Julie Fabing Burleson

Founder and Chief Executive Officer:

Franchisor for 12 years with YCA. Founder of two culinary businesses prior to starting Young Chefs Academy. Recipient of Best Feasibility Plan from Baylor University’s John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship. Member IFA (International Franchise Association).

 Roger Schmidt


40 years as a practicing attorney with over 20 years hands-on experience in franchising, including as a franchisee for a major multi brand food franchisor.  12 years as a law professor teaching Franchise Law at Baylor University Law School.  Credentialed as a CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) by the IFA (International Franchise Association). 
 Kevin Ayers

 Kevin Ayers

Vice President and General Counsel

20 years practicing franchising law (U.S. and international). Experience includes 15 years establishing systems and handling legal issues in-house for a major franchise company and 3 years working with franchise systems for franchise companies both in the United States and internationally.

 Charles Burleson

Vice President - Business Systems & Technology

Served in corporate IT management for over 20 years. Has led technology integration projects in a wide range of areas including corporate networks, midrange-desktop applications, and web-based business systems. Certifications - CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+
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 Shelly Young Phipps

Director of Marketing

15 years in a variety of franchise industry roles with an emphasis in integrated marketing solutions, national marketing initiatives, & graphic development & design within the last 7 years

 Courtney Harmon

Director of Franchise Operations & Training

10 years franchise operations management, franchise support & training experience.  Courtney has also been a franchise owner of a service brand herself. 

 Jamie Skinner

Operations Specialist

With over 15 years of Franchise Operation experience, Jamie works hand-in-hand with our franchisees supporting them towards successful implementation of operational policies and procedures to achieve maximum profitability goals.
 Abby Tankersly

 Abby Tankersley

Curriculum Development Director

Abby holds a Culinary Arts Degree and she is responsible for overseeing the monthly class themes and recipes as well as the coordination of guest chefs and curriculum writers. Abby comes to YCA with 15 years as an elementary school teacher.
 Kathy Arvidson Pic

 Kathy Arvidson

Curriculum Specialist

M.S. in Clinical Nutrition and a B.A. in Biology with additional experience through her training in food chemistry.  Kathy has worked several years as an educator and lectures in nutrition.

 Steve Betty

Director of Franchise Development

30 years total franchise industry experience within the financial management and franchise sales/development functions, encompassing 13 different franchise brands within 5 major international franchise companies.