Big Sky Franchise Team
Our leadership has been helping owners franchise their businesses for more than 15 years. We believe WHY we do business is just as important as HOW and WHAT we do.
Our WHY is our purpose which is to: Inspire and Foster Greatness.
What this means is that we believe that every person has the ability to be great. Each of us has our own unique qualities, talents, skillset, and perspective and we should each be striving to maximize our ability each and every day. This is why we created Big Sky Franchise Team. To help entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and business leaders be their best by growing and expanding through franchising. As a result of our focus, effort, and determination we have won some recent awards and recognition, including the Best Franchise Consultancy in the USA in 2018 and 2019.
Awards & Associations
We have three values that guide everything we do. From our Client’s, Staff, Consultants, and Suppliers, we try to live and work by these three ideals:
We believe that we do business with people first and we have to go into our relationship together asking how we can serve and support you first.
We strive to be professional in all we do, from the small things, to the big things, and everything in between. Most notably, we won’t stop until we get it right.
We are always looking for new ways to improve and innovate to provide better service and support.
Tom DuFore is the CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team, where he is responsible for the company strategy, vision, and growth. In his role, he also supports and consults with Big Sky Franchise Team’s Clients on their expansion and franchise efforts.
Tom’s depth and breadth of experience is expansive having personally consulted with and advised hundreds of businesses ranging from the start-ups to some of the largest companies in the world. Some of those companies include: Jamba Juice, Two Men & A Truck, Massage Envy, Ford, The Bimbo Group, Berlitz, Blimpie, L.A. Insurance, Matco Tools, Spherion Staffing, Criterium Engineers and many others. Tom has also led Big Sky Franchise Team to be an award-winning and nationally recognized company by receiving the ‘Best Franchise Consultancy in the USA’ award, a ‘Top 100 Small Business’ in the United States award, and as being recognized as a ’50 Most Innovative Companies to Watch’ award.
Tom is unique in franchising in that he has the “Franchise Trifecta” having been a franchisee, a franchisor, and a franchise supplier. As a franchisee, he led his company to be recognized as the #5 restoration contractor in the state of Georgia as well as one of his amazing team members receiving the Office Professional of the Year Award from the franchisor.
Prior to starting Big Sky Franchise Team, Tom spent more than 10 years as a Franchise Consultant working for multiple consulting companies. He also served as the Vice President of National Business & Franchise Development for the Rabine Group, a National Facilities Maintenance Construction Company with 15 business units. In his role he oversaw companywide Sales, Marketing, and National Expansion initiatives, helping the company expand from $125 million to $185 million in annual revenue in just 2 years. He helped the company become regionally and nationally recognized three consecutive years as a Crain’s Fast 50 Company, and an Inc. Magazine 500|5000 Fastest Growing Company in the United States. Tom has been a guest speaker at the International Franchise Expo, International Food Service Show, Franchise Expo South, a presenter for S.C.O.R.E., the BOSS Doctors Conference, and many other conferences and educational settings. Tom has led multiple companies, including Big Sky Franchise Team, to be nationally and/or regionally recognized in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Tom believes strongly in giving back as well. He ensures that Big Sky Franchise Team donates a percentage of its revenue to charity every month. He donates his time by actively participating and supporting the FranPAC which works to protect the integrity of franchising for both franchisees and franchisors on a local and national level. Previously served on the Alumni Board of Elmhurst College and on the Board for the Schaumburg Business Association.
Mr. DuFore holds a B.S. Degree in Management from Elmhurst College, and an M.B.A. degree from DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. He will begin the pursuit of his doctorate degree in business management in early 2020.
David T. Smith
Strategic Planning & Leadership Consultant
David has enjoyed a progressive career in franchising that includes respected companies such as the Honey Baked Ham Company, Heavenly Ham, Rising Roll Gourmet and most recently Global Franchise Group, where as Vice President and Brand Director he led their 300+ unit Pretzelmaker brand through a turnaround strategy that resulted in its highest sales growth and EBITDA return in almost a decade. David excels at strategic and annual business planning, concept and product development, operational enhancements, and building high performing brand teams that deliver financial results. David has performed in entrepreneurial settings as an investor, leading two brands from start up through successful sale and substantial ROI. Additionally, David has navigated brand growth in large company environments and has successfully led brands through private equity relationships. David lives in the Atlanta, Georgia
Mr. Arnet brings three decades of experience in franchising and marketing to the Big Sky Franchise Team. Brian spent 16 years with United Airlines as an International Franchise Relations Manager and Marketing Manager. It was there that he led and helped pioneer the United Vacations program. He traveled the world extensively working with both domestic and international franchisees/licensees that were utilizing the United brand. Brian has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Eastern Illinois University and earned his MBA from Roosevelt University.
Delasi Agbotui bring years of experience in the health, wellness, and medical fields. She has over 10 + years in clinical, medical and administrative support in various health care settings such as hospitals, home health and wellness centers. She has spent the last couple of years managing Medicare compliance and regulation documents, participating in strategic planning with Business development teams and managing sales organizations in improving quality of care. Ms. Agbotui has worked with franchise Synergy Homecare and many other franchise companies. She has consulted with hundreds of companies through the franchising process during her career. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration and Management and is currently pursing advanced degrees.
Salvador has been an entrepreneur, sales specialist, and a consultant for more than twenty years. Salvador started his first business while still in college and, over the next few years, he has built several other businesses, including a printing shop, a chain of English schools, and most recently a food-related business providing micro-filtration of cooking oil and related services to the food industry.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Salvador has ample experience in building and running sales organizations and in implementing marketing and operations strategies. At one point, Salvador built and implemented a sales strategy while working for McCain Foods and help them increase sales from practically zero to over USD$20 million, in just one year. Lastly, Salvador has worked and consulted for small, medium, and large food corporate clients, such as McDonald´s, Burger King, Wendy´s, Carl´s Jr, Domino’s Pizza, Walmart, Sam´s Club, TGI Friday´s, Chili´s, etc; in Mexico, Central, South America and the U.S. Salvador has recently moved to the U.S and he is now sharing his experience and ideas to companies in the food industry. Salvador holds a Law Degree and earned his MBA from UVM Monterrey School of Business.
Videographer & Editor
A graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Film/Video, TJ Cencula's passion for content creation led him to Hollywood, CA where he wrote, directed, and performed for film, television, live events, and new media. Back in his hometown of Chicago, TJ continues to produce his own new media content, as well as providing editing and post-production services.
Ms. DuFore works as the Project Manager helping keep client projects on track. She previously worked in Student Affairs at a private liberal arts college, organizing large-scale events for the undergraduate and graduate student population. Recently, she organically grew a social media following for a small business to nearly 30,000 members in just two years, and runs several private groups which focus on personal development, personal finance, planning, and organization. Ms. DuFore holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration and Economics and earned her MBA from North Central College. She has completed additional graduate coursework at Loyola University Chicago.
Web Design and Internet Marketing
Lloyd George, Jr. is a strategic partner with Big Sky Franchise Team. He is the founder and President of Big Loop Marketing, which focuses on internet marketing, web design, and other digital media strategies. Lloyd currently works with Big Sky Franchise Team and its clients with their various digital marketing needs. Lloyd began his career in the finance industry and eventually realized his passion was helping businesses and business owners with their digital marketing and creative needs.
Business Expansion Consultant
Don cut his teeth in the EOEM industry working for and servicing some of the top companies in the world. Don held positions including sales, marketing, advertising, engineering, & shop floor control. This varied & rich upbringing allowed him to open his own advertising business whose clients included some these same world leading companies.
The crash of market conditions at the end of the first decade of the 21st century opened new doors of opportunity in the business brokerage market. Don’s many skills and business knowledge are a big benefit to clients in what he terms, Business Ownership Entrance & Exit Strategies.”
“The alliance with Tom & the Big Sky Franchise Team has been a blessing through the expansion of capabilities with the very talented individuals in the organization.”
Client Development Manager
Joseph Lambraia is the Client Development Manager with Big Sky Franchise Team. In his critical role, he is responsible for helping guide business owners and business leaders through the initial steps of franchising their business. He is also responsible for working with Big Sky Franchise Team’s clients in helping them find, screen, and qualify prospective franchisees. Prior to joining the Big Sky Franchise Team, Joseph has a background in sales and marketing having been a top performer his entire career. He started early, by helping his family business grow from a local company into an international learning and training organization. He has also worked with international mid-sized marketing and technology company based in the Atlanta area. Joseph earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Kennesaw State University. He currently resides in the Atlanta area.
Digital Marketing Manager
New York, NY
Alex Voskoboinik is our Digital Marketing Manager and Online Strategic Analyst. With more than 10 years of experience in online marketing, Alex is in charge for all our online marketing operations and logistics, websites administration and database management.
Dekotah Lego is a multi-faceted cross functional professional bringing the creative side of having a BA in graphic design and the strategic and business mind from earning her MBA. She has been designing professionally for a wide range of clients and business types since 2011 and loves the great joy she has found in helping support her clients. Dekotah is also an experienced copy writer including a stint as a staff writer for The Navigator at her alma mater. She is excited to say that she has been part of the Big Sky Franchise Team from the beginning and can’t wait to help her next client!
Marketing & Communications
As a marketing manager for 10 years, Voloria has developed some cool concepts and great writing for corporate, real estate and non-profit organizations in the metro Atlanta area. Her background began in Journalism which later flourished into PR and Marketing. When she isn’t busy writing, she enjoys the outdoors, long naps and true crime documentaries.
Rachael is a creative professional having earned her Bachelors of Arts in Graphic Design in 2014. She has been designing for a wide range of clients and businesses, locally and nationwide, since 2012. Her ultimate goal is creating a visual solution for her clients and takes great pride when client success is achieved. Rachael is excited to be a part of the great team at Big Sky Franchise and can’t wait to get started on her next project!
Fort Collins, CO
Leslie is a passionate franchise consultant who is inspired by helping others realize their dreams. She has over 20 years of Human Resource Management experience along with over 13 years experience as a franchise owner and franchise consultant. She holds a BA in Journalism and an MS in Human Resource Management. She lives in Fort Collins, Co. with her two teenage children who are very active in multiple sports. Leslie is the author of “A Roadmap to Success: Interviews with Successful Franchisees”.
Copy Writer and Editor
Sarah Watts is an accomplished blogger, content writer, and journalist who lives and works in the Chicago suburbs. Sarah brings experience and recognition to the Big Sky Franchise team, as the 2008 National Finalist for Column Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and as a 2015 BlogHer Voices of the Year Honoree. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, The New York Times, Salon, Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic, and many others. When she’s not buried in work, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.
Christine E. Wilson
Christine has been in the franchise world since 2010. She has performed many different tasks in franchising, such as sales & marketing and writing operations manuals for developing new franchises. She has sold about 100 franchises and has written about 200 franchise operations manuals to date. She comes out of a teaching and publishing background. She loves to write and to edit and is founder/CEO of a small literary agent business. She also founded and ran her own publishing-services business for a number of years in working with authors of textbook manuscripts, primarily in foreign languages, to bring them to fruition. She speaks, reads, and writes French and Spanish. Her education includes a B.A., M.A., and most of the coursework for a Ph.D. She has been an entrepreneur for a long time and now works as an independent contractor primarily in the franchise world.
Oklahoma City, OK
Evonne Barrier brings with her knowledge and experience from a multitude of industries including hospitality, management, finance, education and immigration. She currently supports Mr. DuFore as his Executive Assistant and helps Big Sky clients implement their marketing lead plans. Her care and focus is always on the client to ensure they have a wonderful experience every time. She has earned a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Oklahoma. Her passion lies in supporting others and helping them realize their dreams.
Oklahoma City, OK
Crystal Oakes is an experienced graphic designer specializing in print or web media for small businesses poised for growth. Her in-depth understanding of business comes from growing up in a family of successful craftsmen, artisans and business owners. Crystal established her own business before graduating with honors from the University of Oklahoma in 2011 with a BFA degree in Visual Communications. Her professional skills also include photography, event planning, branding, social media, email marketing, on-line marketing and merchandising. She has vast experience in corporate global marketing and brand management in 22 countries in 3 continents and eight languages.