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Focus names new executives for its specialty category leadership team.

Focus names new brand chiefs at Carvel, Cinnabon

Parent company announces new senior leaders in its specialty category team

Focus Brands LLC has named new chief brand officers at its Carvel and Cinnabon brands as well as adding senior leaders in its specialty category, including three internal promotions, the company said Wednesday.

The Atlanta-based parent to such brands as Auntie Anne’s and Jamba announced, effective immediately, that:

  • Tracey Young had been named chief brand officer at Cinnabon, joining the company from Panera.
  • Jim Salerno had been promoted to chief brand officer at Carvel.
  • Kerri Christian had been named senior vice president of special category marketing.
  • Jessica Osborne had been named vice president of marketing at Carvel.

Kristen Hartman, president of the specialty category, said in a statement: “As a leader, it is an honor and privilege to see colleagues continue to grow their career within a company while also having the opportunity to recruit top-tier talent to further build our business.”

Focus-Tracey-Young-CBO-Cinnabon.jpgHartman added that “with strong leadership we are well-positioned to continue to grow our brands and increase customer preference in today’s competitive market.”

Young, left, joins Cinnabon as chief brand officer, where she will oversee marketing and operations. She most recently served as vice president for strategy in the retail operations of Panera.

Prior to Panera, Young worked Dine Brands and Bloomin’ Brands, leading various operations and finance functions.

Salerno was promoted to chief brand officer at Carvel after serving as vice president and general manager for the brand. .

Focus-Jim-Salerno-CBO-Carvel.jpgSalerno, left, joined Carvel in 1998 and, over the past 24 years, has been an integral part of the Carvel franchise system and brand team. In his new role, he will oversee the brand’s marketing and operations functions.

Christian was promoted to senior vice president of specialty category marketing. She previously served as vice president of marketing and e-commerce for Focus Brands Global Channels Licensing Division, where she worked to bring the company’s i brands to groceries, e-commerce platforms, restaurants and other distribution channels through product innovation and partnerships.

Focus-Kerri-Christian-SVP Specialty Marketing.jpgIn her new role, Christian will focus on digital engagement, strategic initiatives, innovation and media across Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon and Jamba.  Prior to joining Focus Brands, Christian served in marketing leadership roles at The Home Depot, The Wendy’s Co. and Procter & Gamble.

Osborne was promoted to vice president of marketing for Carvel after serving with Focus Brands for more than 12 years.

Osborne served in marketing roles for McAlister’s Deli and, most recently, led strategic initiatives with the specialty category marketing team. In her new role, she will lead the team focused on consumer marketing for the Carvel brand, overseeing menu strategy and innovation, digital, off-premises and marketing calendar initiatives.

Focus Brands, which also owns the Schlotzsky’s and Moe’s Southwest Grill concepts, operates and franchises more than 6,000 restaurants and foodservice outlets. It also owns Seattle's Best Coffee on certain military bases and in certain international markets.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless



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