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FOCUS Brands Inc., the franchisor and operator of more than 3,300 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants, and cafes, announced that Gary Bales has been named chief concept officer. In addition to his role as president of Carvel, Bales will now oversee creative services, supply chain, and all brand licensing initiatives for both consumer and foodservice.
FOCUS Brands consists of Auntie Anne's, Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky's, Moe's Southwest Grill, and Seattle's Best Coffee International. Bales will be assuming this new position in addition to his existing role as president of Carvel.
Bales joined Carvel in 2002 from TCBY, a division of Mrs. Fields Famous Brands. Since FOCUS Brands' acquisition of Cinnabon in 2004, the 30-year hospitality veteran has led all marketing and strategic planning for both Carvel and Cinnabon. During his tenure at Carvel, Bales was a key player in the 2003 new store prototype development, yearly ROI (Refresh Our Image) programs, multiple dynamic marketing/advertising campaigns, and numerous new menu developments. Prior to Mrs. Fields, Bales owned and operated 21 franchise Zuka Juice smoothie locations. He has served in various roles, including executive vice president of marketing and new concept development for the Summit Family Restaurant Group, as well as roles with Ponderosa and Bob's Big Boy.
"Gary has been an integral part of the Carvel and Cinnabon teams for many years now,” says FOCUS Brands CEO Russ Umphenour. "We look forward to utilizing Gary's expertise in other areas of our businesses for all of our great brands."