President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board
Steve Hislop has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since July 2007 and Chairman of the Board since May 2018. From July 2006 through June 2007, Steve was President and Chief Executive Officer of Sam Seltzer Steak House. Prior to that, Steve served as the Concept President and a member of the board of directors of O’Charley’s Restaurants, where he helped grow the business from 12 restaurants to a multi-concept company with 347 restaurants. Steve currently serves on the board of directors of Not Your Average Joe's, Inc. and Silver Diner, Inc., which are privately held companies.
Jody Bilney is an accomplished executive with a track record of driving brand transformation and business strategy. Most recently, she served as the Chief Consumer Officer of Humana, Inc., where she led its transformation into a consumer-driven health enterprise across brand development, marketing, the consumer experience, digital, consumer analytics and corporate reputation enhancement. She also was responsible for the company’s Wellness Solutions business. Prior to Humana, Ms. Bilney served as Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer for Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., an upscale-casual dining restaurant company with Outback Steakhouse as its flagship chain. There she headed various departments including brand and business strategy, marketing, corporate communications and business development across the enterprise. She was also a key member of the management team that positioned the company for a successful IPO in 2012. Prior to Bloomin’ Brands, she held senior executive positions at Charles Schwab and Verizon, where she led consumer-focused brand-transformation initiatives. Ms. Bilney is a member of the Board of Directors of Masonite, Inc., United Planet Fitness, and Confluent Health. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, with a minor in Marketing, from Clemson University.
Randall M. DeWitt
Randall DeWitt has served as a member of our board since October 2016. Randall is a well-known restaurant executive with over 25 years of restaurant experience. Randall is the Founder and has been the Chief Executive Officer of Front Burner Restaurants since 1994. Front Burner currently has eight different concepts and is known for developing innovative restaurant concepts that span the fast casual, casual and upscale casual dining segments. Front Burner operates, among others, Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines, Mexican Sugar, and The Ranch at Las Colinas. Prior to founding Front Burner, Randall worked for ten years in commercial real estate development and sales.
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jon Howie has served as our Chief Financial Officer since August 2011, as our Vice President since April of 2013 and as a member of the Board since May 2018. From March 2007 to July 2011, Jon served as the Chief Financial Officer of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, LLC. Prior to that, he served for five years as Controller and was then promoted to Chief Accounting Officer of the Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. Jon is a certified public accountant and prior to joining Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. was employed as an audit senior manager with Grant Thornton, LLP for one year and served at Ernst & Young LLP for 10 years where he held various audit positions, including audit senior manager. At Grant Thornton and Ernst & Young, he served as an accounting and business advisor to both private and public companies and advised a number of these companies in conjunction with their initial and secondary public offerings.
Starlette Johnson has served as a member of our board since September 2012. Since February 2019, Starlette has served as the President and as a director of Lucky Strike Entertainment, a privately held company that provides bowling, food and other entertainment. Since 2012, Starlette has also served as an independent consultant to private equity funds, and to companies in the restaurant and hospitality industries. From October 2015 to October 2016, Starlette served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Twin Restaurant Holdings. Additionally, she served as President and Chief Operating Officer, as well as a director, of Dave & Buster’s, Inc. from 2007 to 2010. Starlette joined Dave & Buster’s as Chief Strategic Officer in 2006. Prior to joining Dave & Buster’s, Starlette worked at Brinker International, where she held positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer. Starlette served as a member of the board of directors for Tuesday Morning, Inc. from 2008 to 2013, during which time she served on the audit committee and the nominating/governance committee. Starlette also served on the board of Bojangle’s (NASDAQ: BOJA) from March 2016 to February 2019 during which time she served as chair of the audit committee. Since 2015, she has also served as the chairman of the board for SusieCakes, LLC, a privately held bakery. In addition, Starlette is a member of the advisory board for the Hospitality & Tourism Program at Virginia Tech and serves on the Pamplin College of Business Cabinet at Virginia Tech. Starlette received a B.S. in Finance from Virginia Tech and an M.B.A. from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Lead Independent Director
Saed Mohseni has served as a member of our board since September 2012 and has served as our lead independent director since May 2018. Saed served as the President and Chief Executive Officer and a director of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. from January 2016 until May 2017. In May 2017, he became the Chief Executive Officer of Bob Evans Restaurants LLC. Saed has more than 30 years of management experience in the restaurant industry. Prior to joining Bob Evans Farms, he served as director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bravo Brio Restaurant Group, Inc., the parent company of BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, Bon Vie Bistro, and BRIO Tuscan Grille restaurant chains, from 2007 to 2015. He assumed the additional role of President in 2009 and led the company through the IPO process in 2010. Prior to joining Bravo Brio, Saed worked at McCormick & Schmick for 21 years, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as a director from 2004 to 2007 and as Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2007 and led the company through the IPO process in 2004. Saed attended Portland State University and Oregon State University.
Ira Zecher has served as a member of our board since June 2011. Ira has been a Managing Member of ILZ, LLC, an accounting consulting firm since 2010. He previously served as a director, audit committee chairman and nominating and corporate governance committee member of the board of The Habit Restaurants, Inc. from August 2014 to March 2020 and as a director, audit committee chairman and compensation committee member of the board of Norcraft Companies, Inc. from October 2013 to May 2015. Prior to joining the Chuy’s board, Mr. Zecher was with Ernst & Young LLP, a registered public accounting firm, for over 36 years until his retirement as a Partner in 2010. From 1986 to 2010, he served as a Senior Transaction Advisory Services Partner and Far East Private Equity Leader for Ernst & Young, where he advised clients on mergers and acquisitions across a broad range of industries. Prior to joining the transaction advisory services group, Ira provided accounting, audit and business-advisory services to both public and private clients. He received his Bachelor's degree from Queens College of the City of New York. He is also a certified public accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. He also completed the Executive Program of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. From 2010 to 2013, he taught in the Graduate Accounting program at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.