Front Burner Expands Leadership Team with New Hires and Promotions

by Katie Lee

Tampa, Fla.— Front Burner, restaurant management company for The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., has strengthened its leadership team with the addition of Randy Barnett as vice president of information technology and Jennifer Dodd as vice president of operations. In addition, former senior director of marketing, Michele Whaley, has been promoted to vice president of marketing.

“As we continue to grow and focus on the brand’s next wave of innovation, we are incredibly excited to welcome Randy and Jennifer to the Front Burner family,” says Bob Johnston, chief executive officer of Front Burner. “Michele has been vital to the development of strategic and integrated marketing and will continue to share her creative vision as our vice president of marketing. Each member of our executive team has tremendous industry experience, and we look forward to their contributions toward overall company excellence.”

In a newly created position, Barnett will serve as the vice president of information technology and will cultivate all polices and network infrastructure, along with planning and budgeting for all technology initiatives for Front Burner. Barnett has an impressive track record, with more than 25 years of technology experience in network design, strategic planning, project management and developing systems engineering strategies. Most recently, Barnett served as director of information technology at My Fit Foods, where he developed a new network infrastructure for support center activities, which was implemented in all corporate and retail locations. Barnett conducted the company’s first PCI audits, which led to an increase in cyber security protection.

Dodd will join Front Burner as the vice president of operations, where she will forge strategic partnerships and accelerate franchise development growth to maximize revenue and profits on behalf of Front Burner. For more than 25 years, Dodd has demonstrated leadership with top organizations in the restaurant, retail and education industries, including Dunkin’ Brands, Applebee’s International and Church’s Chicken. Prior to joining Front Burner, Dodd served as founder, principal and chief executive officer of The TreeTop Group, a global executive consulting firm.

As vice president of marketing, Whaley will expand her previous role of senior director of marketing and continue to oversee the daily operations of Front Burner’s marketing department. Whaley, who joined the company in 2014, has over 25 years of marketing experience and most recently served as the director of advertising and public relations at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tampa, Fla.

Front Burner is a franchise management company headquartered in Tampa, Fla. It is affiliated with the corporate owners of and its management services extended to The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc., founded in 1975 with more than 120 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Front Burner

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