December 16, 2011 // Franchising.com // TREVOSE, Pa. - Rita’s Franchise Company, concept owner of Rita’s Italian Ice (www.ritasice.com), the nation’s largest Italian Ice concept with more than 550 locations in 18 states, today announced the appointment of Jonathan Fornaci as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.
Fornaci brings more than 20 years of operational, retail, franchise chain and brandexperience to his new role with Rita’s Italian Ice. Most recently, he served as president of Straw Hat Pizza, a California-based franchise company, where he made his mark by driving revenue growth through the expansion of the 53-year-old concept beyond California for the first time in its history with numerous new locations, development of an enhanced menu and an extensive effort to upgrade restaurant decor.
“We are energized and excited to have someone with Jonathan’s experience take the lead of this brand, and we look forward to watching his vision for this promising system come to fruition,” said Thomas Christopoul, executive chairman of the board of Rita’s.
After starting his career with Accenture, Fornaci served as Chief Technology and Information Officer for GE Capital/Genstar, where he managed technology for 10 GE Capital divisions. He served as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive Officer of IBIS Consulting, Inc., which was sold to Proxicom. Fornaci was also Chief Operating Officer for Provato, an enterprise software development company. He is also founder of IMG Universal, a real estate development, retail and mortgage broker company headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., and co-founder of Atomic Tangerine, a global securitycompany. He is also the proprietor of two restaurants, including the acclaimed Restaurante Vida in Lima, Peru. A graduate of University of California at Berkeley, Fornaci also serves currently on the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels, San Francisco.
Rita’s Franchise Company, headquartered in Trevose, Pa., is the largest Italian Ice concept in the nation, currently operating in 18 states with more than 550 stores. Rita’s brand promise is Ice, Custard and Happiness™. The chain offers a variety of frozen treats including its famous Italian Ice, Old Fashioned Frozen Custard, and layered Gelati, Light Line™ treat options as well as its signature Misto® and Blendini™ creations. Rita’s was named one of the Top 25 Franchise High Performers by the Wall Street Journal’s ‘Startup Journal.’ In a 2009 Zagat survey of over 6,000 fast-food fans, Rita’s was ranked #2 in the Top Ice Cream/Custard category. For more information about Rita’s, please call 1-800-677-RITA or visit www.ritasice.com. The World Needs More Rita’s!