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Executive Movements - March 2020

Heidi B. Capozzi Joins McDonald’s as Executive Vice President and Global Chief People Officer

March 16, 2020

CHICAGO, IL - March 16, 2020 – McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) announced today that Heidi B. Capozzi was named the company’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief People Officer, overseeing the company’s global human resources operations. In this role she will lead Corporate Employee Relations, Diversity and Inclusion, Total Rewards and Talent Management among other areas. Capozzi will start on April 13, 2020 and will be based at the company’s Chicago headquarters in the West Loop.

Capozzi most recently served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for the Chicago-based Boeing Company where she led initiatives for 160,000 employees across a $76 billion global enterprise. Since 2016, Capozzi has overseen Boeing’s leadership and learning, talent planning, employee and labor relations, total rewards and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Under her guidance Boeing reimagined their HR model and transformed talent development and mobility system wide.

“Finding the right Chief People Officer has been a top priority of mine,” said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “Her track record as a solutions-oriented partner to business leaders is consistent: Heidi brings insights from deep functional expertise to solve difficult and important business challenges. In this role she will oversee talented leaders across geographies and be a critical member of my executive team. We look forward to having a leader of her caliber join the McDonald’s family.”

“I’ve long admired the global impact of McDonald’s brand and the unique ability of the business model to support communities through entrepreneurs, the skill-building of a diverse workforce or simply giving back,” said Heidi Capozzi. “I am eager to learn even more about the business by listening and working alongside McDonald’s employees, franchisees, crew and suppliers so we can build toward a shared future grounded in our values, pride in the business and commitment to succeed together.”

Capozzi previously served as Boeing’s Vice President of Talent & Leadership, where she was responsible for identifying and developing emerging leadership talent as well as running the company's leadership center in St. Louis. She held prior positions as director of Human Resources for the Airplane Programs division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and director of Human Resources for the Surveillance and Engagement division of Boeing Military Aircraft.

Capozzi is a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Midtown Educational Foundation and the Human Resources Policy Association. She also is a member of the Rework America Task Force—a coalition of business, academic and policy leaders working to foster a 21st Century, skills-based labor market.

Capozzi holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in political science and East Asian studies and earned a master's degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota.

About McDonald’s McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with over 38,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 93% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.

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Farmer Brothers Appoints Scott Drake as Chief Financial Officer

March 16, 2020 08:30 ET

NORTHLAKE, Texas, March 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Farmer Bros. Co. (NASDAQ:FARM) (the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Scott Drake as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, effective March 23, 2020. Scott Lyon will continue to serve in his role as Farmer Brothers’ Vice President, Controller.

Mr. Drake brings two decades of financial executive experience, including deep knowledge of the food & beverage and retail industries. He most recently served as GameStop Corp.’s Senior Vice President, Finance and Treasurer, where he oversaw financial planning and analysis, capital planning, risk management, mergers and acquisitions, and worldwide treasury functions. Prior to that, Mr. Drake served as 7-Eleven, Inc.’s Vice President, Finance Strategy and Communications from 2001 to 2015, where he oversaw corporate strategy, corporate communications and investor relations, financial planning and analysis, and capital planning functions. Prior to 2001, he held finance and accounting positions with Arthur Andersen, La Madeleine French Bakery and Café, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Coopers & Lybrand. Mr. Drake received a B.B.A. in Finance and Accounting and an M.B.A. in Corporate Finance from Texas A&M University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

“Following a thorough search, I am pleased to welcome Scott Drake to the Farmer Brothers team,” said Deverl Maserang, President and CEO. “He is a highly-accomplished executive bringing nearly 20 years of financial experience and knowledge of our industry. We are confident that Scott will be a great member of the team and his skills will serve us well as we build upon the important progress we have made to return Farmer Brothers to growth and profitability. I would also like to thank Scott Lyon for his outstanding service as Interim Principal Financial and Accounting Officer during our search for a permanent CFO.”

Scott Drake added, “I am honored to join Farmer Brothers, a company with a strong legacy and commitment to high-quality products, sustainability leadership and superior customer service. As the Company is in the midst of a turnaround, I am excited to drive forward a level of financial leadership and rigor that will position the Company to execute on its strategic initiatives. I look forward to working closely with Deverl and the Company’s talented team to further strengthen Farmer Brothers’ foundation and deliver enhanced value for our stakeholders.”

About Farmer Bros. Co.

Founded in 1912, Farmer Bros. Co. is a national coffee roaster, wholesaler and distributor of coffee, tea and culinary products. The Company’s product lines include organic, Direct Trade and sustainably-produced coffee. With a robust line of coffee, hot and iced teas, cappuccino mixes, spices, and baking/biscuit mixes, the Company delivers extensive beverage planning services and culinary products to its U.S. based customers. The Company serves a wide variety of customers, from small independent restaurants and foodservice operators to large institutional buyers like restaurant and convenience store chains, hotels, casinos, healthcare facilities, and gourmet coffee houses, as well as grocery chains with private brand coffee and consumer branded coffee and tea products, and foodservice distributors.

Headquartered in Northlake, Texas, Farmer Bros. Co. generated net sales of $595.9 million in fiscal 2019 and has approximately 1,470 employees nationwide. The Company’ s primary brands include Farmer Brothers®, Artisan Collection by Farmer Brothers™, Superior®, Metropolitan™, China Mist® and Boyds®.

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Dunkin' Brands Announces New Vice President, IT Store Systems

Mar 12, 2020, 12:36 ET

CANTON, Mass., March 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Dunkin' Brands, the parent company of Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins, today announced the promotion of Gagan Sinha to Vice President, IT Store Systems.

In this role, Sinha, who joined Dunkin' Brands in 2016 and most recently served as Senior Director of Store Systems, will have responsibility for all aspects of in-store technology for both Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins. This includes the continued rollout of Dunkin' Brands' Retail Systems Vendor Program (RSVP) and other technology enhancements in Dunkin's next-generation design restaurants, such as digital drive-thru menu boards, order confirmation boards, kiosks and other new and emerging technologies to be implemented in the coming years. Sinha will report to Jack Clare, Chief Information Officer for Dunkin' Brands.

According to Jack Clare, "Over the past four years, Gagan has helped Dunkin' Brands deploy leading-edge technologies to improve the guest experience and franchisee profitability, including the critical POS and back-office initiatives for both Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins. Gagan is a proven, experienced leader in transforming global retail store systems and will continue to play a key role in implementing the strategic IT solutions that will contribute to the company's success and growth around the world."

Prior to Dunkin' Brands, Sinha was Director, Store Systems Practice for OLR, the world's leading specialist end-to-end retail systems integrator. He was responsible for all aspects of the company's Oracle MICROS Practice, including market analysis, strategy and growth initiatives. As Consulting Practice Manager at Oracle, he had responsibility for both the Retail Store Systems and Loss Prevention consulting teams, overseeing more than 30 professionals across the globe. Sinha also served as Manager, Technical Services/Software Engineering for more than six years at MICROS Systems, Inc., now owned by Oracle Corporation.

Sinha earned his master's degree in management from Harvard University and bachelor's degree in engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University.

About Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.

With more than 21,000 points of distribution in more than 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DNKN) is one of the world's leading franchisors of quick service restaurants (QSR) serving hot and cold coffee and baked goods, as well as hard-serve ice cream. At the end of the fourth quarter 2019, Dunkin' Brands' 100 percent franchised business model included over 13,000 Dunkin' restaurants and more than 8,000 Baskin-Robbins restaurants. Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. is headquartered in Canton, Mass.

View source version at Dunkin' Brands

Captain D's Appoints Brad Clark as Chief Supply Chain Officer

- Leading Fast Casual Seafood Restaurant Welcomes Industry Veteran to Executive Team -

Mar 09, 2020, 08:58 ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Captain D's, the nation's leading fast casual seafood restaurant, announced today that Brad Clark has joined the company as chief supply chain officer. Clark brings over 20 years of both international and domestic experience leading procurement and food safety initiatives for other restaurant service brands. Clark will be responsible for leading the purchasing, food safety and quality assurance team, supporting the company's ongoing expansion throughout the country.

"Brad's track record of sourcing and providing high quality products, while aligning with restaurant profitability goals, is a key element of our strategic roadmap for further growth," said Phil Greifeld, chief executive officer and president of Captain D's. "We are delighted to have someone with Brad's track record and experience join the executive team."

Clark brings multi-unit and multi brand experience with him to Captain D's. Prior to Captain D's, Clark was with P.F. Chang's China Bistro for seven years, where he most recently served as the vice president of supply chain, food safety and quality assurance. Clark began and spent 21 years of his supply chain career working with the Unified Food Service Purchasing Co-op, best known as the purchasing cooperative for YUM! Brands.

"The restaurant industry is exciting and fast paced as brands continually innovate new products for the marketplace. With the appeal for sustainable seafood among consumers on an upward trajectory, the growth potential for the brand makes it an exciting time to be joining the Captain D's executive team," Clark said.

Clark comes on board following the retirement of Janet Duckham in February of this year.

ABOUT CAPTAIN D'S Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Captain D's has more than 530 restaurants in 22 states. Captain D's is the nation's leading fast casual seafood restaurant and was named the #1 seafood chain in the QSR 50, ranked by AUV. Founded in 1969, Captain D's has been offering its customers high-quality seafood at reasonable prices in a welcoming atmosphere for more than 50 years. Captain D's serves a wide variety of seafood that includes freshly prepared entrees and the company's signature batter dipped fish. The restaurants also offer premium-quality, grilled items such as shrimp, Tilapia and Salmon, as well as hush puppies, desserts and freshly brewed, Southern-style sweet tea, a Captain D's favorite. For more information, please visit

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Subway® Appoints Mike Kappitt as Chief Operating and Insights Officer

Mar 10, 2020, 09:00 ET

MILFORD, Conn., March 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Subway® restaurants announced today that Mike Kappitt has joined the company in a newly created role as Chief Operating and Insights Officer. Kappitt will lead Subway's ongoing efforts across its digital channels, including third-party delivery and catering, as well as oversee the company's analytics and insights functions.

Kappitt has more than 20 years of experience in both the restaurant and franchising industries, where he has held marketing and business intelligence expertise for global brands including Outback Steakhouse, Burger King North America, and Alamo and National Car Rental.

"Mike brings an extraordinary track record for growing global brands through insights-driven marketing," said CEO John Chidsey. "His expertise will be invaluable for the continued growth of the Subway brand."

"I am delighted to join the Subway team and excited to partner with franchisees and other key stakeholders to evolve this great brand for generations to come," said Kappitt. "I look forward to being part of it."

Most recently Kappitt served as President of Carrabba's Italian Grill, where he was responsible for leading the domestic operation and development of the brand. Prior to that, he served as Global Chief Marketing Officer for Bloomin' Brands where he led the development and implementation of growth and marketing strategies across the portfolio of brands. Kappitt also held several marketing and business intelligence positions with Burger King Corporation.

About Subway ® Restaurants

The Subway restaurant chain continues to evolve the dining experience, offering guests in more than 100 countries quality ingredients, as well as robust flavor combinations while serving over 6 million made-to-order sandwiches created each day. All Subway restaurants are owned and operated by more than 20,000 Franchise Owners, who employ many people in their communities. The Subway experience is also delivered online at, through, and the Subway® App.

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Chipotle Announces Changes To Its Board Composition

Mar 06, 2020, 08:30 ET

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) announced that, on March 3, 2020, its Board of Directors appointed Brian Niccol, the Company's Chief Executive Officer, to the additional position of Chairman of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. As a result, Chipotle's founder, Steve Ells, has relinquished the position of Executive Chairman and has stepped down as a director. Neil Flanzraich will continue to serve as Lead Independent Director.

Mr. Flanzraich, speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, said, "Steve Ells is a visionary founder who not only created a new and successful brand, but also revolutionized casual dining in 1993 with the introduction of Chipotle and the concept of food with integrity. We are grateful for all that Steve has done for Chipotle, including helping build and guide the current leadership team, and for his service as Executive Chairman during the last two years."

"I am grateful to Steve for his mentorship and guidance since I joined Chipotle two years ago," said Mr. Niccol. "Our key strategies are working, and I am proud of the results the team has achieved. We are building a sustainable model to cultivate a better world, while enhancing value for our shareholders."

Mr. Ells said, "Brian has proven that he is absolutely the right person to lead Chipotle forward and I've never been more confident about the future of this great company. I am especially grateful to the employees and our valued customers over the last 27 years who helped make Chipotle the unmatched brand in fast casual dining it is today. I look forward to following Chipotle's continued growth and success for many years to come."

The Board today also announced that directors Matthew Paull and Paul Cappuccio will not stand for re-election to the Board at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

Mr. Niccol added, "Matt and Paul have been vital members of the Board through a transformational time in the company's history. Their strategic maturity and clear-eyed business experience have benefited this company tremendously."

With the Board composition changes announced today and following the 2020 Annual Meeting, the Chipotle Board will be comprised of seven directors, six of whom are independent. The Board is committed to ongoing director refreshment and continues to consider new, qualified and independent directors.

ABOUT CHIPOTLE Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE: CMG) is cultivating a better world by serving responsibly sourced, classically-cooked, real food with wholesome ingredients without artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Chipotle had over 2,600 restaurants as of December 31, 2019, in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany and is the only restaurant company of its size that owns and operates all its restaurants. With more than 83,000 employees passionate about providing a great guest experience, Chipotle is a longtime leader and innovator in the food industry. Chipotle is committed to making its food more accessible to everyone while continuing to be a brand with a demonstrated purpose as it leads the way in digital, technology and sustainable business practices. Steve Ells, founder and executive chairman, first opened Chipotle with a single restaurant in Denver, Colorado in 1993. For more information or to place an order online, visit WWW.CHIPOTLE.COM.

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Jimmy John’s Announces New Chief Marketing Officer

March 5, 2020

Jimmy John’s today announced that Darin Dugan has been named Chief Marketing Officer.

Darin will oversee brand marketing and planning, menu and new product development, advertising and digital – which includes media, as well as its loyalty and CRM programs. As Chief Marketing Officer, he will report directly to Jimmy John’s Brand President James North.

“Darin has proven he can do it all over the course of his remarkable career,” said James. “His leadership, creativity, innovation and singular focus on guest experience will help accelerate the growth of Jimmy John’s. I look forward to partnering with Darin and realize his bold new vision for the brand.”

Darin previously served as Vice President of Marketing for SONIC Drive-In, also part of the Inspire Brands portfolio. At SONIC, Darin led brand management, media, creative as well as social and digital activations. He also worked closely with the SONIC product development team to bring new culinary and menu innovation to market. Before joining SONIC, Darin held senior leadership positions at DineEquity-Applebee’s and spent over 15 years at Kraft Foods, where he led several brands such as Oscar Mayer and Lunchables.

“I’ve been an admirer of Jimmy John’s for a long time, especially its commitment to quality, customer service and digital innovation,” said Darin. “I look forward to joining this award-winning team and helping the brand reach its tremendous growth potential.”

View source version at Jimmy John's

Arby's names P&G's Patrick Schwing as CMO

AUTHOR Robert Williams

PUBLISHED March 4, 2020

Dive Brief:

  1. Arby's named Patrick Schwing as chief marketing officer to oversee the fast-food chain's advertising, digital innovation, menu development and brand experience, per an announcement. Schwing joins Arby's after more than 16 years at Procter & Gamble (P&G).

  2. Schwing previously led the global power brush interactivity and innovation group at Oral-B, P&G's consumer dental care brand. While there, he oversaw the introduction of its Oral-B Connect products that use artificial intelligence (AI) technology and a mobile app to help consumers improve their teeth brushing.

  3. Schwing also worked as a brand manager for P&G products such as Pantene, Head & Shoulders and Herbal Essences, according to his profile on LinkedIn. He will report directly to Arby’s President Jim Taylor, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

Arby's appointment of Patrick Schwing as CMO is notable for hiring an experienced brand manager and marketing executive outside of the restaurant industry. The fast-food chain was looking for someone with experience in brand-building, digital marketing and innovation, Arby's President Jim Taylor said in a statement.

Schwing's most recent experience includes P&G's efforts to embrace digital and mobile technologies among personal care brands such as Oral-B. As mobile ordering, payment and delivery become more important to the restaurant industry, Schwing's experience is valuable to a brand like Arby's. Similarly, Starbucks recently promoted Brady Brewer to CMO from VP of digital customer experience, in a sign that the chain is looking to make the in-store and digital experience more seamless.

Schwing's hiring comes as Arby's looks to differentiate itself amid a competitive QSR space. Even as some fast-food rivals have embraced plant-based alternatives, Arby's has defiantly touted its sandwiches made from roast beef, bacon and turkey with the slogan, "We have the meats." The chain even created a meat-based carrot called "the Marrot" to buck the prevailing trend of selling meat substitutes. Arby's has worked to counteract rumors that it was planning to add a plant-based burger to its menu after Burger King and Little Caesars announced partnerships with Impossible Foods, Fortune reported.

Arby's recent marketing campaigns included an effort in January to troll rivals, a strategy that Burger King and Wendy's have adopted in the past few years. Arby's highlighted its hat-shaped logo in a campaign timed with National Hat Day on Jan. 15. The chain tweeted a video showing the mascots of competitors such as Burger, King, KFC, McDonald's and Wendy's wearing the iconic Arby's hat.

View source version at Arby's

Marco’s Pizza Promotes Steve Seyferth to Senior Vice President, Chief Experience Officer

March 3, 2020

Marketing Veteran Adds New Customer-Centric Role at Fast-Growing Pizza Brand

Toledo, OH  (  Marco’s Franchising, LLC., one of the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brands, elevates Steve Seyferth to Senior Vice Present, Chief Experience Officer from his previous post of Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. In his new role, Seyferth will be responsible for every aspect of the customer journey for the Marco’s brand.

In addition to his continued oversight of all marketing activities, Seyferth’s new role will include working closely with Operations to ensure a customer-centric focus that will explore new sales channels and enhance Marco’s current experiences. All with the goal of growing the Marco’s brand now and into the future in an everchanging restaurant industry landscape.

Seyferth’ s promotion and new title reflects an overall calibration of key leadership aligned to its ‘People First’ cultural belief, hyper focused around its three key audiences – customers, employees and franchisee partners.

“Steve is a strong leader who exudes passion and embraces ‘what’s next’ when it comes to consumer trends and behaviors,” said Tony Libardi, President and COO of Marco’s Pizza. “We’re excited to leverage his marketing and advertising expertise, proven performance, and pursuit of innovative ways to connect with customers. He knows what it takes to deliver a great guest experience which will help grow our great brand.”

Since being named CMO, Seyferth launched Marco’s first national marketing campaign and increased its overall brand awareness, leading to Marco’s being named America’s Most-Loved, Most-Trusted Pizza Brand, according to the 2019 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study. This marketing campaign helped grow same-store sales and boost its national profile.

Seyferth’s background includes more than 30 years of experience working in key executive positions at major advertising and media companies, including support of blue-chip marketers such as Domino’s, General Mills, Kraft, Coors, Gatorade and Ford Motor Company. Plus, he was at the forefront of the digital movement, holding Vice President roles at AOL Time Warner and AT&T AdWorks (Xandr).

While on the agency side, Seyferth led the development of numerous award-winning advertising campaigns, including the renowned “Be Like Mike” campaign for Gatorade, featuring Michael Jordan. This campaign, created in 1991, was named the “Best Sports Commercial” of all time by USA Today in Nov. 2016.

Seyferth holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, where he played Varsity Baseball on two Big Ten Championship teams. He holds a master’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University.

For more information on Marco’s Pizza franchise opportunities, visit or call 866-731-8209.

About Marco’s Pizza

Headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, Marco’s Pizza is one of the fastest-growing pizza companies in the United States. Marco’s was founded in 1978 by Italian-born Pasquale (“Pat”) Giammarco and thrives by making authentic Italian quality pizza with fresh ingredients. The company has grown from its roots as a beloved Ohio brand to operate more than 950 stores in over 34 states with locations in Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Marco’s was named America’s Most-Loved and Most-Trusted Pizza Brand, according to the 2019 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study. Most recently, Marco’s Pizza was ranked No. 4 in Forbes “Best Franchises to Buy” 2019 Study/Medium Investment, and No. 39 on Entrepreneur’s 2019 Franchise 500 ranking. Other recent accolades include ranking No. 2 on Entrepreneur’s 2018 Top 200 Food and Restaurant Franchises in the pizza segment, and No. 8 on the Military Times Best: Franchises 2018 list.

View source version at Marco's Pizza

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc. Appoints Brandon Coleman III as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

February 24, 2020 08:30 ET

DALLAS, Feb. 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc., (NASDAQ:PLAY), ("Dave & Buster's" or "the Company"), an owner and operator of entertainment and dining venues, today announced that it has appointed Brandon Coleman III as Senior Vice President (SVP) and Chief Marketing Officer, effective February 26, 2020. Mr. Coleman will succeed Sean Gleason, who has served in the role since 2009 and will continue with the Company in an advisory capacity through April 30, 2020.

Mr. Coleman brings to Dave & Buster’s more than a decade of marketing experience in the restaurant industry. Most recently, he served as President of Del Frisco’s Grille where he led a successful brand turnaround and achieved positive same store sales growth. Prior to that, he was the Chief Marketing Officer of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group where he oversaw the marketing, culinary, beverage, and research and development teams for all three of the company’s brands.

“Brandon is a seasoned marketing executive and we are excited to welcome him to the Dave & Buster’s team,” said Brian Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer. “He brings valuable expertise and a proven track-record of success implementing research-driven marketing strategies across a variety of concepts. Guest engagement, loyalty and brand recognition are central tenets of our strategy, and I am confident in Brandon’s ability to drive innovation and advance our ongoing marketing initiatives. Brandon is a great cultural fit and we are confident we will benefit from his leadership and fresh perspective.”

Mr. Coleman said, “Dave & Buster’s is an iconic brand, and I have long admired its market-leading position and focus on creating an immersive experience for guests. I am excited to begin working with the team to drive deeper customer engagement, accelerate digital marketing initiatives and develop targeted campaigns utilizing the Company’s expanding consumer insights capabilities.”

Mr. Jenkins added, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, management team, and employees of Dave & Buster’s, I want to thank Sean Gleason for his many contributions to the Company over the last 11 years. We especially appreciate his support in facilitating a seamless transition. We wish Sean all the best in his future endeavors.”

About Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc.

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc., is the owner and operator of 136 venues in North America that combine entertainment and dining and offer customers the opportunity to "Eat Drink Play and Watch," all in one location. Dave & Buster's offers a full menu of entrées and appetizers, a complete selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and an extensive assortment of entertainment attractions centered around playing games and watching live sports and other televised events. Dave & Buster's currently has stores in 39 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

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FOCUS Brands Appoints Jim Holthouser as Chief Executive Officer

February 20, 2020

Hospitality Industry Veteran to Accelerate Growth and Enhance Customer Experience 

Atlanta, GA  (  FOCUS Brands (the “Company”), parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli®, Schlotzsky’s®, and Seattle’s Best Coffee® (in certain military bases and in certain international markets), today announced that Jim Holthouser will join the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Jim succeeds Steve DeSutter, who is retiring after serving as the Company’s CEO for nearly six years.

Mr. Holthouser brings more than 30 years of experience in worldwide brand development, concept innovation, franchise management, and digital marketing. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Global Brands, Marketing and Loyalty at Hilton Worldwide, where he was responsible for Hilton’s entire portfolio of 13 brands with over 5,000 hotels across 105 countries, generating annual revenues of $36 billion. Jim spent more than 20 years at Hilton in various strategic and brand management roles and has a proven track record of spearheading the launch, development, and repositioning of leading consumer brands.

“FOCUS Brands is an outstanding company, recognized globally for its iconic brands, and I am pleased to take on this role at such an exciting time in the Company’s history,” said Mr. Holthouser. “I look forward to working with the FOCUS Brands team, franchisees, and suppliers to continue growing our leading foodservices concepts, enhancing our customers’ experience and delivering value to all of our partners.”

“Jim is a results-oriented leader with a demonstrated history of partnering with team members and franchisees to drive results,” said Steve Romaniello, FOCUS Brands Board Chairman. “His track record of managing multi-branded portfolios and growing brands is impressive and gives us great confidence that he is ideally suited to lead FOCUS Brands in its next phase of growth. We thank Steve for his leadership and service over the past six years and look forward to welcoming Jim to the FOCUS Brands family.”

“It has been a great pleasure to serve as CEO of FOCUS Brands over the past six years and I am confident that the business is positioned for continued growth with Jim at the helm,” said Mr. DeSutter. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Jim and he has impressed me with his passion for the brands, hospitality and franchising. While it’s always bittersweet to close the door on one chapter, I am very much looking forward to continuing to watch the business grow from my seat in retirement.”

About FOCUS Brands

Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. FOCUS Brands, through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shoppes, and bakeries in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and over 50 foreign countries under the brand names Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli®, and Schlotzsky’s®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Please visit to learn more.

View source version at FOCUS Brands

The Cheesecake Factory Appoints Janice Meyer to Board of Directors

February 19, 2020 04:17 PM Eastern Standard Time

CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ: CAKE) today announced the expansion of its Board of Directors from seven to eight members and appointed Janice L. Meyer to the Company’s Board of Directors as an independent member. Ms. Meyer will also serve on the Audit Committee of the Board and will stand for election at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

“Janice brings unique perspective having covered the restaurant industry as an analyst for most of her career,” said David Overton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. “Her experience will complement our other Board members as we continue to execute on our growth strategy.”

Following a 20-year career in sell-side research and investment banking covering the restaurant industry at Credit Suisse AG, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Morgan Stanley, Ms. Meyer co-founded Rellevant Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on lower middle-market restaurant and food & beverage companies. As a Managing Partner of the firm, Ms. Meyer is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the investment process, including analyzing, advising and monitoring portfolio companies. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Tillster, Inc., a restaurant industry-focused technology company, is a Trustee of The Windward School and a former board member of Chop’t Creative Salad Company.

About The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated is a leader in experiential dining. We are culinary forward and relentlessly focused on hospitality. Delicious, memorable experiences created by passionate people – this defines who we are and where we are going. We currently own and operate 294 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada under brands including The Cheesecake Factory®, North Italia® and a collection within the Fox Restaurant Concepts subsidiary. Internationally, 26 The Cheesecake Factory® restaurants operate under licensing agreements. Our bakery division operates two facilities that produce quality cheesecakes and other baked products for our restaurants, international licensees and third-party bakery customers. In 2020, we were named to the FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list for the seventh consecutive year. To learn more, visit and

View source version at The Cheesecake Factory

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