Mr. Abdallah has served as Chief Executive Officer since November 2016. Most recently, he was an operating partner for CIC Partners, where he acted in an operating and investing role in their restaurant portfolio companies. Prior to joining CIC, Mr. Abdallah served as interim CEO of Dinosaur BBQ while establishing a restaurant investment platform for a family office with a wide mandate to invest in quality brands in the restaurant industry, leading the acquisition of Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ. Previously, he led the turnaround at Romano's Macaroni Grill that resulted in a sale to Ignite Restaurant Group. Before joining Macaroni Grill (a concept owned by Golden Gate Capital) as Chief Executive Officer and President in July 2010, Norman held the same position at Sun Capital owned Restaurants Unlimited, a multi-concept company consisting of 14 brands. Earlier, Mr. Abdallah was the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Fired Up, Inc., parent company of U.S.-based casual dining chain Carino’s Italian.
Thomas J. Pennison Jr. Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Pennison has served as Chief Financial Officer since November 2011. Prior to Del Frisco's, he served as Chief Financial Officer for iSeatz Inc., a customized software technology company primarily serving the travel and leisure industry, from 2009 to 2011. Mr. Pennison also operated his own financial consulting firm in Louisiana from 2008 to 2009 where he provided financial and business consulting services to clients in the hospitality and other consumer and retail related industries. Prior to that, Mr. Pennison spent 12 years at Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc., a restaurant company focused exclusively on the upscale dining segment, formerly known as Ruth's Chris Steak House, Inc., from 1996 to 2008 serving in various capacities, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Additionally, from 1994 to 1996, he served as Assistant Corporate Controller of Casino Magic Corp., with primary responsibilities for corporate finance and SEC reporting, and from 1991 to 1994, Mr. Pennison was at the public accounting firm KPMG LLP. He is a member of the Financial Executive Institute and the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants.
William S. Martens Chief Development Officer
Mr. Martens has served as Chief Development Officer since November 2016. Previously, he served as Vice President of Development & Construction since 2011 and is responsible for market planning, site selection, site acquisition and construction for Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group’s three concepts and oversees concept design, portfolio management and facilities operations. Mr. Martens joined Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group in 2008 as Director of Development and was responsible for all facets of new unit development and established the infrastructure to support the Company’s growth in new and existing markets. Prior to joining Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Mr. Martens served as Vice President of Portfolio Management at Hudson Americas, LLC, from 2007 to 2008. Previously, Mr. Martens spent nine years with Yum! Brands, where he held multiple leadership roles in Finance and Development, including the position of Senior Manager of Development. In this role, he worked with senior brand leadership teams to develop market plans, define asset strategies and make capital appropriations decisions for approximately 350 new restaurants annually.
Brandon Coleman III Chief Marketing Officer
Mr. Coleman has served as Chief Marketing Officer since December 2016. Prior to this, Mr. Coleman served as Management Consultant & Chief Executive Officer of Brava Partners, the management consulting firm he founded in 2014. Previously, he held the role of Chief Marketing Officer of the consumer technology company Snapfinger, Inc., where he led sales, marketing, and product development to successfully position the startup for acquisition. Prior to Snapfinger, Mr. Coleman served as Chief Marketing Officer of Romano's Macaroni Grill. Prior to that, Mr. Coleman served as Vice President of Marketing for Restaurants Unlimited, Inc. (RUI) where he spearheaded a series of successful brand campaigns to establish the brand positioning to drive sales for RUI's 14 portfolio brands. He began his professional career at global advertising firm McCann after receiving a bachelor's degree in marketing from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
April L. Scopa Chief People Officer
Ms. Scopa has served as Chief People Officer since November 2016. Previously, she served as Vice President of People and Education since June 2011 and is responsible for recruiting, human resources, talent development & training strategy. Prior to joining our company, Ms. Scopa worked with Landmark Leisure Group, a national leader in entertainment development since June 2010 and served as VP of People & Development, beginning in January 2011, where she led the HR, recruiting, new store opening development, employee relations, talent management and personnel development strategy. Prior to Landmark, Ms. Scopa spent eight years with The Capital Grille, an upscale steakhouse division of Darden Restaurants, as Director of Operations and Senior Director of Training, where her responsibilities most recently included quality of operations, people and P&L results for six locations. Prior to The Capital Grille, Ms. Scopa also worked for C.A. Muer Corporation and LongHorn Steakhouse, both in a training and operations capacity.
Lane DeYoung General Counsel
Mr. DeYoung has served as General Counsel since June 2015. Most recently, he held the position of Associate General Counsel at Dave & Busters for the last eight years where he handled legal matters including real estate leases, contracts, litigation, licensing and regulatory issues. Previously, Mr. DeYoung served as Real Estate Counsel for FedEx Office and Print Services, Associate Regional Counsel for the Western Region at Trizec Properties, Associate Counsel at Stage Stores and Associate Attorney at The Law Offices of John E. Rapier, P.C. Mr. DeYoung holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Texas Tech University School of Law and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Tech University.
Thomas G. Dritsas VP of Culinary & Corporate Executive Chef
Mr. Dritsas has served as Vice President of Culinary & Corporate Executive Chef since December 2006 and oversees the day to day culinary operations of Del Frisco's, Sullivan's and the Grille. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Dritsas served as Corporate Executive Chef for Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc., during which time he oversaw the daily culinary operations for each of its concepts. Mr. Dritsas joined Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Inc. in 1999 and served in various culinary capacities, including as part of new opening teams. Prior to joining Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, Mr. Dritsas assisted in the opening of numerous independent restaurants and operated his own restaurant.
James W. Kirkpatrick VP of Real Estate
Mr. Kirkpatrick has served as Vice President of Real Estate since February 2012 and oversees real estate matters for our three concepts, including strategic development and lease administration. Prior to joining our company, he served as the Senior Vice President of Development for Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc., an operator of company-owned upscale steakhouses, from 2006 to 2012, where he managed all aspects of development including real-estate strategic development to lease administration. Prior to Morton's, Mr. Kirkpatrick worked in several leadership roles with Applebee's International, Inc. from 1999 to 2006, including Senior Director of Real Estate and Vice President of Real Estate & Construction. Mr. Kirkpatrick has also held a variety of other positions focused on real estate development with a number of other companies in the restaurant industry including Houlihan's Restaurants, Inc., TGI Friday's and Pizza Hut, Inc.
Ray D. Risley SVP of Operations
Ray D. Risley has served as Senior Vice President of Operations for Del Frisco’s Grille since November 2015, and was previously a Vice President of Operations for Sullivan's Steakhouse since October 2013. Prior to becoming Vice President of Operations, Mr. Risley served as a Regional Manager for restaurants under all three of the company's brands, as well as oversight of the openings of a number of new restaurants. Prior to becoming a Regional Manager, Mr. Risley served as a Regional General Manager of Del Frisco's and Sullivan's from 2005 to the end of 2007, during which time he also assumed the role of General Manager of the Del Frisco's restaurant in New York. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Risley served as Regional Manager for all Sullivan's Steakhouse restaurants. From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Risley was District General Manager for four Sullivan's Steakhouse restaurants. Mr. Risley joined Del Frisco's Restaurant Group in 1998 as the General Manager of the Sullivan's Steakhouse restaurant in Dallas. Previously, Mr. Risley held various management positions with the Morton's chain of steakhouse restaurants, including General Manager of the Beverly Hills location and with the original Spago restaurant as the General Manager.