Blaze makes leadership changes
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza today announced the addition of four key members to its leadership team in support of the company's goal to exceed $1 billion in systemwide sales worldwide by 2022. The company also announced new resources focused against international development to support a growing list of openings outside of the U.S.
Mandy Shaw has joined Blaze Pizza as chief financial officer. Shaw previously served as CFO and, prior to that, chief accounting officer at Bloomin' Brands during its transition to a private company and through its subsequent IPO.
In a press release, Blaze said that Shaw's international experience will be invaluable as the chain opens its first Middle East location next month, just six months after signing a development agreement with M.H. Alshaya Co.
"From day one, our focus has been on cultivating a brand that is culturally impactful on a global scale," Blaze Pizza President and CEO Jim Mizes said in the release. "With the expansion of our leadership team, Blaze Pizza is even further primed to achieve that goal, and to do it in record time. In 2017, we added a strategic growth partner in Brentwood Associates, and an international franchise powerhouse in M.H. Alshaya Co. As we look to 2018 and beyond, I know that this leadership team has the experience and drive to bring our ambitious vision to life."
To assist with Blaze's overseas expansion, the company has promoted Carolyne Canady to president of its international division from her previous position as chief development officer.
Canady has played a significant role in Blaze Pizza's expansion and has helped build the concept from two restaurants in 2013 to 240 today, the release said.
Further bolstering the brand's domestic and international franchise plans, Blaze Pizza has hired Julie Price as vice president of franchise sales. Price brings a decade of experience working with Dunkin' Brands — including Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins — and leading business development at Pinkberry.
The culinary team at Blaze Pizza has added industry veteran Vafa Mansouri as its food safety and quality assurance director. Mansouri has more than 20 years of technical expertise in food safety with brands such as Shake Shack and Yum Brands international, and will be working closely with Blaze Pizza Executive Chef Brad Kent.
In support of its accelerated domestic restaurant growth, Blaze Pizza has also hired Garrett Snyder as a director of real estate to support franchisees in their site selection efforts. Before joining Blaze, he held the same position at Néktar Juice.