Meet the Team Supporting Franchise Operations Professionals Around The World

Our passions here at AC Inc? Franchise operations, strategic growth coaching, core values, and spreadsheets!

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Meet The Team

Our Story

Give a Shit:
Yes, one of our guiding principles is truly caring deeply for everyone in our community and striving to help them succeed.

Go Be Awesome:
The core value and go-to phrase that has shaped our company culture! When we each do our best and stay positive we all win! 

Action = Growth:
We’re committed to learning by doing and believe that when we take action we grow and improve through the process. 


We’re a Little Obsessed With Our Core Values

Angela's father founded M&M Meat Shops (now M&M Food Markets) and she witnessed every part of franchising through her childhood and career.

From dressing up as a mascot at grand openings, to coaching franchisees in her 20s, to bringing the brand to Vancouver Island as a multi-unit franchisee. 

Angela’s experience gave her a unique lens on franchising - she saw a need for better franchisee support and coaching. In 2019 she launched AC Inc. and started building a passionate team to make effective, strategic franchisee support a standard in the franchise industry.

Angela Coté grew up in franchising: Helping her family's iconic Canadian franchise brand grow to nearly 500 locations

our founder's story

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This is the spreadsheet we train Field Coaches on to track franchisee goals, vision, issues, and action steps in coaching calls. This resource includes the blank template, instructions, AND an example.

Angela Coté

Founder and CEO

Steven Inglefield

President

Jennifer Brannon

VP of Operations

Robert Bruski

Director of Finance

Brecon Gage

Director of Advising

Stephanie Benze

Field Coach Advisor

Linda Young

Field Coach Advisor

Jenna Hilb

Field Coach Advisor

Karen Usiak

Sales Support

Aidan Pearson

Operations Support

Angela founded AC Inc. in 2019 with a mission to transform the franchise industry. She saw the opportunity to positively impact franchise systems across the world through field coaching, education, and training.

Before founding AC Inc, Angela spent 25+ years helping her dad (founder of the iconic Canadian franchise brand M&M Food Markets) grow the brand to almost 500 locations through the franchisor, field coaching, and franchisee side of the business.

Working as a field coach through some of her 20s, Angela noticed the need for more professional development and training of this key role within the franchise system. Field coaches help owners succeed, which leads to the success of the system as a whole.

When she and her husband brought M&M Food Markets to Vancouver Island, and successfully built up the value of the 3 locations to more than 1.5 million, it was validated again how important the support of franchisees is to system success.

After successfully exiting their franchises, Angela started AC Inc and began to support franchise systems to improve their franchisee engagement and profitability through best-practice field coaching, education, and training.

Angela Coté

Founder and CEO

Background and Experience

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As a serial entrepreneur, Steven has dedicated his career to the creation, development, and successful sales of innovative startup companies. 

Originally from the UK, Steven started his career in the health and wellness space as a physical therapist for a professional English soccer team. 

After moving to Canada, he led operations in a corporate wellness facility and improved sales by 500% over an 18 month period. 

He continued his operations expertise in various health companies, including an online health directory platform and an exercise therapy company. In 2017, Steven founded what is now IRP Health, a clinic network that offers pain management programs to military veterans and first responders in Canada. 

Following a multiple 7 figure acquisition in 2021, Steven has worked on multiple public company boards and leadership teams, building even further on his experience in mergers, acquisitions, and strategic growth. 

Since 2020, Steven has worked alongside Angela Coté as the President of AC Inc, and has helped build the foundations of the company, and create an exciting path to continued growth.

Steven Inglefield

President

Background and Experience

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Jennifer has been in franchising as an owner and a coach for 20+ years, and is passionate about creating successful franchisees through strategic field coaching and support.

During her time as a Tutor Doctor franchise owner, Jennifer was a top-performer from the outset, and consistently placed in the top 12 Tutor Doctor franchisees worldwide. 

She received many franchise and community awards, and led the Tutor Doctor mentorship program - serving as a business coach to new and seasoned franchisees to guide them toward business growth and increased profitability.

After successfully selling her franchise, Jennifer joined the AC Inc. team to pursue her passions for helping franchisors create robust support and coaching programs to set their franchisees up for success. Her expertise is the foundation of many training programs at AC Inc, including the Strategic Growth Coaching Guidebook.

She lives in Uxbridge, ON with her husband and 3 kids, and spends most summers at her cottage enjoying water sports and time with family and friends. She loves to have fun and does all that she can to live life to the fullest.

Jennifer Brannon

VP of Operations

Background and Experience

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Robert is not your average entrepreneur. After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University in economics, Robert spent over a decade working in Canada’s financial investment industry focusing on buy-side investment management. 

He decided to start his own company in 2014, he co-founded a company called PipeDream Interactive that developed a piece of cinema eyewear called Invisivision. This company made waves throughout Hollywood before Robert co-founded Ctrl V. 

Ctrl V is North America’s first, and the world’s largest, virtual reality arcade franchise. With specific, and proprietary, designs around B2B and B2C modeling, Ctrl V continues to innovate the location-based entertainment industry.

Robert has started several other companies in the past decade, and joined the mission at AC Inc in 2019 to help develop the financial plan, expansion, and goal setting for the company.

He’s currently based in Waterloo, ON and sits on the board of directors for the board of directors for Innovate Inclusion,  a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the success of underrepresented communities in tech and entrepreneurship.

Robert Bruski

Director of Finance

Background and Experience

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With more than 20+ years of experience in the franchise world, Brecon is a pro at all things franchisee support and strategic growth.

While waiting for his masters program to begin, Brecon took a Summer job for a bath fitter franchise, quickly changing his education focus to learn the ropes of the business. In only 6 years Brecon had worked his way to become the General Manager and partner.

During his time there, he implemented SOPs, KPI tracking, and grew the business to a multi-million dollar company. After 10 years with the company, he successfully exited and began his second franchise, this time with Comfort Keepers. 

They grew to over 90 employees, became the top grossing franchise in Canada, winning numerous awards, including Outstanding Customer Service (GVCC), BBB Torch Awards (6 times) and Business of the Year in Healthcare twice (BE).

Brecon exited the Comfort Keepers system and joined AC Inc in 2022. He’s an expert at operations, KPI and metrics, franchisee coaching, and now leads the AC advising team and helps franchise brands across the globe to improve their franchisee profitability.

Brecon Gage

Director of Advising

Background and Experience

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Stephanie has 10+ years experience in franchising and led the growth of her last franchise brand up 266% in less than 3 years. She's a system optimization pro, loves project management, and is a compassionate, ambitious leader.

Stephanie lives in Virginia with her husband and 2 kids. You'll often find her outside gardening, on the water, or spending time with family.

Stephanie started her career working on the operator side of a multi location retail business. She learned how to lead all departments and build a business from the ground up. 

She took a 2-location store with a 50 square ft warehouse and grew it into 14 retail stores, a massive 200k square ft warehouse, a distribution center, and a 50-seat Call Center. 

As a lifelong learner, and after spending a decade in franchising in operations, training, and leadership roles, Stephanie wanted to work in an education space to make franchising a better industry - more successful brands, skilled owners, and thriving teams. 

Joining the AC Inc team in 2023 to lead courses and develop more field coaching education made perfect sense. Stephanie brings leadership and expertise to the AC courses and trainings.

Stephanie Benze

Field Coach Advisor

Background and Experience

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Linda is passionate about franchise operations, building and managing teams, and helping franchisees achieve their goals!

With 15+ years in the franchise space, Linda joined the AC Inc team after spending 8 years as the Sr. Regional Manager of a senior care brand.

She was responsible for overseeing franchisee support, engagement, and the revenue growth of 170 locations with a team of 4 field coaches. 

A couple highlights from her career include serving as an ambassador to the UK franchisee support counterparts for several years to foster collaboration and share best practices.

She also developed and co-facilitated a virtual multi-unit/enterprise owner panel, a Q&A and breakout session for owners interested in expansion, and led a team on the strategic redesign of the owner support structure post-acquisition.

Linda's passion, expertise, and positive energy made her a wonderful addition to the AC team. 

She enjoys live music, reading, and gardening. Plus, her favorite season is football season!

Linda Young

Field Coach Advisor

Background and Experience

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Jenna is a creative problem solver, loves live music, has a degree in project management, and has built and led field coach teams for franchise brands across the US, UK, and Canada.
 
With 18+ years of experience in franchise operations, Jenna has supported hundreds of franchisees, including training and supporting 100+ new location openings for emerging & established brands.

With her field coaching expertise and experience in operations, project management, and franchisee support, Jenna joined the AC Inc. team in 2023.

She’s known for her ability to connect with even the most stubborn personalities.

The FAC at her last company presented her with the first-ever “Franchisee Champion” award at their national conference due to her efforts in bridging the gap between franchisees and the home office team.

Jenna lives in Colorado Springs with her partner and 3 children, she’s a semi-pro game show contestant, loves sewing and knitting, and is a big trivia buff.

Jenna Hilb

Field Coach Advisor

Background and Experience

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Karen has a vivacious energy, loves 'out-of-the-box' thinking, and has been in franchising for 10+ years working on both the franchisee and franchisor side.

Her first venture into franchising was 6 years as the managing partner for a kid’s indoor party and play center called Monkey Joe’s. 

She then worked at the franchise Code Ninjas as both a franchise manager, and then on the Home Office Team where she oversaw the 6 corporate locations and was co-manager of the vendor relations and the resale teams.

Before joining AC Inc. Karen worked as a Business Consultant at Code Wiz, a coding education franchise teaching young kids the skills of coding and technology.

She boasts some incredible career history outside of franchising as well, working in the US Navy Seabees as a heavy equipment and crane operator, assistant to a photographer and graphic designer, and an operations manager in the flooring industry.

Karen joined the AC Inc. team to support the sales and operations teams with her skills and experience in 2023.

Karen enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 daughters and 3 granddaughters, camping, going to concerts, reading, karaoke, the Buffalo Bills, and doing anything “crafty".


Karen Usiak

Sales Support

Background and Experience

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Aidan is a passionate problem solver, an ongoing learner, and genuinely loves analyzing the operations of businesses to create improvements and efficiencies.

Living in Toronto Ontario, Aidan can often be found hiking, playing video games, or creating incredible spreadsheets.

Aidan worked as a corporate store manager for a 700+ unit pet franchise brand, and was quickly nominated for New Store Manager of the Year and then promoted to Field Operations Manager at the company.

He travelled to stores across Eastern Canada to gain feedback from corporate team members and franchise managers or owners to analyze and improve the standard operating procedures for the brand.

During this time he also worked with Walt Disney Institutes to create a new company culture, including mission statements and core values.

Aidan is currently working towards an Advanced Diploma of Business Administration, Management, and Operations at Humber College while supporting the AC Inc. team as a phenomenal Operations Support Specialist.

Aidan Pearson

Operations Support

Background and Experience

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Meet The Team

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A Collaborative Community for Weekly Professional Development

We love building community - always have! Back in 2020, we started a weekly Zoom call with franchisors seeking support. What started as a few franchise operations leaders has turned into 4 professional development roundtable groups, with more than 500 members and counting!

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Use Field Coaching In Franchise Recruitment

Learn From The Blog

3 Types of Franchisee Peer Coaching

The Structure of Coaching Calls

When to Hire Your First Field Coach

Episode 48: Professional Development for Field Coaches 

Episode 47: The Structure of a Franchisee Coaching Call

Episode 46: Empowering Franchisees with Financials

Learn field coaching techniques, franchisee support strategies, and franchise operations insights with the AC team. Leave every episode with a new key takeaway!

It's Like Chatting Franchise Growth on a Rooftop Patio...

the ac inc. podcast