Biggby Coffee announced its new Chief Development Officer, Lisa Oak. The former Subway Vice President joins Biggby Coffee with an extensive history of growing franchise businesses.
Oak will be responsible for helping Biggby Coffee to intentionally grow its brand, with a goal of opening 50 stores in 2019. Oak comes to Biggby Coffee with vast experience in franchise development. Oak had an incredibly successful career with Subway, where she helped the brand grow from 700 restaurants to 43,000 restaurants.
What started as a summer job in law school negotiating leases for new Subway locations turned into a 29-year career. When summer ended and she headed back to law school, Oak was invited to stay on part time with Subway, and with her law degree and admission to the Connecticut Bar in hand, became the company’s Director of Real Estate within two years. From there, she worked her way up, leading the team that added 1,500 sandwich shops per year worldwide as the Director of Franchise Development and creating an acquisitions platform, a system of acquiring other brands and helping them use the Subway method of franchise growth. She became a Vice President in 2005, working with Subway Co-Founder and mentor, Fred DeLuca. During that time, she met Biggby Coffee co-CEOs, Bob Fish and Mike McFall, and began building a relationship with them as they prepared to grow aggressively over the coming years.
After much success within the Subway franchise organization Oak developed her consulting firm, Oak Advisory Services, LLC., where she advises and assists clients on their franchise growth. Again, she connected with Biggby Coffee and learned even more about the brand, its leaders, and the commitment McFall and Fish made to creating an environment where all stakeholders can “build a life they love.” It was then that Oak was hooked and enthusiastically accepted an opportunity to work directly with this dynamic organization.
Fish and McFall were thrilled when she decided to join Biggby Nation. With a 12-year history and friendship, Fish and McFall knew she would be the perfect addition to their team and an incredible asset in helping fulfill their growth goals.
In her first 30 days with Biggby Coffee, she launched an all-employee referral program incentivizing all Biggby Coffee employees to spread the Biggby Coffee vision and purpose by attracting future franchise owners to the company. In addition, she’s developed a program lowering the cost for veterans to purchase a franchise which was launched at the recent annual conference for the International Franchise Association.
As Oak came to know the Biggby Coffee team on a deeper level, she was quickly impressed. Not only was she impressed by the commitment of the Home Office team to encourage and support the success of franchise owners, but she appreciated the openness and transparency of the co-CEOs. She loved that those within Biggby Nation were consistently encouraged to grow personally and professionally. She found this culture fun, inspiring, and creative.
“I love the people, the brand, the infrastructure, and [Biggby] history,” Oak says about why she decided to join Biggby Coffee full time. “I look forward to applying my skills and experience to help this great brand grow and be on the ground floor as this conscious company changes our country’s corporate culture.”
Oak comes to Biggby Coffee with a long list of accomplishments. In addition to her franchise experience, she is a Justice of the Peace for the State of Connecticut; has a law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law; and is an Adjunct Professor and a Dean’s Advisory Board Member at Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Oak emphasized that one thing really important to her is community service. She expressed that volunteering has always been a big part of the family she and her husband, Tony Anastasio, have built with their two sons. Oak’s experience and service mentality make her a perfect fit for Biggby Coffee which is working to become a leader in conscious capitalism—the idea that people, profit, and the planet are all equally important—and improving workplace culture. Oak emanates this same mentality, as her work history and family values show.
“I want to be known in the franchise community as someone who helps people develop their American Dream, recognizing that, though everyone’s version is different, it’s satisfying to help people build [a life they love] through franchising and that just makes me feel great,” Oak says.
The Biggby Coffee leadership team is excited about its future with Oak and looks forward to seeing how she can help the brand grow over the coming years.
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