Upward Projects, the locally grown Phoenix-based hospitality group with a cult-like following announced the hiring of Kristina Cashman as its new Chief Financial Officer. Founded in 2009, Upward Projects’ portfolio features eight unique Postino WineCafé locations in communities throughout Arizona, Colorado and Texas (and coming soon to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport); plus Windsor & Churn, a pub-style neighborhood hangout with an adjoining nostalgic ice cream parlor; Federal Pizza, a wood-fired pizzeria and craft beer spot; and two Joyride Taco House locations, a kicked-back hangout with a well-worn, mid-century beach vibe. In late 2017, Upward Projects entered into an exciting partnership with the progressive L.A.-based private equity firm, Brentwood Associates, to grow the Postino WineCafé brand across Arizona, Colorado, Texas and more.

“I’m beyond ecstatic to join such a locally beloved and magnetic company like Upward Projects. I’ve been a guest of Postino since I discovered its original location in Phoenix’s Arcadia neighborhood. Upward Projects has cultivated such a remarkable and fresh, people-first company culture. Combined with a solid partner like Brentwood, there’s an exciting path ahead of us. The opportunity to be a part of Upward Projects is absolutely thrilling,” Cashman says. 

Cashman, who graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelors of Business Administration (and captained UT’s NCAA women’s volleyball team to back-to-back Final Four appearances), started her career at Ernst & Young before spending a decade as the Controller/CFO for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, helping the Scottsdale-based company grow from four locations into an international brand with nearly $1 billion in annual sales, and taking them public in 1998. Next, Cashman served as the CFO of Eddie V’s Restaurants in Scottsdale, playing a key role in its successful sale to Darden Restaurants. Most recently, Cashman served as the CFO of the fast-growing Hopdoddy Burger Bar in Austin, TX.

“Kristina’s the perfect fit. Not only is she a heavy hitter that brings deep knowledge, experience and an incredible track record of success, but she’s culturally aligned with what we’re set out to do – grow this company with an unwavering interest in protecting its soul and authenticity,” says Upward Projects CEO and co-founder, Lauren Bailey.

“I’ve watched Upward Projects grow and thrive for years. The team is stacked with some of the most talented and passionate individuals you’ll meet,” Cashman says. “It’s an honor to join forces and be a part of the magic that is Upward Projects.”

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