PE-backed Famous Brands International announces new hire and several promotions

TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies‘ parent company Famous Brands International said Monday that it has hired David Bloom as senior vice president of strategic development, effective immediately. Previously, Bloom worked at Hurricane Grill & Wings where he served as chief development officer. Also, the company has promoted Dustin Finkel to vice president of marketing; Belinda Oakley to vice president of operations; and Cassie Alvey to vice president of Mrs. Fields Gifting. Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners.

PRESS RELEASE

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Famous Brands International, the parent company of TCBY Yogurt and Mrs. Fields Cookies, today announced that it has appointed David Bloom to the position of Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, effective immediately. Mr. Bloom has been serving as the Chief Development Officer for Hurricane Grill & Wings since June 2012. Famous Brands also announced the following promotions: Dustin Finkel to Vice President of Marketing; Belinda Oakley to Vice President of Operations; Cassie Alvey to Vice President of Mrs. Fields Gifting.
“We are excited to welcome David to the Famous Brands executive management team,” said Neal Courtney, Chief Executive Officer of Famous Brands. “David is a highly strategic restaurant executive who has a proven track record of successfully planning, implementing and executing on both national and international development strategies. David’s depth of leadership and operational experience will be important as we continue to focus on the strategic development of the Mrs. Fields and TCBY brands.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the Famous Brands team,” said Mr. Bloom. “The TCBY and Mrs. Fields brands are undergoing an exciting transformation and I look forward to continuing to build on the Company’s strong position for future growth.”
Mr. Courtney continued, “The additional changes we are announcing today will further improve organizational efficiencies, and I am confident that our new highly-talented, experienced management team will continue to aggressively execute on our growth initiatives. I believe that we now have the right team in place to unlock the full potential of the iconic Mrs. Fields and TCBY brands.”
Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. a leading private equity firm founded in 2006 with approximately $1.1 billion of regulatory assets and committed capital under management.
Mr. Bloom previously served as Chief Development Officer for Hurricane Grill & Wings since June 2012. During his time with Hurricane Grill & Wings, Mr. Bloom developed the entire franchise sales infrastructure as well as their construction/design program. From July 2011 until April 2012, Mr. Bloom served as Chief Operations Officer for Bridge International Academies, where he led international development and operations. Mr. Bloom served as Senior Vice President of Brand Expansion for Quiznos from 1998 to 2006 and then again from 2009 until 2011. During his time at Quiznos, Mr. Bloom played a significant role in the organization’s growth and helped create and execute on all aspects of the company’s accelerated development program. While Mr. Bloom was with Quiznos the company successfully opened over 5,000 stores in over 28 countries.
Over the prior 12 months, Dustin Finkel served as Sr. Director of Marketing, Licensing, Innovation, & Strategy for Famous Brands. In this role, Mr. Finkel successfully launched the first plant-based Frozen Yogurt product in partnership with the Silk brand. Prior to Famous Brands, Mr. Finkel has over 15 years of strategic management, brand management and analytical experience — working for firms such as Goldman Sachs in investment banking and large CPG companies such as General Mills, Kellogg’s, and WhiteWave. During his time with General Mills, Mr. Finkel developed and launched the company’s first Gluten Free product line, with Chex Cereal. During his time at WhiteWave, Mr. Finkel led comprehensive market, consumer, pricing, and innovation strategy for the Horizon Organic brand resulting in business growth for the first time in 3 years.
Belinda Oakley has been the Vice President of Operations for Famous Brands International since January 2013, having previously served as Director of Operations for Western United States. She has over fifteen years of franchise operations management experience throughout Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States and was a featured speaker and panelist at numerous Franchise Council of Australia events. Since joining Famous Brands in January 2011, Belinda has focused intently on the importance of the franchisee-franchisor relationship, developing and implementing plans, initiatives and processes to drive store profitability and franchisee satisfaction.
With over 14 years of experience at Mrs. Fields Gifts, Cassie Alvey has become a true advocate for the voice of our customer. During her tenure, the catalog division has seen revenue growth from 3MM in revenue to over 30MM. As Director of Sales, Cassie developed relationships and strategies with several on-line partners, such as Provide Commerce, FTD and Costco.com. Later, in her role as Director of Marketing, Cassie oversaw the facelift of www.mrsfields.com enhancing customer experience and increasing conversion rates. In her new role as Vice President, Cassie plans to continue to drive growth and awareness of the Gifting division, while maintaining a customer focused culture.
About Famous Brands
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. is a leading private equity firm with approximately $1.1 billion regulatory assets and committed capital under management that makes constructive, control investments in distressed middle-market companies that require turnaround, restructuring, or bankruptcy or are otherwise special situations. Z Capital invests in companies challenged by the need to effect immediate changes to their financial structure and or business model.
Z Capital’s Investment team has more than a sixteen year track record investing in distressed private equity and credit related strategies and in excess of 200 years combined experience. Industries in which the principals of Z Capital have invested include consumer products, steel, steel processors, agriculture, gaming, leisure – real estate, manufacturing, specialty services and automotive.
Z Capital portfolio companies currently have aggregate worldwide annual revenues of approximately $3 billion, sell products in 98 countries, and employ 26,000 associates directly and through joint ventures. Z Capital specializes in managing assets in the distressed private equity / special situations and leveraged finance universe.
Z Capital’s investors include prominent global endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, wealth management firms and other financial institutions. For more information, please visit www.zcap.net.