Leadership
We are a seasoned executive team that has fun working together to build a great company. We are eager to take on new challenges and constantly prepare ourselves and our team for future growth opportunities.  
Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett, Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Tom founded GPS Hospitality in 2012 with the belief that if the company was centered on three core principles – Goals, People and Service – it would be successful. Since then, Tom has led the company with an ambitious vision of growth supported by a positive corporate culture that rewards success and creates opportunities for employees to achieve both their personal and professional goals. Tom has spent over 30 years in the restaurant industry, most recently serving as CEO of Arby’s Restaurant Group.

Michael Lippert

Michael Lippert, Chief Operating Officer

Michael sets the tone for GPS Hospitality’s day-to-day operations, training and marketing activities. He believes in operating restaurants with the guest in mind as a way to not only achieve great results, but also position the company for continued growth. A seasoned executive with more 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Lippert’s impressive history includes executive leadership roles at Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers, Captain D’s Restaurants, Arby’s Restaurant Group and RTM Restaurant Group.

Scott Jasinski

Scott Jasinski, Chief Financial Officer

Scott ensures that GPS Hospitality has the financial resources and capabilities it needs to achieve its goals. His hands-on leadership encompasses the Financial, IT and Human Resource teams who support the company’s dynamic growth. Under his direction, GPS Hospitality has become one of the fastest growing private companies in Atlanta and one of the largest BURGER KING franchisees in the country. Scott has over 24 years of accounting experience, including 19 years in the restaurant industry at Little Caesars, Arby’s and Wendy’s.

Chris Phillips

Chris Phillips, Chief Strategy Officer

Chris is focused on helping GPS Hospitality achieve its robust growth targets by providing companywide oversight for GPS’ growth strategy, analytics, and mergers and acquisitions. Chris joined GPS Hospitality after two years with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, where he served as Vice President of Finance Strategy and Analytics. He has more than 15 years of industry experience after holding senior leadership roles at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Darden Restaurants.

Brian Arnold

Brian Arnold, Chief Development Officer

Brian is responsible for the administration of all aspects of development, including new store construction, remodels, equipment and facility management. Focused on implementing GPS Hospitality’s aggressive growth plans, he oversees remodeling of existing restaurants, as well as the construction of new BURGER KING and Popeyes restaurants. A skilled development executive, Brian has over 20 years of industry experience, most recently serving as Vice President of Construction for Arby’s.

Heather Darden

Heather Darden, Vice President of Legal

Heather provides legal support to all areas of GPS Hospitality, primarily focusing on supporting the acquisition, development, construction, and remodeling of restaurantsHeather has more than 12 years’ experience in the QSR industryEarly in her career, she served as outside counsel for Arby’s franchisee, RTM Restaurant Group, and later joined Arby’sPrior to joining GPS Hospitality, Heather was Senior Counsel to the Corporate Real Estate Team at SunTrust Bankand worked with RaceTrac Petroleum and The Wendy’s Company.

Trish Farley

Trish Farley, Vice President of Finance

Trish provides leadership and strategic oversight of GPS Hospitality’s accounting, treasury and payroll functions. She and her team support the financial transactions of our restaurants on a daily basis. She maintains the company’s banking relationships, ensures compliance with accepted treasury policies and guidelines, and administers the company’s debt and investments. Trish has over 30 years of experience in accounting and treasury roles, including more than 18 years in the restaurant industry with Hooters and a large Applebee’s franchisee.

Mike Kovac

Mike Kovac, Vice President of Operations

Mike oversees daily operations of the GPS Hospitality team in close to 200 restaurants. A big proponent of the People-Oriented value, he believes in surrounding himself with good people and helping them win. He’s passionate about developing leaders and giving them the opportunity to grow within GPS. Mike’s first QSR position was as Assistant Manager with Arby’s, where he later rose to the VP of Operations, responsible for 200 restaurants in the Southeast. Over the past 30 years, he also spent time with Mrs. Winners and Church’s Chicken.

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas, Vice President of Operations Support

Gary is responsible for developing the infrastructure to help GPS Hospitality operate successful restaurants. In addition to serving as the expert on our franchise brands’ training initiatives and new product rollouts, he focuses on developing training programs and systems to help improve guest service, inventory management and speed of service. Throughout his 30 years in the food service industry, Gary has worked with organizations such as The HoneyBaked Ham Company, Arby’s and Compass Group USA.

Vickie Volan

Vickie Volan, Vice President of Human Resources

Vickie is responsible for managing the company’s greatest asset – people. Supporting more than 10,000 employees, she and her team oversee all functional activities and policies related to human resources, performance management, benefits administration, employee relations, regulatory compliance, staffing and policy administration. Vickie has more 15 years of human resources experience including ten years in the restaurant industry.

Ted Brennen

Ted Brennen, Director of Construction

Ted is responsible for managing restaurant remodels, new builds, capital expenditure projects and equipment rollouts. Prior to joining GPS, Ted was a contractor who remodeled several GPS stores in Atlanta. He’s been in restaurant construction and remodeling for the past 30 years, working with QSR concepts like Burger King, Taco Bell and Arby’s.

Bob Copp

Bob Copp, Director of Operations

Bob works with our BURGER KING® team in Southern Michigan. He has a passion for our “People Oriented” value and is driven by developing people and helping them achieve their goals. Bob’s served as a leader in the restaurant industry for over 20 years with Arby’s, Pizza Hut, Boston Market and for the past several years with Burger King.

Janice Dawdy

Janice Dawdy, Controller

Janice oversees all Accounting functions for GPS Hospitality, including payroll, store accounting and accounts payable. She manages the accounting team and provides financial reporting support for our restaurant and management teams. Janice, a CPA, has spent the past 18 years at Arby’s, where she served most recently as Director of Restaurant Accounting for more than 900 restaurants.

Jen Forbes

Jen Forbes, Director of Training

Jen is responsible for creating GPS development classes, certifying Top Right Training restaurants and managers and developing training processes and procedures. She’s focused on making sure our teams have all the tools and training to enable them to do their jobs with expertise and efficiency. Jen has 12 years of QSR experience, serving as Manager of Training with Arby’s and then Director of Training with Tin Drum Asia Cafe.

Esau Holmes

Esau Holmes, Director of Operations

Esau leads our Georgia West team of BURGER KING® restaurants. A motivational leader, Esau believes in creating a positive atmosphere to benefit both our guests and our employees. Esau has spent more than 20 years in the QSR industry, developing teams and providing leaderships to organizations such as Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and The Krystal Company.

Todd Jackson

Todd Jackson, Director of Real Estate

Todd is focused on supporting GPS Hospitality’s aggressive growth plans. He identifies potential new real estate opportunities to support restaurant growth opportunities for GPS. Through his market knowledge, Todd identifies market priorities that support strategic growth. With more than 25 years of experience in operations, construction and real estate, Todd spent the past 15 years at Arby’s at Senior Director of Real Estate.

Angie Occhipinti

Angie Occhipinti, Director of Development

Angie is responsible for asset management, including property leases and facilities maintenance, as well as capital management to help achieve aggressive growth plans for new store construction and remodels. Angie has more than fifteen years’ experience in real estate and construction, most recently spending eight years at Arby’s. Prior to that, she spent seven years working in residential remodeling.

Jermaine Walker

Jermaine Walker, Director of Operations

Jermaine works with our District Managers in the Atlanta area to create an environment which motivates our restaurant team and keeps everyone focused on achieving our company goals. He enjoys serving as a coach and helping our employees run stores efficiently, while serving great food and service. Jermaine has spent more than 20 years with concepts including Taco Bell, Arby’s and most recently, as Director of Operations for T.G.I. Friday’s.

Joe Waller

Joe Waller, Vice President of Operations

Joe provide direction to our District Leaders and restaurant teams in close to 200 restaurants. He’s a strong believer in two of GPS core values – goal setting and people development – and knows his success is dependent on the success of his team. He focuses on hiring the right people to help our restaurants provide a great customer experience. Joe has spent more than 25 years in the restaurant business, with the last 14 years at Arby’s running 82 restaurants as the Senior Director of Operations for Indiana.

Roger Wood

Roger Wood, Director of Operations

Roger leads the Northern Michigan team of our BURGER KING restaurants. He enjoys the process of discovering people who exhibit the GPS Values of being Service Obsessed and People Oriented and bringing them on to the team. Roger has spent the past 17 years supporting the BURGER KING® brand and prior to that he spent 15 years with Taco Bell.