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Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Corporate and Joint Venture Resort Operations
Steven Parker co-founded K9 Resorts in 2005 and serves as Chief Executive Officer of Corporate and Joint Venture Resort Operations. Steven oversees corporate resort development, corporate resort operations, and operating standards across the franchise system. He regularly speaks at national conferences and universities on the topics of business, pet care, and entrepreneurship. Steven has earned recognition from the Mayor of Fanwood, the New Jersey State Policeman’s Benevolent Association, and the United States Congress for his charitable contributions.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Franchising
Jason co-founded K9 Resorts in 2005 and serves as Chief Executive Officer of Franchising. Jason oversees franchise development and operations. At K9 Resorts, Jason has played a pivotal role in the development of the business model, long-term financial management strategies, human resources, marketing, and promotional strategies. Jason is also a nationally-renowned speaker, considered an expert in the pet care industry, and was recognized by Congress for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.
Vice President of Franchise Operations
Kevin joined K9 Resorts in 2019 and serves as Vice President of Franchise Operations. Kevin is responsible for assisting franchisees from signing day through grand opening. Kevin came to K9 Resorts with more than 30 years of retail operations experience. Throughout his career, Kevin held a variety of positions at major brands, including The Disney Store, Vice President of Stores and Operations at Nautica, Senior Director of Store Operations at Tommy Hilfiger, and Vice President of Operations at Rook Coffee. In these positions, Kevin oversaw operations, employee training, and strategic planning.
Director of Marketing
Cassie Gato joined K9 Resorts in 2021 and serves as the Director of Marketing. Cassie comes to K9 Resorts with over 10 years of well-rounded Marketing experience within both the luxury skincare space, and within the toy category. With specialized Grand Opening Marketing experience at Toys”R”Us, Cassie is responsible for streamlining, organizing and elevating the K9 Resorts Grand Opening Marketing plans, implementing brand-wide marketing strategies, and analyzing promotional plans to communicate best practices.
Director of Real Estate
Brian joined K9 Resorts in 2020 and serves as Director of Real Estate. Most recently, Brian worked at Simply Greek, a Mediterranean restaurant franchisor, as Director of Real Estate and Construction from 2016 to 2018 and President from 2018 to 2019. At Simply Greek, he helped build the brand from zero locations to 36 locations in 30 months. Prior to Simply Greek, Brian worked at Rita’s Italian Ice for 17 years in a variety of positions, including Business Consultant, Director of Operations, Director of Construction, and Vice President of Development. Brian helped Rita’s Italian Ice grow to over 300 units domestically and internationally.
Chris has been a member of the K9 Resorts team since inception in 2005. He serves as Operations Manager where he specializes in inventory management, franchisee training, and facility management. In 2005, Chris supported the operations of K9 Resort’s first resort in Fanwood, NJ.
Jessica has been a member of the K9 Resorts team since inception in 2005. She serves as Operations Manager where she is responsible for resort management, franchisee training, and the development and opening of new resorts. As an original member of the K9 Resorts team, Jessica has years of experience in every position at the resort-level. Jessica has played a key role in the development of systems and processes at K9 Resorts.
Mike joined K9 Resorts in 2021 and serves as Operations Manager where he is responsible for the development and opening of new resorts, resort management, and supporting franchisees. Mike came to K9 Resorts with over 12 years of retail operations management experience from highly reputable brands such as Target, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Harbor Freight. Throughout his career, Mike was a multi-unit leader responsible for every aspect of the business, led projects such as Brand Defining remodels and new store openings, and led winning teams for some of the highest volume stores in these brands.
Vincent Corso joined K9 Resorts in the beginning of 2022 and serves as its Controller. Vincent comes to K9 Resorts with over 20 years of well-rounded experience in finance and accounting in established companies, franchises, and start-ups. His broad experience includes evaluating and supporting franchise business models, in-home services, hotel management, construction management, and property management sectors, as well as emerging technologies in mobile advertising and television. Vincent is responsible for operational and financial leadership, including accurately reporting K9 Resorts financial results. Prior to K9 Resorts, Vincent was the Vice President-Corporate Controller of a leading Hotel Management Company and previously held senior finance positions with Visible World (now Comcast) and Kiswe Mobile.
Stacey came to K9 Resorts with over 10 years of experience within the childcare franchise industry and joins us as an Operations Manager. Throughout her career, Stacey assisted new franchisees with opening locations, hiring and training staff, and maintaining brand compliance while also serving as the day-to-day Director.
Lisa joined K9 Resorts in 2020 and serves as Business Administrator. She manages documentation and communication between vendors, accountants, insurance carriers, and franchisees. Additionally, Lisa supports the preparation of the Franchise Disclosure Document, franchise agreement documentation, franchisee training, and franchise sales process. Prior to K9 Resorts, Lisa worked at The Hollingsworth Group, a real estate brokerage firm, as Manager/Director and GWFG LLP, a commercial and residential real estate law firm, as Senior Associate.
Brenden Ryan Joined K9 Resorts in 2022 and serves as a Marketing Associate. He is a professional graphic designer with extensive knowledge in the Illustration field with experience in areas such as sign and logo design/fabrication. Brenden is responsible for designing digital and print advertisements, flyers, brochures, etc, and will assist franchise owners with marketing collateral requests, which will ensure brand consistency throughout the United States.
SMB Franchise Advisors
Steve joined the Board of Directors in 2016. Steve is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SMB Franchise Advisors, a franchise consulting company. Since 2009, SMB Franchise Advisors has assisted over 200 companies develop and launch their franchise model. With over 30 years of franchise experience, Steve held senior-level executive positions at Hollywood Tans, Saladworks, and Rita’s Italian Ice. He is a regular guest speaker at franchise conferences and an author for franchise industry publications. Additionally, Steve earned his Certified Franchise Executive designation from the International Franchise Association.
Bernard invested in K9 Resorts in 2016 and serves as a board director. Bernard co-founded Navigator Partners in 1999 and serves as Managing Partner. Navigator Partners is a private equity investment group with a focus on franchisors. Bernard has invested in leading franchisors, including FirstLight Home Care, Smashburger, and Comfort Keepers. The principals at Navigator Partners have completed over 50 private equity investments and bring over 100 years of combined experience in private equity, strategic investments, and operations. In addition to K9 Resorts, Bernard serves on the board for FirstLight Home Care.
Bill invested in K9 Resorts in 2016 and serves as a board director. Bill joined Navigator Partners in 2006 and serves as Managing Partner. Bill has also invested in Crestcom International, a global franchisor of management and leadership training. Prior to Navigator Partners, he was the Managing Director at Nassau Capital, an alternative asset manager for Princeton University’s endowment. In addition to K9 Resorts, Bill serves on the board for FirstLight Home Care.