Bringing over 130 years of combined experience in franchising, Young Chefs Academy is the leader in children's services space.  As members of the International Franchise Association and experts in cooking instruction and children's enrichment programs, our skilled team is the foundation of the strongest cooking school franchise in the US and around the globe.



Julie Fabing Burleson

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Julie has served as Young Chefs Academy Franchisor for 12 years. Julie owned and operated two culinary businesses prior to franchising the Young Chefs Academy model and set out on her mission of teaching children the joy and value of cooking.  Julie was the recipient of Best Feasibility Plan from Baylor University’s John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and is a proud member of the IFA (International Franchise Association).

 Kevin Ayers

Kevin Ayers

Vice President and General Counsel

Kevin brings 20 years of experience practicing franchising law (U.S. and international). His 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.

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Shelly Young

Director of Marketing

Shelly has served 15 years in a variety of franchise industry roles with an emphasis on integrated marketing solutions, national marketing initiatives, & graphic development & design.



Diane Wright

Franchise Development Specialist

Over more than 25 years in the franchising industry, Diane has been a unit franchisee and master licensee, and has held various executive management positions with national and international franchisors including President of Innovative Franchise Services, a franchise consulting and development firm in Tucson, Arizona. She is a past president of the International Franchisee Advisory Council for Decorating Den Systems, Inc., and past president of the Arizona Licensor/Franchisor 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).



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+




Jamie Skinner

Director of Franchise Operations

With nearly 20 years of franchise 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

Director of Curriculum Development

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 experience as an elementary school teacher.


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