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BurgerFi adds new chief people officer, chief development officer

Fast-casual BurgerFi appointed a new chief people officer, Michelle Zavolta, and chief development officer, Ron Biskin. In addition, the Palm Beach, Fla.-based restaurant chain named Stefan Schnopp chief legal officer and corporate secretary, and Nadia Cronk, SVP of Marketing. These new executive appointments come off the heels of BurgerFi’s acquisition of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings in October.

As BurgerFi CPO, Zavolta will help define company culture, recruit and retain talent. The company also said that Zavolta would “give a voice to the empowerment of the people behind the brands.” Her career has benefitted from her successful stints, including at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings and Logan’s Roadhouse.

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Zavolta commented, “The pandemic made us pause and reflect on the need to create a value proposition beyond compensation. Thought leaders are redefining the typical team member profile, and it begins by paying attention to the shifts that have occurred while continuing to evolve.”

Biskin has held C-level positions that have brought depth to his restaurant industry career. These include TGI Friday’s, Burger King, Wolfgang Puck, and Baja Fresh. As chief development officer, Biskin will tap his experiences to successfully lead restaurant development, real estate, and unit growth for BurgerFi.

At Wolfgang Puck, Biskin helped develop over 1,000 new restaurant units and the development of a new bistro concept for Wolfgang Puck.

“Continuing the momentum we had in 2021, we are building a multibrand-platform powerhouse to kick off the new year and having the right talent in place is a critical step to achieve that goal,” said Ophir Sternberg, BurgerFi executive chairman. “As part of continued evolution, putting a shared leadership structure in place across the BurgerFi portfolio creates strong efficiencies, builds our culture and deepens the opportunities that will fuel our aggressive growth.”

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Schnopp will serve as BurgerFi’s new chief legal officer and corporate secretary. He will advise the fast casual better-burger chain on all legal matters, including corporate governance, financing transactions, disclosures, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, commercial and compliance. Schnopp is a new member to the company, but has nearly 25 years of law firm leadership and legal advisory experience at Sprint Corporation.

[Related article: BurgerFi acquires Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza]

Previously, Schnopp served as vice president and corporate secretary at Sprint. There, he was pivotal in the T-Mobile merger. According to an announcement, Schnopp was also the lead financing lawyer, where he raised over $60 billion in capital during his tenure.

Nadia Cronk will serve as senior vice president of Marketing. She will lead the growth of the customer base at both BurgerFi and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, taking a multibrand approach. Most recently, Cronk led marketing functions for Anthony’s. There, she developed programs to increase brand awareness as she built customer acquisition and retention with a positive return on investment.

“I’m delighted to join forces with the BurgerFi International family,” said Cronk. “As many of us know, BurgerFi International and its collection of brands are leaders in the fast-casual dining industry and there is opportunity to leverage data and drive purposeful impact as we strengthen the overall guest experience.”

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Cronk has over 15 years of hospitality marketing experience. During her career, she worked at Bloomin’ Brands and Fortune 500 companies.

“This group of senior team members bring the perfect combination of demonstrated success and a fresh perspective,” said Ian Baines, chief executive of BurgerFi. “We are thrilled to welcome their ideas, passion and contributions, all of which will certainly be key pieces in building BurgerFi’s next chapter.”

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