Velvet Taco and Mr Brews Taphouse name new executives

Executive Summary: A roundup of high-level hirings and promotions in the restaurant business includes changes for Noodles & Company and Taco Bell.
Mark Leach and Brooke Perry.
Mark Leach and Brooke Perry. | Photos courtesy of Mr Brews Taphouse and Velvet Taco.

Executive Summary

Velvet Taco has named Brooke Perry vice president of marketing. Perry comes to the taco chain from her role as vice president of marketing for Original ChopShop. Prior to that role, Perry was a senior brand leader at Jamba Juice, managed Dallas Fort Worth guest experience for Target Corporation and aided growth at Zoe’s Kitchen. Perry also has experience with new market entry, which Velvet Taco says will aid the brand as it continues domestic expansion. In her new role, Perry will direct day-to-day marketing functions and oversee brand building programs.

“I’m confident she is the ideal person to lead our innovative brand into the future as our new VP of marketing, “said Clay Dover, Velvet Taco’s CEO, in a statement.  “With Brooke’s extensive experience in building brand equity, I know she will make a major impact here.”

Mr Brews Taphouse also made some changes to its c-suite this week.  Mark Leach, who held the role of chief operating officer for four years, has been promoted to president of franchise development. In the new role, Leach will bring his operational expertise to push the brand into new markets, according to a press release.

The restaurant and pub chain also promoted Ken Leetch to chief operating officer. Prior to this change, Leetch served as vice president of operations for 18 months and he brings over 20 years of industry experience to the company.

“I have been continually impressed by the exceptional work and leadership displayed by Mark and Kenny,” said Mr Brews CEO Steve Day, in a statement. “Their dedication and strategic prowess have played a significant role in the success of Mr Brews Taphouse thus far and the future looks incredibly bright with them at the helm. I am excited to witness the continued growth and success they will undoubtedly bring to our brand.”

Michael Hynes has been named CFO of Noodles & Company, effective July 24. He comes to the Broomfield, Colo.-based fast-casual chain from Ruth’s Chris-parent Ruth’s Hospitality Group, where he was vice president of finance and accounting. Before that, he worked at accounting firms RSM and Deloitte.

Noodles’ CEO Dave Boennighausen said in a statement, “We believe Mike’s extensive experience in the public company restaurant sector, his numerous skills across critical financial disciplines, and his credibility in the financial community will be a winning combination for our company as we focus on achieving our full potential.”

Also this week, Taco Bell announced that Sean Tresvant will take the helm from Mark King, who is retiring as CEO. Currently, Tresvant serves as the chain’s chief brand and strategy officer.

Meanwhile, Michael Keller has been named CEO and president of Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, while the concept’s founder, Jeremy Litwack shifts to a brand ambassador role.

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