ENTREPRENEUR, TURNAROUND CEO, PROFESSOR, KEYNOTE SPEAKER
He possesses a unique background in that he has been successful as Fortune 50 executive, entrepreneur and Turnaround CEO. He is known for his re-invention skills and is success at reinventing small and large, regional and national brands throughout the US. He is the author of The 12 Commandments: Lessons in Servant Leadership. He now also serves as an Adjunct Professor and Motivational Speaker and advises some of the top hospitality and business schools in the country on the topic of principled servant leadership.
He recently founded Premier Restaurant Group to identify, acquire and reinvigorate high-potential brands where he is active in M&A and serves as the company’s Chairman and CEO. Prior to this served as President and CEO at Ovation Brands, the leading buffet restaurant company in the US with 330 restaurants, 18,000 employees and over $900 million in revenue. Where he successfully re-invented the concepts resulting is a sale of the company. During his tenure he was featured on two episodes of CBS’s Undercover Boss and appeared on the company advertising as their spokesperson. Mr. Wedo began his professional career at PepsiCo where he quickly rose through the ranks becoming Vice President and General Manager of a $1.0 billion KFC division before the age of 30.
He was responsible for overseeing some 1200 company and franchise units in 20 southeastern states and was given the challenge of turning around this failing division. He dramatically improved both hospitality and operating metrics throughout the units and drove the divisions results from last to first place within the US operation all in less than three years. After his success at KFC he founded Mid-Atlantic Restaurants where he became the largest and most successful Area Developer in the US for the Boston Market (formerly Boston Chicken) brand. He built Mid-Atlantic from scratch which he ultimately grew to more than 160 units and $250 million in revenue in less than four years and was named Entrepreneur of the Year, Philadelphia’s 40 under 40 and Top 50 Employer in the State of Pennsylvania among other honors. Further, he was highly instrumental in the brand re-invention and conversion from Boston Chicken to Boston Chicken and served for some time as the Chief Concept Officer of the entire US brand. Upon the successful sale of this business, Mr. Wedo was named Chairman, President and CEO of New World Restaurant Group, the largest bagel bakery café business in the US with the mission of integrating multiple brands and turning around operations. The company had six distinct brand, $750 million in revenue and over 1,000 units. He successfully integrated all the brands, dramatically improved the lunch business and more than doubled Ebitda resulting in the successful sale of the business. Mr. Wedo has gone on to found Mainline Capital Advisors, which provides interim leadership to operating companies in transition as well as advice to professional investors interested in investing in the restaurant industry and The Wedo Group which focuses on his speaking engagements and TV appearances. Mr. Wedo has been featured in many articles and publications including the Wall Street Journal, Nation’s Restaurant, Philadelphia Inquirer to name just a few. He has received a wide variety of business awards and is a sought after speaker on the topic of principled servant leadership. He serves on a variety of non-profit boards including the Armed Services YMCA, University of Delaware, Horn Center for Entrepreneurship and The Pete DuPont Freedom Award.
He also is a member of the faculty and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Delaware, Lerner College of Business. Mr. Wedo is a strong and determined leader who has developed many businesses from scratch, assembled numerous leadership teams and has lead companies through many period of significant change. He has developed and acquired restaurants in every major market in the US and has recruited and managed franchisees in all parts of the country. He has served as the CEO of both public and private company’s and has raised over $500 million in public and private debt and equity. During his more than 25 year career he led the turnaround, re-invigoration and re-invention of many businesses throughout the restaurant and hospitality industry. He holds a BS degree in business from Penn State University, an MBA from Cornell University and an International MBA from Queens University in Kingston Ontario Canada.