David Prokupek – Chairman
David has worked with Smashburger since it opened its second restaurant in 2007 and serves as its Chairman & CEO – the country’s fastest growing “better burger” business with over 200 restaurants around the world. Smashburger has been the recipient of numerous awards including Forbes #1 Most Promising Company, INC’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies, ICSC’s #1 Hot Concept, Fast Casual’s #1 Hot Concept and numerous “best burger” and food awards around the world. He has 20+ years of experience as CEO, investor, and board member helping build, finance, and advise high growth businesses in the consumer, retailing, financial services, and communications industries. David also serves as the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Consumer Capital Partners which provided the initial funding to start Smashburger.
Previously, David was Founder/CEO of Geronimo Partners, Chief Executive Officer of Tucker Anthony Sutro Capital Markets (which was acquired by RBC in November 2001). He was also the Founder/CEO of Nationpage, a leading wireless firm that was sold to Vanguard Cellular.
David was recently named as Fast Casual’s #1 CEO on the Top 100 Movers and Shakers list. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is involved in a number of philanthropic organizations. David received his MBA in Finance and Marketing from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and graduated with a BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin.
Rick Schaden is Founder and Chairman of Consumer Capital Partners, and is actively involved in building the firm into a nationally recognized private investment, concept development, strategic advisory and causal marketing firm.
Mr. Schaden was the founder, Chairman and majority shareholder of Quiznos from 1991 through 2006. Rick’s philanthropic activities are focused around a causal capitalism model. He and his family actively support initiatives focused on ending world poverty through Millennium Promise, CARE and UNICEF. Mr. Schaden also focuses on homelessness through America’s Road Home and similar organizations. Closer to home, he is focused on helping high-performing, low-opportunity children achieve their full potential through Smart-Girls and Kent Denver.
Mr. Schaden graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado with a degree in business management and finance. Rick’s recognitions and awards include:
- President Bill Clinton’s White House Conference on Small Business Appointee
- Stewart B. McKinney Award for advocacy on behalf of homeless Americans
- California Legislature’s Award for commitment to low-income Americans
Richard F. Schaden – Founder of Consumer Capital Partners
Richard F. Schaden is a founding partner of Consumer Capital Partners and has 30+ years of experience as a private equity investor. He and his son Rick were the co-founders of Quiznos and formerly sat on its Board of Managers. Mr. Schaden also previously served as an Area Director for several US and Foreign regions for Quiznos.
Richard is also the owner of which offers fine Italian dining in Boulder, Colorado to a loyal customer base in the Boulder-Denver area. Richard is active in overseeing the business and marketing operations of Ristorante L.
In addition to being an entrepreneur and restaurateur, Richard is an internationally renowned aviation attorney and was the founding partner of the aviation and public interest law firm of Schaden, Katzman, Lampert & McClune.
Richard holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Detroit, attended graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at Wichita State, and has a Law Degree from the University of Detroit.
Pat Meyers Chief Legal Officer, Managing Director, and Partner of Consumer Capital Partners
Patrick Meyers is a graduate of the University of Colorado (Denver) and the University of California (Hastings) School of Law. He previously served in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service.
In 1993, Pat was elected as a director for Quiznos, started the general counsels office at Quiznos in 1997, and subsequently became a minority owner of the company. Pat served at various times as the head of Quiznos Legal, Finance, Administration, IT and HR. Pat subsequently became a Partner, Managing Director and the Chief Legal Officer for Consumer Capital Partners. Pat is a trustee for the Meyers Family Foundation, and devotes time to entrepreneurial ventures through his company, PEM Enterprises. Pat also serves on the Board of Advisors for Quest Hospitality Ventures, as a trustee for the University of California (Hastings) 1066 Foundation, and the advisory board of The Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship.
Mike Fries – President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global
Mike Fries is President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Global, the second largest cable TV operator in the world with more than 27 million video, voice and data subscribers in 14 countries. Fries is a 20-year veteran in the media and communications business and is an active industry partner at the World Economic Forum and a member of Young Presidents Organization. He sits on several boards including CableLabs, the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cable Center, the Alliance for Choice in Education, and Graland Country Day School.
Brian Rainey – President of Rainey Direct, LLC
Brian Rainey is President of Rainey Direct, a consulting firm designed to support Multi Channel Merchant marketers to improve business profitability and drive customer marketing activities. Brain is the former President of Epsilon Targeting where he oversaw the operation and development of Epsilons unique data offering. Rainey has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Abacus, Director of Marketing for The Sharper Image, and list developer manager at Sara Lee. He has an unmatched track record in growing sales and transactions and maximizing efficient business practices.
Steve Schiffman – President/GM of the Networks of National Geographic
Steve Schiffman has more than 25 years of experience building global brands and businesses for diverse world-class franchises such as The Weather Channel, NASCAR and Kraft Foods. He brought his strategic vision, leadership and analytical skills to National Geographic Channels from 2002 to 2012. In February of 2012, Steve formed the Schiffman Consulting Group LLC providing clients content, marketing, digital, business development and strategic services to a wide range of companies such as A&E Networks, The Washington Post, Smashburger, Exclusive Resorts/Miraval and jawzone.com. In January of 2013, he was named as General Manager for PostTV, the ambitious online video initiative he successfully recommended to The Washington Post Executive Committee.
As Channels President from 2007-2012, Schiffman led all functions of NGC, including programming, commissioning of global content, marketing, ad sales, business affairs, development, network operations and digital media. During his tenure, NGC added two sister networks with the successful launch of Nat Geo MUNDO and Nat Geo WILD in the U.S., and has seen its momentum grow across all metrics, establishing new records for ratings and revenue, despite the economic downturn. Under his leadership, NGC’s reputation for quality was widely recognized, as exemplified by receiving the most Emmy® nominations for news and documentaries of any ad-supported cable network for five years in a row.
From 2002 to 2007, he was NGC’s executive vice president for marketing and digital media with oversight of marketing, digital media, brand management, communications, business development and research. In that role, he was in charge of consumer and trade strategies, as well as expanding the network across emerging digital platforms. In 2006, he concurrently served as interim chief marketing officer for sister company TV Guide/Gemstar, where he oversaw marketing and branding for all TV Guide properties, including the magazine, channel and website.
Within the media industry, Schiffman is widely respected and actively involved, having served on the Advisory Board for the Real Screen conference and Programmer Committee for National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), which named him to the prestigious Executive Programming Committee, together with cable leaders from ESPN, FOX and others. He was selected for the Cable Center’s Mavericks Lecture series and frequently hosts local WICT events. Schiffman also serves on the Executive Committee for the Cable & Telecommunications Association (CTAM) as secretary/treasurer and on the Marketing Committee for the U.S. Golf Association (USGA). In 2012 he was named as the first board member of jawzone.com, a new social media property focused on sports conversation, discussion and debate.
Beginning in 1998, Schiffman was executive vice president of marketing for The Weather Channel, where he led efforts to reposition and expand the network’s brand. He served the prior two years as vice president of strategic marketing at NASCAR, where he also spearheaded broadcast and corporate partnerships/sales. From 1989 to 1997, Schiffman was at Kraft Foods, where he led the Kraft Singles business, the largest brand at Kraft.
Schiffman started his career as an account executive at Ketchum/Mandabach & Simms. He earned his M.B.A. at the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He also has a bachelor of business administration – marketing from the University of Massachusetts School of Management at Amherst.
Schiffman resides in Maryland with his wife Sue and two daughters, Rebecca and Julia.
Andy Lee – General Counsel to RFSI Investments (“RFSI”)
Andy Lee is General Counsel of RFSI. RFSI and its related companies are generally focused on businesses in the food and services industry as well as emerging technology companies. The RFSI related companies in the food and service industry include smashburger and Ristorante L. Its related companies in the emerging technology area include Beyond The Edge, Escape Dynamics, and LabWorks. Andy serves in the capacity as Officer, Manager, General Counsel, Board Member, and/or Advisory Board Member on many of the RFSI related companies, including Escape Dynamics, where Andy serves as President.
David Robertson – CEO and Chief Investment Officer of FrontRange Capital Partners, LLC
David Robertson is CEO and Chief Investment Officer of FrontRange Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in real estate and high-growth, high cash flow businesses. Mr. Robertson has 20 years of investment and operating experience, and has completed more than $15 billion of investments, transactions and financings during his career. At FrontRange, he is responsible for the firm’s investment strategy and chairs its investment committee. Prior to FrontRange, David served as Co-President, Chief Investment Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Apartment Investment and Management Company (“AIMCO”), an S&P 500 company and one of the largest publicly-traded apartment REITs. He currently serves on the boards of Cottonwood Residential, Robeks Corporation and YPO International
Aaron Dignan – Chief Executive Officer of Undercurrent
Aaron Dignan is the CEO of the digital strategy firm Undercurrent, where he advises global brands and complex organizations like General Electric, Ford Motor Company, American Express, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum on their future in an increasingly technophilic world. Dignan has developed much of the process and theory that drives the company’s consulting practice, and an approach to company culture that is highly regarded across the industry. He is also the author of Game Frame: Using Games as a Strategy for Success, published by Free Press in 2011.
Michael J. Nolan – Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer of Bloomin Brands Inc.
Michael J. Nolan currently serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer for Bloomin Brands Inc., a multi-concept dinnerhouse company operating 5 unique brands, 1,500 locations, in 24 different countries. Prior to that Mr. Nolan served as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Panera from August 2001 to May 2012. From December 1997 to March 2001, Mr. Nolan served as Executive Vice President & Director for John Harvard’s Brew House, L.L.C. and Senior Vice President, Development for American Hospitality Concepts, Inc. From March 1996 to December 1997, Mr. Nolan was Vice President of Real Estate & Development for Apple South Incorporated and from July 1989 to March 1996, Mr. Nolan was Vice President of Real Estate and Development for Morrison Restaurants Inc. Prior to 1989, Mr. Nolan served in various real estate and development capacities for Cardinal Industries, Inc. and Nolan Development and Investment. Mr Nolan earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1982, and earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Alabama in 1997.