Industry News | March 18, 2010

Impressive Trio Joins Spicy Pickle's Board

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Spicy Pickle Franchising Inc., operator of the fast-casual restaurant chains Spicy Pickle in the U.S. and Bread Garden Urban Cafe in Canada, announced the significant strengthening of its board of directors with the addition of three members, bringing the total to seven.

The new board members are Mo Siegel, Gregg Marshall, and Stacey Reed. The company increased the board to seven members to provide for directors with industry experience. Siegel and Marshall are considered independent directors and are not investors in the company.

Siegel is the founder of Celestial Seasonings Inc., the largest manufacturer and marketer of specialty teas in North America. He served at various times as chairman, president, and CEO of that company from 1970 until 2002, including after its sale to the Hain Food Group in 2000. He also founded Earth Wise Inc. products that was sold to Block Drug Company. He is a public speaker, author, and has been featured in books, newspaper and magazine articles, and for his work with several nonprofit organizations.

Siegel serves on the board of directors of Whole Foods Market, Camelback Corp, and Annie's Homegrown Foods. He has served on 16 boards of directors on both public and private organizations and has extensive experience and continuing education in board management and affairs. Over decades, Siegel has served on the audit, governance, nomination, and compensation committees of publicly traded companies. He has specialized in the food industry either as a founder or board member for the past 40 years.

Marshall was the founder and CEO of SYGMA Network Inc., which he built into the nation's second largest distributor to restaurant chains, supplying chain restaurants nationwide through 17 distribution centers, over 4,000 employees, and more than $4 billion in annual sales. He also led SYGMA's acquisition of a business supplying international locations of US restaurant chains in over 100 countries. Today, SYGMA is the largest subsidiary of SYSCO Corporation, a Fortune 100 company and the largest foodservice distributor in the U.S. and Canada. Marshall also served as a senior officer of SYSCO for 22 years, a member of its senior executive team, and a participant in over 100 consecutive meetings of SYSCO's board. During his tenure, SYSCO grew from $2 billion to over $30 billion in annual sales. Previously, Marshall spent 10 years as an officer of Leprino Foods, Nobel Inc., and Shamrock Foods, all of which have been leading foodservice innovators. He runs the Marshall Consulting Group, whose clients include restaurant chains, foodservice suppliers, investment management firms, and private equity firms, consulting on franchisor/franchisee relations and supply chain optimization. Marshall sits on the board of CiCi's Pizza, a family style pizza concept with over 650 locations in the U.S.

Reed is the wife of Presley Reed, who has been a member of the board of directors for several years, and along with Stacey is a principal investor in the company. From 1986 until 2008 when the company was sold, Stacey Reed was the president of the Reed Group Ltd., a company that delivers robust content, services and solutions, and software to help companies improve their organization's performance, and return employees to healthy lives and full productivity. Started by Presley Reed, Reed Group was a pioneer in the field of identifying, preventing, and managing employee absence. The company researched and published the definitive return-to-work reference tool now known as the MDGuidelines used by over 22,000 case managers and health care providers in 38 countries in their day-to-day operations.

Presley Reed will assume the duties as chairman of the board.

"We are truly blessed to have attracted this quality of new board members. I am sure these additions will go a long way, and quickly, toward helping the company connect with industry partners that can accelerate our growth and maximize our systems to create a profitable and attractive franchise system,” says Marc Geman, CEO of Spicy Pickle. “We have excellent food and a good foothold with our brands and now with help from these top executives who have been there before and have the creativity, knowledge, and resources in this industry, we are confident that we will continue to grow at an acceptable pace. Having any one of these people on board would be a cause for pride but to be able to fill out our board with this level of membership is truly a compliment to our concept and bodes well for the future."

Other current board members are Presley Reed, Ray Bonanno, and company employees Geman and Tony Walker.