Famous Dave's appoints Ed Rensi as company's CEO, Richard A. Pawlowski as new CFO, effective June 2; John P. Beckman to be new chief accounting officer, effective immediately
May 23, 2014
– Famous Dave's of America, Inc. (DAVE), today announced the official appointment of Ed Rensi as Chief Executive Officer. The company also announced Richard A. Pawlowski will be named the company's Chief Financial Officer, effective June 2, 2014. Pawlowski has experience in acquisition and turnaround strategies, particularly with regard to restaurant companies, and was most recently CEO and co-founder of Capitol C Holdings, LLC, a restaurant development, acquisition and operating company. Previously, Richard worked with Bain & Company. Richard earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree in Engineering in Metallurgy, Economics and Management from the University of Oxford.
Diana Purcel, the company's former Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Effective immediately, John P. Beckman, Director of Finance, Accounting and Audit, will become the company's Chief Accounting Officer. Purcel, who has served as Famous Dave's CFO and Corporate Secretary since 2003, will remain with the company through July 1, 2014 for transition purposes.
"Diana has demonstrated outstanding leadership during her 10 plus years with Famous Dave's," said Ed Rensi. "I have great respect for her talents and on behalf of the management team and the board, I want to thank Diana for her contributions and dedication and wish her every success in her future endeavors. Additionally, we welcome Richard to the team as we prepare for our next chapter of growth."
In addition, Famous Dave's announced the resignation of two board members, Richard Monfort and Lisa Kro, effective May 21, 2014, who have served on the company's board of directors since 1996 and 2009, respectively. Concurrently with the resignations, the company announced the addition of two new board members, Jonathan Lennon and Brett D. Heffes.
Mr. Lennon is the Founder and Portfolio Manager of Pleasant Lake Partners, a global concentrated equity investment fund and 12.8% investor in Famous Dave's. Prior to founding Pleasant Lake Partners, he was an analyst at JAT Capital, and prior to that, he was in the Investment Banking division of Goldman Sachs & Co.
Mr. Heffes, who will take over as audit committee chair, is currently President of Winmark Corporation, a franchisor of five value-oriented retail store concepts and a technology equipment leasing company focused on middle market customers. During the past twelve years, he has served in numerous positions for Winmark, including President of Finance and Administration, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.
"Both Dick and Lisa have made significant contributions to Famous Dave's over the years, and their insights and expertise have been invaluable. We thank them both for their years of service and will miss them," said Dean Riesen, Famous Dave's Chairman of the Board. "Our company continues to evolve, however, and as such, we welcome new members, Jonathan and Brett to our board. I look forward to their contributions and working with them in building and growing this brand."
About Famous Dave's
Famous Dave's of America, Inc. develops, owns, operates and franchises barbeque restaurants. As of today, the company owns 53 locations and franchises 141 additional units in 34 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and one Canadian province. Its menu features award-winning barbequed and grilled meats, an ample selection of salads, side items and sandwiches, and unique made-from-scratch desserts.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical, including but not limited to statements regarding the timing of our restaurant openings and the timing or success of our expansion plans, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, which may cause the company's actual results to differ materially from expected results. Although Famous Dave's of America, Inc. believes the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectation will be attained. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Famous Dave's expectation include financial performance, restaurant industry conditions, execution of restaurant development and construction programs, franchisee performance, changes in local or national economic conditions, availability of financing, governmental approvals and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports.