Developing unique experiences that excite and delight guests is key to every restaurant’s success. This is the mindset Jason Ingermanson has as he guides the future growth of JRI Hospitality. As our President and Founder, his goal is to build excitement for the company’s line of brands and create a one-of-a-kind experience for every restaurant guest. Jason is an experienced restaurateur, business manager, and leader that takes pride in the company’s ability to connect with community members through quality food and personable service.
Under Jason’s leadership, the company has successfully opened more than 60 Freddy’s franchises across the United States, with 70 more to open in the next 10 years. Additionally, he has led the expansion of JRI Hospitality’s other brands — Chompie’s, Mokas Cafe, and Original Grande restaurants. Jason and the JRI team work closely with their franchisees by coordinating and training them on effective restaurant management strategies while maintaining consistent company standards. As JRI continues to grow, Jason looks forward to facilitating new opportunities and building long-lasting relationships with vendors, guests, and team members.
Oren Molovinsky is an experienced critical thinker, whose ability to find solutions for complex problems and innovative ways of coordination has elevated JRI Hospitality’s operations. Oren started his management career in restaurants and hospitality in 1991, and has had extensive experience in restaurant management; both in casual dining, quick service, and fine dining. He works to build an efficient system to ensure every aspect of the organization is running as successfully as possible. As our Chief Operating Officer, he oversees activities such as coordinating new restaurant designs, constructing new locations, and developing operational processes.
Under his leadership, JRI Hospitality was able to build an incredible team of Regional Directors of Operations, as well as Restaurant Operating Partners (ROP) for all of our restaurants. The ROP position has replaced the General Manager position and ensured that each restaurant operating partner was truly committed to their restaurant and community. Additionally, this has helped make our restaurants a more desirable place to work and promote growth in the ROP’s career. Oren has been recognized by his peers for his extraordinary commitment to continuing to innovate JRI Hospitality’s operational processes and positioning us for greater growth.
As JRI Hospitality’s Chief Development Officer, Mark Scholler plans the work and works the plan. He assists in developing strategies to build concepts that excite our customers. Today, he has proudly assisted in the growth of Freddy’s from 11 restaurants to over 400, adding 55 new franchise groups that helped achieve that growth. Due to Mark’s incredible leadership, JRI Hospitality has been able to create a highly functional franchise support team to consult with prospective and current franchisees. As the company and its brands continue to grow, Mark’s goal is to build them up to be sought-after restaurants to eat across the United States.
Josh Muller is JRI Hospitality’s Chief Financial Officer whose accounting and financing expertise have helped further develop our operations. As CFO, Josh oversees cash inflows and outflows, manages the accounting staff, budgeting, and planning, and coordinates with other executive staff on pending deals and major expenditures. He’s especially proud to have managed several successful tax seasons for our company. As JRI Hospitality continues to grow, he looks forward to furthering his professional development to provide new innovative ways for the company to operate. By adopting new operations, Josh and the rest of the JRI team can create an even better system to take care of our team members and guests.
As JRI Hospitality’s Chief Legal Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer, Nathanael Berg plays a pivotal role in the company’s continued success. He oversees activities such as investor relations, human resources, and insurance claims, real estate growth, legal compliance, and due diligence of acquisitions and mergers. With his expertise, Nathanael strives to provide an efficient, empathetic approach to human resource services for all JRI team members. His greatest accomplishment involves the creation and growth of JRI Restaurant Holdings, as well as establishing team member-focused compensation and engagement processes. As JRI continues to grow, he looks forward to providing his expertise and knowledge to support continued success.
Steve Howton is a seven-year United States Army Veteran with a strong background in sales management in the retail/rental industry. As our Vice President of Operations, Steve oversees day-to-day company operations and works diligently in planning, directing, and coordinating activities to ensure JRI meets its goals. Since joining our organization in 2015, Steve has played a large role in developing new operations that have promoted further growth in our company and grow the company’s brands nationwide. One of his biggest accomplishments was tightening our profit and loss control to maximize profitability. He launched a dedicated profitability training for managers, which helped cost controls and produced more than $500,000 in savings the following year. We’re honored to have Steve on the team and look forward to his input for greater progress.
As Vice President of Development & Construction, Chris Hitchcock is responsible for selecting and acquiring real estate for our restaurants. His 20 years of expertise in real estate management, negotiation, and assisting in property development are critical to the company’s continued success. Chris has helped build community excitement for our line of restaurants by progressing and expanding our real estate portfolio. His work involves daily project management, identifying new prospective franchise sites, and overseeing the construction of restaurants while ensuring consistency to our brands. We’re grateful to have Chris on our team and look forward to his valuable input on JRI Hospitality’s growth.
Aelee Lee is a creative thinker with 19+ years of experience conceptualizing and designing ideas into reality. As JRI Hospitality’s Creative Director she assists our organization in developing brands that resonate with the communities we serve. This involves collaborating with other creative individuals to design an atmosphere that is unique to our line of brands. Additionally, she plays a critical role in developing the brand identity, vision, and strategy for each of our restaurants. Under her leadership, JRI Hospitality has been able to develop a unique voice that attracts and excites customers new and old. We’re honored to have Aelee on our team and look forward to her creative input as we continue to elevate our brands to new heights.