Management Moves: Weis, Lund, Carayannopoulos, Dillon, Bawcom

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Steve Weis, Max & Erma’s

With an aggressive turnaround plan underway, Max & Erma’s Restaurants is turning to veteran restaurant leader Steve Weis to guide day-to-day-operations. 

The announcement was made by Hazem Ouf, president and CEO of Max & Erma’s parent company, American Blue Ribbon Holdings (ABRH). Ouf will continue to serve as the chain’s chief executive and Weis will report to him.

“Steve’s experience as a leader with such well-known brands as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, combined with his years in the field running franchised Applebee’s restaurants, makes him the perfect fit to drive the Max & Erma’s turnaround, Ouf says.

Weis joins Max & Erma’s from Thomas & King, Inc., where he served as regional vice president for one of Applebee’s largest franchises.

“Max & Erma’s has a unique place in the communities it serves and in the casual dining segment,” Weis says. “In less than a year, Hazem and his team have made huge strides in rebuilding Max & Erma’s, and this is an extremely exciting time to come on board.

Acquired last September by Denver-based ABRH, the casual dining chain, known for its fun, quirky personality, has undergone a remarkable transformation. Double-digit sales declines were reversed, driven by a revamped menu, a new marketing strategy and a renewed focus on guest service.

Based in Columbus since it was founded in 1972, Max & Erma’s currently owns or franchises 73 units in 10 states.

Kendal Lund, Cedarbrook Lodge

Adding to its award-winning culinary team, Cedarbrook Lodge, Seattle, has appointed Kendal Lund as food and beverage manager of the quintessentially Northwest hotel.

Working closely with Cedarbrook’s culinary director Roy Breiman, Lund oversees the Copperleaf Restaurant dining room and is responsible for developing banquet and catering events, as well as supporting the farm-to-table restaurant’s partnerships with local wineries, distilleries and breweries.

Lund was the service captain at Cedarbrook and oversaw the opening of Copperleaf in 2010. Prior to rejoining the Cedarbrook team, Lund spent time at Seastar Restaurant in Seattle, where he partook in sommelier classes with Seastar’s wine director Eric Liedholm. Lund previously worked at Salish Lodge and Spa in Snoqualmie, Washington.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kendal back to our team,” says Breiman. “His vision for the restaurant and passion for exceptional guest service make him a great addition to our award-winning program.”

Cedarbrook Lodge, rated the No. 1 hotel in the world on the Expedia 2011 Insiders’ Select List and the No. 1 hotel in the U.S. in the TripAdvisor 2011 Travelers’ Choice Awards, is located on 18 acres of restored wetlands in Seattle.

Gayot named its farm-to-table restaurant, Copperleaf, a Top 10 New Restaurant and Seattle Magazine readers proclaimed it the ‘Best New Restaurant to open in 2010.’

Focusing on nourishing the minds, bodies and spirits of its guests, Copperleaf strives to set a model of responsible and sustainable culinary practices by using concepts such as onsite farming, mushroom harvesting, composting, water reclamation, as well as sourcing meat, dairy and produce from local ranchers, farmers and artisans.

Alex Carayannopoulos, Scotsman Ice Systems

Scotsman Ice Systems is pleased to announce the appointment of Alex Carayannopoulos as director, healthcare sales effective July 18, 2011. 

“Alex’s leadership and proven industry experience have prepared him to expand our market share in healthcare,” says Denis Griesmer, vice president of sales and marketing, Scotsman Ice Systems.

Carayannopoulos has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare foodservice industry. He recently served as a division sales director for Plymold. 

“Alex brings valuable insights into the patient satisfaction challenges that hospitals, nurses, healthcare foodservice and other healthcare providers face every day,” says Mark McClanahan, president, Scotsman Ice Systems.

Tom A. Dillon, Patina Restaurant Group

Nick Valenti, CEO, and Joachim Splichal, chef and founder, of Patina Restaurant Group, today announced the hiring of Tom A. Dillon as president and COO. Dillon will begin on August 1.

Dillon has an extensive background in fine dining, restaurant operations, marketing and growth strategy. He will be based in New York.

“Dillon comes with significant accomplishments, expertise and a passion for our industry,” notes Splichal.

For the past five years Dillon has been president and CEO at Richard Sandoval Restaurants, the international fine dining company founded by its namesake celebrity chef. During Dillon’s tenure the company grew from five to 30 units.

Previously Dillon spent four years at Prêt à Manger USA where he was president and CEO and oversaw significant growth.

Prior to that Dillon spent ten years at the Colgate Palmolive Company in a number of positions in finance and marketing. “Tom joins us during a period of significant growth where he brings great value,” says Valenti.

Danny Bawcom, Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings

Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings, a business of ConAgra Foods, is pleased to announce that Danny Bawcom has joined the company as director of marketing.

He will focus on further building the brand identity and promoting the company’s core flavor and seasoning blend capabilities.

Prior to joining Spicetec, Bawcom spent six years with the Simplot Food Group as director of new product development and marketing in Boise, Idaho. He has also held various marketing and sales positions with Sara Lee Foods. Danny holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in food science from Texas Tech University.

Bawcom will be relocating to Omaha, Nebraska to the corporate headquarters for ConAgra Foods and Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings. 

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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