- Executive officers and management team
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Hennessey was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Director on September 8th, 2014. Mr. Hennessey is a restaurant professional with over 27 years of experience in both franchise and corporate environments in both Canada and the United States. He was the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Bento Sushi, a North American private-equity owned sushi concept with over 400 sushi bars in both Canada and the United States. Prior to his tenure as President & Chief Executive Officer of Bento Sushi, Mr. Hennessey spent 11 years at Cara Operations Limited in different roles, including President of Harvey’s Restaurants and Senior Vice-President of Guest Experience, and also worked for 11 years at Darden Restaurants.
Mr. Hennessey holds an undergraduate degree from Western University and a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
Tania M. Clarke
Chief Financial Officer
Ms. Clarke was appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Corporation on January 21, 2015. Ms. Clarke is a senior financial executive with over 15 years’ experience in both public and private international and national companies across several business functions. Prior to joining Imvescor, she was the Corporate Controller of Keurig Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Great Mountain Coffee Roasters, a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers. Prior to her tenure as Corporate Controller of Keurig Canada Inc. Ms. Clarke spent four years as Chief Financial Officer and Acting Chief Information Officer at Vision 2000 Travel Group Inc., the largest private travel management company in Canada. Ms. Clarke also worked for 14 years at Grand Toys International Ltd in different roles, including Chief Financial Officer (North America). Grand Toys was a multinational public company trading on NASDAQ and involved in the printing and packaging of stationery and party favours as well as the manufacture and distribution of toy and toy-related products on a global basis. Ms. Clarke began her career at KPMG and was in Audit for three years.
Tania Melanie Clarke has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma in Public Accountancy from Concordia University; she is also a Chartered Accountant (CPA-CA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA – US).
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Ms. Breton has assumed this role effective July 29, 2013 and is responsible for the Franchisor’s legal function. Prior to joining the Franchisor, Isabelle served as Legal Counsel for Metro Inc., a leader in the food and pharmaceutical sectors in Québec and Ontario, where it operates a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro and Food Basics. In this role, Isabelle also served on the management committee of a subsidiary of Metro Inc., namely McMahon Distributeur pharmaceutique inc. from 2006 to 2013. Isabelle previously served as Legal Counsel in the Corporate Secretary Office of National Bank of Canada from 2000 to 2002. During that time, she was responsible for conducting an extensive corporate governance review of the Bank’s policies, and for providing good practice guidance. Earlier in her career, Isabelle practiced law within a private law firm in Montreal, Quebec, where she represented clients in franchise and real estate matters and commercial litigation.
Senior Management Team:
Chief Operating Officers
Marie-Line Beauchamp – Toujours Mikes and Pizza Delight
Marie-Line Beauchamp was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Mikes and Pizza Delight on July 21, 2017. Prior to that role, she has held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Mikes since February 15, 2016. Prior to joining the organization, Ms. Beauchamp worked as the Executive Director of Leucan. Formerly, she was President of Les Rôtisseries St-Hubert. Prior to that role, she was Vice-President, Corporate Social Responsibility at Sodexo, based in Paris, within the AMECAA division representing 40 countries including Australia and India, as well as countries in Africa, Asia, northern Europe and the Middle East. She also held several key positions within the company in Canada, such as Executive Vice-President, and Vice-President of Operations at Marriott Management Services.
Ms. Beauchamp holds a Bachelor’s degree in science and food administration from McGill University and is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Ms. Beauchamp is a board member of the IRCM Foundation. She also served on different boards such as the John Molson School of Business, as well as the STOP Hunger foundation in Canada, of which she was a founding member.
Ronald Simard – Scores
Ronald Simard was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Scores on January 10th, 2017. Mr. Simard has over 30 years of extensive QSR and Fast Casual restaurant experience. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer of Richtree Market Restaurants. Formerly, he was the National Director of Operations for both Canada and the United States for Extreme Brands. Prior to these roles, Mr. Simard worked for The TDL Group (Tim Hortons Corporate), Maple Leaf Foods (Country Style Donuts), and PepsiCo, in various Operating, Marketing, and I.T. roles.
Nipun Sharma – Bâton Rouge Steakhouse & Bar
Nipun Sharma was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Bâton Rouge on March 28, 2016. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Sharma created and expanded numerous restaurant concepts and also a food production plant in partnership with major private equity firms and a public company in Canada. Nipun created the brands from inception and franchised across Canada, Middle East and Morocco – on street fronts, shopping malls, office towers, and university campuses.
Mr. Sharma is a graduate of McGill University and began his career on Wall Street investment banking undertaking corporate finance projects (IPOs, Mergers & Acquisitions, Financial Advisory) living in New York, California, and the UK covering North America, Europe and Asia. Mr. Sharma began his full time career in the restaurant industry in 2003.
Lorne Cassoff – Ben & Florentine
Lorne Cassoff was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Ben & Florentine on February 27, 2017. He joined the organization further to the acquisition by Imvescor of all of the franchising activities of Ben & Florentine. Mr. Cassoff is the founder of Ben & Florentine and has grown the breakfast chain from inception in 2009 to over 40 locations. His expertise relates to franchise development, real estate selection and sales strategies. Mr. Cassoff has over 25 years of experience in commercial business development and franchising. Early in his career, he owned and operated a coffee shop in downtown Montreal. Following the sale of the restaurant, Mr. Cassoff worked in the family business as an intermediary business consultant for 20 years, where he sold over 30 businesses per year. In this role, Lorne developed a vast network in Quebec which has proven to be a valuable asset to Ben & Florentine. Mr. Cassoff holds an undergraduate degree from Concordia University and a Masters Degree in Education from McGill University.
Brandon Knecht – Ben & Florentine
Brandon Knecht was appointed Brand Leader for Ben & Florentine on February 27, 2017. He joined the organization further to the acquisition by Imvescor of all of the franchising activities of Ben & Florentine. Mr. Knecht oversees all corporate departments of Ben & Florentine including: operations, marketing, purchasing and accounting. He reviews and negotiates all corporate contracts related to procurement, marketing, real estate and construction. Mr. Knecht handles all financial aspects of the business including sales analysis, costing, margin analysis, monitoring of internal controls and budgeting. Mr. Knecht joined Ben & Florentine in 2013 and has helped grow the business from 22 restaurants to over 40 restaurants. Prior to joining Ben & Florentine, he spent four years at Ernst & Young and Resolute Forest Product where he gained significant exposure working with large private and public corporations. Mr. Knecht holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Graduate Diploma in Chartered Accountancy from Concordia University. He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA,CA).
Vice President – Business Development, Retail and Commensal
Mr. Bergeron joined the Franchisor in September 2012. His main responsibilities consist of increasing the sales development and profitability of existing retail products, developing new retail products for all the brands, and finding innovative solutions for the organization’s various market segments. Nicolas has over 20 years’ experience in the retail industries, mostly with the St-Hubert Group (retail division).
Vice President – Purchasing
Mr. Vincent Dugas was appointed Vice President of Purchasing on December 1st, 2014. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Dugas worked for five years at Sysco Canada in various positions, most recently as Director of Merchandising and Supply. Sysco Canada is a global leader in the sale, marketing and distribution of food products to restaurants and institutions. Prior to Sysco, Mr. Dugas held several management positions within Loblaws for six years, including Quebec Branch Manager – Supply Chain Division and Category Manager- Canada.
Mr. Dugas also studied business administration at the École des Hautes Études Commerciales in Montreal.
Senior Director – Restaurant Development
Mr. Robert Longtin was appointed Senior Director Restaurant Development on February 2, 2015. He is responsible for franchising, real estate and construction. Prior to joining the organization, Mr. Longtin worked for four years at Boston Pizza where he was Development Director for the Québec market. Mr. Longtin has been involved in retail networks development for over 20 years in Québec and Eastern Canada.
Mr. Longtin holds a University degree from the University of Montreal in Economics.
Senior Director – Human Resources
Ms. Sandrine Fhima was appointed Human Resources Director on July 21, 2014. She is human resources professional with over 20 years of experience in both retail and services companies nationwide and internationally. Ms. Fhima is responsible for managing and overseeing the human resources activities for IRG inc. and its subsidiary, Commensal. Prior to joining the organization, Ms. Fhima worked 10 years for Jacob inc. in which she held the position of Human Resources Manager for 3 years and was responsible for managing the HR activities for both head office and retail operations.
Sandrine Fhima has a Business Administration Bachelor with a Major in Human Resources from HEC Montreal and an AMT (Accelerating Management Talent) Certificate from Ontario’s Richard Ivey Business School; she is also a designated CRHP (Certified Human Resources Professional) member since 1997.