Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, Paul Pickett CFE is the Chief Development Officer-EVP of Franchising at Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc. Since 2019; Paul has been a member of the Board Member of the Horticultural SocietyBoard Member of the Horticultural Society in Newfields and a Board Member at The Damien Center for 11 years.
A highly skilled person with expertise in Retail, Business Planning, and Franchising, among others, Paul Pickett, CFE, earned an MS in Biology/Ornithology from the University of North Dakota. His association with Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc, for over 33 years, is a demonstration of building a career that draws from his academic expertise.
Wild Birds Unlimited is the largest specialty retailer of backyard bird feeding supplies and products. The brand has over 350 franchised locations across the US and Canada, all owned by people who are passionate about the hobby of backyard bird feeding. When Paul started as the VP of Franchise Development, he helped with all aspects of Franchise Development.
At Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc, Paul assisted new franchisees through the approval process, evaluated new opportunities, wrote Business Plans, obtained financing, and designed the site selection process. Additionally, he also assisted the existing Wild Birds Unlimited franchisees with exit strategies and all of their site selection and lease negotiation needs.
He spent 26 years working as the VP at Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc. His work and dedication helped him be the Chief Development Officer of the brand for 6 new years, and from there, he rose to the position of CDO-Executive VP of Franchising. Altogether, he led the Franchise Development team to grow the franchise system to over 340 stores.
Today, Paul sits on the Advisory Board for the Franchise Update Leadership and Development Conference. He is a frequent speaker at franchising conferences, sits on the IFA’s Franchise Relations Committee and Franchisor Forum and is co-chair of the newly formed IFA Pride Counsel. Paul’s career with Wild Bird Unlimited is a perfect blend of love of birds, nature and people.
The Chief Development Officer at Another Broken Egg Cafe, Jeff Sturgis, says that Paul Pickett is one of the best representations of passion for doing things right, as I have seen in the franchise industry. His unwavering commitment to the WBU brand and system and commitment to open and honest communication is a great examples for many franchisors.
“Paul is professional and detail oriented when qualifying potential franchisees so that their chance for success is greatly increased. He always is available when questions arise and have been instrumental in helping me choose the best possible site location for my store to thrive. He is wonderful to work with and has the most positive energy and attitude I’ve ever seen. His guidance has greatly benefited my business, and he has become a friend to me personally,” says Lauren DeRosa, Wild Birds Unlimited Inc owner.
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