Management Moves: Rothschild, Jordan, Rude, York, Wuestenfeld, Venezuela, Harazak

Sam Rothschild is the new COO at Hooters
Sam Rothschild is the new COO at Hooters

Sam Rothschild, Hooters of America

Hooters of America has named Sam Rothschild chief operating officer to lead focus on operations excellence, and food and beverage development.With over 35 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Rothschild joins Hooters to lead the company as it focuses on growth and evolving menu offerings, quality and consistency. 

"I am excited to be a part of Hooters’ team and culture, and am looking forward to being part of a new group of leaders to take the brand to the next level," states Rothschild. 

Rothschild's extensive operational background includes over two decades of executive experience. He served as senior vice president of company and franchise operations for Applebee's from 2003 to 2011 and Tony Roma's from 2000 to 2003.Prior to that, he spent 13 years with Metromedia Restaurant Group in several executive roles including vice president of international operations of Bennigan's.Rothschild received a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute.

Scott Jordan, Master-Bilt

Master-Bilt has named Scott Jordan president, effective October 24, 2011.

Jordan served as vice president of operations and general manager of BKI, a Standex Food Service Equipment Group company, since April 2008. Previous to BKI, he worked with Baldor Electric for 16 years in manufacturing, quality assurance, purchasing, finance, strategic planning, plant management, marketing, and lean continuous improvement roles.

He earned an MBA from Clemson University and an engineering degree from North Carolina State University.

Jordan will relocate with his wife and four children to the New Albany, Mississippi area over the coming months. As he transitions to his new role at Master-Bilt, he will continue to work with the BKI team to support an orderly leadership transition.

Marci Rude, Kona Grill

Kona Grill, an American grill and sushi bar, has appointed Marci Rude to the position of vice president of development.

Rude brings to Kona Grill more than 20 years of commercial development experience, including serving as director of real estate for Petsmart and vice president of development for P.F. Chang's China Bistro.

He also previously served as national director of real estate for Sonic Industries, senior leasing manager at GAP, and national director of real estate for Canyon Cafe.

Knowledgeable in all aspects of project development, from site analysis to construction completion, Rude will play an integral function as Kona Grill ramps up its restaurant opening strategy.

"Marci's extensive business development experience, particularly the vital role she served in P.F. Chang's critical phase of expansion, will play a key role as we execute our growth strategy," says Mike Nahkunst, president and CEO of Kona Grill. "Given her strong leadership abilities and proven track record, Marci was the ideal candidate to take on this new position and lead our development efforts."

Rude commented: "I am excited to join Kona Grill's high-caliber management team at this pivotal time in the company's development, and as it expands its pipeline for openings over the next several years."

Cory York, Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, Orlando’s newest upscale resort, has appointed Cory York as chef de cuisine of the resort’s signature restaurant, deep blu seafood grille.

Chef York brings more than 15 years of culinary experience, including training in Pan Asian cuisine and knowledge of seafood sustainability, to the restaurant’s celebration of the bounty of sea and land.

Chef York will oversee the direction and execution of deep blu seafood grille’s menu, specializing in a fusion of sustainable local seafood with the finest local organic produce Florida has to offer.His passion for working with seafood is a testament to his past experiences as executive chef and operating partner of both the Oceanaire Seafood Room in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nantucket Seafood Grill in Greenville, South Carolina. Prior to joining the new, full-service hotel, York was chef de cuisine of Orlando’s Grand Bohemian Hotel.

“We are extremely fortunate to have chef York leading the kitchen of deep blu seafood grille,” says executive chef Andrew Edwards, who overseas the resort’s entire food and beverage program including five restaurants and bars. “With his passion for, and understanding of, sustainable and fresh seafood preparation, he is the perfect fit to the restaurant’s commitment to presenting guests with an unprecedented dining experience of compelling local flavor.”

A Mississippi native who began his career as a saucier in a French bistro and trained at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, chef York soon found his calling and passion for working with seafood on the Big Island of Hawaii staging at Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurant in the Hilton Waikoloa Village.He will look to fuse his Pan Asian expertise with an American modern twist on deep blu seafood grille’s distinctive menu. 

The one-of-a-kind experience at deep blu seafood grillefeatures a menu of six to eight of the day’s best seafood selections with no more than 36 hours between line and plate, handcrafted sushi, 1855 Brand Premium Black Angus Beef, creative cocktails and more.Chef York and the entire deep blu seafood grille staff are committed to providing guests with the freshest seafood, harvested utilizing sustainable methods only, flawlessly executed in the restaurant’s open-air kitchen and served in a manner that allows fresh taste and natural beauty of the ingredients to shine through. The restaurant serves dinner and special events upon request with a private dining room for up to 24 guests.

Kenneth Wuestenfeld, Felix Venezuela, Edward Harazak, Fuchs North America

Fuchs North America, a leading supplier of seasonings and taste solutions to the food manufacturing and foodservice industries, announces three corporate appointments at its headquarters location in Owings Mills in suburban Baltimore, Maryland. 

Kenneth R. Wuestenfeldhas joined the company as vice president of sales & business development. In this position, Wuestenfeld will expand and further develop the company’s North American customer base, as well as identify new segment opportunities.

Wuestenfeld began his career in the food manufacturing industry in the early 1980s. Prior to joining Fuchs North America, he held several executive-level positions with ConAgra Foods—first as general manager for the Lamb Weston subsidiary where he managed two plants and a sales/marketing organization. Subsequently, he led sales and marketing efforts for the Gilroy Foods & Flavors ingredient division of ConAgra.

Wuestenfeld has also held sales and managerial positions at Sara Lee Bakery, PepsiCo and Nestlé. He has a BS degree in marketing management from the University of Arizona and an MBA degree in marketing and business management from DePaul University in Chicago.

Felix Venezuelahas joined Fuchs North America as director of operations. In this position, he will focus on enhancing the company’s production facilities to accommodate growth in existing product segments as well as expansion into new ones. 

Venezuela has more than 25 years of experience in the food industry, working at Quaker Oats, Sara Lee and Massimo Zanetti Beverage. Prior to joining Fuchs North America, he was plant manager at Young Pecan/Hampton Farms in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he is credited with maximizing productivity and optimizing overall plant efficiencies for this large pecan processing and packaging facility.

Venezuela began his career in human resources, for which he credits his ability to manage, motivate and empower employees to be productive and efficient in their work responsibilities. He is also bilingual (English and Spanish).

Fuchs North America also announces the appointment of Edward G. Harazak as senior food scientist.In this position, he will be responsible for supporting Fuchs’ customers in developing seasoning blends for a variety of food segments.

Prior to joining Fuchs North America, Harazak was a senior research chef and food scientist at Adams FFI Marketing, where he co-developed the innovative “Culinary Tonight” line that provides gourmet seasoning kits to prepare entire meals including side dishes.

Harazak also held a similar position at Milwaukee Seasonings (Unilever-Bestfoods), where he worked on developing seasonings, sauces, glazes and blends for leading foodservice chains such as KFC and McDonald’s. 

As a certified executive chef, Harazak has more than 25 years of experience as a research chef in the hotel and restaurant segments.He is a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists and the American Culinary Federation, as well as a founding member and original board member of the Research Chefs Association. Harazak holds a BS degree in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University.

Commenting on the new corporate appointments, Dan Cooper, CEO, states, “We are delighted to welcome these gentlemen to our organization.Their backgrounds, skill sets and experience will make them highly effective in their roles. They join a strong, customer-focused team that’s committed to providing consumer insights on taste trends, and to always deliver the right taste solution.”


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

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