January Luncheon (1/8) – Leadership and Franchising
Join us for our January luncheon when we will welcome Russ Umphenour, CEO of FOCUS Brands. Mr. Umphenour will share his insights on leadership and franchising.
Maggiano’s Little Italy – Buckhead
3368 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30326
Sponsored by The Leavitt Group of Atlanta
Russ Umphenour joined FOCUS Brands as CEO in 2008. FOCUS Brands is comprised of Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, Schlotzsky’s® and Auntie Anne’s® with over 3,650 outlets worldwide.
Russ Umphenour has invested over 45 years in the fast food industry, previously as founder and CEO of RTM Restaurant Group. His visionary leadership produced Results Through Motivation, the RTM Restaurant Group credo.
Born in San Francisco, California in 1944, and raised in Nebraska, Russ began his career as an elementary school teacher after attending Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. To supplement his income, he worked part-time as a counterperson for Arby’s in Flint, Michigan. After being promoted to Night Manager, he decided to make Arby’s his full-time career. Within three years, and after many promotions and transfers, Russ became an Executive Vice President and a stockholder in an Arby’s operation based in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1973, Russ founded RTM by trading his stock in the Kentucky organization for eleven of their Arby’s restaurants in Georgia and Alabama. RTM grew to 775 restaurants in 22 states. Until the company was sold on July 25, 2005, RTM Restaurant Group was the largest franchisee in the Arby’s System.
RTM Restaurant Group also owned the Mrs. Winner’s Chicken & Biscuits brand from 1989 until 2006. Mrs. Winner’s operated 95 company-owned restaurants and supported 21 franchised restaurants. RTM also owned Lee’s Famous Recipe Fried Chicken from 1995 to 2003. Operating primarily in the Midwest, all 250 restaurants were franchised.
Throughout the lifetime of the company, RTM was a franchisee of 41 Shoney’s restaurants located in the Atlanta, Georgia area, a franchisee of four Checker’s in Dallas, Texas, and also a franchisee of Del Taco, Sbarro’s and T. J. Cinnamon’s.
Through creating a clear business vision, having a focus on goal setting and leading by values, Russ Umphenour led RTM Restaurant Group to the enviable position of a business organization with 25,000 employees and sales revenues of over $900 million.
As CEO of FOCUS Brands, he looks forward to continuing to make an impact by helping grow FOCUS Brands and its franchise partners.