Houlihan's Strengthens Leadership with 3 Industry Vets
In an announcement made by Mike Archer, chief executive officer of Leawood, Kansas-based HRI, Inc., the company has named three new members to the HRI, Inc. executive team—Chad Devorak, senior vice president of operations for Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar; Bill Leibengood, chief marketing officer, HRI, Inc.; and Terry Harryman, chief financial officer, HRI, Inc.
As senior vice president of operations for Houlihan’s, a new role within the organization, Devorak will be responsible for all aspects of operations within Houlihan’s central division. Devorak spent the past twenty years with Yard House in various roles, most recently as Regional Vice President of Operations where he was responsible for more than 30 Yard House restaurants with sales in excess of $270 million annually.
“Chad is absolutely the right person for this role,” says Archer. “He has a proven track record of success with unwavering commitment and loyalty to his team. He is a true leader who leads by example.” According to Archer he created the role to ensure he had top talent leading the Houlihan’s brand.
Industry veteran Bill Leibengood was tapped as chief marketing officer and will be responsible for all aspects of marketing, advertising and menu strategy for HRI, Inc. Leibengood is a well-known leader in the industry with more than twenty years of leadership experience, including his most recent role as vice president of marketing for Wingstop. Throughout his three years with Wingstop he played a pivotal role in the company’s success, which included an increase in same store sales growth and industry leading social performance. Prior to joining Wingstop, Leibengood spent ten years with Applebee’s International including the role of executive director of brand management. As head of brand management, Leibengood was instrumental in driving same store sales and was also credited for aligning a bar revitalization program and late night promotion that drove incremental sales. In addition to his restaurant industry roles, Leibengood brings eight years of advertising agency experience to his new role as chief marketing officer.
“Bill brings to us the expertise and track record of a successful CMO, along with the hands-on business experience of a seasoned marketing executive,” says Archer. “This strong combination of skills and experience will be an important addition to the HRI executive team and will support his success as CMO.”
Rounding out the executive team is Terry Harryman who has been named chief financial officer. Harryman will oversee the areas of finance, technology and supply chain for HRI, Inc. Harryman brings thirty years of experience to his new role, including his most recent position as vice president of finance, planning and investor relations at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers where he was responsible for all aspects of finance for the 570-unit publicly held chain. Harryman also spent sixteen years with SONIC Corporation where he held various leadership roles, including vice president and controller.
“Terry has a proven record of facilitating long-term business relationships, and that will be instrumental as we continue to execute our overall strategy,” says Archer. “With his experience and leadership, Terry will be a dynamic addition to our executive team.”
The senior vice president of operations and the chief marketing position are new roles within the organization, while Harryman replaces Bob Nygren, who recently left the company to become chief executive officer at Wild Wing Café.