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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    Mike Buterbaugh was AWESOME!

    I applied for a General Manager position that your company was advertising for, Mike Buterbaugh was my recruiter. He fixed my resume up and submitted it to the company I was applying for. He coached me through all three interviews and I am happy to say that I got the position! I have worked with other recruiters and only had phone interviews. Mike produced results, he was great!

    Many Thanks,

    Tisha Torres

    Mike Buterbaugh was AWESOME!
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    Erin Defreitas was absolutely fantastic and continues to be helpful.

    I appreciate everything she has done and continues to do, would also recommend her to anyone that is looking for work!

    -Anonymous Erin Defreitas was absolutely fantastic and continues to be helpful
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    Danny North was wonderful to work with!

    He is a constant professional. Danny helped guide me through the resume set up process along with helping me highlight some of my key attributes. He was always available when I reached out to him, whether it was by email or the phone. Danny was a great resource to have since he was once in the Restaurant Industry. It was quite honestly like working with a Restaurant Insider. Danny, I appreciate your honesty, advice and more importantly your professionalism. Thank you for your help in finding my new career.

    Warm Regards,

    Sean Lakos

    Danny North was wonderful to work with!
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    Erin DeFreitas was Top - Notch!

    Could not have been better!

                          Thank You!     Eddie T. Erin DeFreitas was top-notch!
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    Thank you to Mike Buterbaugh & Patrice & Associates!

    Mike Buterbaugh of Patrice & Associates was such a pleasure to work with.  He contacted me right away and offered me insight on some potential work opportunities.  Also offered some knowledge on how I could approach each interview.  It was great, I got hired and I’m so excited to start this new journey.     Warm Regards, Italo Garibaldi Thank you to Mike Buterbaugh & Patrice & Associates! 
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