Young Chefs Academy Advances Strategic Growth Plan with Key Executive Team Hires

Brand Poised for Significant Growth with New Hires in Operations and Curriculum Development

March 03, 2016 // // WACO, Texas – Young Chefs Academy, the country’s leading kids cooking school, which has captivated the creativity of children across the nation for more than a decade, today announced several executive team hires that further reinforce the brand’s commitment to strategic expansion.

This announcement comes amid a series of moves and key executive-level hires to strengthen the brand’s talented collection of leaders. As part of the formation of the core executive team, Young Chefs Academy has appointed Jamie Skinner to the role of operations manager and Kathy Arvidson to the role of curriculum specialist. Skinner and Arvidson will be joining Young Chefs Academy’s recent hires Courtney Harmon, the director of operations and training and Abby Tankersley, the curriculum development specialist.  

“We are experiencing a great surge of growth as a brand. Jamie and Kathy are welcome additions to the Young Chefs Academy family," said Julie Burleson, founder and CEO of Young Chefs Academy. “Both have a proven track record of success in each of their past roles. We look forward to leveraging their collective experience in business management and curriculum development to increase profitability at the unit level, as well as drive growth for Young Chefs Academy throughout the country.”

Skinner will be supporting franchisees towards achieving profitability goals through successful implementation of procedures, as well as identifying new franchise partners who align with Young Chefs Academy’s vision for success. Arvidson will be focused on developing an engaging and educational curriculum program for franchise partners and their students.

Prior to accepting her new position with Young Chefs Academy, Skinner served as operations specialist and club development supervisor with Curves International Inc., a Texas-based fitness and weight loss franchise. She was a key player in the success and growth of the company’s franchise operations.  She is looking forward to leveraging her 14 years of experience in business strategy, franchise development, training and operations in her new role with Young Chefs Academy.

“When I was presented with the opportunity to work with Young Chefs Academy, I knew I couldn’t pass it up,” said Skinner. “I am looking forward to further advancing our franchise growth goals alongside the support team.”

Prior to joining the Young Chefs Academy family, Arvidson earned her M.S. in Clinical Nutrition and her B.A. in Biology. She also worked closely with Young Chefs Academy as a staff member before her appointment as Curriculum Specialist.

“After spending years leading lessons in the Young Chefs Academy classrooms, I am looking forward to taking this next step and developing the school’s curriculum nationwide,” said Arvidson. “My teaching background, as well as my educational experience, will help me as I hit the ground running in my new role.”

The cumulative experience of these high-profile executives has already lifted the concept’s franchisee resources and support to new heights.  Young Chefs Academy is now situated in its new training center and headquarters, which includes state-of-the-art kitchen and classroom space for training and education classes.

Young Chefs Academy plans to grow by at least 50 percent this year and hopes to double its franchise count in the next two years. Although aggressive in its growth plans, the brand has strengthened its processes and procedures for scalability. 

“As we continue to expand our franchise system, we are also taking every opportunity to strengthen our processes and procedures along the way,” said Burleson.  “With a strong team firmly in place, we are confident our growth plans will be met, if not exceeded.”

For more information on Young Chefs Academy, please visit

About Young Chefs Academy

Founded in 2003, Young Chefs Academy is one part culinary adventure, one part culinary education, and it’s all for kids. Here, learning invaluable life lessons (shhh... they don’t even know it’s happening) occurs through a cooking curriculum that evokes curiosity, which provides kids a pathway to personal discovery and creativity, all in a warm, welcoming and inspiring movement.

Young Chefs Academy provides driven entrepreneurs the opportunity to join an American movement that is here to stay. Complete with a celebrated curriculum, extensive marketing, operations and real estate support, Young Chefs Academy is on a course for nationwide U.S. expansion. Currently, the company has more than 20 locations open or in development throughout ten states.

For more information about Young Chefs Academy, visit To inquire about franchising opportunities, visit

SOURCE Young Chefs Academy

Media Contact:

Niveen Saleh
All Points Public Relations
(847) 897-7489


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Founded in 2003, Young Chefs Academy is one part culinary adventure, one part culinary education, and it's all for kids.


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