Meet Our Team
CEO, Vapor Galleria, Inc.
Gerald (Ed) Williams is the CEO of three companies and managing partner of Vapor Systems L.L.C. He has spent much of his adult life managing, owning and developing franchises. He was responsible for the development and design of the Vapor Galleria concept. The first half of his professional career was in the restaurant and hospitality industry. He began his career with Wendy’s Hamburgers when it was just starting to take off. He held the position as a regional manager at the age of 22. He later went on to become a franchisee of the company. He has also developed several restaurants, night clubs and a hotel.
In the ninety’s he sold his businesses and moved to Michigan and bought a franchise from Union Carbide in the marble and stone restoration industry. After one year he bought the parent company which now operates 50 franchise units in 7 countries. He also has developed and owns a stone care products line that is sold online and throughout the United States in hardware and other retail stores. Related to the stone business, he owns a restoration company that operates in the Philadelphia and DC markets.
Ed provides vision and direction for the company email@example.com. All corporate team members report directly to Ed. He oversees the lab, new product development and equipment research as well as every aspect of operations. He also supervises all new franchise sales; store designs, and all branding efforts.
Baxter Castro Coffee
Baxter managed his first franchise in 1974; purchased his first franchise in 1984, and since then has helped to develop six national franchise companies, including Mr. Rooter Plumbing (plumbing), TutorTime (childcare); MarbleLife (stone restoration); American Graffiti (graffiti removal), Juicer Heroes (raw, organic juice), and Black Diamond Golf (automated club cleaners), and over the past 30 years has worked with thousands of individual franchisees to help grow their business.
Baxter is a former tenured professor, and holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and business communications; a Master’s degree in fine arts; and post-graduate studies in philosophy and public policy. In 1998 he was awarded a Community Builders Fellowship from the U.S. Dept of Housing & Urban Development and Harvard University. He is a Certified Restorative Therapist, business consultant, ordained minister, professional artist, and author of the critically-acclaimed workshops: “The Flash Point Process” and “Drawing on Visual Intelligence.”
He is a former Communications Consultant with A.T. & T.; President of Future Learning Centers of Arizona, Inc.; Executive V P of Marblelife Inc.; President of MegaAmerica Mortgage, Inc.; and V. P. of Marketing & Domestic Sales for Quality Safety Edge, Inc. Baxter develops, pilots and implements all marketing efforts. He serves as the liaison between franchisees and Vapor Galleria Marketing. Calls franchisees regularly to provide marketing and sales support and serve as clearing house for ideas and feedback from franchisees.
James Franks – The Franks Group
A seasoned executive, James Franks has over twenty three years’ experience and a history of success with franchise companies, including such iconic & new brands as: 1-800 Flowers, Red Mango, Dunkin’ Brands, Baskin-Robbins, The Dwyer Group, Pie Five Pizza and Pro-Cuts to list a few.
Over his career, James has successfully awarded thousands of new franchise locations throughout the United States and in several other countries. He is now offering his expertise to a limited number of small to medium size franchisors.
James has proven and validated results such as over the last four years of his career, James has successfully awarded over 570 new locations, resold more than 300 existing locations to engaged franchisees and collected over $15,000,000 in initial franchise and transfer fees. All while averaging less than $6,000 in advertising costs per new franchisees awarded.
James’ success stems from his signature franchise sales system. It culminates in both a thoughtful and thoroughly executed step-by-step process averaging less than 90 days to sign a new franchisee. A large part of this achievement is from re-writing multiple brand Franchise Agreements and Franchise Disclosure Documents to reduce questions by 80% as well as be more fair but firm. Additionally, James uses his extensive expertise to manage all marketing efforts for franchise development. He plans and executes PR, handles the planning and purchasing, as well as tracking the return on investment, for all advertising initiatives tied to franchise development. James teaches franchisors how to manage the results by the numbers and the quality of franchisees.
Once the sale is complete, James develops key partner programs for site selection and the construction process to ensure a strong launch of the franchisees he brings on board. These partnerships ensure the fastest sale-tomarket ratios, further improving the brand strength of his clients.
James is a student of his craft, in both franchising and small business. He has appeared in almost every major franchise, restaurant and development publication and most major newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to the Boston Globe.
James has earned a reputation among franchisors for implementing strategic grassroots programs that yield validated results. He has received numerous accolades and awards over his last 24 years of service in the franchising world but he is most proud of the validated results that he has achieved in the quality of franchise growth that franchisors have experienced with his help. He has shared his knowledge and expertise as a consultant to both new and mature franchisors throughout the country, and has been a guest speaker on franchising and business success, covering such topics as “The Power of Franchising,” “The Keys to Success in Business” and “Winning the Battle at Every Corner.”
Most of all, his passion lies in working with smaller to medium size franchisors who are ready to grow their brands to the next level – in the right way. In James’ own words, “There are brands that need C-level expertise but cannot afford it full time. I’m excited to be able to offer these brands a program that provides the professional expertise they need but within a budget they can afford. This can really move the needle and I’m so excited to be a part of that happening.”
Christopher Shane Hendricks
District Manager & Franchise Support
Chris has been in some form of management for the past eight years. He started as an Assistant Manager with Vapor Galleria in 2013 and is now the District Manager of all corporate stores. He also oversees all Franchise stores with regards to sales and technical support. Prior to that he managed the second largest aftermarket auto parts retailer in the US, Auto Lighthouse.
Chris is a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington where he received his Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Management including Latin Honors. In his spare time Chris is an avid gamer, hunter, and kayaker. He prides himself on being knowledgeable at anything he sets his mind to. This is especially true of his newest hobby – vaping. He has taken that love of vaping and applied it to his career. Chris’ areas of responsibility include franchise support, IT support (computer, POS, etc.), Operations Support (store setups, managerial policies and procedures) and R & D Support (product testing).
Charles is the former VP of Franchise Sales for Marblelife Inc. He managed all their leads and franchise sales in the US, plus international sales. While at Marblelife he helped move the business from Detroit to Dallas Fort Worth; opened Marblelife in Japan and several other international locations while pushing franchise sales in the USA. He is the former CEO and founder of the Swirl Brand of Frozen Fruit Drinks and Smoothies. He developed a model operation for three years and then sold 39 distributorships throughout the USA. He sold that business to investors in July 1, 2003, and has continued to support their efforts and receives royalties from their operation.
He served as Vice President of Franchise Sales and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Refinishing Systems, Inc. with The Dwyer Group. He managed and participated in sales and sales management of over 400 franchises in the US and Canada. In his last year there he served as Vice President of International Franchise Sales and traveled Europe and Australia in support of Master franchises and their franchise sales. Prior to Worldwide Refinishing, Charles owned and operated his own successful graphic design studio in Dallas, TX. In addition to his business interests, Charles is a nationally recognized professional artist.
Jennifer Howard’s career as a secretary/administrative assistant began in the mid ‘80s as a junior secretary for a downtown law firm. Jennifer learned from the very beginning of her career the value of working hard and trying your best.
Prior to coming to Vapor Galleria, Jennifer had an extensive resume including 15 years as a legal secretary, 8 years running a small family owned business with her father and husband, 2 years in education and a year in the construction industry. Jennifer’s diverse background and career experiences provide her with the work ethic and knowledge of what it takes to get the job done.
When she isn’t working, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband John, her daughter Jordan and her two miniature dachshunds Buster and Hershey. She enjoys camping, jigsaw puzzles and crafting.
Vapor Galleria Marketing
Bob Heid is the founder and managing partner at Vapor Galleria Marketing (Mailtropolis), an inbound marketing firm located in Orlando, Florida that specializes in hyperlocal marketing for national franchise organizations focused on the business to consumer market segment. In addition to Mailtropolis, which he founded in 2004, Bob currently serves on the board of four other Internet marketing related companies.
Prior to Mailtropolis, Bob served 5 years as president and CEO of psiloQuest, a venture backed semiconductor materials company, after serving as managing partner and EVP of business development for Renaissance Consulting since 1994. Mr. Heid is outgoing president of the
Executive Association of Greater Orlando, and actively participates in any charity golf event he to which he can manage to be invited. Bob is responsible for the design and implementation of all direct mail campaigns.
Vapor Galleria Marketing
For over a decade, Bruce Jordan has helped businesses develop strategic marketing solutions and achieve their long-term goals. He is currently a managing partner at Mailtropolis, an inbound marketing firm in Orlando, Florida, that specializes in hyperlocal marketing for national franchise organizations focused on the business-to-consumer market segment.
Bruce specializes in local business promotion. He accomplishes this by using search engine optimization techniques and managing social media platforms for his clients. Bruce prides himself on continuously learning and developing new online marketing strategies and staying current with market trends.
He has written several articles on internet marketing and has served as a guest speaker at several colleges and universities. Bruce has also led seminars for business owners teaching them how to market their companies online. Bruce is responsible for all web construction, content and campaigns; SEO management; social media and for driving online traffic to the franchisees’ stores and websites.