about us

We could say that Church's® started back in 1952. But the truth is, Church's® starts every day, before the sun comes up, when we roll out of bed and begin scratch-making, hand-battering, and honey-butter-drizzling like there’s no tomorrow. Unfortunately, a timeline that shows us being founded everyday for the last 60-something years would be really hard to follow, so below, you’ll find a more traditional one that tells our story. Just know we’re hard at work and ready for you and your family to help us write the next chapter.

How It all started

1950’s

His name is George W. Church, Sr. and he’s the reason you crave chicken so much. Thank you, George, from the bottoms of our taste buds.

George W. Church, Sr. opens Church’s Fried Chicken-To-Go in downtown San Antonio across from the Alamo.

Churchie™ becomes the brands' loveable mascot.

Jalapeño peppers is the first side item added to the menu

Jalapeño peppers is the first side item added to the menu Jalapeño peppers is the first side item added to the menu

1960’s

Church's® has more than 100 restaurants in seven states.

George W. (Bill) Church, Jr. takes over the company after his dad’s passing.

Church's® becomes a publically held company. Church's® National Headquarters complex opens in San Antonio, Texas.

1970’s

Church's® joins the NY Stock Exchange. The Wall Street Journal calls Church's® “the best managed growth company in the nation.”

The first Church's® Franchise opens outside of the U.S. in Vancouver, Canada.

Our restaurant takes on a new look.

1000th Church's® opens up in Phoenix, Arizona

New ad campaign differentiates Church's® from the competition.

1980’s

New ad campaign created to face the competitive. “Kick the Bucket” call-to-action goes head-to-head with another chicken chain.

Church's® gets another facelift. Colors are updated to green, white, and orange.

Church's® brand new Big Chicken Sandwich sets company record! Close to 1,400 sold in one day.

First Texas Chicken® opens in Indonesia.

1990’s

AFC, the new parent company of Church's Chicken®, moves Church's® headquarters to Atlanta, Georgia.

After 12 years with AFC, Church's® is acquired by a private equity firm and is no longer associated with any other brands.

2000’s

one billion

Global sale exceed 1,000,000,000. That’s a lot of chicken!

For more than 60 years Church's® has been through many changes-new looks, products, new advertising campaigns and more…But the one thing that has always remained the same…We’re still serving the best darn chicken in the world!

The names behind the chicken

Click titles to read full story.

Jim Hyatt

Chief Executive Officer

After 35 years in the QSR business, it’s safe to say Jim Hyatt knows how to run a restaurant chain. His career began as an award-winning Burger King franchisee, where he represented more than 11,000 restaurants and 1,200 franchises around the world as a member of the Burger King National Franchise Association. Before long, Jim’s active leadership style and knack for success earned him a high-profile position with Burger King Corporate. As that company’s EVP and Global Chief Operations Officer, Jim quickly engineered an organization-wide turnaround in sales and profitability.

Jim was later President and CEO of Cosi, Inc., a casual dining company where he improved same stores sales and profitability despite the economic downturn. Now with our country back on track and Jim at the helm of our organization, the Church's® brand never looked better.

Dusty Profumo

EVP and Chief Financial Officer

Every successful business needs somebody who’s great at math. That’s Dusty Profumo. He’s a seasoned financial veteran with more than 25 years of experience within the restaurant and hospitality sector. As our EVP and Chief Financial Officer, his responsibilities includes accounting, tax, business planning, investor and lending relations, as well as risk and supply chain management.

Before joining Church's®, Dusty was Chief Financial Officer of Avado Brands, Inc, the parent company of Don Pablo’s® Mexican Kitchens and Hops Restaurant Bar and Brewery, where he led the successful divestiture of the company’s 279 Applebee’s® restaurants. Before that he was the CFO of Randstad North America Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of one of the largest publicly traded employment and staffing companies in the world. He began his financial career in 1974 with KPMG Pete Marwick.

Joe Christina

EVP, U.S. Operations

If you’re looking for someone who loves responsibility, look no further than Joe Christina. He’s the man in charge of all Church's® restaurant operations, including U.S. operations services. But the thing that really makes Joe stand out is his proven ability to get results.

While he was SVP of Franchise Operations for the North America Western Division of Burger King, Joe implemented standards that immediately reduced expenses and improved quality to the tune of an 8% increase in same-store sales. He also engineered improved scores in crucial operations aspects such as store cleanliness and friendliness, customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction.

Joe is a graduate of Quinnipiac College with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing.

Mark Snyder

EVP, Global Chief Marketing Officer

When it comes to building an exceptional brand experience, Mark Snyder gets it. In fact, he’s done it for some of the world’s biggest brands. At Sears Holding Corporation, Mark was CMO of the 18 million-dollar Kmart® brand, where he led the successful launch of the Kmart “Smart” value proposition and spearheaded innovative retail campaigns and apparel lines.

During his 30-year career, Mark has held a number of marketing leadership positions, including SVP Global Brand Manager for the Holiday Inn® and Holiday Inn Express® hotel brands, SVP of Embassy Suites® Brand Management for Hilton Hotels, and VP of Brand Management for Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc.

He began his career in the hospitality field in 1980 as a Food and Beverage Manager for Helmsley Hotels.

Zack Kollias

EVP, International

Zack Kollias is our EVP of International, which means he’s on a mission to make sure everyone—and we mean everyone—gets a taste of our famous hand-battered chicken. In other words, he’s responsible for the global expansion and worldwide operations of the Church's Chicken® / Texas Chicken® brand. His duties include franchise marketing and recruiting, venue development, operations, product R&D, and cooperative purchasing programs.

Zack has held high-ranking financial management positions with Planet Hollywood International Inc. and Hops Restaurant Bar & Brewery. Over the years, he’s also lent his services to major brands like Applebee’s®, Hard Rock Café®, and Dairy Queen®.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in business administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Ed Brett

EVP, Chief People Officer

A great organization starts with great people. Lucky for us, we’ve got Ed Brett making sure we find and nourish the best talent in the business. Ed’s work with Church's® began as a consultant in 2010, but it wasn’t long before his stellar performance landed him the role of Chief People Officer. His primary responsibilities include HR operations, talent development, talent acquisition improvement, and employee relations.

Ed was also the EVP of Human Resources and Community Affairs for Macy’s Inc. Central Division. His resume includes senior HR posts at Gaylan’s Trading Company and Circuit City Stores, Inc.

Kirk Waisner

Chief Chicken Officer, SVP, Research & Development and Quality Assurance.

Kirk Waisner has the greatest job in the world. As our Chief Chicken Officer, he’s responsible for cooking up tasty new products and making sure they’re always downright delicious. And if that doesn’t make you jealous, he’s also spent more than two decades in all sorts of enviable R&D and quality assurance positions at major companies like Popeye’s®, Cinnabon®, Kraft® Foods, and Nabsico®.

Kirk graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Science and holds an Associate of Science degree from the Culinary Institute of America.

Mike Mader

SVP, Global Planning Strategy and Alliances

If you want to get ahead in the chicken business, you’d better have a plan. On second thought, you’d better have somebody like Mike Mader. As our head of Global Strategy, Planning, and Alliances, Mike handles all aspects of Church's® development from midrange and long-term planning to the strategic management of alliances and partnerships. He also works closely with domestic and international teams to develop the growth strategies that keep our business successful.

Mike was VP of sales at the Coca-Cola Company overseeing the coveted worldwide Burger King Corporation account.

Barry Barnett

SVP, Global Supply Chain and Purchasing

When you make chicken this good, keeping up with demand is a full-time job. But we’re not just saying that. It’s a job that belongs to Barry Barnett, our head of Global Supply Chain and Purchasing.

His responsibilities include keeping our supplies up and our business ready for growth.

Barry was previously VP and Global Supply Chain manager at Burger King Corporation where he established and led successful strategies for the supply of food, packaging, distribution, equipment, and facilities. Let’s just hope we always have a supply of Barry.

Craig S. Prusher

SVP, General Counsel and Secretary

Craig Prusher would love to tell you his job is easy. But the truth is there’s a lot of legal work that comes with franchising and operating restaurants all over the world. As Church's® General Counsel, Craig handles all the nitty-gritty legal details of our global business including franchise law, acquisitions and divestitures, intellectual property, human resources, real estate and litigation.

He joins Church's® after 19 years at Burger King Corporation where he was responsible for franchising, real estate, and government and industry relations in North and Latin America as VP, Assistant General Counsel. Previously, he was an associate in the corporate department of two Boston law firms, Warner & Stackpole and Nutter, McClennen & Fish.

Craig graduated with a B.A. from Boston University and received his law degree from Boston University School of Law.

Tony Moralejo

SVP, Chief Development Officer

Tony Moralejo’s job isn’t done until there’s a Church's® in every neighborhood—or at least one within reasonable driving distance. That’s because he’s our Chief Development Officer, responsible for our domestic and international expansion. His duties include franchising, reimaging, construction, and real estate management.

Tony spent 15 years in various leadership roles at Burger King Corporation, including General Counsel and later VP of Development for the Latin America and Caribbean regions, where he achieved unprecedented growth. He also served as Senior Director of Partner and Franchise Management in the Direct to Consumer Group at Nike, Inc., and was a member of the brand’s Global Leadership Retail Team.

He graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in business administration and received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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