BLACK FRANCHISE OWNERS
Meet The Franchisees and Franchisors
In the world of entrepreneurship and start-ups, franchise ownership is not often mentioned. However, franchise ownership is a smart and enterprising way to gain financial independence and learn how to scale a business quickly. Black franchise owners are blazing a trail of leadership in a space where new inroads are ready to be made.
Scroll down to learn about the black franchise owners in our CareerConvos Community.
Co-Founder & Franchisor | Vibe Ride
Franchisee | Perspire Infrared Sauna
Tiffany is the Co-Founder and Franchisor of Vibe Ride, a premier in-door cycling studio. In 2019, Vibe Ride began franchising it's business model across the country. Vibe Ride currently has four locations - 3 in Atlanta and 1 in Detroit. Tiffany has always had a passion to help inspire others in their personal life and fitness journeys which has also led her to become a franchise owner of Perspire Infrared Sauna, in which she has multiple locations in the Southeast. In addition to running her businesses, McKenzie is also an attorney practicing at the international law firm of Bryan Cave, LLP’s Atlanta office. She practices in the Private Client and Fiduciary Litigation Client Services Groups advising clients in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, charitable giving and fiduciary litigation. McKenzie is an active volunteer with Dress for Success Atlanta, the Fernbank Museum and the Cobb Justice Foundation, where she takes on pro-bono cases helping victims of domestic violence. McKenzie received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida and received a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University.
SAMUEL T. JACKSON
Franchisee | Fleming's Steakhouse | Grub Burger Bar
Samuel T. Jackson is a franchise owner of multiple locations for GRUB Burger Bar. He also is a founding member of the franchise team to help expand Fleming’s Steakhouse throughout the southeast. Samuel Jackson has also built a legacy in educating generations on financial literacy as he is also the founder of the Economic Empowerment Initiative (EEI), a nonprofit dedicated to helping students and families better manage their financial resources. As part of that mission, he launched the EEI Fund to provide affordable financing and franchise development in underserved communities.
Co-Founder & Franchisor | Vibe Ride
Franchisee | Perspire Infrared Sauna
Courtney Anderson is the co-owner and co-founder of Vibe Ride, which is now a successfully franchised business throughout major metropolis in America. She took her first indoor cycling class in 2012 upon moving to Atlanta, and quickly realized there was a need to bring the city’s best instructors who play the best music to a boutique studio that was accessible to a diverse group of people, no matter their race, sexual preference, income level or fitness level. Vibe Ride currently has four locations - 3 in Atlanta and 1 in Detroit. Courtney is also a franchise owner of Perspire Infrared Sauna, which also has multiple locations in the Southeast. In addition to her franchise ownership work, Courtney is a tenured Professor of Law at Georgia State University.
Franchisee | Subway
Joe Wilson is a franchise owner of Subway where he is proud to be able to provide jobs in his community and encourage people to eat fresh. As a franchise owner, Joe is quickly learning and scaling his business to drive growth in high traffic areas and serve those who support his vision for black business owners to continue thriving. Joe is also a Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA-CREF where he provides financial planning services on a broad range of financial solutions, personalized education, counseling and advice on holdings and investments. Joe has been featured as a subject matter expert in media including The Washington Post, USA Today, Yahoo Finance and Dow Jones MoneyWatch. He lives in Sandy Springs, GA where he works and volunteers for organizations that promote financial literacy among youth. Previously, Joe has been named to the NABCAP list of Atlanta’s Top Wealth Managers in the Atlanta Business Chronicle and was honored by Atlanta Magazine as an Atlanta Five Star Wealth Manager.
Franchisee | Soccer Shots
Merging an interest in soccer, education, and business, Kareem and Erika established Soccer Shots Atlanta East in 2018 to serve budding young soccer stars on Atlanta’s East Side.
Kareem played competitive traveling soccer throughout childhood. In high school, he was selected as MVP of his soccer team and a member of the County All-Star Team. In adulthood, Kareem has served as a U7 youth soccer coach and a 1-on-1 tutor of youth soccer skills. Both Kareem and Erika are avid Atlanta United fans.
Erika has fostered a career in education as a college professor. Upon their daughter’s birth in 2017, both Erika and Kareem have become immersed in early-childhood education and providing fun experiences for their growing toddler.
Kareem and Erika also have extensive backgrounds in business. Kareem graduated from Morehouse College (BA ‘05) and Harvard Business School (MBA ‘10) where he studied both Marketing and General Management. Erika studied at University of Maryland, College Park (BS ‘07) and Northwestern University (PhD ‘14) where she studied Finance and Organizational Behavior. The couple chose Soccer Shots to be able to apply these skills to facilitate the best wide-scale soccer experience throughout DeKalb County.
ALBERT AND SHAWN WARE
Franchisee | Vibe Ride
Vibe Ride Grant Park (Atlanta) studio owners Albert and Shawn Ware, a husband and wife team from Atlanta are the first franchisees from Vibe Ride Midtown founded by Courtney Anderson, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law, and Tiffany McKenzie, a senior associate at Bryan Cave LLP. Albert Ware is a retired military veteran who is currently a diversity and equal opportunity program manager for the Department of Defense. Shawn is a breast cancer survivor who has decades of fitness experience, and holds various nutrition and group fitness certifications. Most recently, Shawn was the general manager of Riverside EpiFitness Club. Albert and Shawn regularly attended classes at Vibe Ride Midtown before striking a business partnership with Courtney and Tiffany.
Franchisee | Kumon
Crystal Lewis is a franchisee of Kumon learning centers and serves as Owner and Instructor of the Downtown Decatur location in Atlanta, Georgia. As a native of Atlanta and mother of two small children, Crystal takes pride in providing educational resources to youth in her community. Prior to becoming a franchise owner of Kumon, she was a management consultant at Slalom and Accenture. Her expertise included coaching, mentoring and leading teams of onshore, offshore, business and technical resources to drive the evolution of technical capabilities inside her clients’ organizations. Crystal has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of Florida - Warrington College Of Business and a Certificate in Financial Decision Making from the University of Chicago.
CHRIS AND NATALIE WILLIAMS
Franchisee | Primrose School
Chris and Natalie Williams are co-franchise owners of Primrose School of Atlanta Westside. As parents of preschool children, Primrose’s belief that who children become is as important as what they know resonates with us. This philosophy is at the core of Primrose’s exclusive Balanced Learning approach, which balances purposeful play with nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence, and compassion. Natalie has a law degree from Columbia Law School and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from Emory University; and Chris has a business degree from Emory University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Together, we have years of work experience solving mission critical problems for some of the largest companies in the world.
Franchisee | Kika Stretch, Atlanta
Stacy Griner is the owner and operator of Kika Stretch Studios-Atlanta. Her studio is located in the heart of Buckhead Atlanta and is the city’s local destination for relaxation and tension relief. Stacy says she was a late bloomer to making her health and wellness a priority her my life. “I like to joke and say that I didn’t sweat until I turned 40. When I decided to retire early, I didn’t really have a plan, but I knew that I wanted to help people thrive and take care of themselves in a healthy and holistic way.” She is a graduate of Menlo College with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management. Prior to opening Kika Stretch Studios-Atlanta, she spent over 20 years in the legal technology space handling e-discovery project management. (Source: voyageatl.com)