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Ballard Brands names new COO, CMO

Industry veterans Bill DiPaola and Leslie Monson will join the executive team

Ballard Brands, the Covington, La.-based food and hospitality group, is growing its c-suite.

Bill DiPaola (left) — a 25-year veteran of the foodservice industry whose career includes roles as vice president of development at Rotolo’s Pizzeria in Baton Rouge, La., and president and COO of Dat Dog, a New Orleans hot dog chain — has joined the company as chief operating officer.

Leslie Monson, whose marketing experience includes work with clients like Churchill Downs’ Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots and Harrah’s New Orleans Casino & Hotel, has assumed the role of chief marketing officer.

Both positions are new for the company.

“Bill and Leslie [left] are joining the team with a depth of knowledge and experience in the franchise industry and we are confident they will help these brands expand their footprint and help franchisees grow advantageously,” said Peter Boylan, president of Ballard Brands in a statement. “Both have a deep understanding of the company culture and are committed to people; they will be a driving force of our success.”

Formed in 2001 by brothers Paul, Steven, and Scott Ballard, Ballard Brands owns and operates 155 restaurants under such brands as Wow Concepts (including wing concept Wow Café, the chicken-centric Wow Chicken & Sauce, and health-focused B-Fit Café), PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans, The Original City Diner, gourmet sandwich shop Boardhouse, and retail coffee brand New Orleans Roast.

In May, Ballard Brands acquired some assets of the bankrupt Garces Group, founded by Food Network star chef Jose Garces, including Spanish tapas concept Amada in New York City and Philadelphia and Mexican small plates restaurant Distrito in Philadelphia, for $5 million. 

As COO, DiPaola will focus on developing and growing the existing Ballard Brands, and working with franchisees on operations and training. CMO Monson will be mainly devoted to brand strategy, equity, and overall profitability. 

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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