Wade Brannon’s first experience with franchising became a remarkable success story. As senior vice president of Heavenly Ham, Brannon, along with business partner Bucky Cook, led a single retail store located in Hilton Head, South Carolina, to become a franchise giant, opening more than 230 locations across the country between 1984 and 2002. Their business acumen was noted by Entrepreneur Magazine, which ranked Heavenly Ham the No. 1 franchise in its category for 10 consecutive years. In June 2002, Heavenly Ham was sold to its major competitor, HoneyBaked Ham.
Always on the lookout for new business opportunities, Brannon first encountered Pigtails & Crewcuts in Atlanta soon after the sale of Heavenly Ham. Impressed with the child-centric concept, Brannon and Cook purchased the franchise rights and reunited their experienced franchise team for the new venture. Today, Pigtails & Crewcuts has grown to more than 30 locations across the nation. Since 2007, Entrepreneur Magazine has included Pigtails & Crewcuts in its “Franchise 500″ list, and in 2010, Parents.com named Pigtails & Crewcuts one of the “Top 10 Chains for Kid Birthday Parties.”
Brannon has a rich history in business. He began his first enterprise in college: a 1-800-number marketing service, which he later sold. He received his BA in economics from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
James M. “Bucky” Cook
James M. “Bucky” Cook has a extensive history in successful franchising with his business partner, Wade Brannon. Cook served as the president and COO with Heavenly Ham, a retail store that, under his leadership, grew from a single location in Hilton Head, South Carolina to more than 230 franchise locations across the United States between 1984 and 2002. As testament to its success, Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Heavenly Ham the No. 1 franchise in its category for 10 consecutive years. In June 2002, Cook and Brannon sold Heavenly Ham to its major competitor, HoneyBaked Ham.
Soon after, Cook joined forces with Brannon again, purchasing the rights to franchise Pigtails & Crewcuts, which was, at the time, a single, child-centric salon in Atlanta, Georgia. Under the guidance of Cook and Brannon, Pigtails & Crewcuts has grown to more than 30 locations across the nation. Since 2007, Entrepreneur Magazine has included Pigtails & Crewcuts in its “Franchise 500″ list, and in 2010, Parents.com named Pigtails & Crewcuts one of the “Top 10 Chains for Kid Birthday Parties.”
In addition to his role with Pigtails & Crewcuts, Cook serves as development coordinator for special projects with the Georgia 4H Foundation and is the CEO of Your Pie, an Athens, Georgia-based pizza franchise. Cook received his B.B.A., cum laude, from the University of Georgia. In 2002, the school’s Terry College of Business honored him with the Distinguished Alumni award.
Michelle Holliman – Franchise Development Manager
Michelle Holliman has served as Pigtails & Crewcuts’ franchise development manager since 2005. She works closely with franchise owners, walking them through the business development process and providing training in areas such as accounting, operations and vendor relations and distribution. In addition, Holliman evaluates prospective franchisees to determine if Pigtails & Crewcuts ownership is the right investment for them.
Holliman has extensive experience in the franchise arena. Since 1997, she has worked for the parent companies of brands such as Heavenly Ham, HoneyBaked Ham, Moe’s, Planet Smoothie, P.J.’s Coffee and more.
Theresa Underwood – Field Operations Representative
As field operations representative, Theresa Underwood works directly with franchisees across the country to ensure consistency throughout the Pigtails & Crewcuts brand. In addition to providing operational and retail support and training, she also helps salon owners develop local strategies and improve customer service.
After working in the childcare and franchise industries for more than 25 years, Underwood’s areas of expertise include business management and franchise support. Most recently, she served as director of franchise support and operations for a childcare franchising company, where she assisted franchise owners with business, operations, marketing and personnel issues.
Sheri Bannister – Branding and Marketing Specialist
Sheri Bannister has led the Pigtails & Crewcuts team in developing its corporate brand and identity. Bannister works with franchisees as well as the corporate office to deliver a consistent message that reflects Pigtails & Crewcuts’ core values.
As the president and creative director of Spin Creative, Inc., Bannister is a branding, marketing and design expert with more than 19 years of experience. Driven by both strategy and passion, she has worked extensively with regional, national and international clients, such as Recall Corporation, Tatum LLC, UPS, Kimberly-Clark and Accenture. Bannister received her bachelor’s from the Rochester Institute of Technology.