Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Russ Umphenour, founder of what became the largest Arbyâ€™s franchisee group, was named Monday as the new president and CEO of Focus Brands.
Atlanta-based Focus is the parent company of Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzkyâ€™s and Moeâ€™s Southwest Grill. It also is the franchisor of Seattleâ€™s Best Coffee on certain military bases and in some international markets.
Steve Romaniello, who had been Focus CEO, has been named chairman of the board.
Romaniello, 42, also joins Roark Capital Group as a managing director and member of the investment committee. Roark is an Atlanta private equity firm thatâ€™s majority owner of Focus Brands.
Umphenour, 64, has spent more than 40 years in the restaurant business. He started working part-time at an Arbyâ€™s in Flint, Mich., in 1967 to supplement his income as a school teacher.
He built Atlanta-based RTM Restaurant Group into the largest Arbyâ€™s franchisee. RTM had 775 Arbyâ€™s restaurants when it was sold in 2005 to Triarc, the former parent company of Arbyâ€™s. Triarc merged this year with Wendyâ€™s to create the Wendyâ€™s/Arbyâ€™s Group.
Focus Brands has an impressive set of franchised concepts with growth potential, Umphenour said. The companyâ€™s brands combined represent 2,200 ice cream stores, bakeries, restaurants and cafes.