Chad Hope - Chief Financial Officer
Chad Hope joined the leadership team of Johnny Rockets in December 2013 as Chief Financial Officer. A Certified Public Accountant and seasoned veteran of the food franchise industry, Chad oversees all financial operations and focuses on global financial strategy and planning. Prior to his position with Johnny Rockets, Hope served as CFO of FSC Franchise Co, LLC, franchisor of Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Family Sports Pubs and Brass Tap Craft Beer and Wine Bars. He also spent 7 years working with multi-billion dollar banks, mortgage companies and indirect lending firms, then transitioned to the leadership team of Fiesta Brands, Inc. as Corporate Controller, overseeing the day-to-day accounting, finance and treasury functions for the company. In 2009, Hope became the International Controller of Focus Brands, Inc., a multinational franchisor of six QSR concepts, including Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon and Moe’s Southwest Grill. There, Hope played an instrumental role in the direction of the international finance and accounting team as well as the development and implementation of key internal control systems and processes.
Joel Bulger - Chief Marketing Officer
Since July of 2014, Bulger has led a team of marketing executives in the areas of local restaurant marketing and corporate communications. He is responsible for driving the overall Johnny Rockets marketing strategy that builds brand positioning through field marketing, public relations, guest services, agency management, new menu item launches and social media, both domestically and internationally. Bulger has a rich history in the restaurant industry. As Vice President of Brand Marketing at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Atlanta, Bulger led the marketing and creative for 420 restaurants. After his active role in transitioning the Moe’s Southwest Grill brand, Bulger accepted a position with Church’s Chicken as Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing where he was responsible for national advertising, menu and product development and creative strategy for the 1,250-unit brand. During his tenure at Darden Restaurants, Inc. Bulger worked on both the Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse brands, holding roles as Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Brand Director of New Business Development and Director of Field Marketing. Bulger also worked with Wendy’s International, Inc. as the Director of Marketing in the Southeast Region, responsible for over 2,500 restaurants. Bulger began his marketing career with Fricks/Firestone Advertising in Atlanta, where he worked with national clients, including United Healthcare, Royal Oak Charcoal and AFC Enterprises, Inc. He graduated from University of Georgia with a B.A. in Journalism and Advertising before acquiring his M.B.A. in International Business from the Stetson School of Business and Economics (Mercer University) in Atlanta.
Marc Abenoja - Vice President, International Operations
An integral part of Johnny Rockets, since June 1993, Abenoja has vast experience with the brand. He served as a Certified Training Manager, for seven years, showing the ropes to hundreds of international and domestic restaurant managers. He was also a key element in the brand’s successful expansion on the East Coast, including Florida, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Atlanta, Tennessee and Virginia, as well as what are now 11 restaurants on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships. From there, he became Johnny Rockets’ District Manager for Florida, Tennessee, Orange County, then Corporate Training Manager, in 2000. In that role, he revamped the entire training system for both hourly and management positions and created effective procedures for new restaurant openings. As Johnny Rockets continued to grow internationally, Marc became the Director of International Operations and helped open new markets in India, Malaysia, Honduras, Costa Rica and Brazil. After our 100th international restaurant opening, he was promoted to Vice President of International Operations. In his current position, Abenoja helps the International Franchise Support Managers oversee day-to-day operations as they manage all aspects of new restaurant openings in markets around the world.
Chris Carver - Senior Vice President, Operations
With Johnny Rockets since July, 2007, Carver has held the Franchise Operations titles of Director, Executive Director and VicePresident. He has worked diligently toward - and succeeded in - creating mutually beneficial relationships throughout theJohnny Rockets Franchise community and has been key in managing the effectiveness of the Franchise Leadership Council.Prior to joining the Company, Carver was an educator, franchisee and executive with brands that include Togo’s and DunkinDonuts Brands. He received his BA degree from UCLA and holds Masters degrees in both psychology and education.
Scott Chorna — Senior Vice President, International Development
Chorna provides overall leadership and strategic direction in the expansion of the brand’s international footprint, including development, franchise sales and construction.Before joining the Johnny Rockets senior leadership team in November 2013, Chorna served as Director of International New Business Development for FOCUS Brands, a multi-brand fast food franchisor with over 4000 units globally. While at FOCUS Brands, Chorna established over 25 new international markets for high-profile brands including Cinnabon, Carvel Ice Cream, Schlotsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Auntie Annie’s Pretzels. An international business management expert who has also worked for brands such as ABSOLUT VODKA, Subway, Baskin-Robbins, and Dunkin’ Donuts throughout his accomplished career, Chorna has lived in three major Asian cities (Taipei, Beijing, and Hong Kong), speaks fluent Mandarin, and has developed an acute understanding of the Asia Pacific Region.
Cozette Phifer - VP, Brand Marketing & Corporate Communication
Phifer manages the reputation and overall voice of the Johnny Rockets brand. She also oversees the Public Relations, Internal Communications, Guest Relations and Social Media activities for the Company and serves as its spokesperson. Heralding from world-class lifestyle brands that include Jenny Craig, Sony, Domino’s Pizza, Eddie Bauer and PETsMART, Phifer specializes in creating a cohesive tone and message platform for growing global companies.
Paul Nishiyama - Vice President, Operations
Veteran of the restaurant industry for over 25 years, Nishiyama manages the operations of about 30 Corporate-owned Johnny Rockets restaurants, training department and oversees all Information Technology for the brand. Before coming on boardwith Johnny Rockets, in 2008, Nishiyama assisted in growing the Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill chain from 2 stores to a successful200 locations. He also helped modernize Johnny Rockets IT systems by launching various, advanced software, hardware andtelecom systems suitable for both corporate and franchise stores.
James Walker - Chief Development Officer
Walker joined Johnny Rockets in December of 2013 where he oversees domestic development strategy, including construction, design and real estate. He brings more than twenty years experience in franchise development to the Johnny Rockets team. Previously, Walker served as the CDO for the Tampa Florida based Beef ‘O’ Brady’s and The Brass Tap concepts. Prior to this, Walker served as CDO of Fresh Brands, the parent company of Baja Fresh, Sweet Factory, La Salsa and Canyon’s Burger. Walker also served as National Director of Operations for AFC Enterprises/Cinnabon, Inc.