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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.

Head of Digital Marketing

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.

Chief Technology & Strategy Officer

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.


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.

Business Development Director

Peter Plaut

Peter has over 30 years of experience on the sell and buy-side as a banker, portfolio manager, salesman and research analyst and maintains senior level relationships with some of the largest hedge funds, private equity funds, family offices, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and banks in the US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

Peter also currently serves as a Senior Advisor to BC Partners, one of the leading buy-out and alternative investment firms in Europe and North America.

Prior to Branded, he served as the Chairman as well as Vice Chairman of the GRI Global Committee on Hospitality, Future Finance and Investing, Multifamily and Build-To-Rent.  He also held the position of Executive Director of a London-based family office and investment bank, where he was responsible for originating over $12 billion in deal flow across various asset classes, including hospitality and real estate.

Peter is recognized as a leader in the industry. During the 2008 Financial Crisis, he was ranked as one of the Top Rising Stars of Hedge Funds and has been frequently quoted by Institutional Investor, Euromoney and Alternative Investors.  He also has been a featured speaker on Venture Capital Television (LATOKEN VCTV) with a particular focus on investments in emerging technologies, including AI, Blockchain, GreenTech, CleanTech, and the Digital Economy, as well as real estate.

Peter graduated with a BS in Management Information Systems, Economics and Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


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

Capital Markets

Max Schapiro

Max is the founder of Wolfson Partners and works closely with management teams, funds, and family offices in devising corporate strategies that maximize shareholder value. He has spent his career working in various investment banking and corporate strategy positions on behalf of public and private companies, family offices, and entrepreneurs. Max began his career as an analyst and associate in the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, where he specialized across various industrial sectors including diversified industrials, captive finance, airlines, shipping, aerospace, and defense (including serving for two years as the lead analyst for one of the firm’s top clients, General Electric). Max served as an associate and vice president at the Raine Group, where he led M&A transactions and growth equity investments across the consumer, intellectual property, digital media, diversified media, sports, and entertainment sectors. Max also helped open Raine’s London office where he lived for two years. Max has an extensive global network of public and private strategic and institutional investors across the venture capital, growth equity, debt, and private equity sectors.

Corporate Advisory

Giancarlo Fiorarancio

Giancarlo has over 25 years’ experience in leading technology and innovation teams who have bridged the gap between technology, operations and the guest experience. His in-depth knowledge of both front-of-house and back-of-house has allowed his teams to deliver solutions that have resulted in operational efficiencies, digital transformation and frictionless commerce.  Giancarlo has held technology leadership roles at Dean & Deluca, Steve Madden/Betsey Johnson, Le Pain Quotidien, Shake Shack and The Howard Hughes Corporation.



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


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.


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.


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