Coleman Peterson, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. has elected Coleman Peterson to its board of directors, effective immediately. Peterson’s election brings the number of Cracker Barrel board members to 10, nine of who are independent directors.

Peterson is president/CEO of Hollis Enterprises, LLC, the human resources consulting firm he founded in 2004 following his retirement from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Peterson served as executive vice president of people for Wal-Mart, where he had the distinction of being the chief human resource officer of the world’s largest private workforce.

Peterson adds his extensive retail experience to the Cracker Barrel board, whose members represent a wide breadth of experience in both the retail and restaurant industries. He serves on the corporate boards as well as the nominating and corporate governance committees of both J.B. Hunt Transport of Lowell, Arkansas, and Build-A-Bear Workshop of St. Louis, Missouri.

Peterson was appointed to the board of trustees of Northwest Arkansas Community College by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and recently completed a three year term as chairman of that board.

He was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources, the highest recognition within the human resource industry. He holds both bachelor and masters degrees from Loyola University.

Awards of note include being a recipient of the Society for Human Resource Management’s highest recognition, The Award for Professional Excellence; the Lifetime Achievement Award for Human Resources Excellence from Linkage Incorporated; and the Martin Luther King Lifetime Achievement award from the Northwest Arkansas MLK Planning Committee.

“We are both fortunate and pleased to welcome a businessman of Coleman Peterson’s caliber to Cracker Barrel’s board of directors,” said Michael A. Woodhouse, chairman and chief executive officer. “He offers an exceptional depth of knowledge in the retail industry and will complement the strengths of his fellow board members who have successfully guided Cracker Barrel through some of the toughest economic times in our country’s history.”

David Kreizinger, Brett Willis, Mike Chico, Johnny Rockets

All-American restaurant franchisor, Johnny Rockets, today announced the appointments of three seasoned professionals in key leadership positions.

As the company continues to grow, change and improve, so does the makeup of its restaurant support center, responsible for managing about 25 corporate-owned restaurants and a franchise system of about 275 restaurants, around the world.

According to Johnny Rockets’ president and CEO, John Fuller, "The beginning of our new fiscal year has prompted us to implement ways to be more effective for our franchise partners and more successful in growing our number of restaurants. To that end, we have brought on some A-players to help us take our finance, sales and development departments to the next level."

In the finance department, David Kreizinger has been hired as vice president of finance, beginning June 20. He is responsible for monitoring and reporting the performance of the company and will oversee those areas that help measure performance results, as well as the restaurant and support center employees who contribute to the organization's bottom line.

The accounting, information technology and human resources departments will now report directly to Kreizinger, as will a new financial analyst, once a new one is hired.

Kreizinger has been the VP of hotel finance for Sunstone Hotel Properties since October 2005. Prior to that, he was controller for Scantron Corporation and Edwards Theatres Management. He graduated from University of California Santa Barbara and lives in Irvine, California.

In sales, Brett Willis was hired as senior vice president of franchise sales on May 16, and brought with him an impressive background within chains that include Arby's and Sonic Drive Ins.

With those companies, Willis managed sales activities that resulted in numerous franchising and development agreements that led to hundreds of new restaurants. He earned his bachelor of business from Oklahoma State University and his MBA from University of Oklahoma.

New to Johnny Rockets development department is Mike Chico, as manager of facility design. Most recently, Chico worked with Catalina Restaurant Group, managing architects, engineers, design consultants and contractors from the initial design stages through completion of construction. He has done the same with design and architectural firms for the past 20 plus years.

Dick Ren, Hurricane Grill and Wings

Hurricane Grill & Wings has named Dick Ren area director for Tennessee, North and South Carolina. The company has experienced double digit growth in the past year, and the new development agreement will contribute to the accelerated growth plan to add233 new franchise restaurants in 19 states coast to coast.

Dick Ren, president of Storm Surge, LLC, is one of the 14 area directors committed to the brand’s growth.

Ren has been in the franchise restaurant business for the past 25 years. “This is a hot concept and I was very impressed that Hurricane Grill & Wings has experienced three years of same store sales increases, especially given the current state of the economy,” he said. “I believe Hurricane Grill & Wings represents the new, upcoming trend in the industry. Not only is the menu outstanding, but when you walk into the restaurant, you feel like you have escaped to a tropical island.”

Ren went on to state, “The wide array of menu items was appealing not only to me, but provides the opportunity to reach a larger demographic and I appreciate the philosophy of the executive team. They are focused on franchisee profitability and provide clear reciprocal communication that fosters success.”

“Ren shares our enthusiasm and belief in the opportunities of the Hurricane Grill & Wings brand,” said Martin O’Dowd, the company’s president. “He brings the right balance of talent, skill, resources and industry experience to help make our aggressive development plans a reality taking our concept to 314 total restaurants.”


Industry News, Labor & Employees, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Johnny Rockets