David Prokupek- CEO & Chairman
David has worked with Smashburger since it opened its second restaurant in 2007 and serves as its Chairman & CEO – the country’s fastest growing “better burger” business with over 200 restaurants around the world. Smashburger has been the recipient of numerous awards including Forbes #1 Most Promising Company, INC’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies, ICSC’s #1 Hot Concept, Fast Casual’s #1 Hot Concept and numerous “best burger” and food awards around the world. He has 20+ years of experience as CEO, investor, and board member helping build, finance, and advise high growth businesses in the consumer, retailing, financial services, and communications industries. David also serves as the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Consumer Capital Partners which provided the initial funding to start Smashburger.
Previously, David was Founder/CEO of Geronimo Partners, Chief Executive Officer of Tucker Anthony Sutro Capital Markets (which was acquired by RBC in November 2001). He was also the Founder/CEO of Nationpage, a leading wireless firm that was sold to Vanguard Cellular.
David was recently named as Fast Casual’s #1 CEO on the Top 100 Movers and Shakers list. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and is involved in a number of philanthropic organizations. David received his MBA in Finance and Marketing from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and graduated with a BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin.
Tom Ryan- Founder
Recently recognized by Gourmet Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Food Entrepreneurs of the Last Quarter Century”, Tom Ryan has 20 years of experience in marketing, branding, consumer research and product development for package goods and restaurant companies. Tom is currently
Managing Partner and Chief Concept Officer of Consumer Capital Partners, and Founder of the fastest growing better burger restaurant chain, Smashburger.
Previously, Tom was the President of the Ventures group, Chief Marketing Officer, and Branding Officer at Quiznos. Prior to that he was EVP, Worldwide Chief Concept Officer for McDonald’s Corporation, and held the titles of US Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Menu Management at McDonald’s. Prior to McDonald’s, Tom was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Long John Silver’s. He started his restaurant career at Pizza Hut and was an officer in the Marketing, Research & Development and Business Development areas.
Tom is known for creating some of the world’s most popular restaurant items including Stuffed Crust Pizza and Lovers™ line at Pizza Hut, McGriddles, Big ‘n Tasty, Dollar Menu, and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits at McDonald’s and Steakhouse Beef Dip, Prime Rib and Sammies at Quiznos. Tom received his Ph.D. in Flavor and Fragrance Chemistry, his Masters in Lipid Toxicology and his undergraduate degree in Food Science, all from Michigan State University.
Scott Crane- President
Scott is currently serving as the President of Smashburger and Managing Partner and Operating Director of Consumer Capital Partners. Scott’s early career included working for Olive Garden, Houlihan’s and a Wichita concept called Amarillo Grill. Following that, at Lone Star Steakhouse Mr. Crane was charged with and successful at, turning around the most difficult locations in the system. In addition he owned and operated the Black Canyon Grille – the prototype for Lone Star’s own Sullivan’s Steakhouse. Scott continued his restaurant experience as Executive Vice President of Operations for Fugate Enterprises. There, Scott oversaw 300 franchised restaurants including Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Wingstreet and Blockbuster stores spanning over 20 states and managed 215 commercial properties. Following Fugate, Scott was an operational consultant for Ted’s Montana Grill. Since joining Consumer Capital Partners in 2007, he was a principal at Quiznos and held the role of President of Smashburger overseeing the opening of the first 100 restaurants and developing a franchise pipeline of over 450 restaurants, and returned to the current post in 2012. Mr. Crane is continuing his education in leadership and organizational studies at the University of Denver. He is an active member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and sits on several industry advisory boards.
Chris Chang- Chief Financial Officer
Chris Chang has 14 years of experience working in finance and strategy for restaurant, retail, consumer, and financial services companies. Chris previously served as a Vice President at Consumer Capital Partners, where he focused on private equity investments in multi-unit restaurant and retail concepts. Prior to that, Chris led corporate development at Vail Resorts, Inc. where he evaluated acquisition opportunities in ski mountains, hotels, and various other consumer businesses located around Vail’s portfolio of resort properties. Chris has also worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banking analyst, at Thayer Capital Partners as an investment associate, and at First Data Corporation / Western Union as a director of corporate strategy. Chris received his MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College.
Greg Creighton- Chief Operations Officer
Greg Creighton spent the past several years in roles as President, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of one of Minnesota’s favorite fast casual Asian chains, Leeann Chin. During his ten-year tenure, the Company grew from 12 stores in Minneapolis to 50 stores throughout the Midwest. In his role as president, Greg directed all retail operations, production and distribution operations, purchasing, training, recruiting, real estate, new business development, finance, accounting and marketing during Leeann Chins greatest period of growth.
Jeremy Morgan- Senior Vice President of Marketing & Consumer Insights
Jeremy Morgan has 10 years of marketing and strategy experience in retail and business to consumer brands. Prior to joining Smashburger, Jeremy was a Case Team Leader with Bain & Company in Chicago. While at Bain, he worked with retail and other consumer-oriented companies on strategy consulting engagements including pricing/promotions optimization, customer/market research and M&A due diligence. Before joining Bain, Jeremy was an associate in the corporate strategy group at JPMorganChase. He earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Computer Science from Duke University.
Brett Willis- Senior Vice President of Franchise Sales
Brett Willis has 18 years of experience working for franchised restaurant and business service concepts. For the past 17 years, Brett has sold multi-unit development agreements that have lead to hundreds of store openings. Previously, Brett led franchise development for Johnny Rockets where he primarily focused on non-traditional locations. He also has led franchise development for Arby’s Restaurant Group. Prior to Arby’s, Brett worked for Sonic Drive In’s as a franchise sales manager and as a financial analyst. Brett received his MBA in International Business from the Price School of Business at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a BBA in Finance from Oklahoma State University.