Famous Brands names two to board, including Z Capital director

Famous Brands International, the parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies, has appointed two people to its board of directors, including Joseph Nasr, a director at Z Capital Partners, which owns Famous Brands. Famous Brands also named Joyce Hrinya, a managing partner at A&R Strategy Partners, a strategic marketing firm, to the board. Z Capital took full ownership of Famous Brands last year, acquiring remaining minority stakes from The Carlyle Group.

Press Release

Famous Brands International, the parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies, today announced that it has appointed Joyce Hrinya and Joseph Nasr to the Board of Directors. Ms. Hrinya currently serves as Managing Partner of A&R Strategy Partners, a strategic marketing firm that provides expertise to leading consumer goods companies to acquire and retain profitable consumers. Mr. Nasr currently serves as a Director at Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. (“Z Capital”), a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.5 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management.

“We are excited to welcome both Joyce and Joe to the Famous Brands Board,” said Neal Courtney, Chief Executive Officer of Famous Brands. “Joyce has worked extensively with some of the most prominent consumer retail companies and has a proven track record of strong leadership skills and marketing expertise, and Joe has substantial leadership experience successfully developing and growing businesses across various industries. The addition of Joyce and Joe to the Board, along with the recent appointments to our senior management team, gives Famous Brands robust and experienced leadership to oversee the continued growth of TCBY and Mrs. Fields.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Neal and the team at Famous Brands,” said Ms. Hrinya. “Famous Brands has undergone several exciting changes recently, resulting in significant growth and positioning the Company for future success. I look forward to leveraging my experience and skillsets to help build on Famous Brands’ strong market position, execute its strategies for continued expansion and further connect with its global base of customers.”

“Famous Brands is on an exciting growth trajectory and I look forward to working with the management team and the rest of the Board to continue the current momentum,” said Mr. Nasr. “With the ongoing execution of the current transformational strategic plan, Famous Brands is poised to capitalize on emerging opportunities, pursue growth initiatives and expand margins.”

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Joyce and Joe to the Board of Famous Brands,” said James J. Zenni, Chairman of Famous Brands and President and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital. “Joyce and Joe bring to the Board diverse and proven capabilities in the areas of operations planning, business development, and brand management and both have extensive leadership experience. I am confident that their collective skills will support the current strategy and that they will provide immediate and helpful insight to an already strong Board, as we continue to see the expansion of the iconic TCBY and Mrs. Fields brands.”

Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital.

Joyce Hrinya
Ms. Hrinya is currently Founder and Managing Partner of A&R Strategy Partners, a strategic marketing consulting firm that helps companies grow through acquisition and retention of profitable customers. Ms. Hrinya was previously Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Satisfaction at Helzberg Diamonds a Berkshire Hathaway company from 2004 to 2010, at which time she led all marketing and customer satisfaction functions for Helzberg’s 240 stores and served in a governance role as member of a six person Executive Board. She began her career in Cleveland with General Electric Company (1984-1986) and then joined the Sara Lee Corporation, an American consumer-goods company, serving as Strategic Planning and Forecasting Manager (1988-1990), Director of Brand Development (1990-1992) both at Coach and Champion Europe, Vice President of Marketing Aris Isotoner (1993-1996) and Vice President of Business Planning Playtex (1996-1997). From 1997-1999, Ms. Darkey-Hrinya served as Vice President, General Manager of the Dana Buchman Accessories Division at Liz Claiborne, Inc, a fashion company that markets a wide range of women’s and men’s apparel and accessories. From 1999 to 2004, Ms. Hrinya served in several positions at Danskin, Inc, including General Manager (1999-2000) and Senior Vice President of Marketing (2000-2004).

Joseph Nasr
Mr. Nasr is a Director of Z Capital and is a member of the Investment Team and has substantial experience in private equity transactions as well as direct investments. Mr. Nasr is responsible for research and analysis of existing and prospective portfolio company investments. Mr. Nasr is currently on the Board of Directors for MSDP Group, LLC. Prior to joining Z Capital, Mr. Nasr was with Landmark Partners (“Landmark”) where he was a Senior Associate. At Landmark, Mr. Nasr engaged in analysis, assessment, financial modeling, underwriting and legal closing of private equity secondary and direct investments. Prior to Landmark Partners, Mr. Nasr was an Analyst with Cogent Partners (“Cogent”). While at Cogent, Mr. Nasr responsibilities included analyzing limited partner portfolios, executing private equity transactions, direct investment sales, portfolio advisory assignments and analyzing pricing trends. Mr. Nasr has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Chicago.

About Famous Brands
About Mrs. Fields Cookies:
Based in Broomfield, CO, Mrs. Fields Famous Brands, LLC dba Famous Brands International is the parent company to Mrs. Fields. Debbi Fields opened her first store in Palo Alto, California in 1977 and the Mrs. Fields name quickly became associated with warm, freshly baked cookies right out of the oven. Today, Mrs. Fields products are available at over 300 retail locations in the United States, nearly 100 locations internationally and online through http://www.mrsfields.com or by calling 1.800.COOKIES. For more information on Mrs. Fields please visit http://www.mrsfields.com.

About TCBY:
Based in Broomfield, CO, TCBY, The Country’s Best Yogurt, has been a frozen yogurt innovator from the day its first shop opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981. With more than 650 locations in the United States and internationally, TCBY has long been a healthier alternative for consumers looking for a treat or snack. To learn more check out www.TCBY.com.

About Z Capital Partners
Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. (“Z Capital”) is a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.5 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management and with offices in Lake Forest, IL and New York, NY. Z Capital pursues an opportunistic, value-oriented approach in private equity that includes making control investments in middle-market companies that may require turnaround, restructuring, bankruptcy or are otherwise special situations.

Z Capital’s investors include prominent global sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, wealth management firms and other financial institutions in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.zcap.net.