REAL ESTATE

Buffets appoints two senior executives

BY Michael Fickes

Greer, S.C. — Buffets, the parent company of six family style steak buffet restaurant chains, has named Chip Romp to the newly created position of VP Training and Jay Allen to Senior VP Real Estate and Development.

A 20-year training veteran, Romp comes to the company from the Italian Fast Casual concept Fazoli’s, where he served as VP Training, Development & Ops Services. He also has training experience with Applebee’s International, Damon’s International and Jillian’s Entertainment.

With more than 25 years experience, Allen most recently served as the VP Restaurant Development for Focus Brands. He has also held senior executive positions with Marriott Contract Service providers, O’Charley’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Buffets’ six restaurant brands operate 344 restaurants in 35 states.

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Former JCPenney exec named VP, communications at RadioShack

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas — RadioShack has appointed marketing and communications executive Merianne Roth as the company’s new VP of communications.

Roth’s responsibilities will include RadioShack’s corporate communications, community relations, internal communications and event marketing. She will report to Jennifer Warren, SVP and CMO.

She joins RadioShack from the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she was VP of marketing and communications. Her background includes leadership roles for J.C. Penney, where she was director of consumer brand marketing and publicity, and Pier 1 Imports, where she served as senior manager of public relations.

"I am very happy to welcome Merianne to the RadioShack team," said Warren. "She brings a wealth of experience in public relations and marketing communications with her, and in-depth knowledge of our industry as well as our hometown community. I am confident that she will provide valuable support and counsel to our executive management team."

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Famous Brands makes Courtney its official CEO

BY CSA STAFF

Famous Brands International, parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies, has appointed interim CEO Neal Courtney as the company’s CEO. Neal had been serving as interim head since February, when then-CEO Tim Casey resigned his post.

"Since taking over as Interim CEO, Neal has continued to be instrumental in creating a strong and stable foundation to support Famous Brands’ growth and success," said James J. Zenni, chairman of Famous Brands International. "We are confident that Neal is the right person to help lead Famous Brands into the future and capitalize on the tremendous opportunities that the company has across all of its channels. We are extremely pleased to have someone with Neal’s caliber, experience and dedication leading the continued evolution of Famous Brands into one of the most successful and well recognized brands in the industry."

Courtney has worked for Famous Brands since 2005 and held roles in finance, sales and general management. He was the company’s served COO from May 2012 until he stepped in as interim CEO. Prior to switching gears to the food service industry, Courtney held various senior positions in finance and strategy at Frito-Lay and Kmart Corporation.

"I am honored to be selected as the leader of the Famous Brands organization," said Courtney. "We have made great strides during my time here and we have many exciting opportunities for achievement and avenues to continue growing our business. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the talented management team at Famous Brands to continue building on our momentum to expand our brands around the world."

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