Executive Promotions Bolster McAlister's Deli's Commitment To Continued National Growth

August 12, 2009 // Franchising.com // (Ridgeland, MS)--- McAlister's Corporation is continuing to move forward with its plan for growth and national expansion. The successes of the newly implemented "Choose Any Two" menu and the recent national "Free Tea Day" have bolstered a strong foundation while aggressive franchise sales plans and national recognition serve to propel the business onward and upward. The most recent accolades include President and CEO Phil Friedman receiving the prestigious Silver Plate Award in 2008 and the Gold Chain award in 2009.

McAlister's is also building and strengthening its core leadership team with top industry professionals and is excited to announce the following organizational changes:

  • Natalie Blacher has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing. She has been with McAlister's since March, serving in the role of Vice President of Marketing. Blacher is well-respected veteran in the restaurant marketing field with experience including Franchise Analysis and Development, Strategic Planning, Product Marketing, and consulting. She has served as Senior Director of Product Marketing at Burger King Corporation and, most recently, as a consultant with NFB consulting. Blacher received her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University and an MBA from Columbia University.
  • Annica Kreider has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing. She joined McAlister's in January 2008 and has most recently held the position of Director of Marketing Services. Kreider has over ten years of experience in sales, profit center and sales management, employee and brand development in the multi-unit retail, publishing services and advertising agency businesses. She earned both a bachelors and MBA from Samford University. Kreider is very active with Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out and is a member of the Women's Foodservice Forum.
  • John Drummond has been promoted to Vice President of Human Resources. John joined McAlister's last October. In February, John took over the daily operations of the Human Resources department as Senior Director of Human Resources. Focusing on the areas of Crisis Management, Performance Management and Operations Manpower Planning, Drummond has been integral in standardizing the policies and procedures of the department and the entire corporation as they grow to the next level. Prior to joining McAlister's John was the Vice President of Human Resources for White Lodging Services and Senior Director of Human Resources for Buca Inc.
  • Charles Corley is now serving as the Vice President of Operations. Corley started his McAlister's career on the franchise side over 8 years ago as Director of Operations. In early 2005, he joined the corporate team as a Manager of Franchise Operations. During the last three and half years, Corley has served in several operational roles, each with greater leadership responsibilities than the last. Prior to joining the McAlister's system, he worked in Operations, Training and Construction at RTM.
  • Vickie Frisbie has recently been named Vice President of Training. Vickie comes from Corner Bakery Café (Brinker International), where she served as Senior Director of Training. She brings a great deal of experience in her field, with seventeen years as a Training, Education, and Communication & Design Professional. Vickie's experience also ranges from over ten years of progressive experience in blended learning design by job modeling, succession planning and key business initiatives to fifteen years of experience in managing and delivering training; to executive level management across all business disciplines. She has many credentials and is a member of several professional associations including ASTD, People Report and Women's Food Service Forum Member.

"McAlister's is very fortunate to be able to attract this level of executive talent in these difficult times. Because of the experience and leadership this team brings to us, we are very well situated to take advantage of the business turn when it comes to the restaurant industry," said Friedman.

About McAlister's Deli

Founded in 1989, Ridgeland, Miss.-based McAlister's Deli is a quick-casual restaurant chain featuring efficient counter ordering, attentive table service and high-quality deli-style foods at a great value. The menu includes a wide variety of sandwiches, spuds, soups, salads and desserts, as well as garden-fresh vegetarian selections, a children's menu, appetizers and beverages, as well as McAlister's Famous Sweet Tea™. McAlister's Deli currently has over 285 restaurants operating in the U.S. with plans to open approximately 20 restaurants in 2009.

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