View management bios by clicking below.
President & CEO
Chris Dull understands what it takes to build successful brands – teamwork on every level. Chris started his career after graduating from Baylor University where he was a four-year letter winner and captain for the Baylor Bear football team. After graduating from Baylor, Chris took a position with Marble Slab Creamery, Inc. and quickly rose through the management ranks. In 2007, as Executive Vice President, he led the brand through a go-public sale to NexCen Brands for $21 million. Chris went on to become President of NexCen Franchise Management (the former parent company of Marble Slab Creamery and six other franchise concepts spanning multiple industries).
In 2010, NexCen was acquired by Global Franchise Group, and Chris set his sights on maximizing the potential of the company’s most promising concepts in the QSR space as President and CEO. Today, Global Franchise Group has a portfolio of six craveable brands – Great American Cookies®, Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo’s®, Pretzelmaker®, Hot Dog on a Stick®, and Round Table Pizza®. Chris is credited with vertically integrating the company’s manufacturing business and adding a corporate store vertical to the GFG business with the 2014 acquisition of Hot Dog on a Stick® (which he led out of bankruptcy), and the acquisition of Round Table Pizza® in 2017. Most recently, Chris championed the successful sale of Global Franchise Group from Levine Leichtman Capital Partners to Lion Capital LLP and Serruya Private Equity – two firms that had been following the success and trajectory of GFG.
Chris’ acute perspective, experience and his vision for Global Franchise Group has led the organization to where it is today – a company of $1 billion in system-wide sales and more than 1,500 stores worldwide. He understands all aspects of franchising and is an expert in maximizing and creating value in business. Well respected in the restaurant and franchise industry, he is a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences and forums.
Chief Marketing & Operations Officer
Jenn Johnston is an innovative brand builder, uniquely able to develop the Brand from every angle. She serves as Chief Marketing & Operations Officer for Global Franchise Group® and is responsible for managing multiple strategic brand teams that oversee marketing, operations, research and development, training, communications and customer service activities for all GFG brands: Great American Cookies®, MaggieMoo's Ice Cream & Treatery®, Marble Slab Creamery®, Pretzelmaker®, Hot Dog on a Stick® and Round Table Pizza®. She embodies GFG’s mission of “Championing Brands and the People Who Build Them,” helping grow GFG’s brands into category standouts through her leadership, consumer-driven strategic insight and franchisee first mentality. Jenn is known as a strong mentor of people and teams, and a driving factor behind GFG’s “I Love This Place” culture.
Jenn has been working to build GFG’s brands since 2003 when she took on the role of Senior Director of Brand Marketing & Company Operations for MaggieMoo’s International, LLC. While with MaggieMoo’s, she successfully implemented a company store turn-around program and launched several innovative marketing programs. In 2007, her results got her promoted to Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing when NexCen Franchise Management acquired the Brand. Through further acquisition, Jenn added six new brands to her oversight: Marble Slab Creamery, Pretzel Time, Pretzelmaker, Great American Cookies, The Athlete's Foot (TAF), and Shoebox New York. When Global Franchise Group formed with Levine Leichtman Capital Partner’s ownership in 2010, Jenn became the CMO and COO and she, alongside President & CEO Chris Dull, are the leaders behind each of these Brand’s turn-around stories, driving strong ULE growth since acquisition.
Prior to entering the franchising arena, Jenn spent time brand building in the start-up space, financial services industry and the advertising world where she launched products including L'Oréal Féria hair color at McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Procter & Gamble's Febreze Fabric Refresher and Downy Ball at Grey Global Group.
She’s also the heart behind GFG’s annual “A Bite for the Fight” campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). She is a former Chair of the Board of Trustees for LLS’ Maryland Chapter and she serves on LLS’ National Corporate Development Council. Her personal impact is over a half of million dollars for the organization and the fight against blood cancers.
Jenn holds a Bachelor's in English & Communications from Boston College and a MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship from Georgetown University, where she was awarded the Phillips Entrepreneurship Prize.
Chief Financial Officer
Lewis is Global Franchise Group’s key numbers expert. Serving as Chief Financial Officer, Lewis is responsible for financial leadership including financial reporting and planning for GFG and all of its franchised brands including Marble Slab Creamery®, MaggieMoo's®, Pretzelmaker®,Great American Cookies®, Hot Dog on a Stick® and Round Table Pizza®. Before joining GFG, he served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at McAlister's Corp. handling all of the company’s finances for just under fifteen years, including the sale of the company in 2005. He managed to both reduce costs and continue to acquire new restaurants into the group, which managed 300 locations and approximately $435 million in sales. With extensive experience in financial and strategic planning, human resource and risk management expertise, multi-location operations and cross-functional team leadership, Lewis brings more than 35 years of demonstrated financial expertise across a broad range of industries to his current position. Prior to joining McAlister's Corp., he served as Vice President - Controller of Delchamp's, Inc. a supermarket company, where he was responsible for accounting, financial reporting and planning for over 130 locations. He began his career at Touche Ross and Company as a Senior Auditor for just under five years. He holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Alabama and is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. He is also a part of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Mississippi Society of Certified Public Accountants.
EVP of Manufacturing Plant Operations
A unique component of Global Franchise Group is its manufacturing facility where all dough for the Great American Cookies® brand and dry mix for the Pretzelmaker® brand is expertly created and delicious new products are conceptualized. Raphael is the leader behind this important vertical of the business as Executive Vice President of Manufacturing. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing manufacturing, distribution and customer service activities of the GFG plant. Raphael is also responsible for managing strategic purchasing of commodities, ingredients, equipment and overall capital expenditure planning for Great American Cookies’ manufacturing and for managing strategic sourcing, vendor management and supply chain activities for all GFG brands including Great American Cookies®, MaggieMoo's®, Marble Slab Creamery®, Pretzelmaker®, Hot Dog on a Stick® and Round Table Pizza®.
Raphael brings more than 20 years of experience in Manufacturing, Project Management, Quality Assurance, Food Safety and Continuous Improvement to his current position. His experience involves prior roles such as VP of Operations at Talking Rain Beverage Company, General Manager at JJ Snack Foods and Plant Manager at Mission Foods.
Raphael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. Raphael is also a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (CLSSMBB) from Villanova University. He is also a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) with years of experience overseeing and implementing sustainability projects.
Chief Development Officer
Global Franchise Group’s footprint spans across the country and internationally thanks to Tim Linderman, Chief Development Officer. Tim is responsible for driving growth and development for GFG, including domestic and international sales, licensing, real estate, construction, transfers and renewals for Great American Cookies®, Marble Slab Creamery®, MaggieMoo's®, Pretzelmaker®, Hot Dog on a Stick®, and Round Table Pizza®. He joined Global Franchise Group in 2014 and under his leadership, franchise awards have increased 15% year over year and openings have increased by 30%. Global Franchise Group proudly has more than 1,700 locations in 35 countries across the world.
As Chief Development Officer, Tim leads GFG’s Franchise Marketing Team and outside agencies to implement effective lead generation, digital marketing strategy and track results, of which GFG has experienced a 700% increase in website visitors and 600% increase in lead generation since 2014. He is also a member of the GFG executive leadership team and provides guidance on corporate strategic direction policies and overall franchise system growth.
Tim has more than 20 years of experience in franchise sales and business development and a strong record of store growth for franchise concepts at various investment levels ($300,000 to $4.5 million) developed through uniting and motivating teams, driving customer (franchisee) satisfaction, and focusing on strategic development opportunities that build the brand for long-term, sustainable growth.
He started his career owning and operating his own small businesses, each resulting in a successful sale. He took his entrepreneurship experience to Marble Slab Creamery where he sold over 300 franchise agreements between 2002 and 2006 and was subsequently recruited by Arby’s Restaurant Group to join them as Director of Franchise Development, directly responsible for 155 new deals over five years. Immediately prior to joining GFG, Tim held a franchise sales leadership role at Primrose Schools. In that role, he created and implemented franchise sales marketing plans that drove development in new markets for the concept while achieving unit level revenue objectives.
Tim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Marketing from University of Houston.
Chief Innovation Officer
Many people dream about having a career that revolves around ice cream and pretzels, but its reality for Allison Lauenstein, Executive Vice President for Global Franchise Group’s Marble Slab Creamery®, MaggieMoo's®, and Pretzelmaker® brands. Allison provides strategic oversight for each of these delicious concepts and is responsible for the EBIDTA of the business segments and the contributing factors driving it including Same Store Sales (SSS) increases and new store growth.
With more than 25 years of experience in brand marketing, strategic planning, and category management, Allison has a reputation for developing and executing 3 to 5 year visionary, but achievable brand plans. She is credited for the development of Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo’s standout “Unlimited Mix-Ins” concept which allows the customer to add as many mix-ins as they would like for one set price. The pricing strategy has set Marble Slab Creamery/MaggieMoo’s apart from the competition and revitalized sales shorty after implementation.
Before joining GFG, Allison had her own strategic marketing consulting company and was teaching Marketing at many colleges and universities. She has spent most of her career in franchising, spending 13 plus years at Dunkin Brands, where she held positions as Director of Brand Marketing for Baskin-Robbins, Director of Strategic Planning for Dunkin’ Brands, Category Marketing Manager for Dunkin’ Donuts, Retail Marketing Manager, Purchasing Manager and Assistant Brand Manager.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant and Travel Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA from Northeastern University.
EVP of Brand Integration
“Sharing the Fun of Cookies” comes naturally to David Kaiser. As Executive Vice President of GFG’s Great American Cookies® brand he is responsible for Operations, Marketing, Supply Chain, R&D and Training for all Great American Cookies stores (more than 375 in 6 countries around the world with system wide sales of nearly $134 million). Under his leadership, Great American Cookies has experienced 8 straight years of positive Same Store Sales growth, new positive store growth and Cookie Cake sales increases. Before his world revolved around cookies, David was on GFG’s Ice Cream team and served as Brand Director of Marble Slab Creamery where he created a new customer take home program for ice cream pints, quarts and ice cream cakes. He has been involved with GFG brands since 2008 when both Marble Slab Creamery and Great American Cookies were operated by NexCen Franchise Management.
David has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant and food service industry and previously held positions with Wing Zone, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, ExxonMobile Corporation and Blimpie International. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and has the distinction of Certified Franchise Executive.