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at Del Taco Restaurants, The Coffee Bran & Tea Leaf, El Pollo Loco, and Taco Bell.


“I am truly humbled and excited to be leading this legacy brand,” Wetzel said. “In the last three months, I have had the great privilege to watch true leadership from Karen while we have navigated through this unprecedented challenging time for both the world and the restaurant industry. I have big shoes to fill in this new position, but I will work fervently alongside our talented team, franchisees and suppliers to continue Farmer Boys’ calculated growth plan while building the next chapter of hospitality for Farmer Boys guests and team members.”


Giant Food Giant Food, a regional grocery chain serving the


Washington D.C. area, announced the appointment of Ira Kress as its new president. Kress had served as interim president of Giant Food since July 2019 and has been with the company since 1984. “It’s been an honor and privilege to lead Giant Food, especially during this time when our customers and communities have never needed us more,” Kress said in a statement. “I’m honored to continue in the role and am incredibly appreciative of our associates who serve our customers with excellence every day. I look forward to continuing to grow the Giant Food brand in our communities.” Kress began his career in store operations management and has served in a variety of leadership roles in retail operations, human resources, training, and labor relations. Additionally, he held a leadership role in human resources at Ahold USA.


Luna Grill


Rich Pinnella has been named President of Luna Grill, a fast-casual Mediterranean concept with 50 locations throughout Southern California and the Dallas metro area. A former Taco Bell executive, Pinnella joined Luna Grill in the summer of 2019 as chief brand officer and has been instrumental in the implementation of processes and operational planning as the company continues forward on a strategic growth trajectory. Pinnella, along with other recent executive additions, have rounded out the C-suite team, giving the company extensive depth in multi-unit operations. Company CEO and co-founder Sean Pourteymour has handed day-to-day operations over to Pinnella and will focus on long-term expansion moving forward.


“Back in 2018 we assessed the company, examining the infrastructure, talent and brand positioning and began searching for the right people to enhance the executive team,” he said. “We knew we had to prepare for the next phase of strategic growth and began talent acquisition to guide that growth. Rich, along with our new CFO Bob Bartlett, were two of those first key hires and we always had the long-term goal of Rich eventually moving into a key leadership role.”


McDonald’s With the departure of its chief people officer in June, McDonald’s announced two additions to the company’s human resources team. Melanie Steinbach was promoted from global chief


talent officer to senior vice president and chief people officer for McDonald’s USA. She joined the company in 2017 and has spent 15 years solving business problems through talent in the consumer, retail, and marketing sectors. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Steinback spent three years as chief human resources officer at Milliken & Company.


Additionally, Shammara Howell was appointed


vice president and chief talent officer. In her new role, she is responsible for talent attraction, performance management, leadership development, and organizational effectiveness. She joined McDonald’s in 2017 and most recently served as senior director of corporate human resources.


Sprouts Farmers Market Sprouts Farmers Market announced the hiring of J. Scott Neal as chief fresh merchandising officer. Neal will report directly to Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair and will oversee the company’s fresh merchandise offerings. Neal brings more than 25 years of retail experience


to Sprouts. For the past eight years, he served as senior vice president and general merchandise manager for Walmart’s fresh food division. Additionally, he has served as a member of the board of directors for Feeding America since 2016. “We’re thrilled to welcome Scott to the Sprouts team,” Sinclair said. “Scott joins us at the perfect time to leverage his deep experience in fresh merchandising and sourcing as we begin to implement our long- term growth strategy by creating an advantaged fresh supply chain to bring better-for-you options and innovative products to support our customers’ healthy lifestyles.”


Summer 2020 43


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