Meet Our Team

George & Susan (Sue) Wooten

Grow Forward Solutions, LLC

Regional Developer for Virginia, North Carolina, Washington DC, Maryland, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah

George and Sue met in college and have been married for, well, a long time. They have 2 adult children, Erin and Christian, and 4 grand-kids (Sue calls it the “best promotion ever”). The Wooten family has moved all over the world, literally, relocating for George’s career more than 15 times from south Florida to northern New Hampshire, west to Colorado and California, several places in between and even to the Middle East for a few years. This great partnership in life has led Sue and George to their Patrice & Associates business partnership, which only makes sense, at least to them.

Sue started working in restaurants as a server while in college and was a manager at Pizza Hut when Christian was born. Sue says she feels blessed to have been able to stay home with the kids for several years after Christian was born, but did not hesitate to jump back into the restaurant business when the opportunity presented itself. Sue bought an iconic 60-year old diner in a very small town in very northern New Hampshire. She quite literally ran the restaurant (cook, cashier, server and manger) and more than doubled sales in only a year. The family was then presented with another opportunity by George’s company to once again relocate for a promotion. Sue was prepared; she had recruited and trained someone to take over the restaurant and the right person who would ultimately buy it, which she did. Sue knows the restaurant world from bottom to top, literally, and she has an amazing ability to build incredible relationships in a very short time; she loves nothing more than helping others realize their goals and reach for their dreams.

George has almost 40 years of experience in the Hospitality/ Restaurant/ Retail business. He started out working on the grill at Wendy’s when he was 17 to pay his way through school. After 4 years there and 4 years of college, he left school and took a job as an Assistant Manager Trainee with Burger King Corp. with every intention of going back to school… Promotions came quickly, and school kept getting pushed off. Over the next 30+ years, George worked his way up from Assistant Manager to General Manager to District Manager, to Training Manager/ Director, Regional Director, VP, SVP and ultimately COO. He feels privileged to have had the opportunity to serve in senior executive leadership roles with several large and even iconic US companies generating annual revenue ranging from $100 Million to $44 Billion. He and Sue also had the opportunity to spend 2 years living and working in the Middle East where he served as Head of Restaurants for the largest retailer in MENA who gave him the amazing opportunity to work with and bring major US and European brands to the region. George never gave up on his education, even though he had achieved much success in his career and was a Senior VP with a $44 Billion company, he went back to school and finally got his Bachelor’s Degree in Management in 2009 and then spent the next 5 years working on his MBA which he was finally awarded in 2014!

Meet the Grow Forward Solutions – P&A Team

While Grow Forward Solutions – Patrice & Associates recruits well beyond just the hospitality industry, Sue and George will always have a passion for the people who own, operate and work in restaurants, bars, casinos, hotels, conference centers, supermarkets and other food focused retail/ hospitality businesses.  The GFS Recruiting Team is comprised of Certified Hospitality Recruiters (CHR), most of whom come from the Hospitality/ Restaurant industry and have decades of experience ranging from Manager to Multi-Unit Manager to Director, VP, and even C-Level executives – the GFS Team knows what Clients need and what they want, as well as what each candidate is searching for in their career. This level of expertise combined with The Patrice Way allows the Team to find the BEST MATCH for each and every position!

The Certified Hospitality Recruiters at GFS are supported by our Recruiting Support Specialists (RSS) who broaden our search capabilities and dramatically reduce the time to hire by focusing 100% of their time supporting our sourcing and research efforts. Our RSS leverage all resources and platforms to provide our Recruiters and Clients more of the best Candidates FASTER.

Our Approach

With George and Sue, you get two people who really understand the business from C-Suite to floor-sweep and everything in between. You also get true partners who understand the value of relationships and commitment and that is what you will see from every member of the team. George and Sue can relate to both Client companies and Candidates and they know what makes a perfect match; that’s the key – “MATCH”. George’s long history of successfully leading teams and developing people adds the third dimension, the ability to support and help franchisees in the region succeed. George’s approach has always put people first and he has long proven that by focusing on the right people, with the right ability, in the right place, at the right time both the individual and the company will succeed and grow together. This is our approach as a team and it is evident in our company name – GROW FORWARD SOLUTIONS.

Whether you are a Client, a Candidate or a Franchisee, George, Sue and their phenomenal team of Certified Hospitality Recruiting professionals can and will help you realize your goals and help you GROW FORWARD!!


What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

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    I would like to say thank you for this great opportunity and helping me with the next mile stone on my career path.

    At first when I received the email I was uncertain that this would work. Upon talking to Michelle I discovered that not only was she really nice, but also quite resourceful. I started the process on a Tuesday and literally one week later I was offered a job on the spot, thanks to all of her assistance. We talked and I was able to be open with her.  She was able to put me in the mindset of my now area manager to go over what to say and do, and what to leave out during the interview. We went over resumes and she showed me how to improve mine so that I stood out. Overall if I ever had to do this again I would gladly work with Michelle but I’m secure in my career path.  Thanks again to Patrice and Associates, and Michelle! Keyona Ellis
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    Joe is so awesome!!!

    This is so awesome!!! I knew he was the right fit when I talked to him! Kristen L. Joe is so awesome!!!
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    Michelle was outstanding!

    I want to thank you guys for all your help with me finding my new career.  My career coach, Michelle, was outstanding and she really assisted me every step of the way with great advice and tips for the future.  I will definitely be referring you guys to any other manager or soon to be manager looking for a career in another field. And I will be sure to keep in contact with you guys if I need help again in the future.   Thanks again! Silas Squalls Michelle was outstanding!
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    Without Tom, I would not have heard of this amazing opportunity!!

    In early November of 2019 I began a preliminary search for new employment. As I was currently employed I’d say I was less than aggressive in this search . After a few short weeks of my resume being posted on INDEED I received an email from Mr. Tom Schmitt representing Patrice & Associates . After a great “ get to know you conversation “ Tom informed and educated me on an exciting opportunity coming soon to my area. After a second interview style phone conversation Tom put me in contact with a District Manger representing this opportunity. Shortly there after I had an offer letter which far exceeded the compensation and overall benefits package that my current employer was offering . Without Tom who was extremely professional and seemed truly interested in my situation, I fear I would have never heard of this great opportunity let alone got a foot in the door . Thank You Tom and Patrice & Associates . Warmest Regards, Dan Without Tom, I would not have heard of this amazing opportunity!!
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    Sue made the process exciting!

    I had the pleasure of working with Sue Wooten of Patrice & Associates at the end of 2019. I had assumed that most hiring was complete for the year, but because of Sue's dedication to wrapping up my hire before the end of the year, she made sure that nothing was left to chance. She moved my new employer to make quick decisions, facilitate all calls and interviews, prepared me to discuss my previous experience and introduced me to my new companies goals and challenges. It's the rare case when you walk into a new position with your eyes wide open, but Sue's clarity and communication skills made the process fun, interesting and exciting. I have never worked with a recruiter in the past, but I would recommend Susan to anyone who wants to find just the right fit. I love my new job and I love that it is such a great fit for me. Thank you, Christina Bagapor-O'Harrow Sue made the process exciting!