Our Passion Your Burger


Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Friendly’s Restaurants & Johnny Rockets Brands

T. Todd Schwendenmann was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC in October, 2014 and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Friendly’s Restaurants and Johnny Rockets Brands in July, 2016. A seasoned financial executive, Schwendenmann is responsible for overall financial management of both companies including multiple corporate functions inclusive of Accounting, Financial Planning & Analysis, Purchasing, Risk and Treasury and Asset Management. Before joining Friendly’s, Schwendenmann administered the treasury functions for Baystate Health Systems, Inc. the second largest health system in New England. Prior to that, he worked for BayBanks, Inc. once the largest retail banking institution in New England. There he was Assistant Vice President Business Development. Schwendenmann joined Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC in 1998 as Assistant Treasurer, Finance. He has held a variety of financial positions with increasing responsibilities including President, Restaurant Insurance Corporation (2000-2007), Friendly’s self-insuring entity, Assistant Treasurer, Finance and Insurance (1999-2006), was appointed Treasurer in 2006 and Executive Vice President, CFO in October 2014. Over the years, Schwendenmann has become a distinguished and trusted advisor. He is a leader with strong analytical skills, extensive experience in asset financing, corporate debt administration & restructuring, G&A cost containment, working capital efficiency, self-insured casualty, health care & disability benefits and compensation and brand risk management. In July, 2016 Schwendenmann was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Johnny Rockets brands. The combined Friendly’s and Johnny Rockets brands have annual sales of $760 million and 635 locations. Schwendenmann earned his BA, Economics from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire, where he graduated Cum Laude. He resides in Wilbraham, Massachusetts with his wife, Heidi and has two adult sons. He is an avid New England sports fan and is involved in his hometown community.

John Maguire

President & CEO

John M. Maguire was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Johnny Rockets in July 2016 and has been President and Chief Executive Officer of FIC Restaurants, Inc. (Friendly’s) since May 2012. As President and CEO of Johnny Rockets and Friendly’s, Maguire oversees the organizational direction and develops new business opportunities for each brand through increased purchasing power and greater product distribution. Maguire is an accomplished business executive with more than two decades of experience in fast casual, full-service dining restaurant operations. He brings a wide range of operating experience and management expertise to both companies and has an in-depth knowledge of the restaurant business and food processing industry. Previously, Maguire was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Panera Bread. An operator at heart, he held positions of increasing responsibility over his 19 years there, managing many different functions, including restaurants, franchising, commissary operations, bakery supply chain, manufacturing, catering, and joint venture operations. Maguire previously held positions with Au Bon Pain Co., Inc., Bread and Circus/Whole Foods Supermarkets, and Continental Baking Company. Maguire attended Kansas State University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. A Massachusetts native, Maguire is an avid sports fan and a student of American history. When he’s not at the office, Maguire enjoys spending time with his four children, Katie, Matt, Reid, and Greyson. Maguire currently is a Director on the Board for the South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, and serves as a Board Member for Farm Boy, a Canadian grocery chain.

Sheri Davenport

Director of Training and Operations

Sheri Davenport joined Johnny Rockets in 2003 as an Assistant Manager and has held positions in all facets of operations at Johnny Rockets from Assistant to General Manager, Certified Training Manager, and District Manager. In 2012 she took on the role of Director of Training and Operations Services. Her responsibilities include the development of new hands on training programs, continuous improvement of existing programs, and coordinating new restaurant opening training and support. In addition she coordinates the Operation Services department with all other departments, focusing on the needs of the restaurants and guests. Including her time at Johnny Rockets she has more than 20 years in the restaurant industry in operations and training roles. https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheri-davenport-a464b917/

Steve Duncan

Director of Construction and Facilities

Steve started as a hands on professional working as a framer and a finish carpenter. He transitioned to construction management with “big box” retailers managing their renovation projects. He spent five years with Swarovski Crystal as Director of Retail Development where he worked with Senior Management planning, designing, building and operating their first 53 stores in the U.S. Prior to joining Johnny Rockets Steve was a Construction Project Manager for Starbucks Coffee, Benihana & their other brands, Ra Sushi, & Haru and managed over 200 renovation and new store projects. https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-duncan-94837a11/

Chris Ferguson

East Coast Director of Operations

Ferguson joined Johnny Rockets in March of 2015 as the East Coast Director of Operations, bringing over 20 years of operational excellence. He currently drives the sales and profitability of franchise and corporate restaurants on the East coast. Chris has held several multi-unit corporate operations positions with brands like Shell’s Seafood Restaurants, Ruby Tuesday and Cracker Barrel. He also spent 4 years as a successful franchise consultant with Beef O’Brady’s. https://www.linkedin.com/in/christopher-ferguson-b3021751/

Helmuth Grohs

Director of West Coast Operations and Special Venues

Helmuth Grohs joined Johnny Rockets in June of 2015, where he oversees Operations for West Coast, Special Venues and South America. He brings more than eighteen years of food industry experience to the Johnny Rockets team. Throughout his career he has been accountable for franchise relationships, sales, operational excellence, growth and training, as well as contractual compliance of multiple franchise partners and restaurants all over the country, ensuring that franchisees obtained business excellence. Previously, he served as the Franchise Director of Operations of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and Regional Director of Operations of the IHOP Landmark Group. Grohs holds a bachelor’s degree in food engineering from the University of La Serena, Chile. https://www.linkedin.com/in/hgrohs/

Jim Hicks

Senior Vice President of Operations

Jim Hicks joined the Johnny Rockets executive team in January 2015 as Senior Vice President of Domestic Operations. A 30-year restaurant and franchise industry veteran, he has proven success in franchise and corporate operations and training. His role at Johnny Rockets focuses on improving the quality, consistency and profitability of the brand’s franchise and corporate restaurants in the U.S. Hicks previously served as Vice President of Operations Services at Yoshinoya America, Inc., where he led operations services, training, purchasing and facilities management. Prior to that, Hicks held the position of Senior Director of Operations Services, Training and Development for Fresh Enterprises, Inc., the owner of Baja Fresh and La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grills and Canyons Burgers Restaurants. While there, he achieved record sales in company-owned locations. Hicks has worked with a variety of restaurants in the fast-casual and full-service space including El Pollo Loco, Inc., Prandium, Inc. and Koo Koo Roo, Inc. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-hicks-6200601/

Alan Hinson

Executive Director of Legal Services

Alan joined The Johnny Rockets Group, Inc. in November 2004, as Contracts Manager.   He was promoted to his current position of Executive Director, Legal Services, in June 2008, at which time he was also elected Assistant Secretary for TJRGI and its subsidiaries. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Western State University College of Law in 1991. Prior to joining TJRGI, he served as Real Estate Contracts Manager at Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc., for approximately eight years. His primary responsibilities at TJRGI are reviewing and drafting franchise and real estate related documents, and annually revising and filing the Company’s Franchise Disclosure Document. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-hinson-916a3a9/

Jim Kensinger

VP of Operations Services and Training

Jim Kensinger joined Johnny Rockets as Vice President, Operations Services and Training in May 2015 bringing more than 35 years of restaurant operations management experience. Jim works closely with the Operations team in program development and implementation for new initiatives and process improvements. Prior to joining Johnny Rockets, Kensinger held the position of Executive Vice President at Catalina Restaurant Group primarily overseeing Operations and Training, but also including Franchising, Facilities, Information Technology, and Real Estate. Catalina Restaurant Group owned Coco’s Bakery Restaurants and Carrows Restaurants, both family style full service restaurants. He oversaw the development and implementation of numerous operational improvement processes primarily including food and labor management systems. Kensinger also held various multi-unit positions within operations including Senior Vice President of Operations. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-kensinger-79a98a9/

Jericho Lopez

Director of Communication and Social and Digital Strategy

Jericho serves as the Director of Communication and Social and Digital Strategy and is responsible for earned and paid Digital Marketing and Public Relations strategies globally for the brand. Lopez was initially charged with building an impactful and compelling multi-channel plan – the first ever for Johnny Rockets – designed to align all stakeholders with new tools and messaging to differentiate the brand in the better burger category. Lopez earned and was invited to be the only director at Johnny Rockets to join the executive team for its year-long research, development and strategic approach to a brand refresh. As a result, the brand debuted a new logo, restaurant design and a totally new guest experience for Johnny Rockets last April.  Prior to joining Johnny Rockets, Lopez oversaw corporate communications, public relations and celebrity talent management for the weight loss brand, Jenny Craig. Jericho was instrumental in handling stakeholder and media communications for multiple private equity sales at Jenny Craig and Johnny Rockets. She also has a strong history in restaurant service, operations and training with brands like Benningan’s, Oggi’s Pizza and Brewing Co. and Crispers. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jericholopez/

Alan Ludloff

Director of International Brand Marketing

Alan has over 20 years of agency marketing experience on working with many restaurant brands. Additionally, he has extensive experience in partnership marketing working with professional sports teams, entertainment properties and licensed properties. He has created and implemented promotional food and beverage programs for restaurants, theme parks and the hospitality industry. Alan started with Johnny Rockets overseeing the Domestic marketing and in December 2015 was promoted to Director of International Brand Marketing. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alan-ludloff-4285a41a/

Chuck McNeely

Director of Construction

Chuck brings over 30 years of construction field experience to the Johnny Rockets brand. He’s worked on everything from building new homes, commercial buildings and tenant finish outs to project management and site reviews and site management. For the last twelve years, Chuck has been on the restaurant owners side of construction managing corporate projects. He’s worked with brands such as Benihana, Ra-Sushi, Haru, The Counter and now Johnny Rockets assisting the corporations with their expansion domestic and international. https://www.linkedin.com/in/chuck-mcneely-601835132/

Rick Reno

Director of Information Systems

Rick has been with Johnny Rockets for 20 years. He is a military veteran and upon completion of service, he worked for Rockwell International for 12 years as a Network Control Center Operator in Information Systems and worked on 2 major projects, the Global Positioning Satellite System and Space Shuttle programs. He started working at Johnny Rockets as an Information Systems Network Engineer to design, build and maintain the Johnny Rockets Corporate and restaurants computing environment to include the rollout and installation of the Aloha POS, which is still in use today. Ricks current role is the Director of IT, Systems and Infrastructure and the RSC. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rreno/

Gene Savage

Director of Franchise Sales and Real Estate

With more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant and retail industries, Gene Savage joined Johnny Rockets as Director of Franchise Sales and Real Estate in January 2015. As part of his role, Savage is responsible for franchise sales and development and real estate. Prior to joining Johnny Rockets, he held the position of Director of Franchise Sales and Real Estate for FSC Franchise Co. LLC., the franchisor of The Brass Tap, a craft beer and wine bar, and Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Bar. As an expert in franchise sales and development, Savage’s extensive domestic experience spans a number of high-profile brands including Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill, Marble Slab Creamery and MaggieMoo’s, Hot Stuff Pizza, Dunkin’ Brands, Baskin-Robin’s, Togo’s Eateries, Inc., Winchell’s Donuts, Jiffy Lube and Mobil Oil. https://www.linkedin.com/in/gene-savage-4302a75/

Craig Schlick

Country Director of Growth Markets

With more than a decade of experience in his field, Craig Schlick oversees international growth markets and acts a point person for Johnny Rockets’ franchisees. He has a vast background including Marketing, Operations, Construction and Development, which he utilizes in assisting our International Franchisees and their various needs. Craig Schlick comes to us from well-known brands such as Darden Restaurants and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s. https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-schlick-67b44313/

Jessica Spangler

Senior Director of Finance

Jessica specializes in FP&A and brings years of best practice managing Finance/Accounting functions while cultivating continuous improvement in key business metrics and streamlining process. Prior to joining JR, she was responsible for finance teams at companies such as Experian, Toshiba, Avery Dennison as well as high-growth medical device and software development companies. An M.B.A. from California Polytechnic University, Jessica thrives on driving the business forward from both a financial and operational perspective. https://www.linkedin.com/in/spanglerjessica/

Dominic Talavera

Vice President of Development

Dominic oversees all domestic and international new restaurant openings and remodels, as well as short- and long-term development plans and objectives. He also manages the design, construction and facilities departments. With more than twenty years of experience in his field, Talavera has overseen and negotiated transformative projects for well-known brands such as Catalina Restaurant Group, Uno Restaurant Corporation and ICS Restaurant Builders. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dominic-talavera-b0406953/

Crystal Wells

Director of Franchise Sales

Wells serves as Director of Franchise Sales after nearly ten years at Johnny Rockets in several positions.  In her position, Wells is responsible for expanding and maximizing the Johnny Rockets brand by managing and overseeing the franchisee sales and development process. Through her role, Wells develops strategies to achieve overall sales goals, as well as enhance the franchise development experience for Johnny Rockets’ U.S. franchisees. https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystal-wells-942ba3122/

Naresh Worlikar

Vice President International

Naresh joined Johnny Rockets in September of 2015 where he oversees International. He brings more than thirty years of experience in the industry of which sixteen years are in the International Markets. His strengths include training and operations; strategic brand, supply chain and country development, speaking multiple languages and understanding cultural diversities with interpersonal skill to foster business relationship. Naresh’s experience includes thriving in domestic and international divisions for Domino’s Pizza Inc., Little Caesars LLC., American Pizzeria Inc., Subway and Sbarro LLC. https://www.linkedin.com/in/naresh-vinod-worlikar-870a4822/

Harry Yu

Senior Director of Information Technology

Joining the Johnny Rockets team from Amazon.com, Harry was responsible for supporting the Amazon fulfillment centers, managing IT operations, services, governance and budget control. He trained and managed a team of engineers and technicians and was part of the group responsible for launching Amazon's world-class fulfillment centers. Prior to joining Amazon.com, Yu headed up IT for Fresh Enterprises, the parent company of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill, La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill and Canyons Burger Company. https://www.linkedin.com/in/harry-yu-b5b78320/

Marc Abenoja

International Director of Training and New Markets

An integral part of Johnny Rockets since June 1993, Abenoja has vast experience with the brand. Marc Abenoja 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 14 restaurants on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships. From there, he became Johnny Rockets' District Manager for Florida and Tennessee, then Corporate Training Manager, in 2000. In his current position as the Director of International Training and New Markets, Abenoja manages all training aspects of new restaurant openings for our international growth. Last year, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce recently presented Johnny Rockets with the President’s “E” Award, the highest recognition any U.S. entity may receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. Johnny Rockets was honored based on our franchise and sales success in international markets. Marc’s contributions played an integral part in receiving the President’s “E” Award. Johnny Rockets now operates in over 32 different countries around the world and will grow to over 40 in 2017. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-abenoja-jr-a074434/