Who We Are

Atticus Franchise Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm focused on investment opportunities in franchise companies in the Southeast, with a focus in multi-unit franchisee portfolio opportunities and providing growth capital to emerging brands in the Southeast. Atticus focuses on consumer and business service companies with a compelling value proposition, meaningful barriers-to-entry, predictable cash flows and identifiable growth. Through our industry relationships, advisory board, lending partners and previous experience of franchise operations, our team looks to create a competitive advantage to generate outsized risk-adjusted returns to our investors.

Atticus Franchise Group is an Atlanta-based private equity firm focused on investment opportunities in franchise companies in the Southeast, with a focus in multi-unit franchisee portfolio opportunities and providing growth capital to emerging brands in the Southeast. Atticus focuses on consumer and business service companies with a compelling value proposition, meaningful barriers-to-entry, predictable cash flows and identifiable growth. Through our industry relationships, advisory board, lending partners and previous experience of franchise operations, our team looks to create a competitive advantage to generate outsized risk-adjusted returns to our investors.

Mike Drum

Managing Partner

Mike founded Atticus Franchise Group in 2015. He is the Managing Partner of Atticus with investment experience in franchise operations, businesses operations, and commercial real estate. Prior to founding Atticus, Mike began his career with Noble Investment Group, a private equity real estate investor with more than $3.5 billion in investments. He then went on to play a key role as a partner at Ethos, a private equity fund that focused on providing growth equity and opportunistic capital to small and mid-sized companies in the Southeast. Mike also co-founded Top Notch Basketball Club, a youth program with more than 1,000 members and families throughout the metro Atlanta area. Mike received a Bachelor of Science from Wake Forest University, where he was named captain of the men’s basketball team and was a member of the ACC All-Academic Team. He also received his J.D. from the John Marshall School of Law.

Mike resides in Buckhead with his wife Mary and their two children, Abigail and Gabriel.

Bill Gmaz

Partner & Chief Administrative Officer

Bill Gmaz is the Chief Administrative Officer at Atticus Franchise Group responsible for maximizing value at both the store level and fund level by providing senior leadership. Bill has more than a decade’s worth of private equity experience and has been involved with Atticus Franchise Group since its inception. Prior to Atticus, he worked at Noble Investment Group in the Asset Management Division. In this role, he had fiduciary responsibility for a portfolio of assets.

Bill received a B.A. in Management/Finance from Purdue University and an M.B.A. from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. He is actively involved in the community and serves as a mentor for undergraduate students. Bill also volunteers in several capacities for the Purdue Alumni Group and was co-president of the cohort during his time at Emory University.

Alex Murphy

Partner & Chief Operating Officer

Alex Murphy is the Chief Operating Officer at Atticus Franchise Group where he heads up the operations and growth of the Atticus brands. Prior to joining Atticus Franchise Group, Alex was the President of Burger Florida & Burger Gulf LLC – A franchisee of Burger King Corporation. While serving as President, he led a team of over 2,500 employees, operating 88 restaurants, grossing +$100 Million in annual revenue. Alex previously spent five years with 3G capital working in their Burger King business. During his tenure, he performed various roles within the company from field operations to global strategy. His last role at Burger King Corporation was as Director, Global Operations. In this role, he was directly responsible for developing the strategic plan for all Burger King Restaurants globally. This position came after he held the role Director, Company Operations where he led the largest company turnaround transforming the Burger King Company owned restaurants into the top organization in the country.

Alex resides in Miami Florida with his wife Amanda.

Ed Welsh

Partner & Chief People Officer

Ed Welsh is the Chief People Officer at Atticus Franchise Group where he leads the Human Resources function. He is responsible for leading the initiatives to help shape our future while keeping our values top of mind and strengthening the culture through employee engagement and development. Before joining Atticus Franchise Group, Ed was Chief People Officer for Edible Arrangements parent company Edible Brands, where he led HR for all companies in the portfolio. He brings over 20 years of progressive experience in Human Resources with a variety of companies including Burch Creative Capital, Gap Inc., Alex and Ani and Macy’s.

Ed studied psychology at Fordham University, NY, is a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach, Certified Predictive Index Analyst and has completed Strategic HR Certifications from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations and Columbia University. He is a member SHRM and was a brand advisor for a privately-held retail start-up based in NYC.

Ed and his partner David moved to the Atlanta area in 2018 and currently reside in Roswell.

Jimmy Tapp

Director, Wingstop

Jimmy Tapp is the Director of Atticus Franchise Group’s Wingstop investment. His role also holds responsibilities in the area of acquisitions and portfolio management. Before joining Atticus, Jimmy most recently served as a manager in Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services group. Prior to Ernst & Young, Jimmy worked in KPMG’s audit practice. Jimmy received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Accountancy from Wake Forest University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Gonzalo Checa

Executive Vice President, Massage Envy

Gonzalo Checa is the Executive Vice-President, Massage Envy at Atticus Franchise Group where he heads up the strategy & portfolio management of Atticus investment in this brand. Prior to joining Atticus Franchise Group, Gonzalo was President of the Americas & EMEA for BNI Global (Business Network International) where he held responsibilities for global operations and franchise development. Gonzalo previously spent six years with Compass Group USA, Foodbuy Sector, as Vice President Category Development. In this role, he was responsible for supplier contracting & management as well as driving category growth & marketing activation for $2.5B spend in food, beverage, services, supplies and equipment categories. This position came after he held general management and marketing roles of increasing responsibility with Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble both in the U.S. and his native Peru.
Gonzalo received a Bachelor in Business Administration from Universidad del Pacifico and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Charlotte Bilingual Preschool and EasterSeals UCP NC & VA. Gonzalo resides in Charlotte NC with his wife Carolina and their two teenage sons.

John Gabianelli

Senior Analyst, Massage Envy

John Gabianelli is a Senior Analyst for Atticus Franchise Group’s Massage Envy investment. John focuses on financial and operational analyses to drive strategy and efficiencies across the brand and is involved in acquisition work as well. Prior to joining Atticus, John served as an analyst at Insight Sourcing Group, a management consulting firm focused on cost optimization and procurement-related services. John also spent a summer with Shore Capital, a private equity firm in Chicago, prior to graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. John received a B.A. with distinction in Peace, War, and Defense from UNC and minored in Business Administration at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Melissa Francois

HR Associate

Since joining Atticus in 2018, Melissa Francois has become a performance-driven HR Associate. With strong organizational, customer service and communication skills, Melissa supports key HR initiatives surrounding recruitment, payroll, and benefits.

Prior to joining Atticus, Melissa spent the last 10 years as a military spouse, volunteering with various organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts, Parents Teachers Organization and the Military’s Family Readiness Group. Melissa enjoys stepping into a leadership roles with the purpose of improving and leaving the organization better than when she first met them. She proudly served 1 ½ years with AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), where she was responsible for leading a project to end childhood hunger within the local school community. Melissa is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business with a specialization in Human Resource Management. She is new to the Atlanta area and resides with her husband and 2 daughters.

Andrew Nicks

Project Coordinator

Andrew Nicks is a Project Coordinator for Atticus Franchise Group focusing on construction and brand development. Prior to joining Atticus, Andrew worked as a Financial Analyst for a global consulting firm. In this role, Andrew was responsible for managing cash flow and housing data for clients. Recently, Andrew has been an analyst in both domestic and international markets with a private equity group with whom he spent a year in South America. Andrew received a B.A. in Finance from Indiana University and holds a certificate in data analysis from Michigan University. He is actively involved in the community volunteering as a coach with the YMCA and Trees of Atlanta.

Brandon Weeks

Vice President of Operations

Originally from Atlanta Brandon has been in the restaurant industry for 20 years. He started at the unit level and worked his way to management. He has had roles as a corporate trainer, Franchise Business Consultant, and Director of Operations with Moe’s Southwest Grill and Tin Drum in Atlanta. He has a passion for developing people, providing world class service, and is excited to help build the brand here in the Southeast.

His favorite flavor is Atomic.

Curtis Gates

District Manager

Curtis brings over 36 years of restaurant experience to his role as District Manager. He has worked with multiple brands including Wendy’s, Burger King, Panera Bread, Arby’s, and Krystal’s. John has worked with multi-unit companies for 27 years, including 18 years as a District Manager, 3 years as Operating Partner, and 6 years as Director of Operations.

His favorite flavor of wings is Lemon Pepper.

Laura Williams

District Manager

Laura has been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and a multi unit leader the last 8 years. Laura worked for Red Lobster, Lone Star Steakhouse and most recently Red Robin before joining the Wingstop team. She currently resides in North Carolina and is overseeing the North Carolina market. She is an avid sports fan and animal lover.

Laura’s favorite flavor is Mango Habanero.

Scott Mulvey

Vice President of Operations

Scott Mulvey is the Vice-President of Operations for Atticus Franchise Group’s Maaco investment. Most recently, Scott served as multi-unit leader for the Ford Division of a Dealer Group in Saint Louis, Missouri. Scott has over 5 years in multi-unit management and assists in growing the profitability and unit count of the Maaco brand for Atticus. Scott studied Global Supply Chain Management at Northern Kentucky University.

Scott currently resides in Atlanta with his wife Megan.

Roderick Smith

District Manager

Rod is a District Manager of Atticus Franchise Group’s Maaco investment. He has been with the company since January 2017. He brings with him several years in the paint and body industry. Prior to his tenure in this industry, Rod was heavily involved in Yum Brands, and the food industry, spending some time as Executive Director, Yum Brands, Northern Europe. In this role, he was instrumental in growing the business to over 300 units in all three Yum brands.

Rod also spent 8 years as Director of Operations for Pizza Hut Taiwan, bringing that business to 100 units, and the highest profit for that brand in Asia, for 6 consecutive years. Rod grew up in Australia and has worked and lived in Thailand, Taiwan, Belgium, Spain and Australia. He currently resides in Nashville, TN.

Randy Miller

District Manager

Randy Miller joined Atticus Franchise Group as a District Manager in February 2018. He oversees our Maaco Store operations in our Florida Market. Prior to joining Atticus Franchise Group Randy was the General Manager at Fields Collision Center Orlando, a shop that specializes in exotic autos including, Rolls Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini. Randy has been a part of the Automotive field for 29 years and has been in management for 11 years of that time. He also held various positions in the Automotive Insurance Industry for 13 years.

Randy, his wife Shawn, their two daughters Erin and Megan and their family dog BoBo resides in Lake Mary, Florida.

Michael Gonzalez

Brand President

Prior to joining Atticus Franchise Group, Michael was a Director of Field Operations for Massage Envy Franchising. He joined the company as the Regional Director for the Dallas and Houston regions. He was then promoted to Director of Field Operations in the Southwest area which encompassed 250 locations across 9 states. In position, he helped train and mentor many of the new Regional Directors that joined that brand. In conjunction, he was the Corporate Lead for the National Franchisee Advisory Board (NFAB) where he partnered with the NFAB Executives as well as the Massage Envy CEO on communication, transparency, and collaboration for the organization.

Prior to Massage Envy, he worked at Fedex Office for 10 years where he held multiple positions culminating as District Manager of the South Los Angeles territory. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and is completing his MBA at Louisiana State University.

Courtney Kuhl

Vice President of Operations, Georgia

Courtney joined Atticus Franchise Group as Massage Envy’s Vice President of Operations for the Georgia market in March 2018. Prior to joining Atticus, she spent 12 years growing and operating Massage Envy locations in the Atlanta area as a franchisee. During that time, she focused on building and opening new locations, purchasing and rehabilitating struggling clinics within the market, and growing a team of service providers and wellness associates dedicated to providing best in class service. Courtney also dedicates her time to the Massage Envy Franchisor by participating in various National Franchisee Advisory Board committees; most recently she has spent the past 4 years on the IT Committee dedicated to bringing Massage Envy to the peak of technological integration to ensure the best client experience possible.

She is passionate about the brand, the people who bring it to life, and the clients that Massage Envy has the privilege to help on a daily basis.

Jim Zoladz

Vice President of Operations, North Carolina

Prior to joining Atticus Franchise Group, Jim worked with Massage Envy Corporate and Franchisees in the capacity of District Manager, Director of Clinic Operations as well as Regional Director. Prior to joining the Massage Envy Brand, Jim spent 20+ years working in the spa and photography area as an Executive Vice President with MVP Management, LLC. Jim has been responsible for personnel leadership, strategy and program management including store operations, human resources & field team training.

Jim firmly believes in the idea of one of our key core values “Continuous Improvement” and he approaches his career as a continued educational experience – observing and learning from the most talented leaders in the industry. He believes in his responsibility as a leader to help others learn and grow by giving his time and attention to develop a team of strong future leaders.

Jim attended the University of Tennessee where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing. He resides in Raleigh North Carolina with his wife Michelle, daughter Taylor and son Brandon.

Scottie Coleman

District Manager

Scotisha Coleman (Scottie) joins the Atticus Franchise Group as the first District Manager for the Massage Envy Brand. Scottie has been with Massage Envy for 7 years. Prior to becoming a District Manager, she was a Clinic Manager, at the Toco Hills location. Before becoming a Clinic Manager, she trained as a sales associate, then opened the Toco Hills location as the Assistant Manager. She was promoted within 8 months to the Clinic Manager position.

During her tenured she was responsible for operations, sales growth, employee development, and culture. As the first manager of that location, she was able to grow her member base to over 1200 members in 3 years while consistently achieving sales above the company average. She has 10+ years of managerial experience in the spa industry with companies including spa Sydell and Exhale enterprises.

Scottie has a passion for training and leading others to be successful. She enjoys cross-fit workouts and attending her son’s basketball games.

Katie McDaniel

District Manager

Katie started her Massage Envy career in 2012 as a Front Desk Associate. With a lot of hard work and dedication she quickly moved into the role of Clinic Manager. During her time as Clinic Manager she built a strong culture of operational excellence and consistently delivered best in class results for the Raleigh-Durham market. Katie was recently promoted to District Manager within Atticus Franchise gives and managers clinics in three different communities in Chapel Hill and Raleigh, NC.

Katie currently reside in Cary, NC with her husband, Jarette and their two dogs Luke and Kemba.

Theresa Bradford

District Manager

Theresa has been with the Massage Envy brand for eight years. She started as a Sales Associate and grew into an Clinic Manager quickly. Before taking on the clinic manager role she was a Multi-Unit Manager managing two NC locations. As a manager, her locations saw many successes in member count, service hours and customer service. Theresa’s new role with Atticus Franchise Group is District Manager where she is responsible for four locations in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Originally from Long Island, NY, Theresa has lived in North Carolina for the past 10 years. Theresa has two wonderful children, Adrianna and Anthony. She also has two rescue dogs (Louie and Bella) that she considers her “other children”.