Leadership

We are a seasoned executive team that has fun working together to build a great company. We are eager to take on new challenges and constantly prepare ourselves and our team for future growth opportunities.

Executive Leadership

Tom Garrett

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

As CEO and Founder, Tom Garrett is responsible for the development and implementation of company strategy, which is accomplished by harnessing the energy of the entire team. Additionally, he is responsible for creating an environment that is customer focused and people oriented which ensures the long term success of the organization. Tom has spent 30 years in the restaurant industry, most recently serving as CEO of Arby’s Restaurant Group. He loves the entrepreneurial environment of GPS Hospitality and is very passionate about the Burger King brand; his favorite Burger King product – the Whopper!

Michael Lippert

President

Michael sets the tone for GPS Hospitality’s day-to-day operations, training, marketing and development. He believes in operating restaurants with the guest in mind as a way to not only achieve great results, but also position the company for continued growth. A seasoned executive with more than 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Lippert’s impressive history includes executive leadership roles at Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers, Captain D’s Restaurants, Arby’s Restaurant Group and RTM Restaurant Group.

Scott Jasinski

Chief Financial Officer

Scott ensures that GPS Hospitality has the financial resources and capabilities it needs to achieve its goals. His hands-on leadership encompasses the Financial, IT and Human Resource teams who support the company’s dynamic growth. Under his direction, GPS Hospitality has become one of the fastest growing private companies in Atlanta and one of the largest BURGER KING franchisees in the country. Scott has over 24 years of accounting experience, including 19 years in the restaurant industry at Little Caesars, Arby’s and Wendy’s.

Brian Arnold

Chief Development Officer

Brian is responsible for the administration of all aspects of development, including new store construction, remodels, equipment and facility management. Focused on implementing GPS Hospitality’s aggressive growth plans, he oversees remodeling of existing restaurants, as well as the construction of new restaurants. A skilled development executive, Brian has over 20 years of industry experience, most recently serving as Vice President of Construction for Arby’s.

Mike Kovac

COO, Pizza Hut and Popeyes Division

Mike oversees daily operations for our Pizza Hut and Popeyes teams. A big proponent of the People-Oriented value, he believes in surrounding himself with good people and helping them win. He’s passionate about developing leaders and giving them the opportunity to grow within GPS. Mike’s first QSR position was as Assistant Manager with Arby’s, where he later rose to the VP of Operations, responsible for 200 restaurants in the Southeast. Over the past 30 years, he also spent time with Mrs. Winners and Church’s Chicken.

Heather Darden

Vice President of Legal

Heather provides legal support to all areas of GPS Hospitality, primarily focusing on supporting the acquisition, development, construction, and remodeling of restaurants. Heather has more than 12 years’ experience in the QSR industry. Early in her career, she served as outside counsel for Arby’s franchisee, RTM Restaurant Group, and later joined Arby’s. Prior to joining GPS Hospitality, Heather was Senior Counsel to the Corporate Real Estate Team at SunTrust Bank and worked with RaceTrac Petroleum and The Wendy’s Company.

Trish Farley

Vice President of Finance

Trish provides leadership and strategic oversight of GPS Hospitality’s accounting, treasury and payroll functions. She and her team support the financial transactions of our restaurants on a daily basis. She maintains the company’s banking relationships, ensures compliance with accepted treasury policies and guidelines, and administers the company’s debt and investments. Trish has over 30 years of experience in accounting and treasury roles, including more than 18 years in the restaurant industry with Hooters and a large Applebee’s franchisee.

Carmen Gianguzzo

Vice President of Operations

Carmen leads our team in the Central Division to achieve great results and help people achieve their goals. A big proponent of servant leadership, he believes in sharing responsibility with his team and fostering an ownership mentality to help others develop leadership skills and grow the business. For the past twenty years, Carmen has been in quick service industry with brands including Arby’s and Taco John’s.

Daniel Lee

Vice President of Financial Planning & Analysis

Daniel helps develop the strategy to drive growth and revenue for GPS Hospitality. He leads a team of analysts responsible for providing the analysis and insight for business performance reporting, forecasting and long-range plans, in addition to the Annual Operating Planning process. Daniel has more than a decade of senior financial planning & analysis experience, including several years as at Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen prior to joining GPS Hospitality.

Gary Thomas

Vice President of Operations Support

Gary is responsible for developing the infrastructure to help GPS Hospitality operate successful restaurants. In addition to serving as the expert on our franchise brands’ training initiatives and new product rollouts, he focuses on developing training programs and systems to help improve guest service, inventory management and speed of service. Throughout his 30 years in the food service industry, Gary has worked with organizations such as The Honey Baked Ham Company, Arby’s and Compass Group USA.

Joe Waller

Vice President of Operations

Joe provides direction to our District Leaders and restaurant teams in the Gulf Division. He’s a strong believer in two of GPS’ core values – goal setting and people development – and knows his success is dependent on the success of his team. He focuses on hiring the right people to help our restaurants provide a great customer experience. Joe has spent more than 25 years in the restaurant business, with the last 14 years at Arby’s running 82 restaurants as the Senior Director of Operations for Indiana.

Vickie Volan

Vice President of Human Resources

Vickie is responsible for managing the company’s greatest asset – people. Supporting more than 10,000 employees, she and her team oversee all functional activities and policies related to human resources, performance management, benefits administration, employee relations, regulatory compliance, staffing and policy administration. Vickie has more than 25 years of human resources experience including 16 years in the restaurant industry.

Directors of Operations

Chantell Bernard

Kevin Ray

Charles Colbert

Greg Comer

Bobby Garner

Patrick Kirkland

Dishawn McCall

Shelly McKinnon

Nick Myhre

Vince Phinisee

Jay Riker

Jessica Sommerfeldt

Troy Theriot

Tom Wilson

Roger Wood

Region Vice President

Support Center Leadership Team

Jim Barlow

Director of IT

Todd Bennett

Director of Accounting

Tom Bradley

Director of Lease Administration

Tom Davis

Director of Construction

Sally Detter

Director of Risk Management

Cassie Fischels

Director of Human Resources

Jen Forbes

Director of Leadership Development & Culture

Lisa Grier

Director of Communications

Julie Henshaw

Director of of Licensing & Contracts

Todd Jackson

Director of Real Estate

Amelia McDonald

Director of Administration

Reid Neumann

Director of Marketing

Angie Occhipinti

Director of Development

Bryan Rohr

Director of Restaurant Accounting

Stephanie Skidmore

Director of Legal

Christy Wasdin

Director of Payroll & HRIS

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