Steve Romaniello, CFE, chairman of FOCUS Brands and managing director of Roark Capital Group in Atlanta, has been named the new chairman of the International Franchise Association. Romaniello accepted the chairman's gavel during the 53rd IFA Annual Convention this week in Las Vegas.

Romaniello has more than 25 years of experience with top brands in the franchise industry. As managing director of Roark Capital Group, Romaniello is actively involved with its investments in FOCUS Brands, Wingstop, Corner Bakery, McAlister's and Arby's.

Prior to joining Roark, Romaniello was CEO of FOCUS Brands, the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes in the U.S., Puerto Rico and 50 foreign countries under the brands Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, and the franchisor of Seattle's Best Coffee on certain military bases and in certain international markets.

Before becoming CEO of FOCUS Brands, Romaniello served as president of Carvel Ice Cream.

Prior to his tenure at FOCUS Brands, Romaniello was president and COO of U.S. Franchise Systems (USFS), the franchisor of Microtel Inns & Suites and Hawthorn Suites, which are now part of the Wyndham Hotel Group. Romaniello received a B.A. from Tufts University.

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