Our Team

CORPORATE TEAM

Tim Gannon
LLOYD SUGARMAN
Chief Executive Officer

Lloyd Sugarman, who has been called the “Franchise Whisperer” for his ability to recognize fun and interesting concepts early on and help them reach full marketplace potential, brings a wealth of retail merchandising, restaurant operations and franchising experience to Soupman.  As a co-founder of Johnny Rockets, Sugarman was one of the first to sign on when the restaurant chain started franchising in 1986.  Because of his success as a multi-unit franchise operator, Lloyd was asked to join the corporate team of Johnny Rockets to help the company duplicate his success throughout the franchise system. He then went on to open additional Johnny Rockets restaurants with his son, which, today continue to be among the chain’s highest-grossing locations. As a creative innovator and forward thinker, Lloyd is credited with introducing dancing servers, food court restaurant locations and a meatless hamburger that revolutionized the Johnny Rockets brand.

In 2010, seeing tremendous potential with the Original SoupMan brand, Sugarman became an Area Developer, opening multiple Original SoupMan franchises across the country.  Lloyd was the brains behind the creation of the Al’s New York Delicatessen & Restaurant concept, which features the world renowned Original SoupMan soups and a full authentic NY delicatessen menu.

Lloyd has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career for his entrepreneurial achievements, including the Lifetime Achievement Award in his native Cranston, RI. He has received numerous highest sales volume awards from Johnny Rockets corporate and was named Franchisee of the Month in 2012 by Restaurant Business magazine.  He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hamilton School in Rhode Island for his dedication to working with and improving the quality of life for children with learning disabilities.  With “Quality of Food Worth Serving” as a mantra, Lloyd takes pride in winning the best hamburger in the market for eight years in a row in Providence, RI, and says his major attraction to Original SoupMan was the delicious, quality soup products. Lloyd also serves on the Advisory Board for the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference.

Lloyd’s pastimes include high-speed boating, waterskiing and a passion for finding and developing fun and interesting business ventures. He enjoys spending time with his wife Rhonda, and their two children, Dana, and Jason.

Tim Gannon
TIM GANNON
Culinary & Business Development, Co-founder Outback Steakhouse

Tim Gannon, Co-Founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. is an extremely successful businessman, great sportsman and a staunch polo sponsor. He is the creator of the “Bloomin’ Onion” recipe, and many of the other dishes on Outback’s menu.

An alumnus of Florida State University, he studied art history and dreamed of being a museum curator which took him to Florence, Italy, where he became a tour guide for an art gallery. He then went to Aspen, Colorado where he developed his passion for food and cooking. The French chef at the Four Seasons Hotel had offered to train him to be his assistant.

Over the next 14 years he worked at Steak & Ale for Norman Brinker, and then Al Copeland hired Tim to help operate his Copeland’s Cajun Cafe’ in New Orleans. In 1987 Tim sold his saddle for $250.00 and arrived in Tampa with $37.00 in his pocket when Bob Basham and Chris Sullivan asked him to become their partner and launch a new restaurant concept that became known as Outback Steakhouse.

In 1994, Inc. Magazine named Tim Gannon Entrepreneur of the Year. In 1999, The Florida Restaurant Association honored him with its “Lifetime Achievement Award”. In the year 2000, Tim received an honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University. He is also a member of the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame. In 2009 he was inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame along with his partners Chris Sullivan and Bob Basham. In 2011 he launched “Kettle Comfort, Cooking for America” based in West Palm Beach which is Chef inspired food that will be delivered to thousands of hungry or nutrition deprived people each day.

His favorite past time is playing polo of which he had his own team, Outback Polo. Since 1992 he has been an active polo player and one of the greatest sponsors of the game. In 2001 Outback Polo won their third US Open in a row, which no other polo team has ever done. Tim Gannon also led his team in being the first team ever to hold five US championships (1995, 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2001). He has played high goal polo in the U.S., England, Spain, Argentina, Dubai and Uruguay. In 1999, he received the USPA Sponsor of the Year award for his contribution to polo.

His other passion is his family; wife, Christie, and five children, Christopher, Kathleen, Blake, Bettina and JT.

ROBERT BERTRAND
PRESIDENT, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Bob is responsible for all financial and administrative functions of our company, and benefits from having held this same position at Soup Kitchen International since 2004. With 33 years of financial and operations experience, Bob brings well-honed fiscal and management disciplines to our organization. For two prior years, he was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of a startup manufacturer of healthy, indulgent chocolate products sold under the brand name of “SOBE.”

From 2000 to 2002, Bob was a partner in Bullard Financial, Inc. a firm specializing in strategic financial planning for small businesses, their owners, and their officers. Mr. Bertrand spent 20 years with two publicly traded companies, Industrial Acoustics Company, Inc. (from 1990 to 2000) and Bairnco Corporation (from 1980 to 1990), starting as accounting manager and ultimately ending up as CFO and Senior Vice-President of Finance and Administration. He started his professional career in 1977 with Singer & Lusardi, a well-respected, independent CPA firm located in Worcester, Massachusetts. Mr. Bertrand holds a BS in Accounting from Northeastern University and a Masters from Columbia University.

SEB RAMETTA
FOUNDER, MEMBER of the board of directors

Mr. Rametta is founder and member of the Board of Directors of our subsidiary, The Original SoupMan, Inc. Mr. Rametta is responsible for the executive management of our subsidiary, focusing on strategic relationships, driving sales and distribution. He served as the Executive Vice President and a director of Soup Kitchen International from January 2005 to December 2009. Since 2002 he has been a director and officer of International Gourmet Soups, Inc., which became our wholly owned subsidiary of OSM in December 2009. Mr. Rametta is a veteran of the food service industry, with more than 25 years of experience in franchising, food manufacturing, and the retail food industry. In 1991, Mr. Rametta co-founded Arnie’s Bagelicious Bagels, Inc., a wholesale manufacturer of all-natural premium, par-baked authentic New York bagels. Arnie’s major customers included McDonald’s, Disney World, Dunkin’ Donuts, Roy Rogers, Friendly’s, A&P Supermarkets, King’s Supermarkets, and other major national chains. The business was sold to Quaker Oats in 1994. Mr. Rametta then acquired a significant stake in Ranch*1 Group, Inc., a New York City-based grilled-chicken franchise company. From 1996 until June 2001 Mr. Rametta was a director of Ranch *1 and from March 1999 until June 2001 he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Ranch *1.

Daniel Rubano, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development, The Original Soupman
DANIEL RUBANO
Senior Vice President of Franchise Development & Operations, Member of board of directors

Dan has over 25 years of leadership experience in franchising and restaurant management. He has served as president of Ranch*1, a grilled chicken franchise, after a successful period – from 1996 through 2001 – as their Director of Franchise Operations.

Dan also served President of Johnny’s NY Pizza, a full service restaurant franchise; and President of Rollerz Wraps, a quick service salad and wrap franchise, all of whom were owned by Kahala Corporation. Kahala is the franchisor of over 3,000 restaurants, including such well-known names such as Cold Stone Creamery, Ranch*1, Blimpie, and Taco Time.

Dan was also a member of Soup Kitchen International’s Board of Directors from 2003 until 2006.

SPECIAL ADVISORS

Al Yeganeh, The Soupman, The Original Soupman
AL YEGANEH
The Soupman

Al is our – and the world’s – legendary SoupMan. He has been a prominent figure in the media and popular culture for decades, inspiring catch phrases and television shows, as well as frequently appearing on news and entertainment programs himself. In his role he has overseen our production, quality control, new product and menu development, and has supported our marketing efforts. Mr. Yeganeh has more than 35 years of experience in the culinary arts and has operated the famous Soup Kitchen International in New York City since 1984.

Reggie Jackson, Special Advisor for Strategic Relationships, The Original Soupman
Reggie Jackson
Special Advisor for strategic relationships

We are proud to have one of America’s iconic athletes – known as Mr. October for his extraordinary clutch-hitting – involved with our company as an investor, as a Special Advisor for Strategic Relationships, and as a brand spokesperson. In those roles he supports our sales and marketing efforts through his involvement with important national accounts, attending grand opening events, interviews with the media, and other activities.

Reggie is also Chairman of the “Al Feeds the Hungry Foundation, Inc.” a non-profit organization launched by The Original SoupMan in 2005 that donates funds to local hunger charities each time a new franchise location opens.

Although it doesn’t need to be said, Reggie is a Hall of Fame legend who is known by all for his post-season clutch hitting. Over a 16-year stretch from 1971 to 1986, Jackson’s teams advanced to the post-season 10 times, winning five World Series titles, for the Oakland A’s and New York Yankees. He won the home run title for three different teams and produced some of the most dramatic homers in history.

Adam Hanft, Chief Brand & Marketing Strategist, The Original Soupman
BRETT SHEVACK
Chief Brand Strategist

Brett is one of the best-known and most highly regarded creative thinkers and entrepreneurs in the advertising and communications industry. He began his career as an art director right out of college and at age 26, became the youngest creative director of a major agency at that time. In 1983, he set out on his own, forming his own agency which was later renamed Partners & Shevack and grew to over $300 million in billings before it was acquired in 1998. In 2002, Brett joined BBDO NY in the newly created position of Vice Chairman, Brand Initiatives. This was a unique role for which Brett was ideally suited and a position that was unprecedented in the industry. In this role, Brett was the architect of a proprietary innovation process called Brand Initiatives Generation – a breakthrough, collaborative process designed to help clients solve their most important brand and business challenges. In January 2009, building on his success at BBDO, Brett founded Brand Initiatives Group.

Adam Hanft, Chief Brand & Marketing Strategist, The Original Soupman
KATE SHEVACK
Chief Marketing Strategist

Kate is an entrepreneurial senior strategist with exceptional brand and business skills and a proven track record in driving profitable growth through innovative business and creative marketing solutions. She has extensive consumer marketing experience, having successfully introduced and built brands within the U.S. and across Europe for Reckitt-Benckiser. In her role as Marketing V.P. of the Food Division, she led the successful repositioning of the French’s portfolio and the revitalization of 80% of the division’s product portfolio during her three-year tenure. In 2006, she joined Timex as Chief Marketing Officer, where she was charged with developing a vision and a plan to reposition the Timex brand. Kate is a change agent with strong financial acumen, always conscious of the impact of decisions on the bottom line. She is dynamic in her approach, inspiring an organization to challenge its assumptions and to translate ideas into in-market success. In 2006, Kate was acknowledged as one of the leading women in marketing with the Advertising Age ‘Women to Watch’ award.