Fazoli’s Adds 3 Franchise Veterans to Executive Team

by Katie Lee

Lexington, Ky. — Fazoli’s, America’s largest fast-casual Italian chain, has appointed three industry veterans to the company’s corporate leadership team: Jeff Sturgis as chief development officer, Rodney Lee as chief financial officer and Jodie Conrad as vice president of marketing.

Closing out the calendar year, the company has experienced strong success throughout 2017 with the rollout of newly remodeled locations, the signing of promising single- and multi-unit franchise agreements, the opening of new restaurants nationwide and the integration of the brand’s first mobile ordering and loyalty app. On the heels of this system-wide growth and technology enhancements, the executive team will seek to further expand the brand and improve the overall customer experience.

“The Fazoli’s brand prides itself on recruiting and fostering the talents of some of the most dedicated and gifted executives in the industry,” says Carl Howard, president and chief executive officer of Fazoli’s. “In review of what we have been able to accomplish in the past year, we are enthusiastically looking forward to seeing what these exceptional industry veterans are able to bring to the table moving forward. We are in the midst of capitalizing on some incredible growth initiatives leading into 2018 and I can’t think of better leaders to be at the helm during this exciting time.”

In his new role at Fazoli’s, Sturgis will be responsible for driving the brand’s franchise development efforts for the 200+ unit restaurant chain, in addition to leading strategic planning efforts and execution of all restaurant development, real estate and franchise sales activities. Prior to joining Fazoli’s, Sturgis led franchise development efforts for McAlister’s Deli, Fantastic Sam’s and FOCUS Brands to name a few.

Lee joined the company originally back in September 2008 as chief financial officer and treasurer, bringing with him a strong background in the restaurant industry, having previously served as CFO of 2JR Pizza Enterprises, a franchisee of Pizza Hut. Lee took a brief hiatus with Fazoli’s, joining The Krystal Company functioning as the brand’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. When an opportunity to return to Fazoli’s became available, Lee rejoined the company in September, reprising his original role.

Formerly serving as Fazoli’s senior brand director, Conrad was promoted to her new position as vice president of marketing in September 2017. In Conrad’s new role, she will be responsible for all marketing functions and product development for the brand. Prior to joining Fazoli’s, Conrad previously served as director of brand marketing for The Wendy’s Company, director of new product testing for Donatos Pizza and customer marketing manager for The Coca-Cola Company.

With approximately 220 restaurants in 27 states, Fazoli’s is America’s largest Italian fast-casual chain. For more information, visit www.ownafazolis.com.

SOURCE: Fazoli’s

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