Smashburger Strengthens Leadership Team with Key Promotions and New Hires

Greg Creighton promoted to President

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Smashburger, the nation's fastest growing "better burger" concept, today announced several key promotions, including the promotion of Greg Creighton to the position of President, where he will take on an expanded leadership role to help drive business strategy at Smashburger. In addition, the company announced several key promotions and the hiring of two Vice Presidents to further strengthen the leadership team and support the company for continued growth and expansion.

The following individuals have been promoted or hired to the following positions:

  • Greg Creighton has been promoted to the position of President, where he will have an expanded focus on the strategic direction and leadership of Smashburger. He previously held the position of Chief Operating Officer for the company. Prior to joining Smashburger, he served as President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Asian fast casual chain, Leeann Chin, where he directed all retail operations, production and distribution operations, among other responsibilities.
  • Chris Chang has joined Smashburger as Senior Vice President of Finance and Strategy. In this capacity, Mr. Chang will be responsible for Smashburger's finance, accounting, strategy, investor relations, purchasing, and IT functions. Mr. Chang was previously a Vice President in the private equity group at Consumer Capital Partners, where he focused on restaurant and multi-unit consumer investments. Prior to that, Mr. Chang worked at Vail Resorts in Corporate Development, Western Union / First Data in Corporate Strategy, and Goldman Sachs in Investment Banking.
  • Jeremy Morgan has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Marketing and Consumer Insights. Mr. Morgan previously served as Vice President, Strategy. Prior to joining Smashburger, Jeremy was a Case Team Leader with Bain & Company in Chicago as well as an Associate for Corporate Strategy at JPMorganChase.
  • Max Sheets has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Real Estate. Mr. Sheets previously held the position of Vice President, Real Estate. He brings more than 20 years of experience in restaurant specific site selection and real estate development. He previously served as Vice President of Real Estate and Development for Atlanta-based Ted's Montana Grill, Total Entertainment Restaurant Corporation and Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon.
  • Doug Branigan, Senior Vice President, Franchising has taken on expanded responsibility and will now lead franchise sales and relations, and will continue to stay involved in franchise real estate and development. Mr. Branigan possesses more than 25 years experience in restaurant operations with family dining, casual dining and fine dining establishments. Prior to joining Smashburger, he was a Joint Venture partner for Mimi's Café. He also served as General Manager and Regional Manager at Chart House Restaurants, and Western Vice President of Operations at Morton's.
  • Jim Ernster has been promoted to the position of Vice President, Construction, where he will lead new restaurant development for both company and franchise units. Mr. Ernster has more than 20 years experience in construction and restaurant development with brands such as Old Chicago and Rock Bottom. He previously held the position of Director of Construction.
  • Doug Thielen has joined Smashburger as Vice President, Communications, where he will lead all public relations and corporate communications activities. Mr. Thielen joins Smashburger from Qdoba Restaurant Corporation, where he served as Manager of Non-Traditional Marketing & Public Relations. In that role he was responsible for managing the strategic direction of Qdoba's public relations, social media, and digital strategy.

"Each of the promoted individuals have contributed to Smashburger's success in a meaningful way and helped pave the way to support its continued growth and expansion," said Dave Prokupek, Chairman and CEO of Smashburger. "In particular, I would like to congratulate Greg Creighton on his promotion to the position of President and look forward to leveraging his operational expertise in a broader way. I also welcome Chris Chang and Doug Thielen to Smashburger and look forward to their contributions as we develop and strengthen the Smashburger brand in new and existing markets across the country."

About Smashburger

Smashburger is the country's fastest growing, fast casual "better burger" restaurant. Its hand-crafted burgers are made with fresh, never frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef, that are "smashed", seared and seasoned on the grill to juicy perfection for every individual order. Guests can create their own burger masterpiece or enjoy one Smashburger's innovative signature recipes-- including a unique burger for every local market that highlights the distinctive flavors of that region. Smashburger also serves tender marinated grilled or crispy chicken sandwiches, grilled and split hot dogs, freshly prepared salads, handspun Häagen-Daz shakes and an array of signature sides. Developed and owned by private equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Smashburger operates and develops both corporate and multi-unit franchise territories across the country with 115 restaurants nationwide. With the commitment from its franchise partners to build 463 units, Smashburger is on target to have 500 plus stores in the next few years. Smashburger was also the recipient of the International Council of Shopping Centers 2011 Hot Retailer Award. To learn more, visit

About Consumer Capital Partners

Denver-based Consumer Capital Partners (CCP) is an innovative private investment and concept development firm focused on multi-unit retail businesses, primarily in the restaurant, liquor, food, and leisure industries. CCP has deep experience in the fields of private equity, brand, concept and product development, and strategic consulting. To learn more about CCP, please visit



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