Leadership

Michael Keller named CEO, president of Jeremiah's Italian Ice

Founder Jeremy Litwack is shifting to a brand ambassador role, and the chain is beefing up its infrastructure to support more growth.
Jeremiah's Italian Ice
The new prototype location in Locust, N.C., is a freestanding unit with a drive-thru.|Photo courtesy of Jeremiah's Italian Ice.

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice named a new CEO and president on Tuesday.

Michael Keller, the former CEO and president of Pearson Candy Company and a former marketing executive of brands like Dairy Queen, Jamba Juice and Baskin Robbins USA, will take the helm at the frozen dessert franchise. He replaces founder Jeremy Litwack, who will step into the role of brand ambassador.

“Jeremiah’s has grown at an incredible pace,” said Litwack in a statement. “After 27 years and more than 100 locations opening and operating, I feel that now is the time to pivot my focus, opening the door for new leadership with the skillset and background necessary to take the brand to the next level.”

The Orlando, Fla.-based chain, known for its 40 flavors of Italian ice that can be layered with gelati, also made some other changes to the executive team.

Erin Buono, formerly of Sonic Drive-In and Virtual Dining Concepts, has joined the chain as its first ever director of research and development.

Adam Hing, who previously worked with Ruth’s Chris, Bloomin’ Brands and Darden Restaurants, is Jeremiah’s new supply chain director.

And Julianna Voyles, the former operations director at Jeremiah’s, has been promoted to the role of senior director of franchise operations.

In addition, the company has brought in Sundell & Associates to provide distribution and logistics support for the supply chain while senior leadership focuses on strengthening franchisor/franchisee relations with the recently launched Franchisee Advisory Council.

Jeremiah’s recently saw the opening of its 116th unit. Last year, the chain added 38 locations and now operates in 11 states.

The chain, which is partnered with Pivotal Growth Partners for its franchise growth, last year also began testing a new prototype unit with a drive-thru.

“With a record number of stores opened in 2022, and even more in store for 2023, I am confident that Jeremiah’s growth will continue, and we are proactively positioning the brand and building the necessary infrastructure to support both our current and future franchisees,” said Keller in a statement.

 

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