Meet the Team
Who is Franchise Performance Group?
We are experts and thought leaders in franchising — authors of Street Smart Franchising, Franchise Sales Tipping Point, The Meaning of Life Project and Developing Peak Performing Franchisees — who specialize in lead generation, franchisee recruitment, operational support and franchisee relations.
Joe Mathews, Founding Partner
Founder of Franchise Performance Group, Joe has more than 20 years of experience with such national chains as Subway, Blimpie, Motophoto and Entrepreneur’s Source. Joe specializes in the area of franchisee recruitment, sales and franchisee performance. He is a regular presenter at IFA conferences and is an instructor with the ICFE (Institute of Certified Franchise Executives). Joe is author/co-author of four books, Street Smart Franchising with Don Debolt and Deb Percival, Franchise Sales Tipping Point with Thomas Scott, Developing Peak Performing Franchisees with Deb Evans and The Meaning of Life Project.
Thomas Scott, Senior Consultant
Thomas is one of the leading franchise lead generation specialists in the franchise industry and has a history of helping brands create breakthrough is expansion. Thomas is an expert in creating franchise websites, blogging, SEO, social media and PR campaigns designed to generate fully engaged franchise candidates and recruit qualified franchisees. In addition, he is an experienced franchise executive who has held VP positions in development, operations and marketing. Before becoming a franchisor, Thomas was a successful franchisee, experience he brings to bear when generating leads. Thomas began his career as a journalist and was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His work was published in numerous national newspapers and magazines, including USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Elle magazine.
Paul Pieschel, Senior Consultant
Paul has more than 30 years of executive management experience and has held leadership roles in many high-growth franchise systems. As vice president of Human Resources for Progressive Industries, his management training program was so successful, Paul was featured in the book The Competence Connection by Jay Hall. When Progressive Industries purchased MotoPhoto, Paul, as vice president of Franchise Development, helped Motophoto become the premier franchise in the photo industry, opening 400 units in three countries. Paul also served as vice president of Franchise Development for The Entrepreneur’s Source and Decor & You.
Kevin Cushing, FPG Capital
Cushing joined Franchise Performance Group and FPG Capital in 2012. Prior to FPG, Cushing was CEO of Alphagraphics from 2004-2012. Aside from C-level franchisor experience, Cushing is currently a multi-unit franchisee, owning two Alphagraphics locations in Minneapolis area. Prior to that, Cushing was President of Terratron, Inc., which owned 81 Hardee’s Restaurants in six states.
Scott McLain, FPG Capital
McLain joined FPG Capital in 2013 after retiring as president and chief strategic officer of Sonic Corp, parent company of the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. During his 17-year career at Sonic, he held various positions including treasurer, chief financial officer, and president of Sonic Industries, the company’s franchising subsidiary.
Don Welsh, FPG Capital
Don joined FPG Capital in 2013. Don started his career at ARAMARK, becoming one of their youngest executives, serving in their Sports and Entertainment Division. Don founded Aspeon Solutions in 1999, a publicly held Information Technology where he was instrumental in securing funding from Credit Suisse. Don was recruited to join FreedomPay, a payment and loyalty company, funded by Nokia and Goldman Sachs in 2000 as COO. Don and his partners founded Simple Tie Ventures, LP in 2005 a small Private Equity Firm. Currently, through Simple Tie Ventures, LP, Don and his partners have invested in a multi-unit Sonic franchisee in the Philadelphia market, a 17-acre golf facility in the Philadelphia area, a construction management firm and a solar development company.
Dan Hieb, Senior Franchise Writer
Dan Hieb spent 12 years in daily newspapers as a reporter, editor and designer, including at The Tennessean, The Tampa Bay Times, Nashville Business Journal and The Courier-Journal. The Louisville, Ky., native caught the reporting itch as a high school freshman in 1991. He believes interesting stories can be found almost everywhere — and that corporate storytelling is a key way to attract customers and business partners.
Hieb is a 1999 graduate of Western Kentucky University and lives in Franklin, Tenn., where, when not working, he is likely to be found hiking, kayaking, or in the nearest swimming hole.
Ellen Margulies, Senior Franchise Editor
After 25-plus years in newspaper journalism as a reporter and editor in news and features, Ellen Margulies was ready for a new career where she could still use her writing and editing skills. She joined Brand Journalists in January 2013 and is excited to explore the lives of entrepreneurs through corporate storytelling.
She lives in the last affordable house in trendy East Nashville, enjoys a good LOLcat and spends most of her free time traveling, trying new restaurants and keeping up with the “Real Housewives” series.
Linda Bryant, Senior Franchise Writer
Linda has three decades of experience in journalism and communications. She began her career as a staff writer and photographer for a weekly publication in the San Juan Islands of Washington State and went on to write for a large daily newspaper in Nashville, Tenn. Most recently, Linda worked as a senior writer at a well-known business publication and headed her own writing firm, Bryant Editorial & Consulting, from 2009-2013.
Linda has a passion for writing about business and entrepreneurship and has won several awards for her business-specific writing. She also loves the literary and visual arts and all kinds of music — bluegrass, classical, rock and everything in between. Linda, who is currently a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University, has a penchant for notebooks.
Melissa has been an active graphic designer and website developer for more than a decade. Based in Nashville, Melissa has experience handling many web projects for music artists including Keith Urban, B.B. King, Alan Jackson and Zac Brown Band. She has been overseeing franchise lead generation websites for the past three years. Melissa is a Paleo devotee and an origami enthusiast.