Our Franchise Team
Meet Our Executive Team
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Founder, President & CEO
Jim Carpenter is the Founder, President & CEO of Wild Birds Unlimited. In 1981, he opened the first WBU location, a 700 square foot retail shop on the north side of Indianapolis. By 1983, he began franchising the concept, which has grown to more than 300 locations across the US and Canada. Jim is intensely involved in the hobby, having designed many successful bird feeding products and developed retail concepts implemented in Wild Birds Unlimited stores. He is author of The Joy of Bird Feeding, a 400+ page book published in 2017 which is a guide to attracting and feeding backyard birds. Jim holds a B.A. in Biology from Indiana University and a Master’s Degree in Horticulture/Plant Physiology from Purdue University.
Founder, President & CEO
Executive Vice PresidentChief Operating Officer
Pat has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since June 2013. Prior to that time, she served as Vice President of Retail Sales since October 2007, as Managing Director of Retail Sales from 2006 to April 2007 and as Director of Retail Operations since 1995.
Pat joined Wild Birds Unlimited in 1995 after more than 20 years in women’s specialty apparel retail. Her previous experience included buying, merchandising, personnel management and operations beginning with single unit operation all the way to an 80 unit regional responsibility. She began her career with WBU as the Director of Retail Operations and was responsible for building the foundation of one-on-one support of our franchise store owners and developing the team of business consultants. She has been responsible for the overall direction of Franchise Center Support staff since 2007. Pat was raised in rural Pennsylvania where her father passed on his love of nature and the outdoors to her.
Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer
Paul E. Pickett
Chief Development Officer
Paul’s career with Wild Bird Unlimited has perfectly combined his love of birds, nature and people. Paul joined the WBU team as the first full time employee in 1989 shortly after graduating with his Master’s Degree in Biology/Ornithology from the University of North Dakota. Paul has more than two decades of experience in working with potential franchisees as they decide to join the WBU team and has managed all of the site selection/lease negotiation assistance for the WBU system.
Paul E. Pickett
Chief Development Officer – Executive VP of Franchising
VP of Retail Concepts
Amy has served as VP of Retail Concepts since November of 2019 and has been with us since 1994 in a variety of positions, including most recently, as Director of Retail Operations. Her family owned and operated a Wild Birds Unlimited store from 1980 to 2004. Amy spent her childhood in the cold winters of Northern Michigan and fell in love with watching the abundance of wild life that came to her family’s bird feeders.
Co-Chief Operating Officer
SVP of Retail Concepts
Director of Franchisee Communications and Training
Scott joined Wild Birds Unlimited in 2020 as the Director of Franchisee Communications and Training. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in marketing, adult learning, instructional design and internal corporate communications along with a consumer services background, which includes over 20 years in the cable industry (Comcast, Cox Communications) and over 8 years in residential home security (DEFENDERS-ADT). Scott brings a strong focus on collaboration and a passion for building cross-functional relationships to his WBU team. A big movie aficionado, he also enjoys participating in Community Theater, running, exercising and traveling with his family. Scott’s wife turned him onto the joy of feeding the birds and he is now obsessed with finding the next great feeder or food to add to his backyard set-up.
VP of Franchisee Communications and Training
Director of Coaching Support
Christa joined WBU in 2011 and has held the positions of Manager of Retail Services, Business Consultant, and Retail Operations Development Manager. She was promoted to Director of Coaching Support in 2019 and leads the business coach team who advise franchisees on operational best practices resulting in improved store performance and franchisee satisfaction. Christa has over 35 years of retail management leadership directing the operations, merchandising and personnel functions for Target Stores, Federated Department Stores, and specialty retail stores. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Retail Management from Purdue University. Christa and her family enjoy travel and discovering new experiences.
VP of Coaching Support
Cheryl joined Wild Birds Unlimited in 2007 and serves as Controller. She graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Management/Accounting. Cheryl is a Certified Public Accountant in Indiana and holds a Master of Business Administration from Butler University. Her background includes experience in public accounting, insurance, construction and retail. Cheryl is responsible for the corporate accounting functions at the Franchise Support Center. Cheryl enjoys watching the backyard birds with her family.
Director of Product
Jim started with Wild Birds Unlimited in 1990 and has served as Director of Product since 1994. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management & Organizations from Indiana University School of Business and was an independent real estate appraiser before joining WBU. Jim’s 20+ years of experience working with manufacturers and distributors of backyard bird feeding products has provided WBU with indispensable supplier relationships, advantageous buying programs and exclusive private label merchandise. Jim is currently on the Board of Directors of the Wild Bird Feeding Industry and has volunteered his time and talent on the industry’s trade association board for several years. Jim takes great satisfaction in having a career that mixes his lifelong love of birds and nature with the challenges of business, retail and relationship building.
VP of Product and Supply
Director of Information Systems
Dan has served as Director of Information Systems since April 2016. Dan has more than 30 years of computer technology leadership experience. Dan holds a BS of Computer Technology from Purdue University, and his MBA from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Dan’s professional experience includes almost two decades at General Motors Corporation, and later as VP of Information Systems at a 700 territory global franchise system. Dan is responsible for the overall Information Technology strategy for WBU, and manages the Information Systems Department staff and resources. Dan’s specialty is in building custom business intelligence tools and analytics to help franchisees understand how they can “move the needle.” Dan enjoys motorcycle touring, local sporting events with his family, and redirecting his home surveillance cameras previously pointed at his front door to now his backyard bird feeders.
Chief Information Officer
Director of Marketing
Bo spent much of her childhood working in her family’s specialty retail store in Indianapolis, where she learned all aspects of operating a small business. Prior to joining Wild Birds Unlimited, Bo spent 15 years in the publishing industry as a writer, editor and art director. She began her career with WBU in 1998 as Communications Manager and has served as Director of Marketing since January of 2011. Bo’s grandfather first introduced her to bird feeding as a young child and her parents instilled a lifelong love of nature.
VP of Marketing
Prior to joining Wild Birds Unlimited in 2004, John spent 26 years as a professional naturalist with federal, state and local agencies, specializing in environmental education, nature center operations and natural resources management. John is an avid birder and backyard bird feeder and has been a federally licensed bird bander for almost 30 years. As WBU’s Chief Naturalist, he enlists scientific research about birds in the development of new bird feeding products and nature education materials for WBU franchise stores.
Franchise Development Team
Paul Pickett- Chief Development Officer, EVP of Franchising
Seth Holan- Director of Franchise Development
Audrey Kleine- Lead Qualifier, FD Marketing Specialist
The Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Development team is focused on delivering an exceptional and thorough process to all of our candidates to ensure that we are a great match, from a culture, value and business goals standpoint. Our Franchise Update STAR award winning process promises to be educational, exciting and fun, all at the same time.