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Keith Brown

Chief Executive Officer

Born and raised in the UK, Keith rose to the position of Managing Director of Hallmark. In this role he revitalised the franchise network of the Gold Crown stores. With his leadership, the network grew from 97 to over 250 locations in a four year period.

Keith moved to Australia to take up the role of CFO for Gloria Jeans Coffees. His value was quickly recognised, and Keith was promoted to CEO one year later. Keith was responsible for the Australian and International markets. He led the business through rapid growth which saw the brand grow to over 1000 stores across 39 countries.

Avril Melhem

El Director

Avril has over 14 years of experience in hospitality and franchising. She has won some of Australia’s top industry awards, including the Franchise Council of Australia ‘Franchisee of the Year’, in 2005 and again in 2006. Avril was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Award 2004. This placed her in the top six business women across NSW.

Avril’s operational and retail expertise is the driving force behind the day to day running of Coco Cubano. She has an eye for detail and design, which was instrumental in establishing the unique brand and atmosphere of Coco Cubano.

Tony Melhem

El Presidente

Tony is one of Australia’s most successful franchisee and small business owners. Tony’s hospitality, business, franchise and government experience has been key to his success. Tony was the founding Director of the Australia Cuba Business Council. In 2016 his contribution to the development of bilateral relations between Australia and Cuba in enterprise and trade was recognised. He was awarded Businessman of the Year by the Ambassador of Cuba.

Tony has served as Deputy Chairman and as Director of the Franchise Council of Australia. He was also the founding Chairman of the Franchise Council’s National Franchisee Forum from 2007-2012. In these roles Tony represented the political interests of a $144 billion industry. He was the voice of Australia’s 72,000 franchisees to the Federal and State Governments, the media, business and public.