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Leadership

OUR

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
CEO

Patrick is our leader and his passion is helping others succeed. He is intensely focused on meeting the needs of our franchisees, customers, communities, and our staff. A retail veteran, an entrepreneur, and a huge fan of Test & Learn to continually improve, he’s an avid believer that you should pursue your dreams. He is often heard saying, “If you love what you’re doing and put the customer first, success will follow.”

Chris Lanning
President of Retail

Chris is highly accomplished in creating consumer winning experiences, immersing consumers in the brand, ensuring loyalty. Ultimately focused on building Franchise capabilities through best-in-class Merchandising, Retail Operations and teams. He has held General Manager and senior leadership roles at Gap, Inc, The Coca-Cola Company, DSW, Inc and L Brands. He also founded CTL Retail Partners LLC, a retail and consumer products consulting practice, providing expertise and thought leadership for retail clients.

Ken Petersen
Founder

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. He is also the founder of 3 Strands, dedicated to the fight againt human trafficking and providing employment for at-risk individuals.

Scott Jacobs
Executive Vice President

As one of our founding partners with more than 25 years of franchise experience, Scott makes sure we are on the right course providing franchisees with the latest technology and tools in marketing, communications, technical support, and e-commerce.

Terry Odneal
VP & Director - Franchise Development

Terry manages our development department looking for new franchisees, helping us gain the strengths that scale offers. His 20+ years of experience and knowledge about franchising will be comforting to answer all your questions.

Darcie Reeping
Director of Merchandising

Darcie is our Director of Merchandising who has a robust retail background from department stores, discounters, and specialty retail. Her insights provide an understanding for how the customer shops and builds her wardrobe. Her passion is for the product and architecting the right balance of fashionable merchandise layered with new trends for the season. Meeting Brands and Owners from all over the country is one of her favorite things about this business.


Melinda Liming
Director of Retail Operations

Melinda has 20+ 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.

Maryann Vilas
Retail Operations Manager

Maryann is the first contact of support for our new store owners, and with more than 20 years of experience is ready to help with all aspects to get your new store designed, constructed and open: Weekly calls, training, store set up and more! She is there to answer any questions or to get the answer for you.

Maureen Coyan
Manager of Training

With over 2 decades of experience in retail store sales and operations, Maureen supports the training needs of our store owners. From onboarding new franchisees to providing tools that support continued growth and development of owners and their staff.

Passionate about helping others meet their full potential, Maureen is here to assist in learning the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful Apricot Lane Boutique owner.

Ellen Odren
Visual Merchandising Manager

With a degree in Fashion Merchandising and years of retail experience, Ellen uses her passion to help franchisees develop their store from a blank slate to their Boutique vision. She sets the scene from opening day and helps keep store owners on track to reach their goals of operating a successful business.

Rosemarie Ursua
Merchandise Manager

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

Weslee Courtwright
Merchandise Coordinator

Weslee is focused on product, product and product!  From LA to NYC, she is on top of all the latest trends and emerging brands, frequently visiting our most popular vendors to see their newest creations and then providing our owners instant visibility to merchandise that supports the curated selection in each owner’s boutique.

Jillian Fittipaldi
Retail Operations Coordinator

After gaining years of retail experience including managing Wet Seal, B.Moss, and several Apricot Lane stores in Pennsylvania, Jill joined our HQ team in 2018 to help with in-store training, ops and social media which evolved into her current role. JIll’s life revolves around fashion and she currently has 3 closets filled with Apricot Lane clothing!

Hailey Buice
Social Media Manager

Before becoming our Social Media Manager, Hailey was instrumental in the success of Apricot Lane Boutique in Waco, TX as their social manager. She now trains and consults with all our franchisees, applying a hands-on approach to social strategies, best-practices and execution that drives brand awareness, engagement and customer traffic into the store.

Shari Papadopoulos
Graphic Designer

When you have a promotional idea and want it to come to life, Shari can help. As our graphic designer, she is adept at creating every type of marketing element for our store owners to use in promoting their business to their customers.

Crystal Baker
Accounting

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.

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.


Meet Our Service Providers

Scott Maher
CEO/POSIM

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

Dan Fronk
Dancor Solutions, Inc.

In order for our franchise system to have direct access to the latest Apricot Lane resources 24/7, we turned to Dancor Solutions, Inc. to create a custom “intranet” website. This secure website enables our franchisees, managers & staff to easily access the latest programs, information, training, resources and materials from each department at headquarters. This includes seasonal marketing campaigns, workshops, webinars, training videos, info links and even the latest lifestyle photos from our vendors to use for social postings.

With clients such as Macy’s, Express and Ann Taylor, Dancor plays an important role in making sure the latest tools and information are available to assist with the success of Apricot Lane Boutique's retail business.

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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