Hear world-leading CEOs at this year's National Franchise Convention
Following on from a stellar line up in 2012, there is an exciting program at this year's National Franchise Convention.
The Franchise Council of Australia have announced Guy Russo, Managing Director of K-Mart, Steve Romaniello, Chairman of the International Franchise Association, Bernie Brookes, CEO Myer Group, Emma Hill, Deputy Chair of Michael Hill and Warren Wimot, CEO of 7-Eleven, as just some of the keynote speakers at this year’s Convention.
As always, there will be a focus on networking, and along with a lively exhibition hall, this year’s networking night will take place in the beautiful surrounds of McLaren’s Landing.
Add to this, some of Australia’s best franchisors sharing their expertise and experiences in a panel setting and the wisdom of the Hall of Fame session, and NFC13 promises to be the pre eminent event in Australian franchising in 2013.
Register now while early bird prices are still available
Organisation: Myer Group
Position: Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Bernie was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Myer Group on 2 June 2006. Since his appointment, Bernie has been responsible for the turnaround and rebuilding of the Myer business. He has led the development and implementation of the Myer five-point strategic plan, repositioning the business to meet today’s challenges and investing for the future. Bernie has spent over 35 years working within the retail industry in local and international roles in India and China.Prior to joining Myer, Bernie was in a series of executive roles with Woolworths and was instrumental in Woolworths’ Project Refresh, reducing costs by more than $5 billion over five years. His Woolworths experience also included a variety of general management positions in three states across the Buying, IT, Marketing and Operations departments.
Bernie is also a board member of the International Group of Department Stores and has held a number of roles as president and executive of various industry organisations including the Retail Traders Association in Queensland and Victoria and President of the Queensland Grocery Association. He has assisted numerous charitable and government ventures and committees, including currently as Territorial Board Member of The Salvation Army and patron of the Myer Stores Community Fund. Bernie is also currently patron of the Australian Joe Berry Memorial Award and the Australian representative judge of the World Retail Awards.Bernie is on the Advisory Board of Inghams Enterprises/TPG and is a Fellow of AIM.
Bernie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma of Education from Macquarie University.
Position: Chief Executive OfficerWarren Wilmot is Chief Executive Officer of 7-Eleven Stores Pty. Ltd. He was appointed CEO in November 2002.
Warren's career highlights:
20 years at 7-Eleven, commencing as a District Manager in the field with franchisees. He progressed through various Operational roles, and briefly also was head of Marketing. In November 2002, Warren was appointed CEO for the organisation.
Prior to 7-Eleven, he spent 9 years with the Pizza Hut group, working his way up from Store Manager to Operations Manager for Vic and Tas, for the Jardine group.
Before Pizza Hut, Warren worked for various restaurant groups, among them developing a breakfast concept on the Gold Coast, working in Mt Isa, and in various Brisbane locations and, also spent about 4 years, after University working all around Australia and in the US, on farms, driving trucks, and picking fruit.
Warren holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Monash University, majoring in Medical Science. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Australian Association of Convenience Stores, and one of three International Directors on the Board of the National Association of Convenience Stores in the US. He is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow with the Australian Institute of Management.
Position: Managing Director
Guy Russo was appointed Managing Director of the Kmart retail chain owned by Wesfarmers Ltd in Australia and New Zealand, in 2008.
Formerly with the McDonald’s Corporation, which he joined in 1974, Mr Russo served as Managing Director & CEO of the Australian business and President of McDonald’s Greater China. Based in Hong Kong in 2007/08, Mr Russo consulted with private enterprises as well as public companies with commercial interests in China.
Throughout his business career Mr Russo has pursued a passion for life-saving children’s charities. He served as Chairman of Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) in Australia, board member of the charity in Hong Kong and ushered in the establishment of RMHC in China.
He is President of Half the Sky Foundation, an international charity for the benefit of orphaned children in China. He has also served on the Business Council of Australia and the Board of Diabetes Australia; together with his family, Mr Russo currently resides in Melbourne.
Organisation: International Franchise Association
Steve Romaniello, CFE, chairman of FOCUS Brands and managing director of Roark Capital Group, Atlanta, Ga., is the new chairman of the International Franchise Association. Romaniello accepted the chairman’s gavel during the 53rd IFA Annual Convention.
Romaniello has over 25 years of experience with top brands in the franchise industry and a history of successfully managing for long-term success. As Managing Director of Roark Capital Group, Romaniello is actively involved with Roark's investments in FOCUS Brands, Wingstop, Corner Bakery, McAlister's and Arby's. Prior to joining Roark, Romaniello was CEO of FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of over 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 50 foreign countries under the brand names Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Schlotzsky’s®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Auntie Anne's® Pretzels, and the franchisor of Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Before becoming CEO of FOCUS Brands, Romaniello served as president of Carvel Ice Cream.
Prior to his tenure at FOCUS Brands, Romaniello was president and COO of U.S. Franchise Systems (USFS), the franchisor of Microtel Inns & Suites® and Hawthorn Suites®, which are now part of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Romaniello helped grow USFS from one brand with 22 hotels in nine states to three brands and more than 500 hotels open in 50 states and five countries. Prior to joining USFS, Romaniello was a vice president at Holiday Inn Worldwide, where he was responsible for franchise services, support and training for 1,700 hotels in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean operating under the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands. During his tenure, annual franchise sales performance increased fivefold. From 1988 to 1991, Romaniello held various positions with Days Inn of America.
Romaniello received a B.A. from Tufts University.
Organisation: Michael Hill International
Position: Deputy Chair
Emma Hill is Deputy Chair at Michael Hill International. She has worked for Michael Hill Jeweller for over 19 years. As a young girl she began cleaning counters and emptying rubbish bins in her parents' Whangarei shop and by 13 she was working in the store on Saturday mornings learning the fundamentals of selling.
Emma was instrumental in the formation of the company’s vision of 1000 stores by 2022. She then spearheaded the expansion of Michael Hill Jeweller into the world’s most competitive retail environment, North America. During her time with the company she has lost her job, felt the humbling heartbreak of losing money in new markets, and ultimately helped transform Michael Hill Jeweller from an Australasian retailer into a global jewellery brand.