JIM CREEL, PRESIDENT
Jim joined Taco John’s International in January 2000. Jim is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the AICPA and Wyoming Society of CPAs. Over the years, he has served on the Board of Directors for over 15 non-profit organizations. Jim is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and was previously a partner at RSM McGladrey, Inc. for nearly 20 years.
With over 20 years of food and beverage marketing experience, M. Barry Westrum was named Chief Marketing Officer for Taco John’s International in May, 2020. Prior to Taco John’s, Westrum was CMO for Del Taco in Southern California, leading their aggressive growth plans in both existing markets and new markets in the Mid-west and Southeastern parts of the country. Westrum previously served as Executive Vice President of Marketing for International Dairy Queen. Westrum also has 17 years of experience leading several concepts within Yum! Brands, most recently as Chief Marketing Officer at KFC. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer at A&W and Long John Silver’s Brands, and as Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Taco Bell.
Greg was named Chief Operating Officer for Taco John’s International in August 2020. Greg brings over 30 years of industry experience to Taco John’s. He spent almost 27 years at McDonald’s in a variety of operations and marketing roles, working in seven different regions across the U.S. Greg also served as Whataburger’s Regional Director of Operations and was the Division Vice President of Operations for Jack in the Box. Greg will be leading the operations, training, franchise development, and restaurant technology teams in the pursuit of building on the strong legacy of excellence we’re known for at Taco John’s.
STEPHANIE GOODEN, VICE PRESIDENT FOR HUMAN RESOURCES & TRAINING
Stephanie rejoined Taco John’s in 2016 as Vice President for Human Resources & Training after spending 1-1/2 years with the Wyoming Department of Corrections as Deputy Human Resources Manager. Prior to the State, Stephanie was with Taco John’s for 33 years, primarily in Human Resources. Her areas of expertise are staffing, compensation/benefits, employee relations and training/development. Stephanie is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and served as President of the Chain Restaurant Total Rewards Association.
BROOKS SPEIRS, VICE PRESIDENT FOR FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT
Brooks joined Taco John’s in 2019. He is an accomplished and strategic senior franchising executive with 18 years of experience that includes franchise sales, real estate, and construction. During this time he has been an integral part of the growth of such companies as CoreLife Eatery, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Famous Brands and Quiznos. Brooks will oversee all aspects of franchise development for Taco John’s.
MICHAEL D’AMICO, VICE PRESIDENT FOR SUPPLY CHAIN
Michael joined Taco John’s International in 2018. Raised in the foodservice industry as an owner/operator of his family’s restaurants in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, gives him the perspective of all aspects of the foodservice and hospitality business. He previously worked with Ruby Tuesday restaurants leading the Supply Chain management teams. Michael implemented negotiation strategies in support of developing successful processes in areas of distribution, corporate purchasing and, vendor relations.
Michael’s favorite quote is: “A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all.”
BOB KARISNY, VICE PRESIDENT FOR MENU STRATEGY AND INNOVATION
Bob Karisny has been with TJI for over 7 years and he has been in the food service industry for over 3 decades. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bob has honed his profession from line cook to Vice President. After years of working in and leading individual kitchens, Bob started his career in research and development with companies including Long John Silver’s, Jerry’s Restaurants, Village Inn, and Boston Market.
PATRICIA HAYS, GENERAL COUNSEL AND SECRETARY
Patt joined Taco John’s International in June 2010 as GC and corporate secretary and leads TJI’s internal legal department. Prior to joining TJI, Patt was assistant general counsel of TBC Corporation, parent company of Big O Tires, LLC, a retail tire franchisor, as well as parent company of Tire Kingdom and Merchant’s Tire & Auto, and National Tire and Battery where she was responsible for litigation management, real estate, and franchising matters.