Award-winning breakfast, brunch, and lunch restaurant First Watch has announced chief marketing officer Chris Tomasso has been selected as a Top Private Company CMO for 2012.

The rankings were compiled by ExecRank and the result of two years of research and feedback from evaluation committees and top chief marketing officers that yielded an algorithm for how to rank marketing executives based on their performance in 24 key areas. Tomasso ranked No. 48 out of the 250 that made the list.

“Mr. Tomasso’s work has helped to further his company’s reputation for providing a fantastic dining experience,” says Adam Navrozally, analyst for the rankings division of ExecRank. “He is highly regarded in his industry and amongst other marketing executives.”

With 20 years of marketing experience in the restaurant industry, Tomasso is responsible for the development and execution of First Watch’s strategic marketing plans and oversees the company’s marketing, public relations, and culinary research and development. He was directly responsible for launching a complete re-branding effort for First Watch in 2007, which included a new company logo, tagline, and prototype that set the stage for the now 30-year-old company’s aggressive growth plan.

In addition, Tomasso was a guiding force behind some of First Watch’s more recent initiatives, including the rollout of a new menu and seasonal menus and the company’s first sweepstakes on Facebook, and is currently overseeing the testing of several new products with plans to launch later in 2013.

“Chris is a brand visionary and has been instrumental in our success since joining the company in 2006,” says Ken Pendery, president and CEO for First Watch. “He has helped propel First Watch onto the national stage and continues to help position it as the fastest-growing, daytime-only restaurant company. We couldn’t be more proud to have him on our executive team and see this recognition as further proof of what we already knew.”

ExecRank evaluated more than 15,000 private company marketing executives in 2012 to rank only the top 250. The nominees for 2012 demonstrated a heavy focus on social media marketing, as well as engagement strategies that broke through the clutter and showed a positive return on investment. There also were many marketing executives releasing their own books with top tier book publishers. These achievements, and other forms of thought leadership, factored heavily into the rankings, according to ExecRank.

For the complete rankings, visit

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Marketing & Promotions, First Watch