As the company prepares to open its 900th location this summer, Smoothie King announced the addition of two key members to the senior leadership team: Dan Harmon as new Chief Operating Officer and Jennifer Herskind as new Chief Marketing Officer.
"We are excited to bring this wealth of talent and experience to our growing company and I look forward to the impact Dan and Jennifer will have as we build on our brand's momentum," said Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King. "Both bring a combination of unique elements to Smoothie King that fit the mission and vision of the company to promote healthy lifestyles. Their backgrounds are perfect fits for where the brand is today and where it's headed."
Harmon will be responsible for all store operations and training, both company-owned and franchisee-owned locations. Herskind, who becomes the first Chief Marketing Officer in Smoothie King's history, will be responsible for marketing and consumer research and development. Herskind will begin the new role in mid-July and Harmon will start during the first week of August.
Harmon brings more than 30 years of experience as an executive in the retail and restaurant industries, notably with household name brands such as McDonald's, Blockbuster and Potbelly Sandwich Works. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Operations, Learning and Development for Papa Murphy's International, overseeing field service support for around 1,550 locations and 550 franchisees. Harmon got his first taste of the franchise restaurant industry as a part-time employee at a McDonald's in Ohio during his teens and has enjoyed a successful career ever since. A fitness enthusiast who enjoys running and working out regularly, Harmon was attracted to Smoothie King's potential and focus on health and wellness.
"Smoothie King has been able to tap into the exponentially increasing demand for quick and convenient nutritional options that support a variety of healthy lifestyles," said Harmon. "There is tremendous opportunity for continued growth in the marketplace and I'm looking forward to bringing my experience to the company in order to help make franchisees more successful and further the goals of the company as we open up new stores."
Herskind has an extensive background in marketing within the franchise industry, as well as a passion for wellness, most recently serving as the top marketer at Gold's Gym. Early in her career, Herskind gained experience with Mail Boxes, Etc., now the UPS Store, during the company's rapid growth period; as well as at Pizza Hut, learning more about effective innovation and new product development. After stops at Nestle Waters and Dave & Buster's, where she led the research that generated the new "Eat & Play" combo product that turned around a long run of negative comp sales, Herskind was recruited to Gold's Gym where she recently has been leading a nine-person team and managing a $13 million marketing budget to drive acquisition and engagement for a membership of around three million.
"I have always been drawn to entrepreneurs with a passion for the mission of their brand, and I found that with Smoothie King and the leadership of Wan Kim," said Herskind. "Fitness and wellness are important to me, and were the cornerstone of my work while at Gold's Gym. That same motivation is fueling the expansion at Smoothie King similar to what I've seen at other successful franchise concepts in growth mode. I am thrilled to join the team and eager to play a role in the company's continued success."
The company is coming off a successful 2016 where Smoothie King boasted a 9.1 percent increase in same-store sales from January 1, 2016 to January 1, 2017, building on the company's momentum of the past four years of record growth. The company also inked 111 franchise and development agreements in 2016.
"We continue to build an extraordinary purpose-driven brand that's an integral part in inspiring people to live healthy and active lifestyles," Kim said. "With the remaining key roles in our senior leadership now filled, we can focus on working together to further the vision of Smoothie King and continue to spread our mission to new markets."
Smoothie King continues their plan to expand in 16 key markets—Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Texas; Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Austin, Texas; Washington D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; Jacksonville, Florida; Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; New York; and Chicago, Illinois.
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