Front Burner, restaurant management company for premier fondue restaurant franchise, The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., announced Tuesday it has strengthened its leadership team with the addition of Randy Barnett as vice president of information technology and Jennifer Dodd as vice president of operations. In addition, former senior director of marketing, Michele Whaley, has been promoted to vice president of marketing. This announcement is a testament to Front Burner’s ongoing commitment to strengthen its industry presence.

“As we continue to grow and focus on the brand’s next wave of innovation, we are incredibly excited to welcome Randy and Jennifer to the Front Burner family,” says Bob Johnston, chief executive officer of Front Burner. “Michele has been vital to the development of strategic and integrated marketing and will continue to share her creative vision as our vice president of marketing. Each member of our executive team has tremendous industry experience, and we look forward to their contributions toward overall company excellence.”

In a newly created position, Randy Barnett will serve as the vice president of information technology and will cultivate all polices and network infrastructure, along with planning and budgeting for all technology initiatives for Front Burner. Barnett has an impressive track record, with more than 25 years of technology experience in network design, strategic planning, project management and developing systems engineering strategies. Most recently, Barnett served as director of information technology at My Fit Foods, where he developed a new network infrastructure for support center activities, which was implemented in all corporate and retail locations. Barnett conducted the company’s first PCI audits, which led to an increase in cyber security protection.

Jennifer Dodd will join Front Burner as the vice president of operations, where she will forge strategic partnerships and accelerate franchise development growth to maximize revenue and profits on behalf of Front Burner. For more than 25 years, Dodd has demonstrated leadership with top organizations in the restaurant, retail and education industries, including Dunkin’ Brands, Applebee’s International and Church’s Chicken. Prior to joining Front Burner, Dodd served as founder, principal and chief executive officer of The TreeTop Group, a global executive consulting firm, providing leadership strategy and operational expertise to various companies seeking to accelerate growth and performance.

As the newly appointed vice president of marketing, Michele Whaley will expand her previous role of senior director of marketing and continue to oversee the daily operations of Front Burner’s marketing department. Whaley, who joined the company in 2014, has over 25 years of marketing experience and most recently served as the director of advertising and public relations at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Fla. Throughout her career at Front Burner, she has successfully developed the company’s strategic-marketing direction and corporate vision to improve the progression of internal resources and services to external vendors and agencies. Whaley’s creativity and innovation has proven to be an invaluable resource, leading several teams within the marketing department to success and increasing the efficiencies and value of services to franchisees.

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