FoodFirst Leadership Team

Brad Blum
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Brad is a visionary restaurateur who as a proven leader gets results with integrity. He has orchestrated significant turnarounds for several of the largest businesses in the restaurant industry, which led to sustainable long-term sales and profit growth. His passion is to provide ‘Good Food for the Planet™', a set of principles he created, trademarked and to which he has now dedicated his life's purpose. This personal passion led to the formation and mission of FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. Our founder loves working with bright people and inspiring them to do great things. He also enjoys traveling the globe seeking new ideas that spark fresh innovation. Brad combines two qualities that make him unique. One is his ability to build brands by conceptualizing core brand equities that are differentiated and have sustainable resonance with consumers. The other is organizational skill to create and lead teams to consistently implement strategies that result in long-term sales and profit growth.
 

John Imbriolo
Chief Culinary Officer

John, or ‘Johnny I', as many refer to him, is a dynamic and innovative fifth generation Italian chef. He began his career working in his father's kitchen when he was 13. His father had some interesting ‘clients', as he cooked for John F. Kennedy and his family, and later for Ronald and Nancy Reagan. For our two Italian brands, BRIO Italian Mediterranean and BRAVO Cucina Italiana, John is a talented leader passionate about developing ‘amazing' food, our new standard, that fits with the ‘Good Food for the Planet™' mission. He often travels to Italy for inspiration and has many associates equally passionate about good food that brings people joy. John is closely partnering with Brad to bring influences from the Italian Mediterranean coast to our menus using the freshest and highest quality sustainable ingredients to create great recipes that provide amazing taste.

Mike Ellis
Chief Operations Officer & Chief Development Officer

Mike is an accomplished and ‘hands-on' leader who loves to be in the restaurants. He is bringing to life operations excellence for our new company. His career began in restaurant operations and then he forged a career managing the real estate portfolios for several large and fast-growing casual dining brands. Mike is a disciplined planner who today has focused our operations at FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. on being ‘Brilliant with the Basics', starting with having the cleanest and safest restaurants in the industry while consistently providing food that tastes amazing. He brings a visible leadership presence, a keen financial acumen and a passion for delighting guests to build enduring restaurant brands for our new company. His positive focus is to create a culture of on-going training and enlightened hospitality for the almost 10,000 restaurant employees who currently serve our guests in over 30 states in the U.S. Mike's purpose through his restaurant teams is to make people happy.

Brian Grusi
Chief Financial Officer

Brian is a seasoned, well-organized and strategic restaurant leader who exudes positivity. His strong track record includes consistently leading the successful financial performance for several multi-brand restaurant companies. Early in his career, Brian worked in restaurants. He first served as a chef and later as a manager, responsible for leading teams and profitably running his restaurants. His career blossomed, and he was fast-tracked to lead finance teams for several iconic casual dining brands. Brian's executive leadership experience is global and multi-disciplinary. It includes accounting, finance, planning & analysis, operations, human resources and information technology. He has managed restaurant brands in over 22 countries. For us, he is pulling everything together for our new company. Brian is focused on putting the building blocks in place to achieve our vision for the brands at FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Inc. as we ensure consistent sales and profit growth well into the future.

FoodFirst Board of Directors

Brad Blum, Chairman
Antonio Bonchristiano, Vice Chairman
Danilo Gamboa
Felipe Ohanian

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