Key members of our executive management team collectively possess over 200 years of senior restaurant management experience.
Apex provides a level of confidence with investors, lenders and equity stakeholders, bringing “big company”competitive advantages to smaller chains. These advantages are made possible by leveraging the Apex operational systems platform and the collective expertise of senior management which results in immediate improvement in productivity and profitability.
By leveraging cross-branded contract relationships, Apex frequently has the ability to improve under-performing “Heritage Brands” to become growth concepts once again. This concept pairs mature locations with embryonic growth concepts providing exciting opportunities for both groups at efficient investment levels.
Mark is a highly skilled management professional with specific expertise in restaurant operations and hospitality management. A former PepsiCo® Divisional President and Director of The Quizno’s ®Company, he has managed restaurant chains ranging in size from 22 – 1200+ units including Ponderosa®/Bonanza®, Bennigan’s®, Left at Albuquerque® and Semolina® International.
In another prior role, Mark served as Chairman of Metromedia Restaurant Group in Plano, Texas where he grew revenues 14% from $1.1B to $1.26B and EBITDA from $28,300,000 to $53,500,000. Mark also served as President of Foodservice for The viaLink Company, where he introduced the concept of synchronized data management to the foodservice industry.
Prior to joining The viaLink Company, Mark concurrently served as Toronto-based President and Chief Executive Officer of Prime Restaurant Group and East Side Mario’s Restaurants, Inc. Mark negotiated the sale of East Side Mario’s from Prime Restaurant Group to the Pizza Hut® division of PepsiCo® in 1993, and was recruited by PepsiCo ®to become CEO of East Side Mario’s under its new ownership, with responsibility for other casual dining chains within Pepsico®.
Mark began his career in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Lime Rickey’s Restaurants Limited, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Mr. Greenjeans Corporation as well as a Partner for DMK&A Hospitality Management Ltd. He is the former Chairman of the Canadian Restaurant & Foodservices Association and holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Cornell University.
John was a member of the board of directors of various Quizno’s® entities from 1999 until May 2006. In September 2005, he began consulting with respect to various operational initiatives for Quizno’s and assumed the role as COO of Quizno’s® from October, 2005 – June 2007. John was a partner in Apex Steakhouse Acquisition Partners in Dallas, TX; from September 2001 to March 2003. From April 2003 to September 2005, he was Chief Executive Officer of Metromedia Restaurant Group in Dallas, TX.
Prior to his CEO role at Metromedia, John held a number of senior executive positions in a number of high-profile consumer and restaurant companies. From March 2001 to March 2002, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Sonic Blue Corp. in San Jose, California. He previously served for 3 years as Sr. VP and Chief Financial Officer of Gateway Computer Inc., CFO of the Aerospace divisions of Allied Signal Inc®., and Chief Financial Officer of Boston Market® Inc., a position he held for 2 years. While at Boston market, John’s responsibilities encompassed menu development, distribution, procurement and financial management.
John also has more than eight years of senior management experience at Pizza Hut (formerly a division of Pepsico) where he was responsible for overseeing construction & development, re-franchising, new concept development and strategic planning. A graduate of Virginia’s Holman College, Mr. Todd holds an MBA degree (Finance) from the College of William & Mary. He serves as an advisor to a number of foodservice and consumer retailing companies.
John Saling – Vice President, Operations
Mr. Saling is responsible for field operations and concept direction of all Apex-owned restaurants. He has almost 20 years of restaurant experience in managerial finance, business development and operations management. Prior to joining Apex he held various senior executive positions within Metromedia Restaurant Group, rising to Senior Vice President of Operations and COO of the Bennigan’s division. Mr. Saling is Dallas-based.
Mark B. Scoular
Mr. Scoular previously served as Executive Vice President for the Metromedia Restaurant Group. He served as interim-CFO, a member of the Executive Committee and had reporting to him at various times, Real Estate, Strategic Initiatives, IT, Gift and Loyalty Card, Business Process, Franchise Administration and Purchasing Systems. Mark has also served as a senior executive of Quizno’s®, Gateway Computer®, Erskine Holdings, Eaton Financial and several companies where he was a founder/equity principal.
Jay Willoughby previously led the stabilization of the Bennigan’s chain and the turnaround of Steak & Ale® for Metromedia Restaurant Group. Prior to MRG Willoughby served as President-USA of Prêt A Manger®,President and COO of Caribou Coffee® Company and Chief Operating Officer at Boston Chicken, Inc. during the attempt to rescue the company. Jay held several leadership positions at PepsiCo Restaurants and Pizza Hut® including President and COO of PepsiCo’s KFC/Pizza Hut UK Joint Venture, SVP and General Manager of Southern Europe/Africa, and Pizza Hut®, USA, Division Vice President, with responsibility for 1,100 units.
Larry Devries serves as a Vice President-Operations for Apex, overseeing our foodservice contracts and casual dining brands. Larry has extensive multi-unit management experience at Pizza Fusion®, Burger King®, Pizza Hut®, Steak & Ale®, Applebee’s®, Caribou Coffee® and Alamo Movie Grill®. Previously, he led his own consulting firm (Devries-Smith & Associates) and has done extensive consulting work for large foodservice organizations such as Cook Industries and S&A Restaurant Corp. Larry is Denver based.
Joy E. Flora, C.P.A. – Vice President, CFO
Ms Flora is responsible for all accounting and finance for Apex Restaurant Group, including all Apex-managed restaurant chains. She is a results oriented financial executive with over 25 years accounting and finance management. Prior to joining Apex, she served as CFO of Sourcingpartner, Inc. and has held various senior accounting positions with Boston Market®, Culinaire® International and Western Sizzlin® restaurants. Ms Flora is Dallas-based.
Amanda Breaux – Vice President, Marketing
Ms. Breaux serves as ARG’s Chief Marketing Officer and is responsible for marketing planning and coordination for all Apex Partner brands. Prior to joining Apex, Amanda served as Director of Marketing for La Madeleine® de Corps, and its associated brand, Brioche Doree®. In addition, Amanda was responsible for coordinating brand marketing and communication at Greyhound Lines® Inc, and has served in a number of key marketing roles on the agency side. Based in Dallas, she is a graduate of Lamar University.
Mr. Fantapie is the former Sr. Vice President – International for Paris-based Groupe Flo, operator of the multi-unit Bistro Romaine® and Hippopotamus® restaurant chains as well as being the operator of a number of the most famous independently branded brasseries in France. Based in Paris, he has over 25 years experience in the hospitality business, and is responsible for franchise growth, development and administration outside of North America.
Walt Vansuch, Director of Systems and Technology
Mr. Vansuch is the former Information Technology Director of New England-based Hospitality Well Done! (“HWD”), Inc. and Reel Hospitality, LLC. Prior to HWD, Mr. Vansuch served as an Information Management Officer with the U.S. Army in Ft. Wainwright, AK, where he specialized in providing network administration, information security and information assurance to both military and civilian personnel.
Mark J. Freiman
Mark is a talented senior executive with over 30 years experience in managing and developing high growth retail organizations. Prior to joining Apex, Mark assembled and led a world class management team to develop a business plan for a new “Big Box” retail concept. Prior to that, Mark served as President and CEO of a chain of retail Hallmark Stores. His stores achieved square foot sales in excess of $500, outperforming every Hallmark retail store in the Northeast. Simultaneously, Mark also served as CEO for a major Regional Drug Chain (similar to CVS). His accomplishments included increasing revenue by more than 400% in a six year period and a pharmacy revenue and productivity increase of 50% over 3 years.