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PE-backed Famous Brands taps Lyman as CEO

Famous Brands International, which is backed by Z Capital, has appointed Dustin Lyman as CEO. Lyman joined Famous Brands in 2013 as director of finance. Famous Brands is the parent company of Mrs. Fields Cookies and TCBY Yogurt.


Broomfield, Colorado – September 21, 2016 – Famous Brands International (“Famous Brands” or the “Company”), a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. (“Z Capital”) and the parent company of Mrs. Fields Cookies and TCBY Yogurt, today announced the appointment of Dustin Lyman as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Mr. Lyman joined Famous Brands in 2013 as Director of Finance and as part of the management team appointed by Z Capital Partners, the private equity management arm of Z Capital Group. He has held positions of increasing responsibility since that time and played a key role in the development and implementation of the Company’s strategic plan. Most recently, Mr. Lyman served as Famous Brands’ Chief Financial Officer, where he focused on driving growth and profitability with a range of initiatives, including:
· Investing in store-level improvements at existing locations;
· Adding locations in key markets, across both franchised and owned-and-operated stores;
· Streamlining supply chain contracts and improving operational efficiencies;
· Implementing innovative technologies, including the TCBY vending machines;
· Revamping the Company’s e-commerce sites; and
· Expanding the direct-to-consumer business and the licensing and corporate gifting programs.

Prior to joining Famous Brands, Mr. Lyman held key financial positions at large organizations, including Vail Resorts and Dish Network. He was previously a professional athlete, playing Tight End for the Chicago Bears from 2000 through 2005. Mr. Lyman holds a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

“Dustin has been an integral part of creating and executing Famous Brands’ strategic vision over the last several years, and I am pleased he will be taking on additional responsibilities in his new role as CEO,” said James Zenni, President and Chief Executive Officer of Z Capital. “Importantly, Dustin’s strong leadership abilities and management philosophy have resonated with franchisees, licensees and business partners who share his belief that great success is achieved through teamwork. He brings extensive industry experience and a proven track record of driving growth and profitability, and I look forward to working with Dustin and the rest of the talented leadership team as the Company enters its next phase of growth.”

Mr. Lyman, who credits his commitment to a collaborative and team-driven approach to his experience playing collegiate and professional sports, said, “I am excited to assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of Famous Brands and look forward to continuing to build upon the strong foundation we have put in place. Mrs. Fields Cookies and TCBY are two of America’s most iconic consumer brands, and I am thrilled about the opportunities we plan to leverage as we continue growing.”

Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Caldwell, who coached Mr. Lyman when he attended Wake Forest University, said, “Dustin is a natural leader that sets a high standard for himself and those around him. He has a winning mentality and a focused determination that motivates people.”

About Famous Brands International
Headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado, Famous Brands International (“Famous Brands”) owns and manages two category defining, iconic brands: Mrs. Fields and TCBY (The Country’s Best Yogurt). In addition, the Company recently entered into the chocolates, candies, and nuts categories through the acquisitions of Maxfield Candy and Nutty Guys, enabling sales of year-round snacking products. The Company markets and distributes its products such as cookies, frozen yogurt, brownies, chocolates, nuts, and popcorn, through its franchising, gifting, and licensing business segments. The Company’s gifting segment markets and distributes products through catalogs, e-commerce, and various retail channels. Additionally, the Company licenses the use of its trademarks, logos and recipes to third parties for distribution of Mrs. Fields and TCBY branded products through non-bakery stores and cafes. With over 750 owned and franchised locations in 33 countries, the Company is currently leveraging the category leading brand awareness of its iconic brands to drive sales across all three channels of the business through an exciting growth strategy. Famous Brands is a portfolio company of Z Capital Partners, L.L.C., the private equity management arm of Z Capital Group, L.L.C., a leading global alternative investment manager with approximately $2.2 billion of regulatory assets under management.

About Z Capital Partners
Z Capital Partners, L.L.C. is the private equity management arm of Z Capital Group, L.L.C (together with its subsidiaries, “Z Capital”), a leading global alternative investment manager with approximately $2.2 billion of regulatory assets under management with offices in New York, NY; Lake Forest, IL; and Zurich, Switzerland. Z Capital manages opportunistic, value-oriented private equity and credit funds. Its investors include prominent global sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, family offices, and other institutions in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For more information, please visit

About Mrs. Fields
Mrs. Fields is based in Broomfield, Colorado with a production and distribution facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. 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 enjoys the highest aided brand awareness in the industry and sells products at over 300 retail locations globally and online. Visit for more information.

About TCBY
Also based in Broomfield, Colorado, TCBY has been a frozen yogurt innovator from the day its first shop opened in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1981. Today, TCBY enjoys the highest aided brand awareness in the industry and sells products at over 400 retail locations globally and online. Visit to learn more.