Mike Wien/Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality at Georgia State University
Adjunct Professor of Marketing
After spending 28 years in senior marketing positions with Frito-Lay, Pepsi, Omni Hotels, CitiBank and Deloitte, Mike Wien left the corporate world 12 years ago to become an adjunct professor of marketing at Georgia State University, a consultant dedicated to helping entrepreneurial organizations become more effective at growing their business and an Ironman Triathlete who is a regular competitor in the World Championship.
Chris Hardman/Georgia Restaurant Association
Member Development Executive
Chris Hardman serves as the Member Development Executive for the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), representing one of the largest industries in the state. In addition to Hardmans role in membership, he also serves as one of the GRAs registered lobbyist. The GRA serves as the unified voice for over 16,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $17.1 billion which provides more than 421,800 jobs. Hardman graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors and a BBA in Hospitality Administration from Georgia State University (GSU). Hardman then went on to receive his Masters in Global Hospitality Management from GSU. Prior to working with the GRA, Hardman served as the Research Associate for Georgia Capitol Associates, advocating on behalf of the hospitality and tourism industry. In addition to Hardmans work with the GRA, he also sits on the Advisory Board for ATL Industree, a group that hosts networking events just for people who work food and beverage.
Steven Glenn/ARF Financial
Steve Glenn, CEO of ARF Financial, co-founded the company in July 2001 to meet the needs of restaurateurs who were looking for cheaper, simpler and more flexible financing. Mr. Glenn’s responsibility is to hire, train and supervise all sales representatives who originate and service loans in the company and handles all business development activities. Mr. Glenn was previously President and CEO of Gusto Marketing Services, LLC (Gusto) a niche restaurant advertising company that held contracts with many metropolitan newspapers, including The Houston Chronicle, The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and the San Francisco Chronicle. Mr. Glenn also has more than 13 years experience in a number of senior management positions with Entertainment Publications. He graduated with a Business Administration degree from Baylor University.
Laurie Ford/ARF Financial
Atlanta Vice President
I am Laurie Ford, Vice President and Senior Loan Consultant for ARF Financial. I bring more than 15 years experience in small business finance and marketing to the position. I work with restaurants and retailers across the nation to customize financial solutions that meets their needs and budget. I am dedicated to servicing my clients and establishing long term relationships. I have a Master’s degree in Marketing from Walsh College in Troy, Michigan and I am an active member of the Georgia Restaurant Association. I can offer straightforward loan options that feature fixed terms and payments with no collateral required. Whether you are looking to expand to a new location, renovate, purchase equipment or simply stabilize your cash flow, I’m here to help you. Restaurant owners call us first because we are not a cash advance or factoring company. We have nothing to do with your credit card transactions. The loan you receive is tax deductible resulting in lower overall cost of funds. The payments you make are fixed and will not change during the term of the loan – as your revenue grows you keep more of it.
Pam Currie/Franchise Intellect, Inc
Pam Currie has over 20 years in franchising and traditional corporate America; She has acquired business acumen from multiple perspectives of the franchise business model, starting at the franchisee level, then as a franchisor business support & trainer, to a franchisor launch & system developer, all of which included creating strategies for sales development and implementation of relevant training programs.
Her experience puts her in the role of training other franchise advisors. She founded Franchise Intellect and offers franchise consulting to individuals who are interested in pursuing franchise ownership and to franchisors that are looking to receive assistance in developing a franchise growth strategy and/or a training strategy. She specifically enjoys guiding her client’s in making a knowledgeable decision in selecting the best franchise based upon their criteria, with the objective of achieving financial health and life enjoyment.