Management Icon. Teamwork management icon. Business team.

Empower Brands, multi-brand franchisor of premium commercial and residential services, has appointed franchise development expert R. Scott Sutton as its new chief development officer. 

With over two decades of franchising experience, Sutton will play a critical role in capitalizing on each brand’s growth potential through the expansion and execution of franchise development strategies across Empower Brands’ portfolio. Sutton’s addition to the team follows several growth developments, including the recent rebranding of the company to form Empower Brands and the appointment of Tom Welter as President of Residential Brands. 

“Empower Brands had a milestone year across our network, and Scott will be a crucial part in continuing momentum in franchise development,” says Scott Zide, CEO of Empower Brands. “Scott brings years of experience and a wealth of knowledge in the franchising industry with a passion for growing small businesses. We look forward to seeing him propel our growth even further."

In his new role, Sutton will be responsible for the franchise development strategies, initiatives and tactics across Empower’s commercial and residential service brands, which currently include: Archadeck Outdoor Living, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, Conserva Irrigation, JAN-PRO, Intelligent Office, FRSTeam and Superior Fence & Rail. Sutton’s role will also be key in driving growth tied to the integration of acquired brands and incubation of new-to-market concepts. Sutton’s history of scaling and expanding franchise portfolios will provide fresh insight into creating additional revenue streams for Empower Brands and its network.

“Empower’s ‘Franchisee First’ culture and mission to champion the success of its owners is inspiring to me and aligns perfectly with the way I think about growth,” said Sutton. “Last year, the company saw record-breaking success across its roster, and the unification of Empower Brands creates opportunities for unparalleled growth in 2023. I am thrilled to be joining the team at this pivotal moment in the brand’s history, and I’m looking forward to the developments to come.”

Sutton holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and is both a Certified Franchise Executive and a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor. Currently, Sutton also serves as an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the International Franchise Association’s (the "IFA") Foundation and is a member of the IFA’s Legislative Action Group. He is a former Chairman of the Emerging Franchisor Conference and served on the Board of the International Institute of Franchise Education at the Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. 

In 2019, Sutton was named by the M&A Advisor organization as the Corporate Development Professional of the Year. His teams have won coveted awards, including two Dealmaker of the Year awards from Franchise Times magazine and the Strategic Corporation of the Year award from the M&A Advisor Organization. During his recent tenure as Chief Growth Officer at Threshold Brands, his teams integrated two acquired franchise brands and incubated two additional concepts, leading to Threshold’s portfolio growth from five brands in 2021 to nine brands in 2022.