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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 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.

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.

Matt Lerner CEO - Branded
Chief Operating Officer

Matt Lerner

Matt has spent the better part of the last two decades as an entrepreneur, operator, consultant and investor across a broad range of enterprise and consumer facing ventures. The intersection of software-as-a-service with the Hospitality and F&B industries has always been at the forefront, as Matt has built, scaled, and sold an online food-ordering business, a short term rental property company, and an AdTech platform for consumer brands.

As Branded’s Chief Operating Officer, Matt oversees internal efforts that include project management, team communications, and fundraising along with external efforts such as investor relations, portfolio company support, and business development.

Matt is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, has been certified in Food & Beverage Management from Cornell University and is a proud native New Yorker.

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.

Business Development Associate

Noah Stern

Chief Financial Officer

Greg Essner

Greg is a financial executive with broad experience in law firm finance, hedge funds, investments, accounting, finance, M&A, audit, internal control and human resources.

Specialties: Law Firm Finance, Accounting, Treasury, Risk Management, Financial Reporting, Internal Controls, Due Diligence, Mergers and Acquisitions, Investment Analysis


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

Brand Partnerships

Liz Humphrey


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

social media manager at Branded
Social Media

Cecelia Fowble

Cecelia is the Social Media Manager at Branded



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.


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.


Alice Elliot

Alice Elliot, Chief Executive Officer of The Elliot Group, is universally recognized as one of the foremost advisors in executive search, human resources, and leadership. Sought out for her expertise within the restaurant, hospitality, retail, lifestyle, and service industries, Alice was named Nation’s Restaurant News’ “2019 Norman Award” winner and is the recipient of The Culinary Institute of America’s 2020 “Augie Award.” Alice has been highlighted in the 2015 and 2019 Nation’s Restaurant News’ “The Power List”, QSR Magazine’s “20 Most Influential Restaurant Leaders” and Eater’s “Meet the Underground Power Brokers of NYC Dining: Restaurant Consultants”. She was also featured on “CBS This Morning Saturday” for her collaboration on “The Underground Culinary Tour,” as a speaker on Bloomberg Radio, offering insights into business trends and innovation, and served as a panelist on “The Future of Hotels and Restaurants” panel for the Mansion Global Luxury Real Estate Conference by Dow Jones. She has spoken at many industry events including the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Exchange Conference (MUFSO), International Foodservice Management Association (IFMA), Chain Operators Exchange Conference (COEX), The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) Annual Conference, The Multicultural Foodservice Hospitality Alliance Conference (MFHA), The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Salute to Excellence, and the Annual Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen. Alice is the recipient of several awards, including the coveted Women’s Foodservice Forum’s Trailblazer Award and the prestigious Roundtable for Women in Foodservice’s Pacesetter Award. She sits on the Board of Trustees of The Culinary Institute of America and was inducted into the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s College of Diplomats in 2010 for her tireless work bringing public awareness to the hospitality industry.

By leveraging informed intuition, technology, and cultural and business intelligence, under Alice’s leadership for over thirty-five years, The Elliot Group successfully pairs talent and companies in ways that unlock growth, and make futures happen. Private equity firms, public and private companies of all sizes, retain The Elliot Group to act as partners, thought leaders, and strategic advisors. Alice and The Elliot Group have a long legacy of innovation, offering educational, and unique contributions to the industry. This includes curating and donating The Elliot Group Memorabilia Collection to the NRAEF in 2015, which is currently housed in America’s Restaurant Gallery. Additionally, The Elliot Group hosted the Elliot Leadership Conference for over 25 years. This premier industry event has featured business icons including Stephen Covey, Jim Cramer, Dave Thomas, Norman Brinker, and more. In addition, Alice co-founded The Elliot Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to executive leadership development and committed to the next generation of leadership.


Andrew Peskoe

Andrew is an Attorney and Investor in Finance, Technology and Hospitality; Chairman, Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell & Peskoe, LLP

My practice focuses on the representation of private and public emerging growth companies, venture capital funds, private equity funds and strategic investors in international and domestic mergers, acquisitions, equity and debt financings, technology transfer and licensing, and complex financing transactions, including leverage buyouts, venture capital and “growth equity” financings, and other private equity transactions. I work with companies and funds in the fields of new media, technology, financial services, food and restaurant services, investment management, communications and consumer products. I also provide general corporate representation to companies, individuals and non-profits in their business endeavors. I am Chairman of the firm and co-head of the firm’s Corporate practice group, and also co-head of the Food, Beverage and Hospitality practice group. I’m on the board of numerous entities, both charitable and corporate, and am an active early stage technology and hospitality investor.


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.


Marc Glosserman

With a self-described ‘plain vanilla’ upbringing in the suburbs of D.C. where at least one parent of each of his friends was a lawyer, it was almost set in scripture that Marc would follow a career in the corporate world.

After college Marc founded a telecommunications company with friends which led him to London for a few years. Eventually he acknowledged his passion did not lie in technology and sought to rediscover his passions through an MBA at Colombia University.
His MBA led to the business plan for Hill Country Barbecue which tied in his love for food, hospitality and nostalgia for Texas Barbecue during his childhood.



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.


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.


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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