Leading the way
John Rotche, CFE
Franworth CEO and Managing Director
After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1990, John Rotche began his career in franchising at the Ann Arbor-based pizza giant, Domino’s®. Rotche started at the store level where he began delivering pizzas and quickly advanced into a management role. Rotche directed the operations for hundreds of Domino’s Pizza stores in a multi-state region and was then promoted to a corporate area field trainer position. Rotche went on to be recognized as Domino’s Pizza’s World Wide Trainer of the Year.
After Domino’s Pizza sold to Bain Capital, Rotche accepted a senior level position with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts® and helped lead the brand’s expansion throughout the Midwest.
While at Krispy Kreme, Rotche purchased a small, one-van air duct cleaning business as a passive investment from a family member. Soon after purchasing Rotche saw the impact this small business could have on improving the indoor air quality for children suffering from asthma, as demonstrated by his own two-year-old son. Rotche decided to resign from corporate America with the plan to take this small company (DUCTZ) national.
Within three years, Rotche grew DUCTZ to be the nation’s largest air duct cleaning business with 175 offices before selling the business to the billion-dollar restoration giant, Belfor Property Restoration. Two years after selling DUCTZ, Rotche’s entrepreneurial spirit struck again and he recognized another opportunity within the fragmented space of restaurant kitchen exhaust cleaning, so he created his next company, HOODZ. HOODZ quickly became the nation’s largest within its category, growing to roughly 150 locations in less than two years.
In April of 2012, Rotche accepted the position as both President and Partner of TITLE Boxing Club International. Today, TITLE Boxing Club, is currently one of the fastest growing group fitness companies in America with more than 500 clubs under development nationwide and in Mexico. John is currently the Chief Executive Officer of TITLE Boxing Club International.
In 2015 Rotche launched Franworth whereas he serves as its CEO and Managing Director. Franworth’s portfolio of brands include TITLE Boxing Club, CITYROW, Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea, and The Lash Lounge.
Rotche was recognized in 2007 by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of the Top 40 Executives under the age of 40. In 2011, Rotche was honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the International Franchise Association (IFA), joining the ranks of Fred DeLuca (Subway®), J. Willard Marriott (Marriott® hotels), Tom Monaghan (Domino’s Pizza®), and Frank Carney (Pizza Hut®) to name a few. Additionally, in 2011 Rotche was honored with the Entrepreneurship award from his Alma Mater the University of Michigan. Rotche was also the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Business Leader Award from Northwood University.
As a franchise executive Rotche is often featured on Fox News and Bloomberg. He is also a columnist for Detroit Smart Business, and a frequent public speaker within the franchise industry.
Rotche is credited for creating FranShip, the mentoring program for the IFA that provides franchisees and franchisors the opportunity to share best practices plus strategic positioning and advice from some of the franchise industry’s premier leaders.
Managing Director & Partner
David Barr began his career in Atlanta with Pricewaterhouse Coopers and then joined Pizza Hut, Inc.’s finance department in 1991. From 1994 to 1998, Barr was the CFO and then the CEO of the Great American Cookie Company, a franchisor and operator of 367 mall-based cookie stores. In 1998, Barr, on behalf of the shareholders, sold Great American Cookies to Mrs. Fields. Barr was previously the Chairman of Rita Restaurants Corp. from 2007 to 2014, and Samuels Jewelers, Inc. from 2000 to 2006 at which time he led the sale of the company to Gitanjali Gems.
In connection with IFA, Barr has met with the White House, senators, congressmen and their staffs to discuss the impact of ACA on restaurant jobs. In addition, Barr has spoken about healthcare on Fox News,Fox & Friends, CNN Online, and his experiences have been written about by New York Times, International Business Times, and the Washington Examiner.
Some notable accolades include: Chairman of Your Pie (franchisor of fast-casual pizza concept), Board of Directors of Del Frisco Restaurant Group, Board of Directors of Charles & Colvard, Inc., Board of Directors of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands LLC, Board of Directors of BrightStar Care, Board of Directors of International Franchise Association, Chairman of PMTD.
Franworth Operating Partner
President and CEO, The Lash Lounge
Dave Keil is Operating Partner for Franworth, and CEO of The Lash Lounge; he brings franchising, growth and leadership experience from brands like Pure Barre, HoneyBaked Ham, Ecolab, Frito-Lay and Häagen-Dazs. Keil is also an advisor to private equity firms, churches, business owners, multi-unit franchisees and large-scale merger integration teams.
Dave was most recently CEO of Pure Barre, the largest and fastest growing barre fitness franchise in the nation, where he served as CEO and led the company through change and growth within the boutique fitness sector. Keil also served as the inaugural Chairman and CEO for The Honey Baked Ham Company LLC, bringing the HoneyBaked brand and business together after 59 years of running as separate entities.
Additionally, Keil previously held a leadership position with Ecolab, where he led the integration for their $8B Nalco merger. Keil’s previous Ecolab roles included general manager for Healthcare’s North American Sector, vice president of Corporate Development and leading the global Program Management Office responsible for the company’s continuous improvement initiatives. Dave was president of The Häagen-Dazs Shoppe Company and director of Corporate Development for General Mills. His background also includes 10 years at Frito Lay in a variety of operations, sales and finance roles.
Keil was an adjunct professor at Hamline University’s School of Business where he taught Mergers & Acquisitions courses. In 2003, he was recognized by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as one of the “Top 40 Under 40” leaders in the Twin Cities. Keil received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, and a MBA from the University of Kansas.
Mike Skitzki, CFE
Chief Operating Officer
Michael has spent over a decade in the franchise industry. He joined the Ann Arbor-based Service Brands International in 2003 and later became senior development manager, overseeing franchise development for its Molly Maid and DUCTZ brands. He worked with John Rotche to form the Belfor Franchise Group, parent company to DUCTZ and HOODZ, and served as its Vice President beginning in 2010. With his systemization, DUCTZ and HOODZ each grew into the largest in their industry within three years.
Today Michael serves as the Chief Operating Officer of TITLE Boxing Club International. He was recruited as Vice President of the brand in 2012; Michael designed and implemented a franchise management structure to take the company from an emerging regional concept to an international brand in under 2 years.
In 2013 he was honored by Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40 awards which honors the best and brightest who have made their marks in business before age 40. Skitzki volunteers as a mentor with the International Franchise Association and University of Michigan athletics.
Tom is a successful entrepreneur and business owner with more than thirty five years of experience in operations, sales, real estate development, and business start-ups. He is currently the Chairman and co-founder of TITLE Boxing Club; the brand currently has over 140 units open and 500 sold.
Additionally, Tom started Global Connections, Inc, one of the nation’s largest travel clubs in 1996. In just thirteen years, the business went from zero to over 150,000 members resulting in $80 million in gross revenue in 2008. The business employs 150 throughout four offices across the US.
Tom is also a Commercial Property Owner, a Restaurateur, and the founder of GSI Sports, a sports management company which provides youth tournaments, leagues and camps.
Tom has been recognized as Kansas Business Man of the Year, Women’s Business Association’s Man of the Year and earned Cadillac’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
Rick is a partner and CFO of TITLE Boxing Club. He is also a partner and founder of Walsh Washburn, LLC a private accounting firm. He is the CFO & Tax Director for Global Connections, Inc. and related companies.
Rick spent 15 years with Deloitte & Touche, LLP in Kansas City, Missouri. He is a Certified Public Accountant and served as the Director in the Kansas City Tax Department. Rick was also the Missouri Practice Leader in the Telecom and Wireless Industry.
Vice President, Financial Planning & Analytics
Adam entered franchising as an owner/operator of a successful Elements Massage from 2012-2015. With a strong background in financial planning and analysis, Adam served on Elements Massage’s Leadership Council, mentoring new franchisees in financial modeling, forecasting and cash flow principles. Additionally, he served on the Board of Schoolcraft College’s Therapeutic Massage Program, mentoring new graduates. Adam consulted with the DUCTZ, HOODZ, and TITLE Boxing Club organizations during this time, building financial modeling tools utilized by the organization and franchisees.
Most recently, Adam has been an International Management Consultant in the aviation industry, leading client financial and data modeling with a heightened focus on corporate restructuring, integrated planning, revenue management, operations, and data reporting. In his time as a business consultant, he has led engagements for large international airline customers through enhanced revenue management, forecasting, balance sheet and cash flow efficiencies.
Prior to owning his own franchise, Adam was the Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Midwest Airlines, a $900M national carrier, where he led budgeting and forecasting functions that included income statement, balance sheet and cash flow modeling. Adam was an integral part of the company’s strategic planning during the acquisition and divesture with TPG Capital. Prior to Midwest Airlines, Adam was the Director of Financial Planning & Analysis at Mesa Airlines, a regional carrier with revenues exceeding $1B and worked in schedule planning at United Airlines. Adam now serves as the Vice President of Finance and Analytics at Franworth.
General Counsel & Chief of Staff
Jonathan has spent nearly ten years serving the franchise industry. After assisting with the sale of Service Brands International to the Dwyer Group in June of 2015, Jonathan became legal counsel for the Dwyer Group adding several brands to his practice including The Grounds Guys, Mr. Appliance, and Five Star Painting. He advised such brands on all franchise matters while leading numerous legal projects before joining Franworth.
Jonathan now serves as the General Counsel for Franworth. He is a member of the Michigan State Bar, American Bar Association forum on Franchising, and has served as a panel speaker at the IFA Legal Symposium.
Beginning his franchising career with Molly Maid operations in 2007, Jonathan later became In-House Counsel for Molly Maid’s affiliate, and multi-concept franchisor, Service Brands International. There he focused on establishing and improving interdepartmental procedures while providing legal counsel to Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters.
Divisional Vice President
Tim O’Connor serves as a Divisional Vice President for Franworth and brings with him twenty-five years of franchising experience. He launched his career in the food industry with McDonald’s and Boston Market where he worked in corporate operations and training for over ten years. From there, Tim moved into the restoration industry where he aided in launching DUCTZ and HOODZ, playing a significant role in growing both brands into the largest in their respective industries.
Something noteworthy about Tim is his ability to step into any situation and immediately make a positive impact. While serving as the Director for Electronic Restoration Services, O’Connor was instrumental in launching this small twenty year-old local business into the largest company nationwide that specialized in the restoration of electronic equipment. He accomplished this feat within an eighteen month period.
Divisional Vice President
Jennifer Fields serves as our Divisional Vice President for The Lash Lounge brand. Her responsibilities include creating and managing brand processes, programs, and systems. She works closely with franchisees during the onboarding and buildout process, as well as providing ongoing support once they’ve opened their salon location.
Jennifer has been supporting and driving operational excellence for more than ten years. She brings an extensive background in franchising, specializing in introducing new programs, systems, and training. She began her career in franchising at Children’s Orchard, a national children’s retail-franchise, where she was promoted from Franchise Support Specialist to General Manager. In addition to franchising, she has held positions in retail management and as a sales analyst. Jennifer’s experience and expertise in human resources, operations, marketing, programs, and financial analysis has been instrumental in driving unit performance and supporting franchise owners.
Divisional Vice President
In 2012, Dan became a franchisee of TITLE Boxing Club in Indianapolis. After successfully growing his business, he made the decision to sell his company and in 2014, accepted the position of Director of Store Operations for TITLE Boxing Club. After the formation of Franworth, Dan accepted the position as the Director of Business Intelligence, where he performed the analytics for multiple brands. Dan served in a leadership role in onboarding and now serves as the Divisional VP for The Lash Lounge.
A seasoned retail executive with 30+ years of experience for multiple corporate and franchise brands, Dan’s career began with the Kroger Company where he became a store manager at the age of 22. Dan was a pioneer who opened and managed multiple warehouse store locations throughout northern Ohio and Pennsylvania. His experience lies with Superstores, Warehouses, and Convenient Stores.
Later at Toys R Us, Dan played an instrumental role in growing the brand into a $10 billion company, doing so by overseeing all aspects of operations, which included spearheading the ‘Simplification’ process, Labor Planning Department, Communications Department, Store Projects Department and later became responsible for all store operations.
Vice President of Marketing & Engagement
Before joining the Franworth team as Vice President of Marketing & Engagement Wasim designed and implemented scalable global initiatives to grow same-store revenue for Google’s Marketing Service (GMS) advertiser channels. The team supported existing sales programs by testing and piloting new efforts, and spearheading strategic asks to cross-functional teams across Google.
After mastering reward and loyalty technology, Wasim began his digital advertising career in 2012 as a Certified Google AdWords Account Specialist; he was then promoted to Team Lead and Sales Manager a year later and helped grow the team from 12 agents to 157 in less than 18 months. As the Outbound Vendor Operations Manager at Google, Wasim led and coached high-performing AdWords teams that used consultative sales skills to understand the advertisers’ needs and deliver measurable solutions that grew their businesses. Wasim worked with the leadership team to set strategic objectives and ran the day-to-day operations for the business. 12 months later, Wasim was declared the Sales Lead and Operations Manager for Google’s Outbound Small-to-Medium Business Markets and Upper Mass Markets. Wasim was named the Engagement Ambassador in 2017.
Wasim graduated with a Marketing Degree (Cum Laude) from Wayne State University in 2000 with a Specialization in Advertising and a Minor in English. Wasim has over 19 years of marketing management experience – twelve of which, he was fortunate to select, train, develop, mentor and retain a team of qualified digital marketing executives. Wasim is a results-oriented professional with a proven record of success in sales and management and a team player with an unrivaled passion for exceeding goals and objectives.
Franchise Development Manager
Julia Berman is part of the Franworth Franchise Development team. In 2014, Julia joined TITLE Boxing Club, to recruit new franchise owners nationally. She has experience with all aspects of the franchise development process, including franchisee selection and understanding the needs of various individuals looking to invest in a franchise. In addition to her role at Franworth, Julia has served on several Ann Arbor community boards and started a young professionals group to help aspiring business professional’s network and grow within the community. In her spare time, you’ll find Julia hitting the heavyweight bag or on a long walk with Ruby, her golden doodle and Franworth’s unofficial mascot.
A Michigan Wolverine at heart, Julia graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a dual major in Economics and Psychology. Combining her passion for business and health, Julia had the opportunity to bring the first lululemon athletica to Ann Arbor and was instrumental in growing the lululemon brand there. After three years at lululemon, Julia joined Living Social as a sales representative responsible for the Southeastern Michigan area helping businesses grow their customer base and drive business.
Franchise Development Director
Lisa Almehsen loves to leverage her extensive franchise background in order to help others achieve their personal dream of starting a successful franchise business. She is passionate about working alongside candidates during their franchise discovery process and loves to assist them in finding their best fit possible.
For 15 years, Lisa has created long-term relationships on behalf of nationally-recognized franchised brands. Lisa began her franchising career fifteen years ago as National Franchise Director at Children’s Orchard and then as Market Development Manager at Matco Tools. In 2006, she was promoted to the Southeastern Region Franchise Development Director, and in 2008, was responsible for the largest unit increase in the region’s history. During her time in that role, she developed, coordinated, and managed her team of Market Development and District Managers to handle the entire development process – from recruitment to opening.
Before joining the Franworth team in late 2016 as a Franchise Development Director, she served as the Franchise Development Director at Molly Maid. Prior to that, she was the Business Operations Manager for the U.S. and Canadian operations at Invisible Fence, overseeing the $30M distributor based program. She created the recruiting, training and onboarding programs, managed a team and focused on increasing unit and overall revenue.
Miracle Ear recruited Lisa Almehsen in 2010 as their Eastern Region Franchise Sales and Operations Manager, where she established a conversion program for the first time in the company’s 60-year history. She was instrumental in the administration of Salesforce, Territory Realignment and eliminating the inventory of company owned stores. In addition, she worked with under-performing franchise owners to turn-around their business or help them sell their units.
Franchise Administration Manager
Kristen is the Franchise Administration Manager at Franworth. She began her franchising career 20 years ago at Domino’s Pizza Corporate Operations, where she provided support to several departments, including Training, Human Resources, and Legal Administration.
Kristen began working for the DUCTZ and HOODZ franchise brands as the Jump Start Coordinator, providing crucial support and guidance to new franchisees as they established their business prior to training. She then moved into a Legal Administrative role, similar to her role at Dominos. Kristen was asked to move to TITLE Boxing Club International in 2012 as the Franchise Administrative Manager. Kristen has served in several roles including Mapping, Real Estate Support, and Development Support, with a primary focus on Legal Administration. Upon the formation of Franworth, Kristen has served in all of these same roles across all five of our current brands.
Kristen has also worked as a Research Secretary and Event Coordinator at The William Davidson Institute at The University of Michigan Ross School of Business, where she spearheaded weekly and monthly seminars, with such dignitaries as former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeline Albright and President and CEO of Daimlier Chrysler, and Dieter Zetche. She was also actively involved in establishing the GlobaLens Initiative, a publication of case studies referenced by the students at the Ross School of Business. With GlobaLens, she took on a lead role in formatting, editing, and publishing these case studies, all while obtaining a leadership role for a team of three additional members.
Charlotte Salo is the Executive Assistant to the CEO as well as the Franworth Facilities Manager. Charlotte brings exceptional management, organizational, and logistical planning skills. She began her career in franchising with Ductz International, where she held several management roles. While at Ductz, Charlotte ran the company owned corporate location, spearheaded the “Jump Start” Training Program for new franchisees, directed the company involvement with the non-profit organization, Habitat for Humanity, as well as held the position of John Rotche’s Executive Assistant. From Ductz, Charlotte transitioned to H.A. Sun Heating and Cooling, a partner company to Ductz, where she was the Office Manager and Director of the Service and Maintenance teams. Charlotte went on from H.A Sun Heating and Cooling and held other management roles until she joined the Franworth team in 2017.
New Business Manager
Karrie Werda has five years of experience in the franchise space and broad knowledge of the on-boarding process for new franchisees. She joined the Franworth team in 2017. Karrie serves at the New Business Manager and brings excellent customer service and organizational skills. Karrie began her professional career with the Indoor Air Quality Association, where she served as the Director of Membership. In this role, Karrie was responsible for managing the memberships for over 3,000 clients on a daily basis. She then transitioned to Belfor Franchise Group and spent five years focusing her efforts on Franchise Development and the “Jump Start” Training Program for new franchisees for Ductz and HOODZ. This “Jump Start” Training Program guided the new franchisee through the initial steps needed to open their franchise.
Ruby began her career with Franworth in early 2016 and has been imperative to the day-to-day operations of the office. She is the best greeter in the business and there is rarely a person that she does not meet with personally when they walk in the door. The Franworth office would not be the same without Ruby.
Contact us today to turn your business into a franchise or to become a franchise owner