THOMAS SCOTT – Corporate Storyteller and Franchise Sales Lead Generation Expert

Thomas is a pioneer in the Brand Journalism movement and has created breakthroughs for his clients using journalism tactics to generate franchise sales leads, fuel PR and social media campaigns. His campaigns create trust and engagement in consumers that drive increased sales and brand awareness.

An accomplished photojournalist awarded the Oakes award for environmental journalism, two Pulitzer nominations and inclusion in the Best of Newspaper Writing annual, Thomas also has a strong background in franchising having owned and run top performing franchises and owned and run Showhomes home staging, a top performing franchise system that posted large gains in the worst of the recession. Thomas believes that tough markets call for creative, outside the box thinking and present golden opportunities for those that can visualize a path.

Thomas is married and a proud father of four.
Twitter: @brandjournalist

Joe Mathews, Franchise Development Consultant, Author

Founder of the Franchise Performance Group, Joe has over 20 years experience with such national chains as Subway, Blimpies, Motophoto, and Entrepreneur’s Source.  Mathews specializes in the area of franchisee recruitment, sales, and franchisee performance.  He is a regular presenter at IFA conferences and is an instructor with the ICFE (Institute of Certified Franchise Executives).  Mathews is author/co-author of four books, Street Smart Franchising with Don Debolt and Deb Percival, Franchise Sales Tipping Point with Thomas Scott, Developing Peak Performing Franchisees, and Meaning of Life Project.


Dan Hieb – Senior Franchise Writer

Dan Hieb spent 12 years in daily newspapers as a reporter, editor and designer, including at The Tennessean, The Tampa Bay Times, Nashville Business Journal and The Courier-Journal. The Louisville, Ky., native caught the reporting itch as a high school freshman in 1991. He believes that interesting stories are almost everywhere — and that corporate storytelling is a key way to attract customers and business partners.

Hieb is a 1999 graduate of Western Kentucky University and lives in Franklin, Tenn., where, when not working, he is likely to be found hiking, kayaking, or in the nearest swimming hole.



Twitter: @danhieb


Ellen Margulies – Senior Franchise Editor

After 25-plus years in newspaper journalism as a reporter and editor in news and features, Ellen Margulies was ready for a new career where she could still use her writing and editing skills. She joined Brand Journalists in January 2013 and is excited to explore the lives of entrepreneurs through corporate storytelling.

She lives in the last affordable house in trendy East Nashville, enjoys a good LOLcat and spends most of her free time traveling, trying new restaurants and keeping up with the “Real Housewives” series.



Karynn Hough – Directior of Public Relations and Customer Service

A veteran of franchise operations and support with a background in journalism and marketing, Karynn brings years of customer service experience to Brand Journalists. Karynn handles PR campaigns, blog posting and organic SEO work as well as media outreach and pitching.

Her hobbies include acting, dance and music.


Brand Journalists partners with Franchise Performance Group and Joe Mathews for much of its work within the franchise industry. The team of writers and PR pros at Brand Journalists work hand in hand with FPG on a variety of projects.