Franchise Update Magazine Issue II, 2013 - Page 13

D-Lite-ful Leader “Franchising is such a great place to work” By Kerry Pipes P eter Holt received an early Christmas present late last year when Tasti D-Lite CEO Jim Amos announced he was stepping down and that Holt had been selected to take the reins of the 25-year-old brand. But for Holt, the moment also was bittersweet. “Jim Amos has been there with me since I first got into franchising back in the 1980s,” says Holt. “He’s a dear friend and mentor and I have enjoyed Name: Peter D. Holt Title: President and CEO Company: Tasti D-Lite Units/Brands: Tasti D-Lite: 57 units; Planet Smoothie: 97 units Age: 54 Family: Married, no children Years in franchising: 27 Years in current position: Less than one working alongside him all these years.” Holt’s franchising career has taken him from his first job with the IFA to Brice Foods (I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! and Java Coast) to Mail Boxes Etc. to a stint with a private equity firm before coming to Tasti D-Lite in 2007. Until last year, he had served as COO at the company, where he led the 2011 acquisition of Planet Smoothie and the integration of the two brands. Holt says his love of franchising was a complete accident. “When I got out of college I was sure I wanted to work in policy analysis of U.S.-Latin American relations based in Washington, D.C.,” he says. Instead, he found himself a position at the IFA, and a love affair with franchising blossomed. “Franchising is such a great place to work,” he says. “I call it a community, not an industry.” He had no franchising experience when he took the job in the IFA’s membership department. The position allowed him to indulge his interest in international work, while exposing him to a business model he could immediately identify with, and would soon thoroughly embrace. “When you talk about a career-defining moment, that was it for me,” he says. Holt’s professional background has allowed him to see franchising from many different angles, and has provided insights into franchises, franchisees, products, vendors, and customers. As president and CEO of Tasti DLite, Holt is continuing to oversee dayto-day operations as he’s done for the past 5 years, but now he is also charged with strategic planning initiatives. He’s up for the task and says he believes the brand is at a great crossroads. “The combination of Tasti D-Lite and Planet Smoothie provides a fantastic building block for not only complementary day-part and product business, but also allows us to develop in different regions of the country where each of the brands is anchored,” he says. “We’re the premier ‘good for you frozen treat’ company,” he says. “And Franchiseupdate I ssue I I , 2013  Grow Market Lead CEO profile: 11