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GT&S Franchise Executive Search

Your Source for Franchise Executive Talent

Informative Interview

About Us

GT&S Franchise Executive Search was launched in 2019 by Gary Gardner, Chairman of Franchise Update Media, Tom Portesy, President & CEO of MFV Expositions and Scott Lehr, formerly Executive Vice President with the International Franchise Association.

GT&S Franchise Executive Search was established with the mission to help franchise companies build out and grow their teams with high quality franchise executives. GT&S is exclusively focused on working with franchise companies that cross more than 100 different industry categories that use the franchise model to grow.

The three partners, Gary, Tom and Scott collectively have over ninety years of experience in franchising building relationships and connecting franchise companies with qualified franchise executives.


Sean Falk

President & COO

Sean Falk, CFE is the President & COO of GT&S Franchise Executive Search.  He formerly had the role of Client Executive/Franchise Development Leader with Hylant Insurance focusing on the franchise community.  He has served as Vice President of Franchising at SafeWay Driving and was instrumental in awarding SafeWay Driving’s Franchise business model to 21 locations in the 15 months following launch. 

Mr. Falk also has 25 years of experience as a franchisee of 7 different brands across the Midwest.  He is active with the International Franchise Association, earning his Certified Franchise Executive credentials, serving on the VetFran Committee, Franchise Forum Committee, Franchise Relations Committee and serving on the Board of Directors.  He was the Chairman of the Multi Unit Franchise Conference in 2013 and still leads as a member of their Advisory Board.  He graduated from the University of Michigan and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

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Scott Lehr

Managing Partner

Scott Lehr is the Managing Partner of GT&S Franchise Executive Search, helping franchise companies build out and grow their teams with high quality franchise executives, specializing in placing high level franchise executives including CEO, COO, EVP, VP and Director level executives ranging in scope from Franchise Sales and Development to Marketing, Operations, International and Legal. 

GT&S Franchise Executive Search was launched in 2019 by Scott and his partners, Gary Gardner, Chairman and CEO of Franchise Update Media and Tom Portesy, President of MFV Expositions.  The three partners collectively have over ninety years of experience in franchising building relationships and connecting franchise companies with qualified franchise executives.

Scott served the franchise community for 29 years in numerous positions with the International Franchise Association related to membership, marketing, advertising, international and conferences with his most recent role as Executive Vice President, Development, Marketing & Conferences where he was responsible for the recruitment and retention of franchisor, franchisee and supplier members of the IFA and overseeing the Membership, Advertising, Marketing, Conferences and International departments of the IFA.

Prior to the IFA, Scott held a number of positions in publishing, specializing in advertising and business development.

Scott is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and graduated from the United States Chamber of Commerce’s Institute of Organizational Management (IOM.

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Gary Gardner

Chairman & Co-Founder of Franchise Update Media

Partner in GT&S Franchise Executive Search

Gary Gardner is Chairman and Co-Founder of Franchise Update Media, a multi-media company that delivers unmatched reach and scale across multiple platforms. For over 30 years, Gary and his wife and partner Therese Thilgen, have influenced and motivated the largest audience of franchise professionals through their content, magazines and conferences. He has extensive strategic and tactical experience in franchise development, sales, marketing and media. Under his tenure, he has been directly involved in the development of several franchise development and educational products including: Franchise Update Magazine, Multi-Unit Franchising Magazine, Franchise Leadership & Development Conference, Franchise Consumer Marketing Conference, Multi-Unit Franchising Conference, European Master & Multi-Unit Conference,  and several digital newsletters.


Tom Portesy

President & CEO of MFV Expositions

Partner in GT&S Franchise Executive Search

Tom Portesy is President & CEO of MFV Expositions. Tom has more than 25 years of global sales and executive management experience. Tom has been president of MFV Expositions for more than fifteen years and added CEO to his title in 2009. During this time, MFV Expositions has taken on many forms, adapting to the ever-changing marketplace. Tom oversees a staff of professionals producing the three leading franchise events in the United States.  In addition, Tom is exceptionally active in many International Franchise Events operated by MFV Expositions or strategic partners. Tom is also responsible for the global network of partners involved in MFV’s emerging international online business. Working closely with the International Franchise Association and many franchise associations around the world, Tom has participated as a panelist and moderator in countless educational seminars and symposia.
Prior to joining MFV Expositions, Tom owned an advertising and PR firm and was a founder and Group VP of an instant printing franchise.

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Our Services

GT&S Franchise Executive Search works with franchisors to find and secure experienced executive talent to grow their businesses. 

We work with franchise companies to secure candidates at all levels including:




Vice President, Director or Manager of

Franchise Development

International Development





Real Estate & Construction


We can even help you secure top quality franchise experienced Board of Director positions.

Our Process

We work with you to fine tune your position description

We utilize our extensive network, connections, relationships and media power to identify and qualify the top candidates that fit your criteria

We conduct multiple phone interviews with the potential candidates to confirm qualifications and culture fit

We present you with a personalized list of qualified candidates that match your needs

We work with you to secure phone and in-person interviews with the preferred candidates

We check references on your preferred candidates and provide written feedback

We work with you to negotiate the offer with your selected candidate.

Put our cumulative 90 years of experience, contacts and relationships from Scott, Gary and Tom to work for your company and let us fill your next executive opening!

Business Research

Assisting Candidates Find The Right Opportunity

We want to talk with you about your next opportunity!