Radio Talk Show Host in NYC “The Small Business & Franchise Show"
* Former NYC Dunkin' Franchisee
* Manic Foodie


Creative and bold marketing and sales approach to lead growth for National brands. Strong cross-functional business acumen complemented by a decisive, interactive and motivational leadership style.


Speaker and Member of International Franchise Association. Board Member of several emerging franchise, advertising and chain retail companies."

Rick Grossmann

Rick is an accomplished franchise executive with decades of real-world leadership experience. He is the author of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Bible and serves as a franchise executive coach and consultant, speaker and trainer for numerous franchise brands worldwide.


Mr. Grossmann has been involved in the franchise industry since 1994. He franchised his first company and grew it to 49 locations in 19 states during the mid to late ‘90s. He served as the CEO and primary trainer focusing on franchisee relations and creating tools and technologies to increase franchisee success.


Rick franchised his second company in 2003. He served as the companies CEO and Marketing Officer. He developed the high-tech/high-touch franchise marketing and sales system, selling over 150 franchises in North America and capturing ranking in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 franchises in less than three years.


Mr. Grossmann currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Franchise Hub/Shepherd Brands and Friend of the Family Franchising in Denver, Colorado. The mission of these organizations is to provide entrepreneurs around the world with the resources to enable them to start businesses, provide for their families and create jobs.


Mr. Grossmann had the honor of working with his mentor and his family as a Contributing Author for the 7th edition of Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise Bible published by Entrepreneur Press. He has recently been chosen as the new Author of the series with the 8th edition and accompaniment website (

Neal & Nimesh Dahya

Nimesh: Experienced Chief Financial Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the food & beverages industry. Strong finance professional skilled in Budgeting, Strategic Planning, Business Process Improvement, Strategy, and Product Management.

Charlie Chase

Sabrina Wall

Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the professional training & coaching industry. Skilled in Sales, Management, Business Development, Organizational Development, and Training. Strong business development professional graduated from University of Central Florida.