Get to Know the Apricot Lane Franchise Team

The Apricot Lane franchise family is made up of several key players, all of whom work together to create an amazing franchise opportunity! Each of the members of our franchise leadership team offers their skills and expertise to everything we do.

Meet Our Staff

Patrick Stewart

Patrick is our leader who is motivated by helping others succeed, meeting the needs of our staff, franchisees, customers, and communities. He’s an avid believer that business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. He’s an entrepreneur and a huge fan of “Test & Learn" to continually improve, and firmly believes that if you love what you’re doing and put the customer first, success will be yours.

Employed with us for: 1 year

Chris Lanning
President of Retail

Chris is highly accomplished in creating consumer winning experiences, immersing consumers in the brand, ensuring loyalty and building the brand culture through best-in-class business operations, capabilities and teams. He has held General Manager and senior leadership roles at Gap, L Brands, the Coca-Cola Company, DSW, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret Stores. He also founded CTL Retail Partners LLC, a retail and consumer products consulting practice, providing expertise and thought leadership for clients. His insights have been featured in various retail and consumer publications such as WWD and Chain Store Age.

Read more about Chris 

Ken Petersen

Ken is our dreamer of great dreams and continual cheerleader as he understands the strength that comes in numbers, drawing us together to make positive distinctions in our lives.

Fashion Fact: If Ken likes something….we don’t order it. If he doesn’t like something, we order a ton of it!

Employed with us for: 27 years

Scott Jacobs
Executive Vice President

As one of our founding partners, Scott keeps our "ship" sailing makingsure we are on the right course with the latest technology and tools in tech support, communications, e-commerce, marketing, and training.

Fashion Fact: Favorite color is orange, belt should match the shoes.

Employed with us for: 26 years

Gretchen Dennis
Office Manager

As Office Manager, Gretchen keeps the office running smoothly with shipping, supplies, calendar maintenance, and facilities. She assists the Operations Department with monthly reports and gentle reminders to all. She is also the Distribution Manager for 3Strands and as such handles customer service and order fulfillment.

Fashion Fact: Gretchen LOVES handbags and has been known to change bags even twice a week!

Employed with us for: 18 years

Maryann Vilas
Operations & Store Support

Maryann is the first contact of support for new stores owners. She will help with all aspects to get the store open: weekly calls, all training, and store set up. She is there to answer any question or to get the answer for you.

Fashion Fact: Maryann is a classic. If it is navy blue with gold buttons, she will wear it.

Employed with us for: 22 years

Melinda Liming

Melinda has many years of retail experience spanning operations, buying, training, and merchandising. She works closely with new franchisees from the beginning of their new store process and building their dream store to continuing to find "best practices" in all aspects of their business.

Fashion Fact: Melinda has a denim addiction, owning 100+ pairs at any given moment.

Employed with us for: 17 years

Terry Odneal
VP & Director - Franchise Development

Terry manages our franchise development department looking for new franchisees! His experience and knowledge about franchising will be comforting to answer all your questions.

Fashion Fact: Terry pretty much only wears Khaki pants, because “they go with everything”.

Employed with us for: 22 years

Ellen Odren
Merchandising & Support Manager

With many years in the retail industry and a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Ellen is passionate about helping franchisees develop their stores from a blank slate to their Boutique vision. Ellen is able to set the scene from opening day and with her firsthand experience as a boutique owner, she helps keep store owners on track to reach their goals of operating a successful business.

Fashion Fact: Ellen’s passion for fashion translates to home. She is a reclaimed fanatic who repurposes items to create new pieces.

Employed with us for: 3 year

Shari Papadopoulos
Graphic Designer

When you have a promotional idea and need it put to paper visually, Shari can help you out. As our graphic designer, she is an essential team member of the marketing department in creating elements for the stores to use in promoting their business to their customers.

Fashion Fact: Though Shari would live in her flip flops all year round, according to her teenage daughter, she rocks "the Mom skinny jeans.”

Employed with us for: 2 years

Crystal Baker

Crystal keeps count of everything in our business. Her attention to detail and payment deadlines are her specialty, you could say she is the ultimate bean counter.

Employed with us for: 20 years

Rosemarie Ursua
Buyer & Store Support

Rosemarie has tons of retail and buying experience both in stores and on the vendor side. Rosemarie will assist you in putting together a great assortment for you store that will delight you and your customers!

Fashion Fact: Her go-to everyday is mascara, lipgloss, and hoop earrings. She’s most comfortable in jeans, heels/wedge, and tee.

Employed with us for: 2 years

Meet Our Service Providers

Scott Maher

For a high performance POS system, there is no better company to provide the software & tech support headed by Scott Maher. Easy to use with powerful and custom online reporting, POSIM helps provide our stores with the reliable tools we expect for our franchise system and employees.

Providing service for: 26 years

Colin H. Klos
AIA, ALA/MBA Architect

For construction management, MBA provides all the tools necessary to build our Apricot Lane Boutiques to spec. With all the parties involved in construction and their numerous needs and deadlines, Colin makes the journey more enjoyable and certainly memorable.

Providing service for: 5 years

Sherri Fishman
President/Fishman PR

Fishman PR has a seasoned team of media relations specialists that have built a network of media contacts around the country. They leverage those relationships to secure coverage for the Apricot Lane owner in print, online and broadcast outlets. They have proprietary strategy that integrates PR, content marketing and advertising to read customers on a specific, targeted area. Their proven formula gets new franchisees off the ground running with the media coverage for their new business.

Providing service for: 1 year

Cory Boatman
Project Manager/Ace Sign Company

For superior exterior branding, Apricot Lane Boutiques count on Cory and his team of signage production professionals. They provide the precise requirements demanded by the developers of each franchise location.

Providing service for: 8 years

Michelle Newbury
A Closer Look

Honored as an ELITE Company within the mystery shopping industry, A-Closer-Look has over 20 years of experience providing focused consumer insights needed to keep your business flourishing. While many Mystery Shopping companies allow anyone with a computer to become a shopper, A-Closer-Look is high selective with their evaluators to ensure they are prepared to gather information critical to your operational success. They secret shop EVERY Apricot Lane Boutique, and provide the owner with reports that are both smart and powerfully illuminating. 

Providing service for: 5 years

Peter F Travers
Comprehensive Loyalty, Inc.

Comprehensive Loyalty is key to helping every prospective new Apricot Lane Boutique owners to put their new store in an optimal location. They are experts in site location and sales forecasting for retail. Their team has deep experience, top-notch analytic skills and strategic relationships with cutting easy companies like Experian, Strategy, and Site perfect Research, bringing them together under one system to properly address the sales potential of each unique retail location using an analytics model developed exclusively for Apricot Lane.

Providing service for: 6 years

Steve Galligan
Co-Founder & CEO/IDS

Integrated Retail Strategies (IDS) helps Apricot Lane Boutique owners drive traffic to their store, attract new and retain existing customers.  They have a team of highly skilled professionals that are experts in high ROI digital marketing including hyper-local SEO, local search automation, mobile site optimization, social media strategy, content creation, and influencer marketing.  Since the universe of social media, including bloggers and those with large and extremely engaged followings on the social networks has expanded exponentially, it’s a vital part of every boutique owner’s marketing mix..

Providing service for: 2 years

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