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Board of Directors

Vann Avedisian
Director

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

Joseph Boehm
Director

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

Chairman of the Board
Adrian Butler
Director

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

Marla Gottschalk
Director

Ms. Gottschalk has served as our director since November 2009. Ms. Gottschalk has served as Chief Executive Officer of The Pampered Chef Ltd., a marketer of kitchen tools, food products and cookbooks for preparing food in the home, since May 2006 and as its President and Chief Operating Officer since December 2003. She joined Pampered Chef from Kraft Foods, Inc., where she worked for 14 years in various management positions, including as Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Investor Relations for Kraft, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Post Cereal Division and Vice President of Marketing and Strategy of Kraft Cheese Division. Ms. Gottschalk is a Director for Big Lots, Inc. and Reynolds Consumer Products.

Favorite Potbelly menu item: Mediterranean with chicken Flats

David Head
Director

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

Director

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

Ben Rosenzweig
Director

Mr. Rosenzweig has served as our director since April 2018. Mr. Rosenzweig is currently a partner at Privet Fund Management LLC. Prior to Privet, Mr. Rosenzweig served as an Investment Banking analyst in the corporate finance group of Alvarez and Marsal from June 2007 until May 2008. Mr. Rosenzweig is currently a Director of Synalloy Corporation, a producer and distributor of piping, tubing and specialty chemicals; PFSweb, Inc., a global commerce service provider, and Hardinge, Inc., a designer, manufacturer and distributor of machine tools.

Favorite Potbelly menu item: Turkey Breast

Todd W. Smith
Director

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

Robert Wright
Director

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