Branded leverages its ecosystem of venues, expertise and deep relationships to influence, accelerate and deliver value to our strategic, portfolio and advisory partners.

Founder & Managing Partner

Michael Schatzberg

Michael “Schatzy” Schatzberg is an entrepreneur and expert strategist and marketer. With over 25+ years of restaurant ownership and operational experience, he is the Managing Director for Branded Restaurants. Michael is an active board member and advisory board member at various tech companies. He has been active in hospitality technology investment and advisory services for over 5 years and attended Boston University.
Founder & Managing Partner

Jimmy Frischling

Jimmy Frischling is an entrepreneur and experienced finance professional with over 3 decades in the financial services, capital markets and hospitality industries. He is a board member at a number of Branded’s Portfolio Companies including Blanket; Brizo Foodmetrics; Copia; Cut+Dry; Incentivio; Minnow; Ovation; Simple Marketplace; Spendgo; TapRm; Targetable; and Usual Wines. Jimmy holds his Series 79, 7, 24 and 63 licenses with FINRA, a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


Chief Operating Officer

Liza Garber

Liza has spent 25 years in the financial services industry working in start-up, mid-size and large highly matrixed organizations. Most recently, Liza was Business Manager, Senior Vice President, Global Family Office for Rockefeller Capital Management where she was hired to assist the firm with operationalizing family office services. Prior to Rockefeller, Liza launched and served as the Head of the Family Office for the co-founders of King Street Capital Management, a global investment management firm with ≈$20B AUM. While at King Street, Liza’s diverse role included overseeing day-to-day operations, creating policies, protocols, and central infrastructure, hiring and managing support staff and liaising with lawyers, trustees, accountants, private bankers, investment professionals, insurance providers and other external advisors to execute family-directed initiatives. Her wide-ranging responsibilities also included accounting, taxation and financial reporting, cash flow management, estate planning, overseeing the family’s charitable trust and personal investments, buying and selling personal real estate and handling all aspects of household management.

Preceding her tenure at King Street, Liza spent 13 years at Lyster Watson & Company, a registered Investment Advisory Firm and Broker-Dealer. She held roles as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Compliance Officer, was a Member of the Executive Committee and served as compliance, finance and fund administration SME. While at Lyster Watson, Liza collaborated in establishing and launching the firm’s hedge fund of funds business, ran day-to-day operations, established internal controls to safeguard the firm’s financial assets, and conducted and led numerous regulatory examinations with the SEC, FINRA, and the NFA. Liza’s early career includes her tenure as an Investment Banker at Salomon Smith Barney and a Consultant at McKinsey & Company. Liza holds an MBA from Columbia Business School with a Finance Concentration, and a BS in Industrial Engineering, cum laude, from Lehigh University.

Chief Marketing Officer

Julie Zucker

Julie is a Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at Branded Strategic Hospitality. In addition to accelerating Branded’s Marketing & Communication efforts, Julie is actively involved in all of Branded’s portfolio companies from pipeline to investment and continued growth through marketing. She is a subject matter expert and has been featured in Food Business News, the WSJ and Forbes as well as serving as a panelist a The International Food Show of NY and the Cohen Reznick Annual Technology Summit. She also produces and writes all episodes of The Hospitality Hangout Podcast, a hit Hospitality Technology Podcast on The Foodable Network.

Prior to Branded Strategic, Julie ran the Marketing and Tech Stack program for Branded Restaurants for over 8 years. She also worked in Marketing and Communication roles at BuiltNY, Zagat and The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Julie graduated summa cum laude with a Bachlor’s Degree from Lehigh University and studied International Marketing at Boston University’s British Programs in London, England.

Portfolio Manager

Mark Senkpiel

Mark D. Senkpiel is a pioneer in the leveraged finance markets with more than 40 years of experience in investment management. As an entrepreneur, he founded Jefferies Capital Management, managing $2 billion in assets for the firm. He joined Branded from Barings, LLC, where he was a Managing Director and member of the firm’s High Yield Investment Committee. Mark is a Chartered Financial

Analyst. He received a B.A from Knox College and an MBA from Roosevelt University.

Marketing Manager

Julia Suchocki

Julia holds her BBA and MBA from Hofstra University and is passionate about technology that drives the hospitality and F&B industry. She leverages her unique skillset and experience in the entertainment business to grow the professional brand as well as support the development of digital marketing and social media campaigns.

Olivia Abrams

Olivia Abrams

Admin Assistant & Associate


Stephen Van Note

Stephen Van Note is the COO of RBM Restaurants which operates iconic New York City restaurant brands; Sarabeth’s, Jane, and Docks Oyster Bar. He has over 25 years of entrepreneurial, operational, and concept development experience. He has also been involved in a variety of consulting, investment, and contract management ventures.

Josh Wirth

Josh has 15 years of experience in finance, real estate and law. Josh has a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law, and an undergraduate degree from Duke University. He is a licensed attorney and member of the NY Bar, and holds Series 7 and 66 licenses.

Mike Wior

As co-founder and CEO of Omnivore, Mike Wior leads his team in bringing to market powerful and seamless technologies transforming how the hospitality industry engages with customers. Mike has an extensive background in cloud and security solutions and serves as a board member and advisory for several fast-rising restaurant technology companies.

David “Rev” Ciancio

Senior Marketing Executive & Brand Evangelist with more than 20 years of experience in hospitality and food and beverage (F&B) marketing, agency ownership and management, strategic planning, lead generation, digital marketing, and brand identity development. Astute change agent adept at overhauling the brands and images of existing brands and stewarding their operations to success in the twenty-first century hospitality industry.

Matt Wilson

Matt is the founder of Barrier Crest, an outsourced provider of CFO, consulting, and fund administration services to a number of investment managers across multiple industries. He has over 13 years of experience preparing financial statements, budgeting, forecasting, investor relations, software management, and supporting venture capital and private equity fund managers
Business Development

Jeffrey Kolton

Jeffrey Kolton is highly regarded as one of the leaders and innovators in the franchising and hospitality communities. With over 30 years of experience at the highest levels within the legal, research, marketing and finance sectors, Mr. Kolton brings a unique perspective and an invaluable rolodex to every deal he works on.

Mr. Kolton began his professional career as an attorney with the law firm now known as DLA. In 1989, Jeff left the practice of law and founded FRANdata Corporation, which quickly became the country’s leading information specialist to the franchise industry, serving 90% of the nation’s franchised units. While running FRANdata, he was chosen as a franchising expert to testify before both Congress and the FTC. He was also selected as Chairman of the Supplier Forum of the International Franchise Association (IFA), as well as to the IFA’s Board of Directors.

In 2004, Mr. Kolton founded Franchise Market Ventures, LLC (FMV) to provide outsourced strategic business development services to restaurants and celebrity chefs, where he assisted culinary talent and leading QSR and fast-casual restaurant brands in finding non-traditional expansion opportunities and appropriate financial sponsors. Through FMV, he also advised Fortune 100 companies on their strategic marketing within the franchise and F&B sectors, advised PE funds on the use of new technology to fuel their restaurant portfolio’s growth objectives, and served on both publicly-traded and private company boards in the hospitality industry. He next spent two years running a private equity firm’s restaurant practice, before leaving to focus exclusively on hospitality tech.

Mr. Kolton is an honors graduate of Cornell University and the London School of Economics, and received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He also received his sommelier certification from the American Sommelier Association in 2003.

Jeff lives in New York City and Woodstock with his lovely wife Jeriann , a highly successful entrepreneur in her own right, and “the dynamic duo”- his twin sons Eli and Sebastian.



Dean Palin

Dean Palin is the Co-Owner and Principal of Palin Enterprises and the owner of Branded Restaurants. He has over 25 years of real estate, development, management and hospitality experience.
Real Estate

Jeff Mann

Jeff Mann, president and executive editor of Mann Publications, launched Mann Report in the spring of 1998. Over the years, the success of both these magazines has created room for the inclusion of our residential and building management titles, Mann Report Residential and Mann Report Management, respectively.

Mike Ryan

Mike Ryan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Bullet Point Network. He has almost 30 years of investment, capital markets and management experience. Mike is an active private investor, entrepreneur and board member. Prior to founding Bullet Point Network, he served as head of public equity and absolute return at the Harvard endowment, partner and co-head of global equity products at Goldman Sachs and head of global securities at Credit Suisse.

Alonso Castaneda

Alonso is VP of Brand Development & Strategy at Savory Restaurant Fund, an arm of Mercato Partners. During his career, he has specialized in taking fast-casual and polished casual food and beverage concepts and scaling them into 50-unit + powerhouse brands including Qdoba, Paradise Bakery, and Café Rio Mexican Grill.

Miles Barker


Michelle Gauthier

A serial entrepreneur, she owned a women’s clothing store in New Orleans then a furniture store in Manhattan before following her lifelong passion for food. She attended the professional program at the Institute of Culinary Education and 10 years later opened the first Mulberry & Vine in Tribeca in 2013.

Simon Oren

Simon Oren is the owner and founder of Chef Driven and Tour de France Hospitality groups. Oren’s brands and concepts are mainstays of contemporary New York dining and socializing with a strong emphasis on design, food, beverage and enlightened service.

Robert Guarino

Robert has over 20 years of experience in creating, building and operating next level restaurant concepts. Throughout his career, he has maintained a focus on restaurants rooted in casual fine dining with a strong emphasis on design, food, beverage and enlightened service. Today, he proudly plots the course for a restaurant brand that celebrates so many of the core things he loves about dining out.

Scott Gillman

Scott Gillman is the Founder and CEO of Mascott Corporation and Dine Technology, LLC. Since 1989, Mascott has built and operated more than 50 restaurants, primarily in NJ. The restaurants have been a mix of franchised and proprietary concepts. From 1989 to 1994 Mascott was a public company trading on the NASDAQ under the symbol DINE.

Solomon Choi

Solomon Choi is an entrepreneur with 20 years of hospitality experience with expertise in marketing strategy and growth. Under his leadership, there have been over 50 restaurants opened in 7 states and 2 countries. Solomon is the Founder/CEO of 16 Handles, New York City’s largest frozen dessert retailer.

Dana Zukofsky

Dana has more than 10 years of experience in public accounting and four years of experience as the director of finance for a well-known restaurant company. Dana is able to advise clients on issues related to policies, procedures and growth strategies. Dana is a frequent speaker at the Restaurant CFO Bootcamp.


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