Mr. Avery served as Chief Operating Officer of OSI Restaurant Partners, Inc. from May 2005–2009, including operation of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Lee Roy Selmon’s, A la Carte Pavilion and Outback International. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. in January of 2004 and served as President of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. since April of 1997.
BENJAMIN P. NOVELLO, Chief Development Officer and Co-Owner
A 25-year industry veteran and former president of Outback Steakhouse, Mr. Novello has planned and developed several hundred successful restaurant locations around the country. Having direct responsibility for every aspect of a multi-billion dollar brand, he has experience in supporting a diverse team of professionals with result-oriented strategies.
JIM R. POLLARD, Co-Owner
Mr. Pollard is a former Regional Joint Venture Partner for Outback Steakhouse, Inc., responsible for introducing and developing the Outback brand in both southeast and west coast Florida markets. Upon his retirement from Outback Steakhouse he was the first recipient of an award named in his honor, The Jim Pollard “Putting People First" Award, now an annual award presented to the top performing Area Manager in the company.
KEN CRULEY, Executive VP/Chief Financial Officer
With over 20 years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer, Senior Audit Manager, and Controller, Mr. Cruley has a deep proficiency in all business matters, combined with the insight to steward businesses through proactive change. He is extraordinary in his ability to take on multiple roles while mastering all accountabilities, whether managing financial engagements for international clients or growing a major restaurant chain into a $100M+ company with 105 locations in 14 states.
DAVE REID, Chief Operating Officer
A 30 year Industry Veteran, Dave has worked every position in the restaurant and hospitality industry, from the dish room to the boardroom. Chairman of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, 21 years previously as the Executive Vice President of Miller’s Ale House Restaurants, overseeing 70 locations, with over 6000 employees in 10 states.
DONALD R. EVERTS, Vice President of International Development
Mr. Everts is a former Vice President of Operations for Outback Steakhouse International where he worked with OSI Restaurant Partners for 23 years. He originally served as a Joint Venture Partner for South Texas with Outback Steakhouse before taking over the role of Operations Director for the International branch of OSI. His responsibilities included development of restaurants in over 30 countries. His knowledge of local market implementation of the company’s operating brand standards allowed Outback to become a leader in the casual dining segment world-wide.
SCOTT D. ZEPP, Co-Founder and Co-Owner
In November of 2005, Mr. Zepp co-owned and operated a retail shop in Clearwater, FL selling premium beer from across the globe. Unable to ignore the increasing popularity of world-class beer among his customers, he partnered with Mr. LaFon to develop WOB. Investing every last penny they had, Mr. Zepp and Mr. LaFon opened the doors to World of Beer in the winter of 2007.
MATT L. LAFON, Co-Founder and Co-Owner
One of WOB’s original co-founders, Mr. LaFon has served as Vice President of Franchise Development and a member of the board of directors since our inception. No stranger to the industry, he is also Co-Founder and CEO of Blend, an upscale wine and martini lounge located in Tampa, Florida.