Industry News | January 22, 2011

Smashburger Bolsters Executive Team with Four Hires

Smashburger appointed four new members to its executive leadership team. The fast-growing chain's new leaders bring experience from some of the world's most successful companies and brands, including McDonald's, Blue Moon, Clorox, and Chipotle.

Craig Leonard will serve as executive vice president and president of international; Julie Reeves will serve as vice president of marketing; David Milliken will serve as vice president of marketing; and Chris Smith with serve as regional director of operations.

"These appointments signify the bright future Smashburger has as it strives to become America's favorite place for burgers," says David Prokupek, CEO and chairman of Smashburger. "Craig, Julie, Dave, and Chris all bring a record of proven success to our company and I look forward to working closely with them as Smashburger continues to grow."

Craig Leonard brings more than 20 years of experience in restaurant operations, franchising, and sales to Smashburger. Leonard has managed global brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Popeyes. Prior to becoming executive vice president and president of international for Smashburger, Leonard worked as chief operating officer for Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

Julie Reeves is an expert marketer with more than 10 years of strategic and consumer communications experience. She has worked on a number of admired consumer brands including Clorox, Silk Soymilk, and Brita Water Filtration. Most recently, Reeves served as brand manager for Whitewave Foods. Reeves will serve as vice president of marketing for Smashburger, heading up local-store marketing and public relations.

David Milliken brings more than 10 years of experience in brand management, promotions, and marketing to Smashburger. Throughout his career, Milliken has managed beer brands including Blue Moon, Coors Light, and Killian's Irish Red while working as a brand manager for MillerCoors. Most recently, Milliken served as senior brand manager for Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy.Milliken will serve as vice president of marketing for Smashburger heading up national promotions and digital communications.

Chris Smith is a seasoned restaurant-operations director bringing more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry to Smashburger. Previously, Smith served as operations director for Chiptole Mexican Grill, oversaw dozens of restaurant operations as vice president for Star Concessions LTD, and most recently served as senior vice president of Mexican Restaurants Inc. Smith will serve as regional director of operations for Smashburger.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.