Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President
Michael Pruitt, a long-time entrepreneur with a proven track record, possesses the expertise to evaluate potential investments, form key relationships and recognize a strong management team. Mr. Pruitt founded Avenel Financial Group, a boutique financial services firm concentrating on emerging technology company investments. The business succeeded immediately, and in order to grow Avenel Financial Group to its full potential and better represent the company's ongoing business model, he formed Avenel Ventures, an innovative technology investment and business development company. In the late 1980s, Mr. Pruitt owned Southern Cartridge, Inc., which he eventually sold to MicroMagnetic, Inc., where he continued working as Executive Vice President and a Board member until the company was sold to Carolina Ribbon in 1992. From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Pruitt worked in a trucking firm where he was instrumental in increasing revenues from $6 million to $30 million. Between 1997 and 2000, Mr. Pruitt assisted several public and private companies in raising capital, recruiting management and preparing companies to go public or be sold. He was the CEO and President of RCG Companies, Inc. (later changed to One Travel), a publicly traded holding company listed on the AMEX. Mr. Pruitt received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina, where he sits on the Board of Visitors of the Wall School of Business, the Coastal Education Foundation Board and the Athletic Committee of the Board of Trustees. He also sits on the Board of Chanticleer Holdings, Inc. (HOTR).
Chief Financial Officer
Eric joined Chanticleer Holdings in February 2011. Mr. Lederer has served as the Company’s Controller since February, 2011 and was appointed CFO in June 2012. From December 2005 through January 2011, Eric was the Controller of PokerTek, Inc. (NASDAQ, PTEK), a licensed gaming company that develops and distributes electronic table games, where he was responsible for day-to-day accounting functions and preparing SEC filings. There is no written agreement or contract between Mr. Lederer and the Company.
Chief Operating Officer
Mark Roberson has more than 25 years of finance and operations experience with publicly-traded companies. Most recently, he was Chief Executive Officer of PokerTek, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed gaming technology company. Under Roberson's leadership, PokerTek developed innovative new products, expanded internationally and delivered profitable operating results, leading the company to be acquired at a significant market premium in late 2014. Roberson also served in financial and operational management roles with Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, a NYSE-listed fast-casual restaurant franchisor and operator, LifeStyle Furnishings International, a $2 billion furniture manufacturer, and Curtiss-Wright, Inc. a NYSE-listed aerospace and defense contractor.
Mark is a Certified Public Accountant, starting his career in public accounting with Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He received a Masters in Business Administration from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from UNC-Greensboro. He was named Small Public Company CFO of the Year by the Charlotte Business Journal in 2010.
Director of Chanticleer Europe
Alex brings domestic and international executive management experience to the team and a proven track record of success in the Central European QSR industry. Between 1999–2005, Alex was President and Chief Executive of Central European Franchise Group (“CEFG”), the owner and operator of the Pizza Hut and Kentucky Fried Chicken brands in Hungary as well as three local national brands. Both brands boasted the highest customer feedback scores in the region for YUM! Restaurants International. While managing CEFG, Mr. Hemingway was approached by Orient Rt., Central Europe’s largest restaurant company with 130+ operating units based in Budapest, to be its Chief Executive Officer. Between the two companies Alex has had over 180 units and 5000 people under his employ. Alex founded and served as the Director of the Fast Food Association of Hungary. He currently serves on the Board of Supervisors of the Budapest Honved Football Club and local charitable foundations.
Vice President of European Business Development
O’Connell has over 12 years of experience in the financial services and technology sectors. Prior to joining Chanticleer Holdings, he worked with J.P. Morgan on their Pan European sales desk in London and prior to that he worked at a number of investment firms in London including Prosdocimi, a boutique merchant bank, and Valiance Advisors where he was responsible for overseeing a $100 million portfolio of direct co-investments in natural resource, technology and life science companies.
Brian holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and a postgraduate diploma in Information Technology from the University of Limerick in Ireland.
Director of Training
April Miller joined Chanticleer in September 2013. She has over thirteen years of experience specializing in employee hourly training, quality assurance, new store openings, Image and Hospitality Training, management development, as well as educating managers during Hooters University - Phase 1 for both HOA and Franchise locations. As Master Trainer for Hooters of America, LLC, her focus was Field Training for new management positions. April got her start with Hooters Restaurants in 2000 as a part-time Hooters Girl at Hooters of Columbia, SC. Since that time she has doggedly climbed through the ranks as a Certified Trainer, Regional Training Coordinator, Opening Training Coordinator, etc; she emerged as a role model and leader and continued to increase her passion through MIT Communication, Training and Tracking. April has led on-site training for over 50 new store openings, to include 9 international locations. She has also conducted FOH/HOH hourly training for over 100 Franchise stores as a Field Training Coordinator. She is a Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) and a member of the Counsel of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART). April is also a proctor and instructor for ServSafe Alcohol. April graduated Cum Laude from Newberry College with a major in Business Administration in 2000 and was recognized as President of SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), a member of Phi Gamma Nu Business team, as well as being nominated for Who’s Who among Universities and Colleges. She has shared the honor of being acknowledged as Department of the Year for the Hooters Corporate Office support in 2009.
Accountant / Corporate Secretary
Michelle joined Chanticleer Holdings in January 2008. She is a 2003 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Winthrop University earning a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. In May of 2011, Michelle received her Master of Business Administration in Accounting from Winthrop University. She is a member of the South Carolina Association of Public Accountants. Prior to Chanticleer, Michelle worked as an Accounting Manager for a real estate development company headquartered in Charlotte. Prior to this position, Michelle was employed as a Staff Accountant for a local CPA firm which she specialized in corporate taxation.