Tropical Smoothie Cafe Assembles Leadership 'Dream Team'

Hires Four Fresh Industry Leaders to Boost Unit Sales and Drive Franchise Growth

ATLANTA - Dec. 10, 2013 - GLOBE NEWSWIRE - Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the rapidly-expanding franchise known for its healthy food with a tropical twist, has boosted the strength of its leadership team by adding four new dynamic leaders.

The most recent hire is seasoned marketing executive Lisa Wenda, the brand's new Chief Marketing Officer. Wenda has more than 14 years of marketing experience in the QSR industry, including roles in marketing leadership at Yum! Brands, AFA Service Corporation and Wendy's/Arby's Group. Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Field Marketing for North America at Arby's Restaurant Group. In her new role at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Wenda is responsible for the development and execution of the brand's marketing campaigns and directing the overall strategic vision of the company.

"Lisa's rich depth and well-versed marketing background will enable Tropical Smoothie Cafe to enhance the brand while delivering profitably against the brand promise," said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. "A foodie and hands-on gorilla marketer at heart, Lisa knows how to drive brands forward and we're very excited to have her join our senior leadership team."

Spurring the company's growth is the 2012 acquisition by Atlanta-based BIP Opportunities Fund LP, which took a controlling interest of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Since then, the national food and smoothie franchise has added considerable resources and put together a strong executive team to lead the brand. Others in these key leadership roles include:

  • Tim Tanguay, Vice President of Finance: Tanguay is charged with managing all aspects of Tropical Smoothie Cafe's financial department, as well as participating in the brand's strategic financial planning to help drive profitable results. Prior to Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Tanguay was the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for Benchmark Brands.
  • Robin Willis, Vice President of Organizational Services: Willis is responsible for providing executive leadership and direction to a variety of Tropical Smoothie Cafe departments. However, her primary focus is providing training and support for franchisees. Willis has more than 28 years of retail and food service experience holding a variety of operations, training and planning roles.
  • Charles Watson, Vice President of Franchise Development: Watson is responsible for Tropical Smoothie Cafe's franchise growth and manages the company's aggressive growth plan to complement its presence across the country. Watson is a former Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development for Wyndham Hotel Group in Atlanta, and brings to the position more than 10 years of proven sales track records and exceptional leadership.

"We have assembled a dynamic team of talented individuals who will be instrumental in advancing the growth of our franchise and taking this brand to the next level," added Rotondo.

After opening 40 franchise locations and signing 70 new franchise agreements in 2013, Tropical Smoothie Cafe is accelerating expansion in 2014 with plans to open 55 new cafes throughout the U.S. The unrivaled brand position of "healthy food with a tropical twist" that Tropical Smoothie Cafe now firmly maintains, has catapulted the 357-unit brand to become one of the fastest-growing concepts in its category.

About Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Established in 1997, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has taken the smoothie concept to the next level by offering diners a healthy alternative to typical fast food. The concept, which introduced food in 1999, provides consumers with a variety of high-quality real-fruit smoothies, specialty wraps, sandwiches, grilled flatbreads and salads. The company also caters. Tropical Smoothie Cafe includes menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For several consecutive years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has been included in Entrepreneur magazine's "Franchise 500" list as well as ranked in the publication's "America's Top Global" franchise category. Tropical Smoothie Cafe has more than 355 locations open in the United States, with an additional 46 currently in development. For information about franchising opportunities, visit www.tropicalsmoothiefranchise.com. For more information about Tropical Smoothie Cafe, visit www.tropicalsmoothiecafe.com.

Media Contact:

Amy Heredia
Fishman PR & Marketing
847-945-1300
aheredia@fishmanpr.com

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