Michael C. Powers has successfully licensed over 1,100 franchises globally and conducted franchise business in 14 countries since 2000. He is a certified franchise executive (CFE) since 2005, and a speaker, panelist, and expert advisor for the International Franchise Association (IFA) since 2001. Michael was appointed to the State of Louisiana district export council in 2012, by the US department of Commerce. Presently, Mike is Managing Director/Equity Partner, Painting with a Twist Franchises located in Mandeville. Painting with a Twist Franchises operates 330+ “paint & sip” studios in 37 states currently and has been ranked the #1 paint & sip studio on the prestigious Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500 list for the past 4 consecutive years and ranked top 20 of the “fastest growing” franchises for the past 3 years. Mike is also Founder of Bittersweet Brands, an equity-based franchise management company specializing in all aspects of franchising (Domestic & International), licensing, and professional business development. From 2000 - 2012, Mike served as Executive Vice President for Smoothie King Franchises, a New Orleans area based smoothie chain started in Kenner, LA., where Smoothie King from 100 units in 2000, to over 730 globally by 2012. Mike established the International franchising division of Smoothie King in 2003, which ultimately led to the sale of the local chain to its first International partner for $58MM.