Stars of Franchising Podcast

Stars of Franchising Podcast logo

Stars of Franchising

Stories of Inspiration & Entrepreneurial Grit

Presented by the Tariq Farid Franchise Institute at Babson College 

“How do I find and choose the right franchise opportunity?” “How do I overcome the obstacles and bounce back from the setbacks?” “How do I achieve the scale I’m after?”  

Join hosts Ab Igram and Vini Onyemah to learn from the global pioneers, innovators, and visionaries who are realizing their entrepreneurial dreams through the franchise business model. New episodes every week. 


Listen to Ab and Vini as they dive into everything associated with entrepreneurship, franchising, and scaling with each episode.

Episode 25 Header

Episode 25

Winn Claybaugh & John Kanski of Paul Mitchell Schools & Salty Dawg Pet Salons 

“You can’t fire your way into building a better team of people. That’s why culture matters.

Our 25th episode is our hairiest yet! In 2018 they asked themselves, “Why not?” and began extending the “Be Nice” culture of Paul Mitchell Schools...

Episode 24

Episode 24

Christo Demetriades, Managing Partner at Conscious Capital Growth

“As a franchisor, you’re entrusting your franchisees to continue the growth of your brand, and putting the essence of the brand in their hands.”

A proven entrepreneur, visionary and leader, Christo Demetriades has spent 3 decades as a CEO, CFO, and COO for franchising, restaurant, entertainment, and self-care brands...


Episode 23

Gary Raphael: The Mid-Career Pivot to Franchising

“Franchising is like politics: It’s all local.”

After a 35-year career as an insurance executive, Gary Raphael found himself “on the short end of a merger” and embarked on a new entrepreneurial journey...


Episode 22

Jonathan Epstein, Planet Fitness Mega-Franchisee

“Sometimes, franchising is MORE entrepreneurial, because in the larger franchises all of the great ideas that the customers are experiencing come from the franchisees.”

Was Jonathan Epstein born to follow the franchise model to phenomenal success? With a dad who owned 37 Midas Muffler shops, it’s possible! 

Dan Bonoff

Episode 21

Restaurant Franchising 2024 Outlook with Dan Bonoff of Goode Partners

“Unit economics is what makes investing in restaurants compelling and exciting.”

Dan Bonoff, a partner at Goode Partners, has been a private equity investor with a focus on the consumer sector for nearly 20 years. During his private equity career...

Heather Elrod

Episode 20

Heather Elrod, Managing Partner at Conscious Capital Growth

“As a franchisee, you have to work ON the business as well as IN the business.”

Heather's career spans 30 years in the franchise, beauty, and wellness industries. She’s held executive positions in multi-billion dollar...

About the Hosts

Ab Igram headshot

Ab Igram MBA'96

Co-Host and Executive Director of Tariq Farid Franchise Institute

As the Executive Director of the Tariq Farid Franchise Institute at Babson College’s Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Ab pursues his lifelong passion of providing entrepreneurial leaders and companies with the tools and knowledge to create social and economic value.

“My dream for Stars of Franchising is to empower and enable current and future entrepreneurs to better understand franchising as a means to scale both as a franchisee and franchisor. I’m grateful to have built a network of proven winners and leaders in the franchise industry, and to give them this global platform to share their passion and knowledge.”

Vini Onyemah headshot

Vini Onyemah, PhD

Professor of Sales & Marketing; Chair, Marketing Division

Dr. Vincent ‘Vini' Onyemah, professor of sales and marketing at Babson College, is an international scaleup expert with decades of experience helping hundreds of companies to grow rapidly in Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and North America. Vini has studied numerous franchising models during his research, teaching, and consulting in more than thirty countries. 

“Franchising remains a formidable, diverse, and inclusive pathway to scaling entrepreneurship and producing entrepreneurs. Stars of Franchising amplifies the inspirational stories and entrepreneurial grit of franchisees and franchisors across the globe. This podcast is both a celebration and a motivation to embark on entrepreneurship.”

Production Team

Travis Gray


Caryn Sowa


Learn more about the Tariq Farid Franchise Institute