2014 Chain Operators Exchange
Donette Beattie
VP of Supply Chain
Culver Franchising System, Inc.
As VP of Supply Chain for Culver Franchising System, Inc. Donette oversees all aspects of purchasing for the 485 unit chain including food, non-foods, equipment, distribution, facilities , quality assurance, nutrition and product development. She has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry specializing in supply chain and product development. A graduate of Northern Illinois University with a degree in Dietetics, Nutrition and Food Science. She is the winner of the 2000 Menu Masters Award and the recipient of the 2003 Menu Strategist of the Year Award for Family Dining. Her current passion is working to educate others that eating in restaurants can fit into a healthy lifestyle. Her current hot projects are spearheading the nutritional labeling on menus initiative at Culvers along with optimizing their distribution and supply chain for the future.
Lane Cardwell
Cardwell Hospitality Advisory, Inc.

Lane Cardwell has worked on the management team, or board of directors, of 40 different restaurant brands during his 35 years in the industry, and has served on 4 public and 7 private boards of directors of restaurant and restaurant technology companies.  He is the president of Cardwell Hospitality Advisory, Inc. and currently serves on the boards of Ruby Tuesday and Shari's Restaurants.  He is the past President of P. F. Chang's China Bistro, 2010-2011, and served on the board of P.F. Chang's from 1999-2009, and 2010-2011.  Lane was the President and CEO of Boston Market from 2009-2010 and helped to reposition the brand for strong consumer appeal, which has resulted in over 3 years of consecutive monthly comp sales increases and new unit growth under the current management team. 

Lane was the president of Cardwell Hospitality Advisory, Inc. from 1999-2009, and was a professional board member, advisor and investor to the restaurant and restaurant technology industries.  From 1996-1999 he was President and CEO of Eatzi's Market and Bakery, a joint venture between Brinker International and Phil Romano.  Prior to this he was Executive Vice President and CAO for Brinker International.  Lane was with Brinker from 1988-1999.  He began his career in the restaurant industry with Norman Brinker at Steak and Ale in 1978. 

To stay current on industry trends Lane eats in 600 restaurants per year.

Dave Donnan
A.T. Kearney
David Donnan is a Partner with A.T. Kearney, a management consulting firm based in Chicago. He is an experienced business leader and consultant with significant global experience in consumer products and retail industries. During his career David has managed operating companies, run food plants and consulted to leading global retail and consumer product companies in technology and supply chain strategies, brand growth and positioning.

In his consulting career David has provided strategic advice on major transformation initiatives and growth opportunities to executives from the top 100 global consumer and retail companies. In addition to his client work David has provided pro bono consulting services to Feeding America, the leading domestic hunger-relief charity. He developed a donation marketing campaign that led to a significant increase in food donations from food manufacturers.

David is a frequent speaker and author, David has presented at a variety of industry conferences for the GMA, FMI, NRF, GMDC, IGA and HDMA. He has also appeared on Bloomberg TV and quoted in various business journals including Business Week, Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

Donnan earned his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Toronto Rotman School Of Business and his Bachelor of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto.
Don Fox
Firehouse of America, LLC

Don Fox is CEO of Firehouse of America, LLC, where he leads the strategic, nationwide growth of Firehouse Subs, one of America’s leading Fast Casual restaurant brands. Under his leadership, the brand has grown to more than 600 restaurants in 35 states and Puerto Rico, and is recognized as one of the best franchises in the country. Don sits on various boards of influence in the restaurant community, and is a respected speaker, commentator, published author and blogger. He was named one of 10 Executives to Watch in 2011 by Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), is a 2011 Golden Chain honoree, and was recognized by NRN as 2011’s Operator of the Year.

Fred LeFranc
Results thru Strategy, Inc.

Fred LeFranc is the founder/CEO of Results thru Strategy, Inc., a consultancy that focuses on helping companies, private equity, owners and C-­‐level executives identify and implement strategies that deliver long term sustainable success for their companies. As a change agent, LeFranc aids executives in modifying their behavior to hone in on their natural strengths.

LeFranc's aptitude in strategic planning, leadership training and business development has aided numerous companies achieve increased sales and profits. He has served on the boards of restaurant and technology companies for over 30 years.

At Fishbowl Marketing, a marketing services firm that pioneered the use of email marketing  in the restaurant industry, LeFranc served on the advisory and formal boards during the company's infancy through it latest round of financing.

 Previously, LeFranc was President  & COO of The Ruby Restaurant Group.  Ruby's Diner operates 1940s-­‐style diners in California, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Hawaii, and Washington.

Prior to joining Ruby's Diner, LeFranc served as CEO  & President and Director of LT Acquisition Corp., owners of Louise's Trattoria, a chain of trend-­‐setting neighborhood restaurants specializing in California/Italian style cuisine.

In 1978, joined El Torito Restaurants, Inc. where he oversaw the company's marketing, with activities and programs that propelled El Torito into the 1980s.

LeFranc began his career in 1976 at the Hilton Hotels in Chicago. He later went on to hold a position at the legendary Pump Room operated by Richard Melman's Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, Inc. It is here that LeFranc caught the creative bug that fueled his success.

Jack Li
Managing Director
Jack Li spearheads Datassential's custom insights and new products initiatives.  Over the past decade, Jack has helped launch a number of foodservice research platforms including:

  • Datassential MenuTrends  - an accurate tracking database of more than 7,000 chain and independent menus
  • Insider™ -- photo-enabled tracking of national account menu activity, updated monthly
  • Optimize™ -- a dynamic data-driven tool for maximizing consumer menu appeal
  • iDEA™ -- the industry’s first customizable survey cross-tabbing  solution

Jack has led hundreds of research studies for foodservice manufacturers and distributors across a broad array of topics.  Jack holds an MBA from the Anderson School at UCLA, and is a 2003 recipient of the IFMA Sparkplug award.

Lisa A. Wolf
President and CEO
Wolf Search Solutions

Lisa A. Wolf is the President/CEO of Wolf Search Solutions, a leading executive search firm focused on sourcing the industry’s top talent for the Foodservice, Consumer Products and Ingredient channels.  Known as a transformative specialist, Lisa has provided strategic talent acquisition and management expertise to companies at critical points in the growth cycle.  Lisa’s accomplished record reflects the cumulative years’ of executive placement with some of the foremost companies in the industry ranging from Fortune 500 food giants to emerging start-up ventures and private equity companies. 

Prior to entering the executive search industry, Lisa held progressively more responsible sales and operations positions with companies such as Aramark, The Chart House and Sysco.  Lisa began her search career in 1990 spearheading new channel and business development platforms with two leading boutique search firms within Foodservice, Hospitality and Consumer Products channels.  In 2003, Lisa founded Wolf Search Solutions further strengthening the foundation of delivering best in class talent acquisition solutions.