Joseph Koss, who has been chief financial officer for Culver Franchising System Inc. (CFSI) since 2000, will become president and chief executive officer effective January 1. The announcement follows the fourth quarter meeting of the company's board of directors. Koss will assume the position formerly held by Phil Keiser who passed away from natural causes on October 15.
"Joe has been an outstanding leader in his nearly 20 years here at Culver's," says Craig Culver, company co-founder, board chair and interim-CEO following Keiser's passing. "In addition to his role as CFO and as a member of our senior leadership team he commands a broad breadth of experience and knowledge in all aspects of the organization including strategic planning, operations, training, marketing, supply chain, human resources, development/design and menu management. The board of directors has full confidence in Mr. Koss as he leads our organization along with a strong and tenured senior leadership team."
"I'm honored to be given this opportunity. We've all felt a tremendous loss with the passing of Phil Keiser. But I know Culver's will continue to stay strong with the roadmap Phil left us that contain our core values and guiding principles," says Koss. "I look forward to working with our CFSI team, franchisees, their team members and suppliers as we move forward."
Koss joined CFSI in 1997 as controller. As CFO he has overseen the overall financial planning, accounting and control functions including budgeting, tax, treasury and audit activities. Koss also has led the information systems team and business analysis team for the company. During Koss' tenure, the Culver's system has grown from 53 restaurants to its current nearly 600 in 24 states. Total system-wide sales during this period have increased from $58 million to over $1.2 billion.
Also effective January 1, Senior Vice President Jeff Bonner will become chief operating officer. "The growth of our system demands that our management structure reflect that growth and manage it into the future. Mr. Bonner will work very closely with Mr. Koss on all matters of business operations," says Culver.
With over 35 years of restaurant experience, Bonner joined Culver's in 1999 as a franchise business consultant. He was promoted to director of operations in 2002 before being named vice president of operations in 2006. Now, as senior vice president, he oversees operations, training and design services. Bonner has played a vital role in supporting franchisees and restaurant growth for 17 years.