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Inspire Brands Updates Leadership Across Several Brands

Multiconcept operator Inspire Brands promoted three company veterans to new leadership roles that impact its Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic restaurant chains as well as its corporate staff.

Stephanie Sentell was named sr. vice president, Arby’s company operations. Sentell will oversee the operations of more than 1,100 company-owned Arby’s restaurants across the United States. In her previous role, Sentell guided Inspire’s restaurant innovations initiatives. She joined Arby’s in 2012, leading field marketing, and eventually brand strategy and culinary innovation and restaurant excellence.

inspire brands teamPhil Albanese now serves as senior vice president, Buffalo Wild Wings company operations. Albanese will oversee the operations of more than 700 company-owned sports bars across the United States. Albanese has been with BWW for 24 years and has worked in every sports bar operations role, per a company release. Most recently, Albanese served as division vice president for BWW’s South Division.

Vans Nelson was promoted to senior vice president, operations innovation. Nelson will drive restaurant and format innovation, margin improvement, and operations, technology, and process enhancements initiatives for Inspire’s company restaurants. Nelson has been with Arby’s and Inspire for more than 13 years, holding numerous roles in field operations and support center leadership.

These moves come on the heels of several other leadership changes made by Inspire Brands.

Jim Taylor, brand president for Arby’s, assumed the same role for Sonic. He replaced Claudia San Pedro, who stepped down for family reasons, per a company release. She had been with Sonic since 2006. Taylor has been with Arby’s for almost nine years, beginning as head of product development before becoming chief marketing officer and eventually Arby’s brand president.

Rita Patel replaced Taylor as Arby’s brand president. Patel, who joined Inspire in 2020, most recently served as Arby’s chief marketing officer. Ellen Rose was promoted to Arby’s chief marketing officer. Rose has been with Arby’s brand for nearly ten years in various leadership roles with the marketing team, most recently as vice president of strategic growth initiatives.

Finally, John Bowie was promoted to brand president for Buffalo Wild Wings from chief operating officer. Bowie will continue directly overseeing franchise operations for Buffalo Wild Wings and BWW GO, per a company release. Previous to BWW, Bowie was Arby’s chief operating officer when the restaurant chain was a stand-alone company.