1. ABOUT SAFEGUARD
Click on a photo below to learn more about our Executive Management team.
J.J. Sorrenti joined Safeguard in January 2009. As President, he is responsible for leading the Safeguard executive team, defining business strategy and driving business growth through the Safeguard distributorship network. His 20 years of franchising experience complement Safeguard's network growth strategy.
Sorrenti's broad range of business experience includes his role as CEO of Hollywood Tans, the largest tanning salon chain in the United States, where he directed remote management, expansion of franchise units and innovative tanning technologies. Previously, Sorrenti was CEO at Huntington Learning Centers. Under his tenure, the company experienced the fastest growth in its 30-year history. Prior to that, Sorrenti spent nearly 15 years leading franchise expansion at General Nutrition Company (GNC), where he had P&L and store responsibility for 2,300 U.S. locations and 700 global locations in 42 countries. In 1988, Sorrenti graduated from Shepherd University in West Virginia.
R. Scott Sutton, CFE
Vice President of Franchise Development
R. Scott Sutton is one of today's most innovative and successful leaders in the corporate development and franchising markets. In fact, 1851 Franchise Magazine recently ranked Scott as the #5 up-and-coming franchise executive in the industry today (see the article HERE). At Safeguard, Scott continues to leverage his 18 years of leadership experience while serving as Vice President of Franchise Development. He also serves as a Director and Vice President of Safeguard Acquisitions, Inc., and is responsible for leading a team of development, analysis and strategic professionals associated with franchise growth and mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining Safeguard, Sutton helped lead the development and growth of industry-leading brands operating within the petroleum services, packaging and retail franchise and licensing segments.
During his tenure at Safeguard, Scott has directed the most aggressive and successful acquisition and conversion strategies in company history. His refinement of the Safeguard BAM (Business Acquisitions and Mergers) program and his creation and launch of the conversion-focused Business Development Funding strategy resulted in his team's achievement of record growth in eight of the past nine quarters. Safeguard's top line revenue growth associated with these results has been monumental, bolstered by the completion of the single largest acquisition and conversion transactions in the company's 55+ year history.
Sutton is recognized as a Certified Franchise Executive by the International Franchise Association (the "IFA") and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Oklahoma. He sits on the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Franchise Education at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University and is also the current Chairman of the Emerging Franchisor Conference, one of the franchise industry's signature annual events. Scott is a member of the IFA, where he serves as an Ambassador and CEO Roundtable facilitator, as well as the Association for Corporate Growth and the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors.
A former collegiate swimmer, Sutton has coached numerous youth sports teams and is the former president of the Harrison Youth Basketball Association. An avid runner, Scott routinely competes in distance running events with his wife of 18 years, Linda Sutton. He and Linda are the proud parents of a 16 year old daughter and a nine year old son.
Vice President of Sales
Michele Popelka joined Safeguard in January 2010 as the Vice President of Sales where she is responsible for generating revenue through a network of more than 270 independent consultants throughout North America. Popelka has a proven track record and more than 20 years experience driving sales growth in the franchise industry.
Among her significant previous experience, Popelka was the director of Franchise Operations in the Franchising Division of GNC with responsibility for driving sales through a franchise network by training, coaching, business planning and influencing franchisee behaviors. At GNC, Popelka consistently performed at the top within the field sales organization, winning the Region of the Year award in 2002. Popelka also served as the director of Sales for Sport Clips, where she led their western expansion, helping to open more than 100 stores and standardize their sales processes.
Prior to joining Safeguard, she was named Senior Director of Franchise Operations and Marketing for Sylvan Learning in 2005 where she was responsible for a team of 13 field salespeople who supported more than 1,000 Sylvan Learning Centers. Her team was responsible for sales, training and operational support, information systems and co-op advertising programs.
Popelka holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. She has earned her Certified Franchise Executive designation from the International Franchise Association, holds a Franchise Management Certificate from Georgetown University and is a regular speaker at IFA events.
Vice President of Customer Service and Composition
Kellye Santos has been responsible for the consistency, accuracy and quality of service provided to Safeguard customers and distributors since 1998. As a liaison between operations and distributors, Santos monitors and influences key performance areas such as on-time delivery and quality. Not only did Santos establish Safeguard's "No Fault" Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, but she also developed a telemarketing group, bank support team, promotional products support group, SEM sales team and Creative Services team. By implementing lean initiatives, she automated many processes, resulting in increased efficiency and reduced $5 million in annual costs. Her incentive plans and strong leadership have inspired direct reports to lead service teams with confidence.
Before joining Safeguard, Santos was manager of Customer Service for Uniden America Corporation where she managed technical support and customer service for all wireless communication products. Her responsibilities at Uniden covered all aspects of customer service management functions for 70 technical support employees, including training, budgeting, telecommunications purchasing and systems maintenance. She improved productivity by 50 percent (50%) and negotiated a 40 percent (40%) reduction in long distance rates. A member of several professional customer service organizations, Santos graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.
Vice President of Training and Communications
Beth Jones recently moved into a new role with Safeguard as Vice President of Training and Communications, but she continues to oversee distributor and employee training efforts at Safeguard, as well as internal and external communications. She is also responsible for our annual North American Business Meeting convention and Regional Business Forums. Prior to May 2009, Jones was Vice President of Human Resources for Safeguard where she served as a liaison to Deluxe. In her new role, she manages the internal website, and she and her team are tasked with streamlining network communication strategies while continuing the development of training programs and materials and delivering impactful company meetings.
Prior to Safeguard, Jones was responsible for overall human resources and training for Mosaic Sales Solutions where she focused on recruiting for the North American leader for customized selling, training and merchandising solutions to manufacturers and retailers. An extensive background in retail with companies such as Wilsons Leather, Things Remembered and Famous Footwear followed her graduation from Missouri State University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Management.
Executive Director of Channel Marketing
Mark Roggenkamp joined Safeguard in 1996 as director of Products and Programs. In that role, he was instrumental in leading company's product marketing and developmental initiatives, pricing strategies and incentives. Roggenkamp has been promoted three times during his tenure: initially to Senior Director of Strategic Business Planning in 1997, where he led strategic platform development for Safeguard, including five-year objectives, a mission statement and Safeguard's position in the industry. With his latest promotion to Senior Vice President of Marketing, Roggenkamp is responsible for Safeguard's marketing and brand development. He works closely with Deluxe's executive management team to elevate Safeguard's image and maximize the impact of Safeguard's marketing and branding efforts. He also continues to direct the company's product development team, including new product development, customer development strategy and creative services.
Roggenkamp and his Safeguard Channel Marketing team interface with and leverage the investments of key enterprise resources including the Product Marketing, Creative Services and Decision Science teams of Deluxe.
For more than 11 years, Roggenkamp held various product management positions before his Safeguard/Deluxe career, including Director of Product Planning & Development with Star Forms/Bowater Communication Papers, Inc. He completed a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at the University of Iowa and a Master's degree in Business Administration at St. Ambrose University.
Michael P. Dunlap
Michael Dunlap joined Safeguard in February 1998 as Assistant General Counsel. Today, he performs a myriad of legal functions for Safeguard, including, but not limited to, managing litigation, preparation of all legal enforcement letters and drafting agreements for use with vendors, distributors and strategic partners. In addition to the contract review, analysis and preparation, Dunlap also has responsibility for trademark and copyright enforcement, Internet compliance issues, customer privacy issues and state-by-state franchise application filing.
A graduate of West Virginia University College of Law in 1983, Dunlap was in private practice for six years with a firm in the area of litigation and legal affairs of a locally owned bank holding company. From 1989 to 1996, he was a senior attorney with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, first assigned to litigation section of the Resolution Trust Corporation, then later to the litigation section of the FDIC. Immediately preceding Safeguard, Dunlap was a trial attorney with Allstate Insurance, defending personal injury claims.
Director of Application Development
Terry Robison joined Safeguard in 1998 as a senior programmer/analyst. Today, he leads the Safeguard front-end systems development team and acts as a liaison between the Executive Leadership Team and the rest of Safeguard's IT department. Responsible for development of the Safeguard order captures application, CMS, Robison is also instrumental in the development and support of Safeguard's web presence.
Having been in IT for over 25 years, Robison has worked with various small- and medium-sized companies in developing and supporting technology solutions. Before joining Safeguard, he led the IT department at Jani-King International where he developed automated order capture and franchise reporting systems.