Meet The Team
William Loftus brings over 32 years of experience in executive management, operations, and the founding of advanced, innovative, software solution providers. He is a nationally recognized author, technologist, and entrepreneur.
Mr. Loftus is CEO and Managing Director of Gestalt Holdings, an angel investment firm. Recently, he was a Managing Director of Accenture, where he ran several diamond accounts, and focused on innovation. Prior to that, he was CEO of several startups, two of which he sold, and one he helped take public. He started his career working in R&D at Unisys on several contracts for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Mr. Loftus co-authored numerous papers, IEEE standards, and the best-selling textbook, Java Software Solutions, currently used in hundreds of universities worldwide to teach computer science using Java, and has been translated into Korean, Chinese, and Italian.
His distinctions include being named an IEEE Fellow, IEEE National Engineering Manager of the Year, Special Achievement Award from DARPA, E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award, St. Thomas of Villanova Alumni Medal, Walter M. Aikman Entrepreneur of the Year, recognition by the City of Philadelphia as one of the “40 most accomplished individuals under 40 years old” in 1999, among many others. His academic achievements include a BS in Computer Science and an MS in Computer Science from Villanova University.
Co-CEO and President
Ed Samane, serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in franchising and a strong background in sales, marketing, customer service management, operations, and business development.
He is recognized as an expert with a proven track record in planning, launching, and growing successful businesses and franchises nationally.
Coupled with exceptional relationship management skills, a solid background in core business functions including leadership, training and development, marketing/sales, customer service, operations, and project management, Samane is a dynamic leader and mentor who builds team cohesion and inspires individuals to strive toward higher levels of achievement.
Ed Samane is a self-confident, powerful strategist who is able to map creative business visions, transform and empower organizations with tools, technologies, and training to achieve a company’s overall objectives.
Vice President of Operations
Stuart Barnes has over a decade of experience in building, managing and operating franchise systems. Prior to entering the franchise industry, he worked in financial services for both The Vanguard Group and Transamerica Corporation. His roles at Vanguard included managing institutional 401(k) relationships and developing new mutual funds for Vanguard investors. At Transamerica, he worked in Strategic Planning and Analysis as a manager responsible for researching and identifying new industries and markets for the firms distribution finance business.
Skilled in strategic analysis, team building and business operations, Stuart’s detail-oriented approach has helped him bring visions, both his own and those of others, to fruition. Stuart holds a BA in Political Science and Economics from Principia College and an MBA from The Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Vice President of Broker Training
Dan Brunell has over 30 years of talent acquisition experience. Serving in the front line to executive management roles in the staffing industry, Dan has worked in both public and private organizations in sales, operations, and administration. He is experienced in start-up and turnaround strategies and has started multiple businesses including two home care franchises. He is President of Dearborn West, LLC – a specialized consulting firm that recruits talent for top franchise systems throughout North America.
For almost two decades, Dan has been a leader in establishing best practices and ethical guidelines for the franchise brokerage industry. He has developed franchise broker training programs for multiple broker networks and has personally trained hundreds of brokers. He has authored books on brokering and franchise selection as well. Dan is passionate about matching talent to opportunities and ensuring that every franchise broker is equipped to excel in this exciting space.
Chief Technology Officer
Alec is the founder and President of OpenGate Consulting, a Philadelphia-based IT and Management Consulting firm. With twenty-plus years of hands-on experience in operational improvements, technology implementation, project management, and strategic planning, he is adept at working with diverse groups and leading executives through challenging change initiatives.
Prior to OpenGate, Alec was VP of Product Strategy for Prescient Systems, a supply chain software company. Alec also worked as a Manager for the Business Consulting practice of Arthur Andersen with a focus on ERP and Supply Chain. Alec is a graduate of Dickinson College.
Partner and VP of Development
Jim Kelly has extensive franchise industry experience as a consultant, advisor, and mentor. Initially starting as the owner of Kelly Franchise Group, he focused on franchise development for individual franchisors. He then transitioned to lead generation working with prospective franchise owners before becoming a franchise consultant personally. As a consultant, he quickly saw the opportunity to start a new company focused on predictive analytics, data, and AI learning to help not only franchisors but also prospective franchise owners make the best decisions possible on starting a business. He is leading the Franchise Development and Sales teams to always be evolving and innovative for the FranSave consultants and clients.
Before entering the franchise space, he had his own Executive Recruiting company focusing on sales and management positions nationwide. As well as several software sales positions with companies in the Staffing and Recruiting industry.
In addition to FranSave, Jim is also a Chicago Firefighter/EMT and USMC Veteran. As a Marine, he served in Iraq from 2007-2008 with the 2nd Battalion 24th Marines out of Chicago and the Midwestern United States.
Doug is the CEO of Rhino 7 Franchise development. He has successfully grown franchisors in many types of industries. He is an expert in franchise sales and working with franchise broker networks. He acts as a strategic advisor to FranSave. Assuring that FranSave follows the best practices in franchise consulting and recruiting.