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Operations

Meet The Team

Paul Samson

Paul Samson

President & Founder

Mr. Samson founded The Franchise Edge (TFE) in 2005 because of a need that he saw in the market for an affordable, client focused franchise consulting service. His experience in franchising began as President and Founder of Lenny & Vinny’s Management, Inc., a corporately owned and managed pizza chain that he operated for 14 years and grew to 14 units before deciding to franchise. Mr. Samson was also the Founder of Head West Enterprises, LLC, which grew the Westshore Pizza chain from 16 stores to 52 stores in 3 years, with an additional 90 units committed and combined sales of over $27,000,000 prior to the sale and transition of the marks.

Under the guidance of Mr. Samson, TFE educates its clients on the challenges new franchisors face and creates the strategies necessary to develop a successful franchise system. Mr. Samson’s expertise includes vendor sourcing and pricing, sales and marketing and business modeling for franchisors.

Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson

Senior Partner

Mr. Anderson has been a Partner in TFE since May 2006 and works closely with prospects and clients in evaluating the viability of franchising and then developing the needed components for establishing and launching their franchise. Mr. Anderson has over twenty years of entrepreneurial experience, during which he founded Automated Artist, a multi-unit, robotic, t-shirt company that operated in the Walt Disney World and Busch Gardens theme parks as well as in regional malls for over 17 years. Mr. Anderson’s stores were recognized for outperforming Walt Disney World’s retail shops on a sales per square foot and a profit per square foot basis by 2.5 times. The top grossing location generated sales per square foot of over $8,000 at its peak. Having operated a corporate model with six locations, Mr. Anderson understands the demands of the corporate model and the benefits of the franchise model. He also gained significant experience in retail, technology, store design, branding, and operations. Having started and managed a number of businesses, Mr. Anderson understands start-up strategies as well as systems evaluation and implementation to take businesses to a new level.

As a partner with The Franchise Edge, Mr. Anderson oversees all client projects and lends his expertise with competitor analysis, financial modeling, business modeling and system’s enhancements. In addition to this, he works with clients to develop their franchise marketing and franchise sales programs.

Rowena Basallote

Rowena Basallote

Principal – South Florida

Ms. Basallote brings more than 12 years expertise in commercial and marketing management. An entrepreneur by nature, Ms. Basallote experience ranges from occupying different management positions to launching her own businesses. Rowena arrives to Franchise Edge targeting to execute and manage expansion within South Florida and internationally, with Central and South American countries. Rowena targets to offer entrepreneurs and investors of all nature an integrated “assessment and execution package” for the expansion of existing and upcoming new brands within the franchising sector, includes tailoring and developing new concepts and rising multi-unit & multi-branding groups. Academic Background:
Degree in environment sciences by Kings College, London University.
Postgraduate studies in Human Resource Management, Renewable Energies & sustainable development.

Christina Erlinger

Christina Erlinger

Head of Legal Affairs

Ms. Erlinger graduated from Stetson Law School with her Juris Doctor in 2011. Previously, she graduated from Emory University with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in 2007. With nearly ten years of experience in the legal field, she brings a solid background to the TFE team. She has a wide range of knowledge that proves to make her an asset to TFE’s broad range of clients.

Prior to joining TFE, Ms. Erlinger worked at numerous law firms and Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. At Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, she held the position of Program Director for the Tallahassee, Pensacola, Southern Alabama and Southern Georgia area. While there, she gained experience in management, marketing, operations, employee training, among several other skills. During her youth, she also lived in Argentina and Spain where she gained first-hand knowledge of international commerce and global exchange. Her knowledge and skills from both her legal experience and corporate experience make her an asset as a TFE team member.

John Armatas

John Armatas

Managing Partner, Franchise Sales Solution

Mr. Armatas recently rejoined our team after serving as our Director of Operations and Partner from 2007 to 2008. Mr. Armatas is the owner of The Franchise Sales Solution, which has a diverse group of franchisor clients and provides a range of services, depending on the needs of the franchisor.   Mr. Armatas provides both sales support and complete franchise marketing and sales strategy that is based on the franchisors goals and budgets.   As part of our franchise development program with our clients, Mr. Armatas is involved in helping our new clients understand what happens after the franchise development stage of the process is completed.

Prior to working at The Franchise Edge, Mr. Armatas owned and operated a FASTSIGNS franchise store in Tampa, Florida, from 2000 to 2007. In addition, Mr. Armatas owned the Bulls Outfitter, LLC, a retail store licensed to sell University of South Florida Apparel and branded Merchandise, until 2006 when he sold the business. He is currently a partner in Toast Wine and Cafe (DBA TOAST) which he opened in 2007. Prior to owning his own businesses, Mr. Armatas was the chief Operating Officer of the Tampa & East Pasco Metropolitan Area YMCAs.

 

Joe Traina

Joe Traina

Graphics Designer and Photographer

Mr. Traina’s experience as a photographer, graphic designer and creative director spans over 25 years including 5 years as Creative Director at Andes & Partners Advertising, and 21 years in his own advertising business, where attention to detail and the ability to meet tight deadlines is essential. He has worked with numerous clients in varied fields including:

  • General Mills Restaurant Group
  • Betty Crocker Frozen Specialties
  • Security Link
  • University Community Hospital
  • South Florida Baptist Hospital
  • Coldwell Banker

Mr. Traina earned a BA in Photography and an MFA in Painting and Drawing at the University of South Florida where he was awarded a University Scholar Fellowship and a Graduate Council Fellowship. He has strong leadership skills, positive attitude, organizational skills and is good communicator who is able to create effective visual marketing materials that resonate with customers’ needs.

Steve Tepper

Steve Tepper

Contract and Vendor Procurement

Mr. Tepper holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, as well as an MBA in Financial Management. He has over 25 years of experience in the Food Service Industry. Mr. Tepper spent the last ten years as District Manager for a large Food Distributor in Florida.

His key skills that play an integral role in his projects with us are food and contract negotiations, solutions sales and implementation, being a highly effective communicator, and his natural ability to understand and achieve corporate business initiatives while positively impacting growth. During his time with Sysco Corporation he recruited and trained sales staff as well as acting as a mentor to less seasoned sales personnel.

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