Luongo Will Lead Overall Operational Execution and Contribute to the Umbrella Franchisor’s Strategic Decision Making
Joe Luongo has been named the chief operating officer (COO) and executive vice president (EVP) of strategy at Unleashed Brands, an umbrella franchise company that offers positive experiences for children. These brands include The Little Gym, Premier Martial Arts, Urban Air Adventure Park, and Snapology. The holding company also recently added Class 101, a college planning franchise, to its portfolio of brands.
Luongo will mentor the president of each of these brands to ensure successful operation of the Unleashed platform. He will also be involved in the umbrella company’s strategic decision making.
“Being involved with a family of brands focused on helping kids learn, play and grow means that I’m lucky enough to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s a pretty big deal in my eyes,” Luongo said.
Michael Browning, founder and CEO of Unleashed Brands, said in a statement, “Joe has been a mentor of mine for years now, and he’s always been someone I looked up to throughout my career, so it is an honor and privilege to have him join the team.”
Browning believes that Luongo “will be instrumental in evaluating new brands we may want to bring into the Unleashed family, as well as strong support for strategic decision making.” Luongo said his decision to go with Unleashed Brands was an easy one. He was “impressed with Browning’s vision, his team, and the incredible network of franchisees.”
Luongo believes that Unleashed Brands will have a positive impact on the future of franchising. “We help brands bridge the resource gap by providing them with services, technology, and people they otherwise would not have on their own,” Luongo said. These partnerships will create more opportunities for entrepreneurs and franchisors, he said.
From the Military to Franchising
Luongo got his start in franchising after leaving the military and joining Pizza Hut as a director. “Over the years, I gravitated toward roles that focused on franchising. For me, helping business owners achieve their professional goals has been incredibly rewarding,” Luongo said.
Luongo has brand management and franchising experience. Throughout his career, which spans more than three decades, Luongo has been the COO of Massage Envy; president and CEO at Peter Piper Pizza; and senior vice president at FedEx Kinkos. Additionally, Luongo served in several high-level roles with Starbucks and Circuit City.
Luongo also currently serves as the CEO of Stone Eagle Advisors consulting firm. He provides counsel to investors in the retail, restaurants and health and wellness about strategic growth and potential acquisitions. Since 2019, Luongo has been the chairman of WellBiz Brands, Inc., an umbrella company for health and wellness franchises. He joined the holding company as an executive chairman. PROSE Nails, a manicure and pedicure franchise, recently added Luongo to its board of directors.