The Ronald E. Harrison Award recognizes organizations or individuals who have made significant contributions to minorities in franchising. Ronald E. Harrison, CFE, retired PepsiCo senior vice president, IFA past chairman and former chairman of the IFA Diversity Institute board of directors, was the first recipient of this award, which was named in his honor.
Romaniello helps lead the franchise practice for Roark Capital Group, an Atlanta-based private-equity firm specializing in the franchise sector. Roark has acquired 15 franchise/multi-unit brands that collectively have more than 45,000 points of distribution, 2,600 franchisees, and $3.7 billion in system-wide revenues across 50 states and 36 countries.
In addition to his role at Roark, Romaniello serves as chairman of FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of nearly 2,200 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 32 foreign countries. The brands operate under the names Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill and the franchisor of Seattle's Best Coffee on military bases and in certain international markets. Romaniello is a member of the board of directors of franchisors Fast Signs, McAlister's Corp. and Money Mailer. He is a member of IFA's Diversity Institute, the IFA board of directors and the Atlanta Franchise Alliance.
A native of Stamford, Conn. and a Tufts University graduate, Romaniello resides in Atlanta with his two sons.
About Roark Capital Group
Roark Capital Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm that specializes in business and consumer service companies with attractive growth prospects and revenues ranging from $20 million to $1.0 billion. Roark focuses on middle-market investment opportunities through family-owned business transfers, management/corporate buyouts, recapitalizations, going-private transactions, and corporate divestitures. Roark has acquired 15 franchise/multi-unit brands that collectively have more than 14,000 points of distribution, 2,600 franchisees, and $3.7 billion in system-wide revenues across 50 states and 33 countries. Its current franchise portfolio includes such well known brands as Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, Seattle's Best Coffee International, McAlister's Deli, Money Mailer, Fast Signs, Batteries Plus, Primrose Schools and Pet Valu. The firm has more than $1.5 billion of equity capital under management. For more information, visit www.roarkcapital.com.
About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association, the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,100 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at www.franchise.org.