Meet the Huddle House Leadership Team

Award-winning CEO and senior leadership team are moving our iconic brand forward


The Huddle House franchise leadership team is led by a tight-knit team of highly experienced foodservice veterans.

Michael Abt came to Huddle House as CEO in 2012 with a lot of experience under his belt on both the franchisee and franchisor sides of things, and he has set the tone ever since. His franchisee-first philosophy has made an impression.

“It is such a great company and you have a great office, wonderful people who are actually passionate about what they do every morning,” says Franchise Partner Mike Lokhandwala, who has owned several different food franchises. “Seeing the leadership in action and doing that every single day, that is a huge encouragement for prospective franchisees who are coming in day in and day out.”


Abt, who was named one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ most influential leaders in foodservice in 2016, believes the franchisor-franchisee relationship is key to building and growing a successful company.

“Our success is dependent upon every individual franchise partner, so how we serve them and support them is vital,” Abt says. “You can’t identify your key opportunities as a brand unless you understand what your franchise partners need to succeed.”

Michael Abt
Chief Executive Officer

Michael Abt - Huddle HouseAbt, an industry veteran, was a senior vice president responsible for over 1000 company operated restaurants with Arby’s before joining Huddle House as CEO in 2012. He has assembled a high performing team that is focused on providing outstanding franchisee support in order to boost profitability, and consistently producing a memorable experience for Huddle House guests.

Tom Cossuto
Chief Financial Officer

Cossuto, who joined Huddle House in 2005, oversees all aspects of Accounting, Finance and Information Technology. He has over 30 years of experience managing those functional areas in a diverse set of companies including 15-plus years in the restaurant industry with such brands as Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell.

Alison Glenn Delaney
Chief Marketing Officer

0032-webDelaney, who joined the Team in 2013, has over 30 years of experience in building restaurant brands with companies including T.G.I. Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday and Church’s Chicken. She is responsible for reinforcing, both through our menu and our messaging, that Huddle House is the hometown gathering place for people who want to relax and catch up over breakfast, lunch, dinner or later, no matter what the occasion.

Melissa Rothring
EVP & General Counsel

Rothring joined the Huddle House team in 2013 serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. She has over 25 years of experience in business analysis and management, focusing on financial and legal management initiatives. Rothring previously held executive leadership positions for GFG Management LLC, whose holdings included Great American Cookies, Marble Slab Creamery and The Athlete’s Foot; and Kahala Corp., whose holdings included Blimpie, Pinkberry and Cold Stone Creamery.

Nathan Ballard
SVP of Distribution

Ballard oversees all Supply Chain functions including sourcing, procurement, distribution and QA for the Brand. He is a 20-year veteran of the distribution industry who joined Huddle House in 2004. Previously, Ballard served in transportation management roles at industry leaders A&P Supermarkets and GAF Materials Corp.

Christina Chambers
Senior Vice President of Franchise Development

Christina Chambers

Chambers came on board in 2015 and serves as Senior Vice President of Development. She began her career in franchise development more than 15 years ago and has played an integral role in growing multiple national brands, including Great Wraps, Quizno’s Subs, and QSR brands of GFG Management LLC. As a franchise partner herself with Great American Cookies, Chambers brings a unique perspective and level of understanding to new and existing franchisees.

Troy Tracy
Vice President of Operations

Tracy joined Huddle House in 2013 and brings more than 15 years of multi-unit leadership experience in corporate operations in brands including Captain D’s and Pizza Hut, and is experienced in franchise support and as a franchise partner for both McAlister’s Deli and Arby’s Restaurant Group. Tracy oversees systemwide corporate and franchised field operations.

Key Development and Operations Leaders

Jenn Townsend
Executive Chef & Director of Menu Development

Townsend came to Huddle House in 2015 with a strong foundation working in franchised systems and experience in store-level operations and training. Her wealth of knowledge in and passion for culinary arts help shape her strategic menu development for Huddle House. Townsend has held key positions in Menu Development and Operations Support and Integration with Blimpie, Arby’s and Church’s Chicken.

Jason Culpepper
Director of Design & Construction

Jason Culpepper, Director of Design & ConstructionCulpepper, a 20-year industry veteran, started with Huddle House in 2017, managing the Design and Construction team to oversee new restaurant development, the Evolution remodel program, process improvement, vendor selection and value-engineering. He previously worked in franchise development and construction for Domino’s, Dunkin’ Brands, Zaxby’s and Back Yard Burgers.

Billy Evans
Director of Franchise Development

Evans has been with Huddle House since 2013 as Director of Franchise Development for the Northeastern territory. He has been engaged in franchise sales, sales training and sales development for over 20 years. In addition to holding executive sales positions, Evans has been a partner in several successful business ventures. Most recently, he was active in hospitality franchise sales consulting and franchise sales training.

Carl Jenkins
Director of Real Estate

Jenkins, who joined the Huddle House Team in 2017, has over 25 years of successful real estate development experience with brands including McDonald’s Corporation, Panda Express, and Advance Auto Parts. He is responsible for supporting both franchise partners and Huddle House company restaurant growth with real estate site selection and negotiations. Carl holds a B.B.A in International Business and Finance from Howard University.

For more detail

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