Iconic Midwestern brand taps fresh talent for marketing, finance and operations positions, promotes longtime employees into leadership roles
Davenport, IA (Restaurant News Release) Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream may have just celebrated its golden anniversary of creating fun, magical moments for families a year ago, but now its sights are squarely set on the brand’s continued growth for another 50 years and beyond.
CEO and Chief Happiness Officer Tom Sacco believes Happy Joe’s is prepared to grow and flourish now and into the future with the newest additions and promotions to the leadership team. The changes include:
- Josh Spiller – Director of Marketing
- Kristel Ersan – Director of Community and Public Relations
- Jenny Culp – Director of Purchasing and Supply Chain
- Ashley Balluff – Director of Training and Culinary
- Judy McGill – District Coach
- Chris Anschutz – Franchise Business Consultant
- Stephanie Kieffer – Assistant Controller
With Happy Joe’s gaining momentum in franchise development expansion across the country and into other parts of the world, Sacco believes it’s important for the brand to remain in touch with the wants and needs of its current franchise partners, potential franchisees and, most importantly, its guests.
“We already had a fantastic leadership team in place, but it’s been a great experience incorporating this new infusion of ideas, youth, diversity, and talent,” Sacco said. “As we continue to grow into new markets, we’ll be reaching people unfamiliar with our brand and a younger demographic. It’s important that our leadership reflect today’s consumers with new, fresh ideas.”
The first step in this transition was elevating Ersan, the company’s longtime head of marketing, into a role more suited to her day-to-day duties. As the director of community and public relations, Ersan will tap into her longstanding relationships throughout the Quad Cities and established Happy Joe’s communities, while developing new partnerships through grassroots efforts in new markets.
Spiller, who was most recently the director of marketing for a growing retirement community, will oversee marketing initiatives company-wide for the brand. While working closely with franchisees, Spiller – a former college football player – will utilize his experiences with social media marketing as well as promoting Happy Joe’s participation in all levels of athletics, along with health and wellness services and social media properties to help the brand reach new and more diverse audiences.
The promotions of Culp, Balluff and McGill, each a longtime Happy Joe’s employee, will help streamline many of the brand’s supply chain processes and vendor-to-restaurant practices while ensuring that restaurant staff are all on the same page in training and development. The trio has a combined 70+ years of experience at Happy Joe’s.
“Restaurant processes and procedures are difficult to maintain even more now with a constantly evolving staff,” Sacco said. “We’re blessed to have these fabulous people in place eager that have earned the distinction to be promoted into a leadership role and help us keep a consistent approach that keeps our customers happy. And with marketing and community relations, Josh and Kristel’s new roles augment their strengths and gives Happy Joe’s a dynamic one-two punch.”
Anschutz and Kieffer will help the franchise development side of the business, assisting Kat Davidson and potential franchise partners through the entire process. Kieffer is a former director of finance for a non-profit and has grant writing experience. Anschutz has experience as the head of operations and director of culinary for full service and fast casual restaurant brands, most recently at Texas Roadhouse.
Happy Joe’s currently has a pair of franchises set to open in Florida and Egypt before the end of the year. The brand also has development agreements for new locations in Texas, Egypt, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia in 2024 and beyond.
About Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream
Founded in 1972 by Joe Whitty in Davenport, Iowa, Happy Joe’s dream was to create a restaurant concept that focused on serving America’s two favorite foods – pizza and ice cream – in a family-friendly, celebratory environment. Owned and operated by Dynamic Restaurant Holdings Inc., Happy Joe’s has been named a FastCasual “Top 200” concept, Franchise Times “Top 400” business, and Nation’s Restaurant News “Top 500” restaurant. The family-centric pizza brand has eight company and 34 franchise locations throughout the Midwest with more in the pipeline. To learn more, visit HappyJoes.com or follow Happy Joe’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.