Leadership team

Jorge
Barragan

Co-Founder & CEO

Austin
Wood

Co-Founder & Chief Strategic Partnership Officer

Jonathan C
Fornaci

Chief Operating Officer

James
Hurlock

Chief Brand Officer

Scott
Schubiger

Chief Growth Officer

Steven
Russell

Chief Supply Chain Officer

Jon
Parrish

Chief Strategy Officer, E-Commerce

Josh
Shelby

Chief FInancial Officer

Kathryn
Bullough

SVP of Marketing

Whitney
Burningham

VP of Franchise Operations

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OWN A FRANCHISE

  • Step 1: Fill out web form. Let’s Get Started!
  • Step 2: Schedule an Introduction Franchise Call
  • Step 3: Fill Out Franchise Application
  • Step 4: Obtain and Review Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)
  • Step 5: Meet The Picklr Franchise Team

Jorge Barragan

Co-Founder & CEO

Jorge Barragan serves as the CEO and Co-Founder of The Picklr Inc. With a background in Enterprise Software Sales, Jorge played a pivotal role in a company that achieved an IPO and two successful exits. Back in 2020, long before the indoor pickleball trend took off, he envisioned a place where people could enjoy this sport year-round. Together with his best friend, Austin, they transformed this vision into reality, with seven locations and over 80 franchisees nationwide. Beyond his professional life, Jorge is a dedicated family man, married to Saydee Barragan, and a sports enthusiast who enjoys pickleball and golf.

Austin Wood

Co-Founder & Chief Strategic Partnership Officer

As one of the original Co-founders and the current Chief Strategic Partnership Officer, Austin Wood brings a wealth of experience to The Picklr. Formerly the VP of Sales and Marketing and Co-Owner at Acquire Med, a start-up medical device company, Austin’s passion for pickleball is evident. The Picklr and pickleball have become integral parts of his life, offering both physical fitness and a vibrant community. Throughout his career, Austin has consistently demonstrated his talent for growing companies from the ground up. Beyond his professional achievements, he’s a devoted family man, proud father of two boys, and eagerly anticipating the arrival of a baby girl.

Jonathan C Fornaci

Chief Operating Officer

As the COO of The Picklr, Jonathan brings a wealth of experience to the table. His previous roles include President and Chief Operating/Financial Officer of TruFusion, a leading fitness franchisor, and COO of Punchh (acquired for $500 million by PAR), a top AI-powered CRM software company. With a track record of driving rapid, profitable growth, Jonathan’s leadership background spans companies such as Accenture, GE Capital, TransOcean, and Stanford Research Institute. He holds degrees in physics and business from the University of California, Berkeley, and holds various licenses, including government securities and real estate.

James Hurlock

Chief Brand Officer

As the Chief Brand Officer of The Picklr, James Hurlock brings with him extensive experience, most recently as the Chief Partnerships Officer at F45 Training, one of the fastest-growing fitness franchises globally. With a strong background in brand and ambassador management, sponsorships, events and healthcare, James also launched and served as the CEO of the fitness franchise FS8. He has a passion for construction and a strong background in sports, playing professional rugby for London Saracens.

Scott Schubiger

Chief Growth Officer

As Chief Growth Officer at The Picklr, Scott boasts a 30-year career as a Senior Executive and Board Member across various industries, including franchising, technology, and real estate. A change agent leader, Scott consistently contributes to positive results in EBITDA CAGR. His expertise spans franchise leadership, private equity, worldwide business development, M&A, and more. Scott has held leadership positions in companies such as ZGrowth Partners, Lunchbox Wax, Snap Fitness, and Rita’s Ice Franchise Company. His role at The Picklr focuses on enhancing the franchisee candidate experience from inquiry to location opening.

Steven Russell

Chief Supply Chain Officer

Steven Russell holds a Marketing/Economics Degree and an MBA from Utah State University’s Huntsman School of Business. His entrepreneurial journey includes founding Patch Retention, a SaaS company with over 1500 B2B customers in North America. In 2021, Steve started a Pickleball company called Sideout Pickleball, which later merged with The Picklr. In his personal life, he’s a family man, raising five children with his wife Jami, and enjoys traveling and playing sports.

Jon Parrish

Chief Strategy Officer, E-Commerce

Jon Parrish, an E-commerce expert with a passion for retention, oversees Picklr’s E-Commerce initiatives. With 15+ years of experience in startups and brands, he’s founded multiple businesses in tech and fashion including Gigi Pip, CityGro, WaterPrepared, and Two Roads Hat Co. Jon believes that effective communication can solve almost anything. He’s also an investor and still enjoys snowboarding.

Josh Shelby

Chief Financial Officer

Josh is the CFO of The Picklr with over 30 years of financial experience. He holds an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a BS in Psychology and Economics from Georgetown University. His career began in 1990 as a corporate finance analyst at Bear, Stearns & Co., focusing on corporate IPOs and M&A transactions. Later, he co-founded Casting House, Inc., a jewelry manufacturing and retail business that has since grown to over 200 employees and expanded operations in Chicago and Thailand. In 2000, Josh became a managing partner of Northport Investments, a private equity fund, where he invested in over 100 deals across various technology sectors. Notably, his team targeted early and late-stage investment opportunities, resulting in successful exits such as Spotify, Uber, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instacart, among others. In 2022, he joined RLK-PLG Investment Management, trading as Ascension Financial, as a partner and holds a Series 65 license.

Kathryn Bullough

SVP of Marketing

Kathryn Bullough is a seasoned marketing leader with a distinguished track record of over 15 years, driving the growth of global brands within consumer tech, sporting goods, and public safety sectors. Her impactful roles at industry leaders such as Skullcandy, Axon, Salomon, and Atomic underscore her extensive marketing expertise. Kathryn has a B.A. from the College of Charleston and has called Salt Lake City, UT, her home for more than 12 years.

Whitney Burningham

VP of Franchise Operations

Whitney Burningham joined the team as a volunteer at its inception in April 2020. Previously, she worked as a Social Worker in Home Health and Hospice, creating a new Palliative program that helped hundreds of individuals transition to end-of-life care. With a background as a Licensed Clinic Social worker, Whitney is dedicated to helping others grow and succeed. She and her husband met at The Picklr and continue to enjoy playing pickleball at various locations. They have a young son they are raising to be the next Picklr Cub!

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