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Executive Ladder


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Taco John’s recruited Jimmy Orr as director of digital strategy. He previously directed digital strategy at the White House for President George W. Bush. In addition, Tom Meyer is its new VP of marketing.  

John Teza joined NRD Capital Management as director, supporting business development and portfolio growth.

Robert Ritter is the new executive VP of operations at Frisch’s Big Boy.

Scott Stuck is the new president of Jon Smith Subs, which was acquired by United Franchise Group last year.

Timothy Courtney is PuroClean’s new VP of franchise development.

Tom Meyer

Tom Meyer

Mark Montini

Mark Montini

Naranga announced Mark Montini as CEO; Tariq Farid will transition to chairman.

Restoration 1 added David Olson as franchise consultant.

Amanda Allen was promoted to CFO at Edible Arrangements.

Lennys Grill & Subs hired Jennifer Benjamin to oversee franchising.

AdvantaClean Systems appointed Matt Phillips as president.

Overseeing marketing and communications, Phyllis Savar Levy is now senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Rita’s Franchise Co.

Church’s Chicken promoted Pete Servold as executive VP of U.S. operations and Tony Moralejo as executive VP of international business. David Knies will lead a team of directors around real estate, construction and new business.

Stacy Soderstrom is now the franchise development leader at KFC.

Blink Fitness hired Patricia Perry as VP of franchise development and Lori Gonzalez as director of franchise operations.

CKE Restaurants appointed Joanna Shepherd as chief people officer, Stephen Carvelli as CIO and Jim Sullivan was promoted to chief development officer.

Dan Harmon and Jennifer Herskind joined Smoothie King as COO and CMO.

Franchise Brands appointed Chris Dent as CFO.

Title Boxing Club hired Marty Mazer as VP of franchise development.

Weldon Spangler is the new CEO of Papa Murphy’s after seven years at Dunkin’ Brands.

MOD Pizza announced Paul Twohig as its first chief operating officer.

Caring Transitions hired Steve Kwon as its new VP of franchising.

Pei Wei named Chris Andrews as its new VP of information technology.   

Eric Kirschke is the new operations manager at Mosquito One’s headquarters.

IHOP Restaurants hired Brad Haley as its new chief marketing officer.


Chris Phillips

Chris Phillips

New GPS Hospitality veep to drive ‘journey to a billion’

Chris Phillips is the latest passenger on the so-called journey to a billion at Atlanta-based GPS Hospitality, a major franchisee of Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, his previous employer.

As the vice president of strategic development, Phillips has a lot of strategery in his future as the brand that cracked the $500 million mark in revenue this year continues on its hard-charging journey to a billion dollars of revenue by 2022, the mega-franchisee’s long-stated goal.

GPS Hospitality is the 28th largest restaurant operator in the Franchise Times Restaurant 200. In his new role—now on the franchisee side of the equation—Phillips is focusing on M&A deals by working directly with franchisors in hopes of piecing together the blockbuster multi-unit deals that have become the GPS hallmark in recent years.

Asked about his specific avenues for expansion, Phillips suggested his previous employer, Popeyes, will be a major part of the equation, but added that GPS is nearing announcements for its two next brands.

“There’s a lot of white space there, and to-be-named brands three and potentially four will be where a lot of growth will come,” he said.

Phillips added his split from Popeyes was amicable, and he will continue working with the company given the close ties between it and GPS—geographically and culturally.

“I think we’re going to create a lot of opportunities for a lot of great people and … the relationship side is what I was most attracted to,” he said of the new job and referring to GPS’s CEO. “You can’t get anyone in the industry to say anything but glowing things about Tom Garrett and his team, so that’s what I’m excited about.”

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