Focus Brands, parent company of iconic brands including Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon and Jamba, announced the appointments of four senior leaders on the specialty category leadership team, including three internal promotions.

Effective immediately, the following executives will be leading these key business functions within the company:

  • Kerri Christian, SVP of Specialty Category Marketing
  • Tracey Young, Chief Brand Officer, Cinnabon
  • Jim Salerno, Chief Brand Officer, Carvel
  • Jessica Osborne, VP of Marketing, Carvel


“As a leader, it is an honor and privilege to see colleagues continue to grow their career within a company while also having the opportunity to recruit top tier talent to further build our business,” says Kristen Hartman, Specialty Category president. “With strong leadership we are well-positioned to continue to grow our brands and increase customer preference in today’s competitive market.”

Kerri Christian has been promoted to SVP of Specialty Category Marketing. Kerri previously served as VP of Marketing & eCommerce for Focus Brands Global Channels Licensing Division, where she worked to bring the company’s iconic brands to grocery stores, eCommerce platforms, restaurants and other distribution channels through product innovation and partnerships. In her new role, Kerri will focus on digital engagement, strategic initiatives, innovation, and media across Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon and Jamba.  Prior to joining Focus Brands, Kerri served in marketing leadership roles at The Home Depot, The Wendy’s Company and Procter & Gamble.

Tracey Young joins the company as Chief Brand Officer of Cinnabon. In this role Tracey will oversee marketing and operations for Cinnabon. Her forward-thinking vision, paired with the expertise of the current brand leadership team, will be critical as the iconic Cinnabon brand continues to evolve and grow. A restaurant industry veteran, Tracey most recently served as the Vice President, Strategy, Retail Operations at Panera where she led multiple cross-functional teams to drive restaurant operations strategies. Prior to Panera, she spent time at Dine Brands and Bloomin’ Brands leading various operations and finance functions. 

Jim Salerno has been named Chief Brand Officer of Carvel. Prior to his promotion, Jim was Vice President & General Manager of the brand. He joined Carvel in 1998, and, over the past 24 years, he has been an integral part of the Carvel franchise system and brand team. In his new role, Jim will drive the brand’s marketing and operations functions with a focus on upholding the longstanding tradition of Carvel Soft Serve.

Jessica Osborne has been promoted to the VP of Marketing for Carvel. Jessica has been with Focus Brands for more than 12 years, serving in marketing roles for McAlister’s Deli and, most recently, leading Strategic Initiatives on the Specialty Category Marketing team. Jessica will lead the team focused on consumer marketing for the Carvel brand, overseeing menu strategy and innovation, digital, off-premise and marketing calendar initiatives.

Fast Casual, News, FOCUS Brands