Franchise GrowthLab Team
John is our Chief Strategist. He is an expert and experienced franchise entrepreneur who spent over a decade compiling and executing on the best ways to build, operate and grow a world-class franchise system. Since selling his franchise in one of Canada’s largest franchise transactions of 2019, he has advised multiple brands on how to scale, chaired the Canadian Franchise Association, and launched the Franchise GrowthLab Consulting. John knows how tough it is to get past single digit locations and truly scale, and he is inspired to help more franchisors accomplish this. His specialty is strategy and he provides abundant, clear insights and roadmaps to our clients.
John also helped build a company that won a Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures Award (2011), and Canada’s Smartest Company (2014). He has been a two-time winner of Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and is an experienced keynote speaker throughout North America, giving talks on building culture and brand. He is an avid soccer coach, Cross Fitter and trail runner.
Chief Development Officer
Travis is our Chief Development Officer, a creative innovator and entrepreneur who brings expertise in sales, sales coaching and business building. With a background in sports marketing having worked for professional teams in the NHL, NBA and Major League Baseball, Travis became one of the earliest franchise partners of Canada’s leading home healthcare franchise Nurse Next Door in 2008 and grew it into a multi-million-dollar operation in his market. Experienced in all aspects of franchise development, business growth and operations, Travis brings a unique perspective to the franchisors we work with – that of a successful franchisee. He is an exceptional communicator and motivator who thrives on building strong relationships and putting people in a position to succeed. Leveraging his desire to help others become successful and his knowledge in all things franchising he now leads Franchise GrowthLab in all sales and development related coaching and execution. Fun fact – Travis actually grew up in sunny Penticton, British Columbia as John’s neighbour and buddy down the street, and the two worked together as teenagers in one of their first jobs on the beach selling parasailing rides on beautiful Okanagan Lake.
Chief Relationship Officer
Our Chief Relationship Officer, Gayla has a Ph.D. in Psychology, and is an executive coach trained in mediation who works with companies to provide leadership on branding, culture, communication, execution, governance and strategy. She is a problem-solver and a talented project manager. Gayla has co-owned two franchise systems, and understands multi-stakeholder environments and the necessity of strong relationships between the Franchisor and Franchise Partner, and between the Franchise Partner and their customers. Gayla is involved in our strategy and internal business operations, and is a specialist in helping franchisors manage complex relationships.
Vice President of Operational Systems
Patrick is our Vice President of Operational Systems. A natural problem solver and relationship builder, he brings systems expertise in franchise onboarding, training, and performance coaching to the team. Patrick has been building systems in franchising for over 15 years with two of the most admired Canadian brands, Nurse Next Door and 1-800-GOT-JUNK? helping both grow from 10 to 100+ locations. Not wanting to just sit on the sidelines, Patrick also grew his own 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise into $1M+ award winning location. Having successfully launched and supported 100’s of franchisees in North America and Australia Patrick knows a thing or two about systems and scalability. He relishes the opportunity to implement the best practices he has learned to help emerging brands scale faster and more efficiently with the Franchise GrowthLab Consulting. Although Patrick has won several franchising awards, he’s probably most proud of his back to back fantasy football trophies (2017-2018). On weekends you will find Patrick coaching his oldest son’s soccer team, helping his daughter practice gymnastics, and building Lego with his youngest.
Franchise Development Lead
Director of Franchise Launch
Serena entered the world of franchising over 15 years ago – landing with one of Canada’s top restaurant brands and her favourite restaurant to frequent with friends. Here she delved into the franchise development process along with gaining initial insight into developing a real estate pipeline, the cumbersome lease negotiation process and the runway required for build out to opening of a bricks and mortar establishment. From there, Serena joined one of Canada’s most admired companies – Nurse Next Door. On the precipice of explosive growth, Serena was a central part of the Franchise Sales team and grew the model into the US while working with world class thought leaders – who quickly turned to mentors and friends! From there, Serena joined Core Education & Fine Arts (CEFA) Early Learning Private schools for children ages one to five, which was fitting as this was when she started her own young family. At CEFA, Serena lead the franchise development team and project managed the physical development and opening of new schools. From there a unique opportunity presented itself to join one of the world’s top travel brands – Expedia Group as they looked to grow the brand and develop a bricks and mortar footprint in the US through franchising Expedia Cruises while supporting over 200 Franchise Partners across North America.
With the Franchise GrowthLab, Serena has merged all the best practices from the top brands across North America to take the confusion, fear and frustration out of launching, growing and scaling new emerging systems. Serena aligns herself as your thinking partner – the one who listens, the one who is open and honest and challenges you to create an awesome strategy so you can build the business that your franchisees dream about. The way you launch determines how far you’ll go – and we’ll make sure you’re ahead of the rest!
Director of strategic implementation
Julian Deck is our Director of Strategic Implementation at the Franchise GrowthLab. He brings a wealth of high growth, entrepreneurial experience, knowledge and zest, helping franchise systems implement scalable, repeatable strategic and operational initiatives that keeps everyone sane and accountable and accelerates growth. Julian started his growth journey as an early employee at lululemon athletica, helping the company grow as the men’s business planner during their white-knuckle ride from $60m to $600m. He worked cross-functionally, combining his analytic, communication and scalable system skills with the finance, operations and merchandising teams to support lulelemon’s meteoric North American growth.
After lululemon, Julian jumped into another high growth Canadian business, Nurse Next Door, where he met and worked with the rest of the current Hartify team. Julian joined as the VP of Operations just as they were launching into the US market. He implemented internal and external communication systems, IT, human resources and analytics programs and processes that helped Nurse Next Door experience 100% plus growth while growing the number of locations from 30 to well over 150 locations in Canada and USA over a four year period. Julian also took the lead learning and implementing Lean efficiency and One Page Plan execution and accountability systems. Julian combined all his efforts into one bold package that allowed Nurse Next Door to execute and look like a 200+ franchisor in short order while maintaining their culture, core values and purpose all through high growth.
After Nurse Next Door, Julian was the COO of a high growth organic vitamin company and VP of Customer Success for a SASS technology company delivering scalable mental health solutions across Canada. At heart, Julian is a collaborator and integrator of best practices and lives for delivering with kindness his learnings and past experiences to franchise systems who want to boldly grow to profitability and beyond.