Vann Avedisian has served as our director since March 2021. Mr. Avedisian is the Founding Partner of Newbond Holdings, a vertically integrated real estate operating and investment vehicle focused on the hospitality industry. From 2010 through 2021 Vann was a Principal of Highgate Holdings, a real estate investment firm that acquired in excess of $10 billion of real estate assets and manages over 150+ hotels comprising approximately 40,000 rooms. Prior to Highgate, Mr. Avedisian co-founded Oxford Capital Partners and directed its real estate principal investments with an aggregate value in excess of $1 billion. Prior to founding Oxford, Mr. Avedisian was a Vice President at LaSalle Partners and a Director and Shareholder of Citizens National Bank of Lake Geneva. Mr. Avedisian is currently on the Board of Trustees of the William Blair Mutual Funds where he is Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee and also serves on the Audit and Compliance Committees. Mr. Avedisian previously served on Potbelly’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2015 and was Chairman of the Compensation and Organization Committee.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: Chicken salad with hot peppers
Mr. Boehm has served as our director since October 2017 and was appointed Chairman effective March 2021. In January 2021, Mr. Boehm founded and serves as Managing Partner of Provider Real Estate Partners, a real estate private equity fund management company. Prior to founding Provider Real Estate Partners, Mr. Boehm served as a Portfolio Manager at Ancora Advisors, LLC, a registered investment advisor, since April 2014. Prior to Ancora, Mr. Boehm was an Analyst at Sigma Capital Management, a hedge fund, from February 2013 through March 2014. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Boehm was an associate at Deutsche Bank, an investment bank
Favorite Potbelly menu item: Italian
Mr. Butler has served as our director since May 2019. Since June 2020, he has served as the Chief Information Officer of Casey’s General Stores, Inc. From August 2015 to May 2020, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Dine Brands Global, Inc. Previously, Mr. Butler was Vice President in the Technology Services division of Target Corporation.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: Italian
Mr. Head has served as our director since August 2019. He brings nearly 40 years of transformative executive leadership experience from the fine dining, casual, fast-casual and quick service sectors. Currently, Mr. Head serves as Chairman and CEO of Primanti Brothers, where he has nearly tripled the size of the high-profile Pittsburgh-based chain during his six-year tenure. He has also served as the CEO of O’ Charley’s, Captain D’s, Romacorp and Houlihan’s Restaurant Group, in addition to spending nearly a decade as a successful franchisee partner in the Applebee’s and Red Robin systems. Mr. Head previously served on a number of Boards of Directors, including Bob Evans Farms, O’ Charley’s, Inc., Captain D’s / Sagittarius Brands, and Imvescor. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: A Wreck
Mr. Near is the founding partner of Pisces Foods L.P and is a third-generation restauranteur. For the past five years, he has been the managing partner of Ramen Tatsuya Holdings LLC, which manages Tatsuya Brands, and now serves as a board member. He worked with Coca-Cola Fountain as Territory Sales Manager and previously operated Wendy’s restaurants as a franchisee from 1995 to 2012. Prior to that, he served multiple years as President of the Wendy’s Franchise Advisory council and was appointed Chief Operations Officer at The Wendy’s Company from 2006 to 2009. He was responsible for global operations, franchising, new store development, and served as a board member of Wendy’s National Advertising Program. Mr. Near received his undergraduate degree from Duke University an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: A Wreck
Dave Pearson has served as our director since April 2021. Mr. Pearson is currently serving as a board member for Lee Enterprises and Magnite, both of which operate within the advertising industry. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Pearson was the Chief Financial Officer of Vonage, where he was responsible for managing the Finance, Corporate Development, and Investor Relations departments. Preceding Vonage, Mr. Pearson served for over nine years as the Managing Director of the Global Media & Telecom Group within Deutsche Bank’s investment banking services. Additionally, he spent nine years at Goldman Sachs holding three different positions within the Technology, Media & Telecom investment banking practice, most recently as Managing Director. Mr. Pearson received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an A.B. in Political Science and Organizational Behavior from Brown University.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: A Wreck with Pickles
Mr. Smith has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, where he has led large public companies, small, fast-growing fast casual companies, and has founded his own restaurant group. In 2017 he took an equity stake in Cafe Rio Mexican Grill, a fast growing, fast casual concept. In 2012, he was tapped to lead the turn-around at Sonic Drive-In after three straight years of same store sales decline. Mr. Smith ultimately served as President and CMO and helped Sonic Drive-In to five straight years of same store sales growth and record store-level profits. Prior to that, he worked in marketing at Yum! Brands for its KFC domestic business. After successfully turning around a struggling handheld chicken division, he joined Wendy’s International in its innovation and new product marketing group. Mr. Smith received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University and a Masters of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: A Wreck with extra mayo and mustard
Jill Sutton has served as our director since April 2021. Ms. Sutton most recently served as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of United Natural Foods, Inc., a publicly traded food distributor. Prior to United Natural Foods, she served as Deputy General Counsel of General Motors Company. During her professional career, Ms. Sutton worked for Tim Hortons from 2006 to 2015, where she held various roles, including Executive Vice President and General Counsel. Prior to Tim Hortons, Ms. Sutton served as Corporate Counsel for Wendy’s Co. for two years. Ms. Sutton holds multiple degrees from The Ohio State University, including a J.D. and Masters Degree in Health Administration.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: Italian with extra hot peppers
Mr. Wright has served as our director, President and Chief Executive Officer since July 2020. He has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of The Wendy’s Company, where he ran operations for over 6,000 company and franchise restaurants located in the U.S. and Canada. He has a strong record of business transformation throughout his career, where he has leveraged brand strengths to revitalize top-line sales and profit growth through marketing, system-wide service standardization, and quality initiatives. In addition to Wendy’s, Bob has served in leadership roles with other restaurant brands, including Charley’s Philly Steaks, Checker’s Drive-In Restaurants, Inc., and Domino’s Pizza, Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Letourneau University.
Favorite Potbelly menu item: Italian on white with peppers, mustard, lettuce and pickles