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Tijuana Flats Announces Executive Changes, Including Newly-Formed Board of Directors

Restaurant News 08.20.09

ORLANDO, Fla. (August 17, 2009) – Tijuana Flats Burrito Co. announced today several executive changes, including Chief Executive Officer J. Camp Fitch passing the torch to coowner and Chief Operating Officer Brian Wheeler.

As part of the changes, Camp will now serve as chairman of the Tijuana Flats Board of Directors, which also includes Brian and the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Chester Wheeler. Rick Van Warner, president of The Parquet Group and a longtime consultant to the company, will join the board as an outside director.
With Brian now assuming the CEO position, Tony Sperrazza joins the company as director of operations. A seasoned restaurant leader, Tony will oversee all restaurant operations and guide the efforts of the companyʼs area supervisors.
Tijuana Flats also announced the promotions of Jeffrey Rettig, Sr. and Nicole DiPietro – both veteran Tijuana Flats executives – to vice president roles, with Rettig overseeing the companyʼs human resources department and DiPietro overseeing the finance department.
“Tijuana Flats has become so successful because of the hard work and dedication of Nikki, Jeff and all of our teams both in the restaurants and in the corporate office,” Camp said in announcing the changes. “These are the folks that work behind the scenes to make our culture special.”
A 20-year industry veteran, Tony most recently headed operations at a Tijuana Flats franchise location. His experience includes operations in various restaurant chains including Chevyʼs, Rio Bravo, El Torito and Casa Gallardo.
“Weʼre excited to add Tony to the team – heʼs an experienced operator and excellent leader,” Brian said. “These changes reflect the ongoing growth and success of our brand and company.”
Before joining Tijuana Flats in 2004, Jeff Rettig owned and operated a restaurant business recruiting firm. He previously served as human resource director for the Metromedia Restaurant Group, the former owner of restaurant chains including Ponderosa Steakhouse, Steak & Ale and Benniganʼs.
Since 1997, Nicole DiPietro has worked in the Tijuana Flats finance department in positions of increasing responsibility. A member of the original Tijuana Flats restaurant on University Avenue in Winter Park, Fla., Nikki holds an MBA degree from the University of Central Florida.
Before launching The Parquet Group in 2000, Rick served as an executive at Darden Restaurants, Inc. Before that he spent several years as editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Nationʼs Restaurant News, the weekly newsmagazine covering the national restaurant industry.
Both Camp and Brian said they expect a smooth transition over the next few months.