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Management Team

Aylwin has been Chief Executive Officer and President at Potbelly Corporation since June 2008. He has served as Chairman since October 2013 and has over 30 years of restaurant (COO of Yum! Brands) and retail experience (CEO of Sears and Kmart).  

He currently is a member of the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Company serving since 2004, and the Board of Directors of Marriott International serving since September 2016. Aylwin is also on the Board of Directors at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business and serves as a trustee of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He previously served on the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Board from 2013-2016 and the Halliburton Board from 2001-2005.

Prior to Potbelly, Aylwin served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Sears Holdings Corporation. Before assuming this role – following Sears’ acquisition of Kmart Holding Corporation in 2005 – Aylwin was President of Sears Holdings and Chief Executive Officer of Kmart and Sears Retail.

From January 2003 to October 2004, he was the President, Chief Multi-Branding and Operating Officer of Yum! Brands, Inc. and served as Chief Operating Officer of Yum! Brands from December 1999 to January 2003.

Aylwin holds the following academic degrees: BA in English (‘76), BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management ('76), and an MBA ('90)—all from the University of Houston. He also received a master's degree from Houston Baptist University. He is a proud product of the Houston public school system.

Mike is Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer at Potbelly Corporation. He assumed this role with nearly 30 years of experience in leadership positions across a variety of top tier companies.

Most recently, Mike served as Senior Vice President, Small Business at CNA Financial Corporation, and prior to that served as divisional Chief Financial Officer of CNA's Property & Casualty Operations business. He also spent seven years at Sears Holdings Corporation, culminating as Vice President and Treasurer. Mike also held various financial roles at Schering-Plough Corporation. Mike, a Certified Public Accountant, began his career with Ernst & Young.

Mike completed his undergraduate work at the University of Illinois, and received an MBA from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Julie is Senior Vice President, Operations at Potbelly Corporation. She has worked for Potbelly since 2008, first learning operations as a General Manager and then as a District Manager before assuming various operations roles and being promoted to Central Zone Manager overseeing 220 shops in 2010.

In 2015, she assumed the leadership role of Vice President, Operations. Prior to Potbelly, Julie served as Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, and before that served as Vice President, Marketing at Kmart. She began her career with IBM in 1997 in Retail Planning and Forecasting Technology and worked with several large retailers prior to joining Kmart. Julie completed her undergraduate work at the University of Michigan, and received an MBA from Wayne State University.

Anne is Senior Vice President of New Shop Development at Potbelly Corporation. She has worked for Potbelly since 2007, first taking a leadership position as Market Manager of Operations in Chicago and later in the Washington D.C. market.

In 2013, Anne assumed the leadership role of Vice President, New Shops Development at Potbelly. She worked for Starbucks Coffee Company for 13 years and had leadership positions in both operations and new store development. Anne has a BA in Business from Michigan State University.

Matt has been Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Secretary of Potbelly Corporation since January 2007. He also leads international development for Potbelly. He came to Potbelly after working with several Chicago-based companies in his career, including Sears Holdings Corporation, True North Communications, and most recently as both Deputy General Counsel of Brunswick Corporation and General Counsel of Brunswick New Technologies, Inc.

Matt began his career with the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis. He graduated with a B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Illinois College of Law.

Nancy is Senior Vice President, Chief People Officer at Potbelly Corporation. She joined Potbelly in 2008, leading employee engagement, organization development, compensation and benefits and HR process improvement. She runs a People Playbook for consistent principles, accountabilities and development of bench strength for growth. She has accountability for culture, communications and leadership training.

Prior to Potbelly, Nancy worked for Sears Holdings for 15 years and held a number of positions, including DVP of Corporate Communications supporting acquisition and integration work, and Director in the Sears Credit business and District Operations in the Sears Retail business. She has a BA in Organizational Communications from Western Illinois University.

Sherry is Senior Vice President, Brand & Sales Development for Potbelly Corporation, with over 24 years of experience leading successful corporate and agency-side marketing teams. She joined Potbelly in 2012, and is responsible for brand communications, menu innovation and calendar planning, consumer insights, neighborhood marketing, media and social engagement for the brand.

She began her career working on the advertising agency side of the business, including at Foote, Cone & Belding, and key accounts including Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., Coors Corporate, PetSmart, Kimberly Clark and Hewlett-Packard. Sherry transitioned to the corporate-side of the business with Taco Bell Corporate, where she spent over twelve years in marketing leadership roles before joining the Potbelly team. Sherry completed her undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.