Meet the Management Team

Our brand is backed by experience in franchising and the salon business

Linda Chadwick
President & CEO of Dessange Group North America

Linda Chadwick, president of Fantastic Sams, one of the top hair salon franchisesBefore being named President and CEO of Dessange Group North America in 2015, Linda was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Fantastic Sams. She oversees the three beauty brands in the United States that are owned by our parent company Dessange International — Fantastic Sams, Camille Albane and Dessange.

Linda is a veteran franchising executive with more than 20 years at Burger King Corp., including three years as Vice President of Franchise Operations and a stint as Senior Director of North America, Training and Development, where she implemented new training systems, established ROI training metrics and restructured training delivery processes.

As a proud sponsor and former member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, Linda is passionate about franchising and developing people at all levels. She is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia, and holds a B.A. in Business Administration, Cum Laude. Linda most admires the hairstyle of Julianna Margulies, because it’s sassy and classic at the same time.

Susan Peace
Senior Director, Retail Beauty Products

Susan has been with Fantastic Sams since 2008 and has more than 20 years of experience in product development and retail. With an eye for quality and value, Susan reformulated the Fantastic Sams product portfolio, increasing revenues and reducing operating costs for our franchisees. Her celebrity hairstyle role model is fellow redhead Julianne Moore.

Ruth Swanson
Vice President of Marketing

Ruth started her career at Arnold Worldwide on the agency side working on franchise accounts, giving her insight on the complexities of large franchise networks. This first glimpse into the industry taught her lasting knowledge for the dynamics that occur regionally and nationally. After an agency position in NYC, she returned to Boston to join Dunkin Brands for 10 years. In 2010, Swanson made the jump to Fantastic Sams Hair Salons, where she revamped marketing and messaging and implemented a revitalized campaign using both advertising and digital space. Ruth has served as a speaker panelist at the 2013 Multi-Unit Conference and the 2013 Cross Marketing Channel Conference. Ruth’s celebrity hairstyle role model is Jennifer Lopez, because she always has healthy, shiny, radiant hair that looks great long and loose or pulled back.

Dan Henry
Director of Franchise Sales

Dan joined Dessange Group North America in September 2015 and is currently the Director of Franchise Sales and Development. Before joining Dessange, he made his first stop in franchising as Director of Franchise Development with the small group personal training franchise, Get In Shape For Women. Before coming to the franchise world, Dan was Director of Sales Lifecycle Renewables. He also worked in a sales management role with Smuttynose Brewing Co. He is a proud graduate of the University of Maine, where he received a degree in sociology.

Gerald Wells
General Counsel

Gerry joined Dessange Group North America in 2014 and is currently General Counsel, Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors for parent company Dessange International. Prior to his current position, Gerry was a partner at Quarles & Brady, LLP in Washington, DC and prior to that he was a partner at DLA Piper LLP (US) in Atlanta, GA. He also previously worked in the legal departments at Hewlett-Packard Company in Gaithersburg, MD and US Office Products Company in Washington, DC. He received his B.S. from the University of Maryland and his J.D. from the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law. Gerry most admires the hairstyle of Julia Roberts.

Lisa Counts
Region Director, South

Lisa has more than 30 years of experience in the beauty industry, including 20 in hair salon franchising. She is a chairperson of the National Skills U.S.A. cosmetology program and judges the national competition of cosmetology once a year. Lisa has held virtually every position in the salon industry, including manager and educator, and has owned her own salon. The celebrity whose hair she most admires is Katy Perry, because she changes her look often with her color and style.

Roxann Huebl
Region Director, Lakes

Roxann brings a wealth of franchising knowledge to the position, having worked with Burger King Corp. for 26 years. In her final position with the food chain as Director of Franchise Performance, Huebl provided business and operations support to franchisees over three states in the Midwest, working closely to help departments achieve company goals. With experience overseeing the operations of 330 restaurants, Roxann brings to Fantastic Sams extensive experience in franchise operations and systems execution. Her favorite celebrity hairstyle belongs to Halle Berry.

Vernon Suemnicht
Region Director, Central

Vernon became a Fantastic Sams Region Director in 2002. His role includes franchise sales consultant, site selection, new owner training, assisting owners with operations and salon marketing and regional marketing. Previously, Vernon was a District Manager for Medicine Shoppe Pharmacies, where he assisted franchisees with marketing and advertising strategies and worked with pharmacists on pricing to maximize revenue from various benefit plans. Vernon was also in Wal-Mart management for 20 years. His first store as store manager was a 32,000-square-foot store that incrementally progressed to a 118,000-square-foot store with more than 300 associates. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is Vernon’s celebrity hairstyle role model.

Carmela Hughley
Region Director, Mountain Region

Carmela Hughley has been the Director of Store Operations for Dessange Group North America since January 5, 2015. From September, 2013 to January 4, 2015, she was the Director of Operations and Training for DGNA, all in Beverly, Massachusetts. Between July 2012 and July of 2013 she was the Vice President of Operations for Dreamdry in New York, New York. Prior to 2012, Carmela was the Regional Business Development Manager at ULTA Beauty for the west region.

Carla Simpson
Region Director, Midwest

Carla Simpson has been in the beauty and franchise industries for 25 years. Her beauty experience has spanned manufacturers, salons and schools, focused on training and operations. Most recently, Ms. Simpson was a Business Director for Sport Clips, Inc., a franchisor of men’s hair salons. Prior to that she was Vice President, Education for Regency Beauty Institute. Her other training positions include time at Regis Corporation in the franchise division, Aveda Corporation and a start-up franchise. Ms. Simpson also ran her own consulting business writing franchise operations manuals and trainings for various franchisors. She is passionate about beauty and fashion and loves the industry because of the opportunities available for cosmetologists and their ability to make people look and feel good for all the special moments in their lives. Carla’s favorite celebrity hairstyle role model is Audrey Tautou because she always looks fresh and channels Audrey Hepburn.

Anita Oetgen
Region Director, East

Ms. Oetgen has been with Fantastic Sams since October 2014 and was promoted to Regional Director of the East Region in June 2015. Prior to joining Fantastic Sams Anita was Director of Field Marketing and Director of Franchise Performance for Burger King Corporation’s South East Division. Anita has over 30 years of experience working with Franchisees with both Burger King and McDonald’s. She received her MBA from Georgia State’s J Mack Robinson School of Business in 2000, and combines her experience and education to assist Franchisees in growing their business profitably. Her favorite celebrity haircut is Meg Ryan’s tousled bed head style.

Robert Loffredo
Region Director, Senior Director Real Estate and Construction

Robert joined Fantastic Sams in January 2004. Over the years Robert has owned Fantastic Sams salons, as well as other chain salons, and was the general manager of a multi-unit salon chain in New England. Robert occasionally helps teach Salon Fundamentals for new owners and has written parts of the operations manual for Fantastic Sams. Previously, Robert held the position of Vice President of Sales. He believes in giving back to the community and was President of the local Lions Club for many years and served as a director of the RI Lions Cancer in Children Fund. Robert is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and has an MBA from Providence College in Rhode Island. Robert’s celebrity hairstyle role model is actor Robert De Niro.

Jay Capperella
National Sales Director

With nearly 25 years of franchising experience, Jay is skilled in sales management, marketing communications and field support. He started his career with international real estate giant RE/MAX and has worked for several major business service franchisors such as Entrepreneur’s Source and BrightStar Healthcare. Franchise candidates can count on Jay to shoot straight about what it takes to win as a Fantastic Sams franchisee and be responsive to all questions. Jay lives in southern New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, with his wife, Patty, and their three children.

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