Focus Brands Appoints New Supply Chain, Customer Engagement and Digital Leaders

by Katie Lee

Atlanta — Focus Brands®, parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, McAlister’s Deli®, Moe’s Southwest Grill® and Schlotzsky’s®, has added three new leaders to its supply chain, digital and customer engagement functions. The following executives will be leading these key business functions within the company: Christopher McNutt, senior vice president, supply chain; Christopher McNutt, senior vice president, supply chain; Urvi Patel, senior vice president, customer experience & engagement; and Manuel Valdes, senior vice president, digital, data & marketing technology.

“At Focus Brands, we’ve invested in platforms, tools and resources to support our brands’ ability to grow. More importantly, we’re investing in the right talent to build industry-best technology and supply chain capabilities,” says Jim Holthouser, CEO of Focus Brands. “The addition of top-tier talent like these three individuals to our organization ensures continued success for our brands and franchisees.”

McNutt will be responsible for overseeing the supply chain, distribution, logistics and quality assurance functions for all seven brands in the Focus Brands portfolio globally. He brings more than 20 years of experience in pricing, logistics and supply chain to Focus Brands. For the past 17 years, McNutt has held senior leadership positions at Centralized Supply Chain Services LLC, the purchasing cooperative for Applebee’s and IHOP.

Patel has been promoted to Focus Brands’ executive leadership team and named senior vice president of customer experience and engagement, leading customer engagement and loyalty, branded currency, revenue management, insights and digital experience. She joined the company in 2019 as the vice president of insights, analytics and revenue management. Prior to joining Focus Brands, Patel spent 10 years with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).

Valdes joins the company as senior vice president of digital, data & marketing technology. In this newly created role, he will build and lead the technology strategy for Focus Brands’ digital and data platforms, AI and machine learning-based analytics as well as marketing and advertising technologies. Valdes has over 30 years of experience in digital and e-commerce transformation throughout industries and markets worldwide.

Atlanta-based Focus Brands® is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. As of June 25, 2023, Focus Brands, through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 6,600 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shoppes, and bakeries in all 50 states and over 60 countries and territories under the Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli® and Schlotzsky’s® brand names, as well as the Seattle’s Best Coffee® brand on certain military bases and in certain international markets. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Focus Brands

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