Tropical Smoothie Café has hired Lisa Wenda as its first chief marketing officer, the latest in a class of new executives who have joined to lead other areas of the fast-casual chain’s development, including finance and franchise growth.

Most recently, Wenda was vice president of field marketing for North America at Arby’s Restaurant Group. In her 14 years in the quick-service industry, she has held marketing roles with Yum! Brands Inc., AFA Service Corporation and Wendy’s/Arby’s Group.

In her new role, Wenda will direct Tropical Smoothie Café's overall marketing strategy and promotional campaigns.

“Lisa’s rich depth and well-versed marketing background will enable Tropical Smoothie Café to enhance the brand while delivering profitably against the brand promise,” chief executive Mike Rotondo said in a statement. “A food and hands-on guerrilla marketer at heart, Lisa knows how to drive brands forward, and we’re very excited to have her join our senior leadership team.”

Tropical Smoothie Café has added several new executives since its 2012 acquisition by Atlanta-based BIP Opportunities Fund LP, which bought a controlling interest of the 16-year-old brand. Recent hires included vice president of finance Tim Tanguay, vice president of operational services Robin Willis and vice president of franchise development Charles Watson.

“We have assembled a dynamic team of talented individuals who will be instrumental in advancing the growth of our franchise and taking this brand to the next level,” Rotondo said.

The 357-unit Atlanta-based chain opened 40 franchise locations in 2013 and plans to open another 55 locations next year, officials indicated.

Tropical Smoothie Café operates in 36 states.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN